March 18, 2009

Would you like a little game with that wine?

by Susan Rozmiarek

I was hoping that our planned D&D session on Friday night would inspire me to get back to writing that D&D vs. Descent article I mentioned, but our evening of dungeon delving has been postponed. Arrgh! It looks like we won't be able to corral our Descent players for a session anytime soon, either. Double arghh!!

In better news, after I declared the monthly Meetup group dead, it has risen from its grave. Apparently, two different wine stores/wineries, of all places, contacted our Meetup host out of the blue with offers to host the group. I've seen several of these types of places show up in shopping centers recently, so I'm betting that competition for customers is fierce. We spent a pleasant afternoon sipping locally made wine and playing boardgames. Late in the afternoon, a band began setting up. When they started playing, that was our cue to leave. I enjoy listening to live music, but it makes it impossible to play games when you have to shout across the table.

The setting was nice with decent lighting, but the tables were really small and round which limited the games we could play. This didn't stop one group from pushing two together to play Agricola, but they looked pretty cramped and uncomfortable.

As you can see, we had quite a nice crowd.

Ed and I taught Pandemic to a nice young couple that liked it so much we played twice, losing both times and on the easiest setting at that. Quite embarrassing, I must say. I thought we had a pretty good handle on this game but it kicked our butts this time, especially in the first game where we had too many early epidemics. I love how this game fools you into thinking you have everything under control for a while and then, within a few short turns, it can devolve into a full scale panic of trying to stamp out outbreaks all over the map.

Pandemic was followed by Tier auf Tier, a cute little Haba dexterity game of stacking wooden animals atop each other. My normally shaky hands combined with a few glasses of wine did not help me here, but it was fun!

Lastly, we played Wasabi!, a tile-laying game where you are trying to create sushi recipes for points by placing the necessary ingredient tiles in a row on the board. There are special cards you play to manipulate tiles that have already been placed and your recipes are kept secret from the other players. Like a lot of newer Eurogames, it gave me the feeling of having done this all before, but since I have a soft spot for this puzzle-y sort of game, I'll forgive it this once. Plus, it looks beautiful.

I'm interested to see if this place invites us back. Hopefully, we gave them enough business. Ed and I took home a bottle of a VERY sweet Pinot Gris.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at March 18, 2009 12:06 AM

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