Tabletop Day 2017

Greetings All,

So as you may have noticed, “The Husband” and “The Bartender” will be joining the blog once in a while and I am grateful to have them. Also new… my site is no longer livingbytheboard.wordpress.com, it’s just livingbytheboard.com. How cool is that?! I have also joined multiple accounts of mine: Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy. Please check us out and give us a like. 🙂

-Tabletop Day 2017-

This year for TTD we had several sponsors that helped provide games, party favors, and prizes. Literally everyone went home with something, which is a great way to keep the spirit alive because we hold a competition every year. If you’ve ever heard of a television series called The League (If you haven’t please check it out, it’s great.) then you will be aware that it is about a group of friends that play Fantasy Football. During the Superbowl the two people with the highest points go to the Shiva Bowl and the two with the lowest points go to the Sacko Bowl. Well we copied that for our TTDs, except it’s the top four and bottom four players. These players go to two separate games to decide the winner and loser. To get to that point, however, we play three mega games that get graded. The way we grade this is by using the Mario Kart point system.

This year our qualifying games were Mega Dixit, Disc Duelers, and Ticket to Ride. I have enough decks to where Mega Dixit was easy. We used post it notes to label the cards and to vote. Disc Duelers and Ticket to Ride can be utilized with multiple copies of the game if you have large numbers of players. Our Shiva Bowl game was Tokaido and our Sacko Bowl game was Takenoko. That said, just because we used Takenoko as the Sacko Bowl does not mean we dislike. Quite the opposite actually, it is a very easy game to grasp and has a fun subject matter which I feel lessons the blow of being in the Sacko Bowl. After the competition we played Kill Doctor Lucky.

We played for nearly ten hours. There was a potluck and a $10 charge at the door if you were drinking because The Bartender was our bartender – thus the name. Everyone got a gift bag with games and promos and there were door prizes. The winner (myself) and the loser both get plaques. I wood burn them so they are not ready on the day of, I’ll post pictures when my polyurethane dries.

One of my favorite things about TTD is watching newbies enjoy themselves and really see the new-found board game addiction blossom. There are several people who frequent our table, including myself, that are anxiety riddled or just really keep to themselves. TTD brings out the social, goofy person in those people and it’s a lovely sight. We have goofballs whom seem like they can’t take anything seriously, but the moment the competition starts… they are on the ball, it’s fantastic! We are all so incredibly different and to see the lot of all working towards one goal and having such a great time… well to be honest, it is weirdly breath-taking and yes I know that sounds odd. Let me explain. I am not social. Large crowds freak me out and I am slightly temperamental. This is the one time of year when I am not terrified of being smashed into a small place with tons of other people, and do you know why? Because it’s worth it. No matter who I am before I start playing a game, I can be someone else during the game. If I’m playing Castle Panic, for a little while I really feel like I am defending my castle. If I play Tokaido, I get to relax and believe I am on this wonderous journey. I love it and oddly enough I’m not a fan of RPGs.

Something that concerned me thins year is that I had my 15 month old son with me. We don’t have family that I trust or that are willing to watch him because of his age. We don’t have spare money to pay for a babysitter. What we do have is a great group of people whom do not mind his presence at all. Just like last year, these people were by our sides offering to hold him or distract him while I took my turn. I got to watch my friends feed him and play with him. I am very grateful for them and their reactions. Sadly festivities were cut short because my son caught a stomach virus from my ten year old. We took him to the ER. Luckily nothing seriously was wrong, but it did last eight days. He is doing much better now.

Anyhow, thanks for hanging in there with me through this extremely long post. Feel free to reach out with any questions, although I can not reveal my sponsors for TTD, so please don’t ask. Thanks again and until next time… Live by the board.

-Livingbytheboard

Meet The Bartender!

Hello Internets!

I figured I’d introduce myself to the blog fans, I’m J. I’ll likely be doing some behind the scenes stuff here, with an occasional article. I’d still like to introduce myself as part of the growing crew here, and as part of the board game table (you could call me The Bartender since I’m always bringing and making the drinks). I wanted to write an article about board gaming and a bit my history with it.

What a lot of people know about me is that I love video games, but they don’t really know that even younger I had a love of board games too. Friends of mine never cared for board games- so I was left playing video games alone or occasionally with family. I don’t have too many memories of my childhood (I blame that concussion I got in college) but one I do remember is playing Payday with my step dad.

If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a classic from the 1970s. You play on a month with 31 days, where bills and other things rack up. At the end of the month you get your salary and have to pay off all those bills that racked up that were unexpected or taken on in trying to earn more cash- by buying properties and the like. In retrospect it was similar to adult-life but without crying myself to sleep every night. The crushing reality was surprisingly still there though.

I didn’t play much else growing up. The occasional hated Monopoly game, the forgettable Yahtzee. The stuff they let you play in class with an educational twist (though I have to say, Spanish Scrabble is a lot more fun than regular English Scrabble). I got into trivia style games late in high school, but due to having a tendency of being able to guess the answer out of nowhere- no one wanted to play very often. In college there wasn’t many board games- mostly just Smash Bros, an N64, and the closest we got to board games in Cut-throat Uno and Euchre. I think maybe there was a Game of Life and a Family Feud the board game somewhere in there but nothing too exciting.

So when I reconnected with The Husband a few years ago and he asked if I wanted to play board games, there was interest for sure. He knew me as mostly a video gamer, but fast with rules and how things are played. And I’m glad we did. I never knew how much the industry had grown in such a short amount of time, and how much it’s still growing. I’m happy to play some of my faves with new and old friends alike. We’ve had some heated arguments on rules a few times, but there’s still love at the table.

If you’re just starting out like I was a couple years ago and all you know of is something like Payday- some of my faves are Ticket to Ride, Takenoko, Splendor, and my newest in Tiny Epic Galaxies. Don’t get me wrong- there’s plenty of other great titles I enjoy playing, but those are my personal faves for sure. Start slow, with a group one evening you’re free. Bring some drinks like I usually do. And the next thing you’ll know it’ll be 1 AM, and you’ll be asking yourself how many games you guys played that night.

When you stop counting, you know you’re having fun. When you start counting again because it’s not enough games in one night- you know you’re a fan. Until next time, cheers.

J, aka The Bartender

Day 1 (of 3): Takenoko and my 8 year old daughter! :)

Greetings All,

Today I start a three-day segment about my children and their favorite board game. I did mini interviews with all three of them.

-Takenoko by Asmodee Games-

2-4 players (We’ve played with 5), 30-45mins

Takenoko

Above you can see standard Takenoko and all of it’s components. My daughter is 8 years old. She wishes to let everyone know that Takenoko is pronounced “Tah-Keh-Noh-Koh”. 🙂


Me: What is your favorite board game?

Daughter8: Takenoko!


Me: If Takenoko was a story what would it be?

Daughter8: Well, I’ve read the comic so I kind of already know the story. (In the rule book is an adorable mini comic). The Emperor figured out that the Panda keeps eating all of the bamboo and the Gardener keeps having to regrow it. The Gardener is upset and tells the Emperor he wants the Panda gone. The Emperor says that the Panda represents peace and he will not make him leave.


Me: Can you give me a short summary of the rules?

Daughter8: You have to grow bamboo and eat bamboo in order to finish cards. The first person to finish 10 cards gets the Emperor card that gives you an extra 2 points. Everyone adds their points up to see who wins.


Me: Who do you think this game is for?

Daughter8: Families all across the world!


Me: Why is Takenoko your favorite game?

Daughter8: I like to work together, even though it’s a competitive game you can help people. I like to work together to finish my cards. I only like competing when I’m in the mood.


Me: Why should people buy/try Takenoko?

Daughter8: I feel like people would appreciate being able to help others with their cards.


Amazon has the best pricing thus far, it’s $35 and free shipping. 🙂

You can also check out the Asmodee website to see more information.

You can see a good review from The Dice Tower and a great play through on Tabletop.

I hope you enjoyed my daughters take on Takenoko! I will be back tomorrow with my 13-year-old sons take on his favorite game! 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.

Cyber Monday Deals!

Greetings All,

I figured since I made a Black Friday post, a Cyber Monday post was in order. 🙂 I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! Our children are in a shared parenting agreement, so they were with us the day before Thanksgiving which is when we celebrated ours, we played some Love Letter and Takenoko! 🙂

On Thanksgiving, our children were with their other household. My husband and I decided to visit a friend in the hospital. We brought some Pumpkin Pie and games. We played Ticket to Ride with 1910 expansion and Castle Panic with The Wizards Tower expansion.

CyberMonday2011

Anyhow below you’ll find some links for Cyber Monday board game related posts. Enjoy! 🙂

cybermonday.com – This site has all of the deals from all of the big named stores, for the purpose of this post the link will be for board games. – http://www.cybermonday.com/sr____.htm?keywords=board+games&p=sr&mnpos=1234%7C%7C1%7C1%7Csearch_box

Etsy Deals! The following links are all board game related Etsy Deals for Cyber Monday!

The House of Mouse, this shop is just cute and I couldn’t resist! – https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHouseOfMouse?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Style and Apply, this shop has a really cute Tic Tac Toe wall decal that is perfect for a kids room! – https://www.etsy.com/listing/190495876/cyber-monday-sale-game-dry-eraser-chalk?ref=shop_home_active_1

Charmri, this shop has some old school games on sale! – https://www.etsy.com/shop/CHARMRI?section_id=13249527&ref=shopsection_leftnav_6

Whats New On The Mantel, this shop has several old school board games and their entire shop is 25% off! – https://www.etsy.com/shop/WhatsNewOnTheMantel?section_id=12829005&ref=shopsection_leftnav_5

Vivere Carbasus, this shop was also on the Black Friday list. They have board game earrings, dust plugs, and actual board games! Use code: CYBERMONDAY for 20% off $5 or more! – https://www.etsy.com/shop/VivereCarbasus?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Another one I’d like to mention again is Miniature Market, although they do not have a “Cyber Monday” sale… their Black Friday sale will still be going on through 12/1/14! miniaturemarket.com

I hope everyone gets some great deals! Enjoy and 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