July 10, 2005

July Fourth Family Gaming

by Susan Rozmiarek

Lately our older (12) son Kevin has been bugging us to play games. He's even been joining the adults for a game or two with our regular gaming group. I'm trying not to push him any with the hope that this trend continues.


Starfarers of Catan

Kevin has been after us for awhile to play one of his favorites, Starfarers of Catan, but being a longer game we haven't had time until now. I sure do love how this game looks when it is all set up. The big mother ships are way cool, even if they do break easily when you try to attach boosters. We now just set our boosters off to the side. I've heard that you can get some sort of fix from Mayfair, but I've never tried. I'd feel kind of guilty, since we didn't pay for the game, but rather picked it up (used?) off a prize table. The game is a great variation of Settlers of Catan, with a space exploration theme that really works well.

One thing about a Settlers game; you might as well just throw all rules of probability out the door. Placing your colonies on those highly desirable "6" and "8" spots just guarantees that they will never get rolled. In this game the magic number was "9" and of course I didn't have any colonies on those spots. I always lagged just a few victory points back while Kevin and Ed competed for the lead. Ed pursued a mostly trading strategy and got some nice trading deals in place that gave him extra resources. Kevin loaded up his ship with cannons and went out in pursuit of pirates. Both he and Ed got a number of fame rings. As for me, I had the distinction of being the fastest ship, with lots of boosters, and zoomed around the solar system plunking down colonies. I even had a sweet trading deal where I could trade a trade good for the resource of my choice. Still, it wasn't enough to catch Ed and Kevin. Ed put down a final colony to narrowly win over Kevin.

Final Score: Ed 15, Kevin 13, Susan 10

Kevin studies his dad's Starfarers of Catan turn.


Ed and I got a chance to play this new game coming soon from Mayfair and DaVinci games. It comes in a small box with a small board, some wooden tokens and cards. The board represents a castle keep under siege by mythological creatures. The players use falcons (the wooden tokens) to capture these beasts as well as betting on where the captures will take place. Yes, it's yet another strange theme by the folks at DaVinci! Cards depicting the creatures and types of land are placed randomly in rows around the keep. Players have a limited number of action points to spend on moving their hawks and the cards around to try and get them in a position to make a capture. There's a little more to it than that, and I hope to have a review of it up eventually. It's very tactical and puzzle-like. I rather liked it, but I expect it will be better with more than two players.

This isn't an actual picture of our game, but rather a mock-up for the review:

Fredericus up close.

I would be remiss if I made a Family Gaming weblog entry without mentioning Attacktix. The male members of this household are quite enamored with these "toys" right now, and many galactic battles have been fought out in our living room during the past few weeks, especially when the boys had friends sleep over. I haven't played the game myself, but I've become quite popular by bringing home a booster pack or two whenever I visit Target. It does look like a fun little miniatures game that is simple enough for even young children to play. It certainly is more realistic than most. Instead of rolling dice to attack and hit, the figures shoot guns or swing light sabers to actually knock over another figure for a kill.

Attacktix figures ready for battle.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at July 10, 2005 1:38 AM


You can contact Mayfair and get plastic rings that go over your mothership to keep them from breaking when you snap in the boosters. It took them a while and a reminder e-mail, but just this week, I got six grey rings to slide over my motherships.

Posted by: Scott Nicholson on July 10, 2005 6:24 AM

And, I wouldn't feel guilty about getting the fix from Mayfair, because whoever bought the game originally is entitled to them. That they essentially traded the game before the fix was available shouldn't matter; it sounds like the game needs them, and you are now the owner of a game without them.

Posted by: Tami on July 10, 2005 8:29 AM
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