October 11, 2007

Good Games and Sad News

by Susan Rozmiarek

Well, we finally did get a game of Battlelore in although it took two weeks of having the game set up and ready to go on a table in our living room. (Yes, we keep a big, ugly, plastic folding table smack-dab in the middle of our living room) We played the second scenario in the book. What a nail-biter! Ed beat me by one flag. I only needed one more turn to take him out. I love these Command & Color games. They don't overwhelm me with too many picky details or units to maneuver on any given turn. Battlelore will probably end up being my favorite due to the fantasy theme and the Days of Wondrous components. I can't wait to try a scenario with creatures and lore. That badass spider wants out of the box!

I also finally got to play Arkadia which I surprisingly loved. I knew it was a good game, having been nominated for the Spiel des Jahres and garnering many compliments by fellow gamers. However, many of the newer eurogames have been falling flat and feeling same-y to me lately. I mistakenly thought Arkadia was yet another majority control game when in fact, it's not. It's more about set collecting and timing when to sell your sets for the maximum profit. It has a nice spatial element that is card driven and the game allows for a little looking ahead to try to set up clever plays. It has that puzzle-y feel I enjoy and I like it a whole lot better than Zooloretto, the game that did take home the SdJ. I guess it's hard to compete against baby pandas for a family game award.

Lastly, I got to play the new 10 Days is Asia, a fine addition to this series of games. The trains add a nice new twist and once again my poor geography skills were challenged. I was rather disappointed in the quality of some of the components, though. I'm not sure I like the new larger map with its valleys and some of the tiles came already marked while still in shrink. At least that is an improvement over our 10 Days in Europe copy which came with many of the tiles stuck together.

I'm going to end this blog entry on a sad note. Last week, Ed and I, and a few others, attended the memorial services for Helen Dunsmoir, an off and on member of our gaming group for many years. Helen was challenged by a myriad of health problems that finally became too much for her body to take. She was unusually upbeat these past few months and seemed to enjoy our game days. We recently spent a very pleasant afternoon playing Empire Builder. She was only 40 years old :-(

Here's a picture from earlier in the year of Helen (on the right) and me playing To Court the King. Helen loved this game and nearly always requested it as a closer on our game days.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at October 11, 2007 12:49 PM


Hey, guys...

First, I'm sorry about your loss.

Second, you're only playing the SECOND scenario? No Lore yet?! Sheesh, Braeden (my six year old) is playing Call To Arms scenarios w/Lore & Specialist cards! (When you get that far, the goblin riders scenario on DoW website is primo!)

BTW, I _think_ this suggestion came from Eric at DoW, but if you want to use the Specialist cards w/out doing Call to Arms, you can just shuffle 'em up, deal out four cards (discarding ones that don't apply to the scenario), let the start player pick first, followed by the other player picking 2 cards, and then the start player getting the last card. (W/Braeden, we deal out six cards, so you can't hose the start player out of his second draw.)

Man, I wish we could play games together... sigh.

Posted by: Mark Jackson on October 12, 2007 9:57 AM

Yeah, yeah, rub it in whydontcha! I've only played C&C Ancients and Memoir '44 once, too. I've played a bunch of BattleCry, though - my wargame "gateway" game.

Thanks for all the tips. Wow, it's been a while since I've been to the DoW website. Look at all those scenarios! Time to fire up the printer...

While the rest of the gaming world whines about getting their family to play games, we have a household of players but can't find the time. Sigh.

Posted by: Susan on October 12, 2007 7:44 PM

I'm sorry to read about your loss. May her spirit live on.

Posted by: jacob on October 14, 2007 12:07 AM
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