Valentines Day Gameplay!

Greetings All,

Sorry this is about a week late. The lot of us (6) got sick this past week, not to mention my infant is teething so we are all collectively exhausted. I have posts about Concept and Codenames coming up, but for today I will be discussing some games I played on Valentine’s Day. For Valentine’s Day my husband got me Forbidden Desert, two light novels and a manga of The Devil is a Part-Timer (great story, you should check it out.).

Forbidden Desert

By Gamewright Games

2-5 Players

30-45 Mins

(Forbidden Island, 2-4 Players, 20-30 Mins)forbidden

Ok so starting with the new game. Forbidden Desert(FD) is the sequel to Forbidden Island(FI), which is a great game and very easy to learn. Forbidden Desert, however, is a tad bit more complex. Both games are co-op and have simple set up. We have had FI for quite some time and after a few plays we could play in a very automated fashion. I’ll attach rules and a video regarding FI. FD we’ve only played twice, but I really feel that it’s going to have much higher replayability than FI. The games are very similar in mechanics, but the sequel offers several additional rules which makes it have a higher level of skill. I’ll also include rules and a video for FD. There are directional cards for the storm in FD and those are we bit confusing at times, but other than that it’s pretty simple. I had a great time playing with my husband and I think it was a great choice, but it’s honestly better with more players. I prefer FD of the two because it adds an additional player. We have six in our family, but only five us old enough to play. Us five never got to play FI together so it’s really cool knowing that sometime this week I can play with my older kids. I really suggest giving both of these a try.

The Duke

By Catalyst Game Labs

2 Players

15-25 Mins

the-duke-1000x300-slider

This is a game that we’ve had for a while. It’s similar to chess and I’ve heard people say that it’s similar to Hive. I honestly did not think I’d like it, but the variety makes it hard not to at least be interested in it. I’m not great at abstract strategy games and I do not much care for chess. The tiles you lay have two sides because you flip them after you move them. Each side is different and there are many different tile abilities and movements. It feels overwhelmingly complicated at first, but you quickly get used to it. I will include rules and a video. I’ve never played with anyone but my husband and I truly believe I wouldn’t enjoy it with anyone else. My husband makes the game fun for me and encourages me to calm down and not get frustrated at the fact that I’m not great at it. I believe I’ve won once and we’ve played ALOT. He played with our daughter today and of course she win her first game. Ugh. Even if this doesn’t sound great to you… still give it a shot, you just need to find a good player 2. Catalyst has tons of printables on their site for The Duke, including a print and play!

Tiny Epic Galaxies

By Gamelyn Games

1-5 Players

20-30 Mins

teg

TEG is an adorable game with great components and fairly simple rules. I’ve played several games now with 2, 3 and 5 players and it definitely gets more fun and more complicated with more players. This is a competitive game that involves conquering planets, upgrading your galaxy, and generally hoping your opponents don’t realize how easy it’d be for them crush your hopes and dreams. I’ll add rules and a video. I know I already mentioned it, but the components really are great the art is beautiful and the cards and pieces are made well, not to mention the inside of the box is part of the game! One lid is a dice tray with amazing art and the other is a handy little guide for the different planets in the game. This is a wonderful game and there is a whole series of Tiny Epic Games that you should check out. I’ve only played two so far, but I am honestly looking forward to playing the rest of the library.

BraveRats

By Blue Orange Games

2 Players

5-10 Mins

brave-rats

I do believe I have talked bout BraveRats on here before, but just in case here we go. BraveRats is a war like game for two players that plays really quickly. It’s a remake of the game R. It reminds me of a 2 player Love Letter. It’s easy to grasp because the rules are written on the card and any confusion you might have is summed up by this tiny little que card that comes with the game. I’ll include rules and a video. The cards are nice, the insert is lovely, as is the tin. This a favorite for passing time and you can play almost anywhere.

Thank you for reading. Real quick question for everyone, one subscriber contacted me and asked if I’d post a short message any time I played a game. If that’s something you’d be interested in please contact me and let me know. If you liked this review and want to be kept up to date please follow my page and like me on Facebook. Until next time… Live by the Board.

-Livingbytheboard

Recruiting New Gamers

 IMG_20141224_014332

Greetings All,

This is one I still struggle with. My husband, however, is much better at than I am, which is why I asked him to co-write this one with me. I’m fairly certain that half of the ability to convince people to try board games has to do with charming them. My husband is by the far the most charming person I know so he has a very easy time getting people on his side. Please read more below to get his take on recruiting new gamers. Enjoy. 🙂


-Husband-

To recruit new gamers, you need to at least have a vague idea who you’re playing with. This makes it way easier to potentially draw anyone from the hardened gamer to the total neophyte.

Know someone who’s never played board games, but loves video games? Too easy! Suggest an analogue of a favorite game of their’s! “You like Starcraft? How about showing me your strategic prowess in a quick game of OGRE?” Know someone who likes casual cell phone games? Too easy! “Something quick, easy and fun? How about you lend me 10 minutes of your time and play some Coin Age or Brave Rats with me?” How about a non-competitive type who just wants to have fun? “How’s about a co-operative game then? We can save OUR castle together!” I’ve found that far and away the easiest way to get people to game (in any situation) is to tailor your approach, almost like you’re trying to sell gaming as a product. “Man, have you ever heard of a game called Disc Duelers? It’s like a super open game of RPG battle pogs!!!” “Dude, Zombie Dice is like zombie Yahtzee…y’know, except without being schooled by old people.” I jest, of course! Or my general use line: “Can I borrow five minutes of your life? I’ll repay it 100 fold in entertainment!”

BATTLE POGS

If you do manage to secure someone for game night, its almost equitable to catching a fish on a hook… now you just have to reel them in! And how do you do that? You whip out the AAA titles from your game shelf! I am a thorough believer in “palate cleaner” or “feeler” games. By which, I mean shorter games that will better help you understand the temperature of the table. Did your table of new invites enjoy the rule light, rapid play game? Or the slower, more complicated/methodical game? These are important things to know about your guests to insure the success of your evening as well as potentially insuring the return of your guests.

Great “feeler games” I personally use are:

Love Letter by AEG

2-4 players (we’ve played w/ 5), 10-20 mins

Love Letter is easily one of the biggest, quickest crowd pleasers I own. Easy to learn rules, quick gameplay, and a friendlier competitive structure. Hard to go wrong with this one.


This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The 2-4 Of Us by TMG

2-4 players (we’ve played with 5), 10-15 mins

This game shares a lot of elements with Carcassonne. Fantastic simplicity coupled with a hidden level of complexity make this an easy way to spot the more thoughtful members attending your table.


We Didn’t Playtest This At All by Asmadi

2-15 players, 1-5 mins

This is a card game that is so absurd, it’s divisive. It’ll either be an instant favorite, or an eye roller. Great way to sift through senses of humor, or lack thereof.

Fantasy by Asmodee

2-4 players (we’ve played with 5), 20-30 mins

Fantasy is a slightly longer card game with (somewhat) simple rules, and a nice (you guessed it!) fantasy motif that keeps players in the game until the last card is dealt and the scores are tallied. A great game to help your table rev up for a tougher, longer game.


Now, let’s get to real meat and potatoes of all of this. The AAA crowd pleasers that turn these new acquaintances into fast friends:

Ticket To Ride by Days of Wonder

2-5 players, 30-60 mins

If you’re visiting this blog, odds are you’ve AT LEAST heard about this game…or I’m actively judging you and your life decisions. 🙂 Needless to say, few board games can truly pull in veterans and neophytes alike. It’s got a great, turn of the 20th century aesthetic, profoundly easy to understand rules, and utterly FANTASTIC gameplay. I can’t opine about this game enough!


Castle Panic by Fireside Games

1-6 players, 30-60 mins

I’ll be frank with you readers, this is my personal favorite game of all time. Published by Fireside Games, this is a co-operative “tower defense” style game. This game is a remarkable bonding experience for all involved! It’s you and your team struggling against a common foe, you’re all left with little more than randomly drawn cards and your wits! Fantastic for game nights!


Puerto Rico by Rio Grande Games

3-5 players (there is a 2 player variant), 90 mins

This one is quite a bit more complicated than the previous entries on this list. Puerto Rico is a “prosperity” simulator, in essence, this game tasks you with being able to expand your city and island faster (and more efficiently) than your opponents. There is a very little luck to strategy ratio for this game, so veteran gamers are likely dominate during the first play through with neophytes. This game is equipped with no “actual” game board to play on, but is managed through individual’s city boards and a PLETHORA of smaller game pieces, so this game does require a little bit of imagination. That said, this is a 90 minute game with a HIGH amount of strategy and lateral thinking…so this game isn’t for everyone. HOWEVER, I HIGHLY recommend this for every kind of gamer…at least to try once.

Variety is the spice of life, however, most people will be more inclined to try a new dish if it looks more appetizing. Bottom line, presentation AND substance are both CRITICAL in your approach to gaining new members of your table. Just play your experience by ear, and try to cater to everyone’s tastes without compromising anyone’s. And, above all else, MAKE SURE TO HAVE FUN!


I’ll have to have him co-write more often… I’m pretty sure he blew me out of the water! 🙂 Anyhow, his description was shockingly accurate to how our “gaming interviews” go. When I say gaming interviews it is exactly what it sounds like, we’ve even told people they were essentially being interviewed to be a regular at our table.

We both hope you enjoyed this topic, as it was readers choice. Soon I will be starting another three-day segment, this time regarding solo play games. Until next time… Live by the Board.

-livingbytheboard

The Do’s and Don’ts of a sick day.

Greetings All,

Yesterday my daughter (10yrs old) had to stay home from school because she had a fever. Yesterday was also going to be her first time going to a birthday sleepover. As you can imagine she was CRUSHED. In an attempt to cheer her up, we decided to have a family game night. We made it through three games before our “Do’s and Don’ts” became overwhelmingly apparent. That said I’d like to share the experience and games with you now.

1

-Brave Rats by BlueOrange Games-

2 players, 1 – 15 mins

Brave Rats is a short two player game that requires a bit of strategy. In Brave Rats you are part of a rat clan at war with your rival rat clan. Each player gets eight cards that are labeled 0-7 and all have separate abilities. Each player has the same set of cards, just a different clan and color. Players use strategy and probability to beat the other player by choosing what card to play each turn. The players flip their cards over at the same time and for the most part, the player with the highest card wins. The first player to win 4 rounds wins the game. There are exceptions to the general rules, which you can see here: http://www.nonsensicalgamers.com/brave-rats-review/ *** The lowest price I’ve found is at Walmart: http://www.walmart.com/ip/39580105?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227027265244&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=57058379169&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=89570793129&veh=sem *** You can see more information at the OrangeBlue Games website: http://www.blueorangegames.com/index.php/games/braverats

2

-Takenoko by Asmodee-

2 – 4 players, 30 – 45 mins

Takenoko is a beautiful game and probably one of my favorites. Players compete to complete different objectives based around three different types of objective cards: Gardener, Panda, Formation. There are many different rules to this game, but it is well worth it and once you have the rules down you can play it with your eyes closed (not really, don’t try it… it makes a huge mess). A player wins when they complete an X amount of objective cards which is based on how many people are playing. This game is for 2-4 players, BUT there are five of us. We play with all five… this leaves us with one less board, but when you know the game well it is very much so possible. You can see how the game is played on Tabletop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv4n-e-hb_o *** The lowest price I’ve found is at GameSurplus: https://www.gamesurplus.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=takenoko&osCsid=ahbn2b5uol5mnrtgkv56c8i326&x=0&y=0 *** You can find more information at the Asmodee website: http://us.asmodee.com/ressources/jeux_versions/takenoko.php

3

-Clue by Hasboro-

3 – 6 players, 30 – 45 mins

Clue is a classic board game in which you are an investigator trying to solve a murder, but most of you should know that. It’s a fun game and there are tons of different styles and expansions. We have the 2013 edition as shown above. Amazon has fantastic prices on clue and a very large list of the different Clue editions: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_4?url=search-alias%3Dtoys-and-games&field-keywords=clue&sprefix=clue%2Caps%2C315 *** The Hasbro website has additional information including reviews, demos, and a price comparison: http://www.hasbro.com/en_US/search/_/Ntt-clue?Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial

Ok so time for the fun part. Brave Rats worked well, it was a great chance to have a short one on one game with a single child which not only helped keep their attention, but allowed for my ill daughter to have her own little bit of attention. That said, my other daughter (8yrs old) does not do well when she isn’t the main focus. For a great deal of the time when my husband was playing with our 10yr old, the 8yr old was trying to push her way into the action. Takenoko on the other hand was nice and new to my 10yr old. Our 13yr old son and 8yr old daughter had both previously played. Playing a new game with a sick child is a bit of a fool’s errand, but it definitely took her mind off of her illness. The 13yr old had just had dessert and was very hyper the entire time, while the 8yr old pretended to be sick and sat out of the game. Clue was a new experience for all of the kids, again a fool’s errand when one of your children are sick. We did not get to complete Clue because the 8yr old did not acknowledge one of the cards in her hands when the 10yr old was making a guess. From there it just became extreme confusion and frustration for everyone.

Alright time for the Do’s and Don’ts.

-Do’s-

*Play a familiar game with a sick child, it raises their spirits.

*Have a Family Game night, it really improves family relationships.

*Pick a game that allows you to focus on one child at a time, like a two player game.

*Make sure that everyone is truly up for a game before starting.

-Don’ts-

*Avoid playing games directly after dessert.

*Do not play NEW games when your children are ill.

-Conclusion-

Hyper 13yr old boy + Sick 10yr old girl + Jealous 8yr old girl= A headache

I will say that I love our game nights, but we need to pick the time better. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this and thank you for reading. Until next time… Live by the Board.

-livebytheboard