Ah, November, time for the third annual Game Addicts Anonymous trip to the lodge with the pool fed by natural hot springs. My ultimate goal would be to get enough gamers to sign on to rent out the whole lodge and conference room with gamers. Alas, it remains only the 6 of us and the rest have missed out.
It was a beautiful drive up the McKenzie River here in Oregon. It was a rare sunny weekend for us as well. The leaves were turning yellow, orange and red. The weather was cool and crisp, perfect for soaking in the natural waters from the hot springs!
Barb, Christina and myself were to the first to arrive, quickly unloading the games and food so we could take a dip in the pool You could see steam rising from the pool and the flagstones surrounding the pool were freezing on our bare feet. A quick dash for the water brought soothing warmth. Out of the pool and onto games once we were wrinkly enough.
We thought we'd start out with some quick and light games as we waited for the rest of the gang to arrive. We pulled out M. 3 player M is very challenging as it is hard to initiate a scoring round without taking some negative tiles. Christina jumped to the lead with chips and Barb quietly collected tiles. I got stuck with almost as many negative tiles as positive and came in a distant third while Barb edged Christina out by 10 pts.
Next up another tile laying game, Metro. This quickly deteriorated in a cat fight as I struck first giving Barb and Christina each a 2 pt train. They battled back, both ending several of my trains but I managed to milk one train track along and got a high double score by connecting to the middle eeking out the win.
By now 2 more gamers had arrived. We finshed up metro while they went in for a dip. We pulled out Mermaid Rain. I have had this for a while but had not brought it to the table. At my last Games Gala, Doug and Mimi had brought it and Christina had played. The perfect opportunity to learn the game was upon us. Brian is taking Japanese and we tried to get him to translate but he needs a few more classes
Away we went in search of our Mermaid Prince (even Brian and Bryon who didn't mind playing a "girly" game). I found Mermaid Rain to be an interesting hand management game. Brian carried off the win and the prince with a monopoly of crystal treasures. I came in second followed by Christina. I liked this game and look forward to trying it again. A quick soak in the pool before it closed.
We finished the evening with a 'haunting' as we broke out Betrayal at House on the Hill. Reminiscent of Dungeonquest with tile laying and events or items and Arkham Horror with sanity points only a lot easier. We started naively off into the house of terror... Bryon and Barb succumbed to evil and killed off the rest of us Heroes. An okay game for me, I'll play it again but not on my purchase list.
Day 2 started out with going out into the very brisk air for a morning dip in the pool. This was followed by breakast and I pulled out game number 2 I was anxious to try, Reef Encounter. I am obviously dense as it took me several reads thru the rules the night before and when I first woke up to figure out the rules. There is an awful lot going on in the game. I muddled thru a lengthy explanation and Barb, Chrisitina, Jeff and I started off to the sea. I found this to be a fascinating game of trying to balance out all the things you need to do, build new corals, kill other corals and feed your parrotfish. I give it high marks for great theme that fits well and for being a bit of a brain burner. (It would get highest marks if it had been called Key Largo )Christina, a biology teacher, fittingly won. As she would say, "the reef is harsh!" I really look forward to trying this again.
We also played a few quick rounds of Cityscape. Beautiful wood game, easy to learn and fast to play, I managed to score zero in both games
After Reef Encounter we opted for some lighter fare. I had learned Cafe International boardgame on BSW and had picked up the card game version.The game started out with 2 Chinese tables and we found it ironic that since China makes up something like a quarter of the population we couldn't draw a single Chinese person for the first half of the game.
Barb managed some good draws and soon left the rest of us in the dust. I think I prefer the boardgame version.
Time for another dip in the pool but Bryon and I opted for a 2 player game of Starship Catan the card game. This isn't a bad game but it always lasts about a half an hour too long for me. My memory isn't good enough to play for too long. I start to get the exploration piles mixed up and it's all downhill from there. Despite having me defeat many pirates, Bryon was able to get the win.
Time for Dinner at a neighboring lodge then back for more games. Jeff, Bryon, Brian and Barb pulled of Ticket to ride and since we had 6, Chrisitina and I played CC the Castle. Jeff won TtR by tying for the longest train and having several long sections of trains. I won my game by managing to finish off a few paths with wells early in the game.
We then tried Bohnanzha with High Bohn. Man, was the translation or expansion filled with confusing errors. We kept trying to buy the wrong kind of buildings with our beans. A quick and easy trade game, I won with the garten beans 3 gold building giving me an advantage.
We got to try another game I have been dying to try, Montage. Bryon and Barb teamed up against Christina and I. Very good word game. It was a brain burner to come up with words and clues. I enjyed this and look forward to trying again. Christina and I lost some speed clues as my knocking reflex was defective.
Another night time visit to the hot springs and then a final game or two. Jeff had arrived late the night before so had missed out on Betrayal so a second game ensued. This time the heroes managed to cheat death at chess. Didn't change my mind about the game.
As a closer I brought out Trendy and Bryon managed to be the most fashionable.
We had to check out all too soon on Sunday no games were played
Sounds like a great weekend! Bet you'd like to do it more often than once a year, though.
Play Games - Interact - Have Fun!
It sounds like a truly wonderful time Lorna! I'd love to take the wife to a place like that and meet up with some friends to relax and play some games. Unfortunately, real life always seems to intervene and with work, kids and hectic schedules to contend with, our vacation time is currently limited to just family time (not that that is a bad thing, but you know what I mean).
We have been to a bed and breakfast for our anniversary in the past and played the Settler's Card game a few times, but making a weekend getaway where gaming was a big part of the agenda seems like a great idea.
Thanks for sharing.