October 14, 2008

October Ramblings

by Susan Rozmiarek

My gaming continues to be sparse lately, but I finally made it down to Ed's Friday lunchtime games and played a golden oldie, Sleuth. This game is only three years younger than me, which makes it downright ancient. I still have my family's original 3M copy, although we played with the newer FacetoFace version. I generally stink at pure deduction games like this, but I actually won. I think that I've finally learned how to take good notes. Or, more likely, the fact that I was hyped up on coffee made me unusually focused. For once, nobody (including me!) messed the game up by giving out wrong information.

My deductive karma carried over to win an online game of Black Vienna, a similar deduction game. This is a nice type of game to play as a turn-based web game, because nobody can answer incorrectly, all the information is recorded, and you can take all the time you want to ponder between turns.

Powerboats is another game that I'm playing online at Mastermoves. Both the game and the website had completely flown under my radar, but thanks to an invite from a friend (Hi MarkJ!) I've discovered both. Powerboats is cool little two-player game that reminds me of barrel racing. Yes, I do mean the rodeo event where you race your horse around three barrels and over the finish line, a fun activity of my youth. In this game, boats race around buoys on a hex map while trying to avoid crashing into islands. It has a very simple, but neat dice mechanism for movement in which you accelerate or decelerate by adding or subtracting a die from your roll. You also get to choose whether or not to use the same number rolled on your previous turn or roll any number of your dice again. There are endless possibilities for variety with different configurations of buoys and islands. A real (as in, not computer), multiplayer version is supposed to be coming out at Essen. I'm also playing an old favorite, Streetsoccer, at the same website. Corne van Moorsel seems to have a knack for simple dice games that have more strategy to them then meets the eye.

One of the best things about going to lunch games is the fact that Ed works sorta near some of the best thrift stores in Austin so I always hit those afterwards. I don't often find decent games, but this time I found a few possible treasures - The Powerpuff Girls - Saving the World Before Bedtime and Risk - StarWars: The Clone Wars Edition. Before you take away my gaming creds and have me committed, just go to BGG and look at the ratings for these. For a buck apiece, they are certainly worth a try. Both are complete and in good condition on the inside. Sadly, both my sons spied the Powerpuff game and declared that they wouldn't be caught dead playing it. I'll have to think of a bribe. At the same store, I found possibly the worst gaming find ever. I mean even worse than the countless copies of Channel Surfing and the ever present copies of Trivial Pursuit games that live in every Austin thrift store. The game was Limbo - The Game of Catholic Trivia. It describes itself as a cross between Trivial Pursuit and Bingo and came in a hideous faded reddish orange box. Nobody claims to own it on BGG but yet there are several pictures posted. They must have been too embarrassed!

Finally, my ramble would not be complete without mentioning that I played the "family" version of Agricola twice. The plan was for Ed and I to play the family version immediately followed by the advanced version but Shea noticed us playing and wanted to learn it as well. The family version is okay, but it is not a standout amongst all the other games of this sort. I expect the variety of cards in the advanced version will elevate it greatly given how much I'm enjoying CCG-like games lately (scary trend, there) such as Race for the Galaxy, Glory to Rome, and Blue Moon. We'll see. Shea really enjoyed it too, so I expect he'll be joining us when we pull it out again, hopefully soon.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at October 14, 2008 2:30 PM


It's important to note that Susan likes Powerboats so much because she's CLOBBERING me at it.

OTOH, the Americans are beating the Texans 2-0 in soccer. :-)

Posted by: Mark Jackson on October 16, 2008 1:15 AM
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