Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - My Year of Gaming

Happy New Year to you!

Well, it's the time of year when we all look back over the last 12 months. Here's how my gaming looked for 2009.

In 2009 I played 67 different games and expansions and logged a total of 143 plays. Compare this to 2008 where I played 92 different games and logged 184 plays. There has certainly been a reduction in board gaming in 2009 compared to the previous year.

One reason for this reduction in board gaming has been an increase in our family gaming with the Nintendo Wii. I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing as any time spent gaming together as a family is worthwhile, whether it be board games or video games. Wii games we most enjoyed playing together were the puzzle-solving of Pikmin and Pikmin II and the trivia challenges of Family Game Night. We enjoy the interaction that comes with board games but video games do have their place in our family gaming.

Blue Max 35
Commands & Colors: Ancients 8
Coda 5
Battle Cry 4
Formula Motor Racing 3
Haunted Castle 3
Loco! 3
PitchCar Mini 3
Red November 3
Wanted! 3
Battle Line 2
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #1: Greece & Eastern Kingdoms 2
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #2: Rome and the Barbarians 2
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #3: The Roman Civil Wars 2
Diamant 2
For Sale 2
Glory to Rome 2
Go 2
HeroScape Expansion Set: Thora's Vengeance 2
HeroScape Expansion Set: Utgar's Rage 2
HeroScape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie 2
Metro 2
Palago 2
Risk Express 2
Tigris & Euphrates 2
WobBally 2
Africa 1
The aMAZEing Labyrinth 1
Axiom 1
Cartagena 1
Chateau Roquefort 1
Cloud 9 1
Coloretto 1
Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! - Russia 1941-1942 1
Deduce or Die 1
Dominion 1
The Downfall of Pompeii 1
A Game of Games 1
Gulo Gulo 1
Hangman 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Defenders of Kinsland 1
HeroScape Expansion Set: Malliddon's Prophecy 1
HeroScape Expansion Set: Road to the Forgotten Forest 1
HeroScape Expansion Set: Ticalla Jungle 1
It's Mine! 1
Jenga 1
Labyrinth 1
Labyrinth Card Game 1
Mamma Mia! 1
Memoir '44 1
Memoir '44 - Eastern Front 1
Memoir '44 - Winter/Desert Board Map 1
Nobody But Us Chickens 1
Pick Picknic 1
Right Turn, Left Turn 1
San Juan 1
Der schwarze Pirat 1
Scrabble 1
Sherlock 1
Tipsy Tower 1
War of The Ring 1

The main gaming highlight for me in 2009 were a series of 14 games of Commands & Colors: Ancients played against Friendless early in the year. We played scenarios from the base game and the first three expansions and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every battle (even the ones I lost).

Things to look forward to in 2010 - My younger daughter turns 4 in January and I hope she can join in on some of the more simpler games we may play on Saturday mornings when her Grandmother visits. My elder daughter is now 8 and turns 9 in 2010. I'm looking forward to teaching and playing some more complex games with her over the next year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm on holidays

I've taken some accrued leave from today and won't be back at work until 1 February 2010. Woohoo! 39 days of summer fun to look forward to. Yeah!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Centaur has been found!

Two years ago I did a blog post on the sinking of the Centaur. The Centaur was an Australian hospital ship torpedoed and sunk during World War II off the coast of Brisbane by a Japanese submarine on 14 May 1943. 268 people died in that tragedy.

Today it was confirmed that the wreck of the Centaur has been located.

From News.Com.Au.

SHIPWRECK hunters have found the hospital ship Centaur which was torpedoed without warning in 1943 off the Queensland coast, killing 268 people.

Search director David Mearns has advised government officials of the exact location of the wreck and said filming of the wreck would begin in January.

Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australians and relatives of those who had been aboard the ship were grateful for the find.

"The discovery of the AHS Centaur will ensure all Australians know and commemorate the 268 brave nurses and crew who died in the service of their nation," Ms Gillard said.

"I hope by locating the final resting place of the AHS Centaur, the family and friends of those men and women who were tragically lost find some resolution."

The AHS Centaur was sunk by a Japanese submarine on 14 May, 1943 about 50 nautical miles east north-east of Brisbane. Of the 332 persons on board, only 64 survived.

The search crew has undertaken five high-resolution sonar tracklines over the target site, and is now conducting a further run to obtain a clearer picture of the wreck.

Queensland premier Anna Bligh said it was a time of reflection.

"It is timely to take a moment to remember those lives lost on that tragic day in 1943, and the devastating effect this has had on their families," Ms Bligh said.

"This morning's confirmation that the wreck has been found will hopefully provide some peace to the loved ones of those killed."

"We will now use this momentum to finish this task and film the wreck site.

"In early January, a remotely operated submersible vehicle equipped with a high-definition camera will collect high quality imagery of the wreck and the surrounding area."

Mr Mearns said the wreck is located approximately 30 nautical miles due east of the southern tip of Moreton Island (27 deg 16.98 South, 153 deg 59.22 East) at a depth of 2,059 metres.

The Australian and Queensland governments jointly committed $4 million to the search and officers from the Department of Defence and the Department of Premier and Cabinet provided oversight and technical assistance to the project.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gaming with Grandma - 106

Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma) and 8 year old daughter Maddie.

Our first game of the morning was the excellent deduction game CODA (AKA Da Vinci Code - The Game). We played two rounds with both Grandma and I winning a round each.

Our second game was Diamant using my home-made version. This push-your-luck game is a family favourite and we always have fun playing it. Final scores were me 46, Grandma 18 and Maddie 16.

Our final game of the morning was the dexterity game Der Schwarze Pirat. I love the production quality of this game from the beautiful board depicting the ocean and islands to the little wooden ships. Grandma was the winner with 17 points, Maddie on 10, and me last on 9.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Xbox Live

I finally joined Xbox Live. My gamertag is Ozvortex360.

Now I'll be able to enjoy the online multiplayer action that I've been craving since I got my Xbox 360 two years ago.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Gaming with Grandma - 105

Grandma arrived early this morning at 7:00 am so that we could all go for a swim in the pool before the sun got too high in the sky. After a nice refreshing swim we decided to play some games.

Our first game was Round the Bend (AKA Labyrinth). My version of this popular solitaire dexterity game was produced in 1970 by Vic-Toy (a division of Invicta Plastics Ltd) and made in England. It's made of solid plastic and has two sliding arms that adjust the angle of the board to move the metal ball around the track. There are numerous holes in the board and one has to be very careful or the ball will disappear into one of these holes. Depending on the hole and direction from which your ball fell determines what score you achieve. If you can follow the track all the way around the board you can get to the final hole and score the maximum 50 points.

Maddie playing the game while Georgia looks on

It's a fun dexterity game and with practice you can increase your skill. We took it in turns, having three goes each, before passing it on to the next player. After about 45 minutes we decided to stop. I achieved the highest score of 31 out of a possible 50.

Our next game was Shaky Pisa Tower (AKA Tipsy Tower). This is one I picked up a year or so ago from a dollar store and I thought it looked interesting. We hadn't played it before so I decided to bring it out this morning.

In this game players place pieces onto a tower with a convex base. The shape of the base causes the tower to lean back and forth when a piece is placed on to one of the levels. Players roll a die with coloured faces and then must place a piece on to the level of that colour matching the colour rolled. If a player makes the pieces fall off then they must add them to their own pieces. First person to place all their pieces wins.

The tipsy tower of Shaky Pisa Tower

We weren't that impressed with this game. There are more enjoyable dexterity games using a similar balancing mechanic available so I may eventually get rid of this game. For the time being this game is being relegated to the kid's gaming cupboard.