August 7, 2009

July Gaming

by Susan Rozmiarek

Once again, my gaming blog has been neglected but this time I have a real excuse, and one that doesn't involve World of Warcraft. I've been working part-time at my local library for the past six months and have now accepted a full-time position. I've gone from doing stem cell research as a medical lab technician to being a full-time stay-at-home mom and am now headed in a totally new career direction as a....librarian. Well, only pretending to be one for now as I don't have a Master of Library Science degree yet. That's probably in my future though. The job's a great fit for me so far as I've been a total bibliophile since learning to read at age four. I've spent so much of my life in libraries that I might as well get paid for it. That and family life are keeping me busy, busy, busy. I'm still squeezing in a few games here and there and I still like to write about them occasionally so here we go.

Tales of the Arabian Nights

I've never played the older version and I passed on buying it for twenty bucks a few years ago at an estate sale because it seemed priced too high for a junky looking old game. At the time, it didn't even sound like anything that I'd like anyway. Given my current gaming preferences though, I was easily caught up in the hype surrounding the new edition and was eagerly awaiting its release. I got to try our friend Jeff's copy a few weeks ago and had a grand time. Like you've probably already heard, it's all about storytelling and less about a game which is going to turn a lot of people off, but it made for a great, social evening with a lot of laughs. I spent most of the game wandering around lost and insane but managed to win at the last minute by getting married. The winning conditions are a lot like an old game, Careers. There are two types of points that you earn during the game and you secretly choose at the start how many of each you want to get to win (adding up to the same total as everyone else's goal). My only knock against the game is that it got a bit tedious looking things up on charts and flipping through the book over and over again. The game is not like anything in our collection and it went straight to my buy list even though I'll never be able to get Ed to play it with me.

Jeff's cat keeps an eye on us from atop the refrigerator. Note the evil glowing eyes.

Tigris & Euphrates

The next week at Jeff's I played this classic not once, but twice in a row. And when I say classic, I mean it. I hadn't played this in years and its luster has not worn off one bit. It's as great of a game as it was back when I was obsessed and playing it incessantly online on BGG. The hardest thing about it is teaching new players the difference between external and internal conflicts. The concept is so confusing until you have a few games under your belt and newbies always make suboptimal moves that unintentionally help out other players. But, they need to pick fights just so that they can see how they work. This was my first playing with the Mayfair version and the busy board was gawd-awful. I'm glad that I own the original German edition.

Oldie but a goodie, Tigris and Euphrates

My other gaming this past month included our Descent: The Road to Legend campaign, our neighborhood Texas 42 (dominoes) group, and Runebound with the latest expansion, The Frozen Wastes. This expansion has some neat ideas, but really needs more of a PvP approach than my son and I like to play.

Descent: The Road to Legend. My poor character died five times!

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at August 7, 2009 5:02 PM


Congratulations on your job! Hope you enjoy it to the fullest.

I have enjoyed libraries since I was five years old, when my parents and I checked out books to read about every two weeks (as often as we got to town in those days). My mother had taught me to read before I started school, and the librarians were amazed that I would actually read several childrens books between visits to the library. We lived in the mountains of western Colorado, and there wasn't much to do on long winter nights, except read, listen to the radio, pop popcorn, and play some Crazy Eights (the first game I ever learned).

I still visit our county library now and then, although I do most of my reading these days on my Kindle 2.

Posted by: gamesgrandpa on August 8, 2009 10:01 PM

Interesting career path, Susan. Actually, it sounds a bit like a game of Careers! I hope the library studies work out well and that your new work is as fulfilling as you hope.

Jeff's cat looks like our late, beloved feline Travis. He liked to camp out on high spots too. It's been 10 years or so since he left us, but we still miss him.

Finally, tell your lazy husband/Evil Overlord to make with the Diary write-ups! I'd think he'd enjoy relating how he keeps killing off his poor wife's character. Obviously, he's spending too much time on Chit-Chat!

Posted by: Larry Levy on August 9, 2009 11:08 AM
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