Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Game Culling Continues...

I decided to put some of my less-played games up for auction on eBay this evening.

Here is a link to my eBay site.

I have the following games for auction:
  • Regatta
  • AD&D Against The Giants G1-G3
  • The Russian Campaign
  • HeroQuest
  • HeroQuest - Kellar's Keep
  • HeroQuest - Return of the Witch Lord
  • Sumo!
  • The Best of Dragon Games
  • Dawn Patrol
  • Diplomacy
  • Kings & Things

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman spiders are fairly common where I live. This one was on a wall downstairs and at only about 5 cm (2 inches) in length is only a baby. Adult males can attain a legspan 25 - 30cm (9.8 - 11.8 inches). My understanding is that although they are venomous a bite will only cause local swelling and pain but I'm not in any hurry to test this out. They tend to be most common in the garage and around trees in the yard.

Huntsman spiders don't build webs because they hunt and forage for their food. Their main prey are small insects. These spiders are very fast and are also occasionally found on walls and ceilings in the house much to the horror of the females in my family. I'm the one that captures them and lets them go in the garden (while having a quiet chuckle at the hysteria one little spider can cause).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Culling Begins...

My boardgame collection has grown a lot over the last few years. My profile at BoardGameGeek shows that I own 224 games. I'm at a point now where I have a pretty good feel for what games are keepers and which aren't. I also have a number of old games which I've never played and I'm fairly certain I never will. On top of this I also have collections of role playing games and miniatures games which are unlikely to hit the table any time soon (if ever).

The forces of time and space were the catalyst for me reviewing my gaming collection. Time is precious and with a family including little kids I do not have time for games that take over about an hour. That pretty well accounts for all my role playing games, miniatures games and wargames.

Space is the other consideration. Games take space. As our kids grow more of the house will need to be family area. Although I have a limited area to store my games it is now overflowing. I want to restrict myself to this area so that when future gaming purchases are made some of the less played games will have to go.

So with all that in mind I recently put some games up for auction on eBay. This is what they sold for:

Heroquest (to buyer in Western Australia- Australia) - AU$39.05

Heroquest - Kellar's Keep (to buyer in Netherlands) - AU$36.00

Heroquest - Return of the Witch Lord (to buyer in Netherlands) - AU$37.00

Samurai Swords - (to buyer in New South Wales - Australia) - AU$84.00

Hundred Days Battles - (to buyer in New South Wales - Australia) - AU$12.37

Although I made over $200 the sad part is that I only reduced my BGG games owned from 224 to 223 by the sale of Hundred Days Battles. I still have more copies of the others.

Back to the culling.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 41

Another Saturday morning gaming with my mother (AKA Grandma) and my daughter (AKA Maddie).

Our first game was chosen by Maddie - Burg Appenzell. In this game your mice run through the castle looking for matching cheese tiles. If you have two of your mice on matching cheese tiles you receive that cheese. First player to find 4 different cheeses wins the game. Grandma won with 4, I came 2nd with 2 and Maddie came 3rd with 1.

On a side note I was surprised to see that Burg Appenzell's name has been changed to Chateau Roquefort on the BGG database due to that being the title of the Rio Grande English language printing of the game.

Our second game of the morning was For Sale. This is one of our favourite short games. In the first part of the game each player bids on property cards and then in the second part of the game they try to sell their properties for the highest cheque values. Maddie came 1st with $80,000, I came 2nd with $72,000, and Grandma came 3rd with $66,000.

Our final game of the morning was Razzia! This is the German version which I recently got in a combined order from Germany with some other Brisbane gamers. I had the English rules translation and the components are language-independent so we were good to go. We decided to only play one round.

This a Reiner Knizia designed game. I've heard it's similar to his other games Ra (which I've played only once) and The Simpsons Slam Dunk Card Game AKA It's Mine (which I've played 3 times). I can definitely see the similarity in attempting to gain (and deny your opponents) certain cards which are worth certain points individually, in combinations or in quantity. There are a lot of things going on which you have to be aware of in this game and I believe there is also a bit of an initial learning curve in understanding the value of the cards and when to call auctions.

The scores after round 1 were Maddie 26, me 19 and Grandma 4. I think Maddie was a little bored with this game (she's only 6 after all) but Grandma and I both commented that we had just started to see some strategies and that this is one game that would definitely benefit from repeated plays to unlock its gaming goodness.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 40

My mother (Grandma to our kids) came over today for a visit. Maddie wanted to play Guess Who with Grandma so they both sat down at the dining room table played 4 games. Maddie won three games and Grandma won one. Guess Who is a simple deduction game that can be made more interesting by each player having more than one mystery person to guess.

After they'd finished I chose Cartagena for the three of us to play. Maddie chose red, Grandma chose yellow and I took green. I positioned Grandma on my right to make it more difficult for me. Cartagena is one of those games where it does make a difference who precedes you in the turn order. Grandma led for most of the game with me making a comeback in the last few turns to take the win. Final scores were me on 6, Grandma on 4 and Maddie on 1. An exciting game.

The final game of the morning was Heroscape. We were able to use some figures from the recently purchased expansion set Thora's Vengeance (Wave 5). I took Grimnak, Ne-Gok-Sa, Marro Warriors, Tarn Viking Warriors and the Deathreavers. Grandma took Krav Maga Agents and Warriors of Ashra. Maddie took Raelin the Kyrie Warrior and the Nakita Agents.

Once again it was going to be Grandma and Maddie against me. This time I had an army the same value as both of theirs combined. However, while they each had one set of order markers for each of their armies I only had one set of order markers for my combined army. This meant they had twice as many orders as I. This certainly affected the game balance.

Of course I was totally outgunned. To even up the balance next time I think I'll run two armies rather than one big one. To handicap myself I'll adjust the values of my armies rather than limit myself with reduced orders. Even though I lost I still had heaps of fun.

Fun, Fun, Fun In The Sun, Sun, Sun

OK, so I lifted the title to this blog entry from the Red Dwarf theme song lyrics but I felt it captures the essence of the last couple of weeks. You see it's late Spring (almost Summer) and I've been on vacation for the last two weeks.

During the first week we stayed at accomodation in lovely Noosaville which is only a few minutes drive from gorgeous Noosa Heads. We went with some friends and their two little boys who are around the same age as our girls.

Some highlights:

  • Celebrating my 40th birthday
  • Drinking a case of one of my favourite beers - Hoegaarden
  • Seeing our younger daughter, Georgia, experience the beach for the first time
  • Playing Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation - Deluxe Edition and BattleLore with my mate Steve

Georgia's first time at the beach

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gaming With Grandma - 39

Friday Family Game Night was cancelled last night due to myself and Georgia being ill for most of last week and I was just too tired. This morning saw my mother (Grandma to our kids) drop by for a cup of tea, a chat and some games.
Mum and I sat down to play Star Wars: Episode 1 - Clash of the Lightsabers, a 2-player card game recreating the battle between Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul on Naboo in The Phantom Menace. Each player has a deck of cards which are either attack cards of a value between 1 and 5 or power cards which have special functions.

The game comes with two pewter miniatures representing the combatants and these are used as scoring tokens. Each battle is fought over 3 rounds of cards. Win 2 of the 3 rounds and you win the battle allowing you to move your playing token along a row of 5 battle cards. The first player to move their playing piece on to the 5th battle card wins the game. This game has a certain amount of luck in the draw of cards but there are some tough choices on when to concede a round and when to fight for it.
Mum went on to win, 5 to my 3.
Maddie joined us for our second game and requested Hive. I pointed out that this was a 2-player game but she insisted. Grandma said she'd watch, so it was Daddy vs daughter. I'd taught Hive to Maddie a year or so ago when she was 5 and she quickly picked it up.

We played two games with me explaining the reasoning behind my moves and pointing out options for her on her turn. We played two games which I won but the 2nd game was close.
After that we all decided to play Gulo Gulo. This is a great family game for adults and children to play together. It's certainly been worth it with a number of plays over the years and it's still being requested. Maddie went on to win.

After that Maddie requested we all play her game Bratz Passion For Fashion. I inwardly groaned but realised that it was a game she enjoyed and it was important to play games she likes. As it turned out I won! Yay me!

Last, but not least, we played Pass the Pigs. Final scores were Maddie 1st with 100, Grandma 2nd with 76 and me 3rd with 75.