Posts Tagged 'Board Games'

Weekend Gaming: Late Arrival

Sorry for the late edition of this week’s edition of Weekend Gaming.  I completely forgot about it until just now.

This last weekend we celebrated my wife’s birthday.  Joe, Jaime, Kevin and Louis all joined us on Saturday for a barbeque (I love that it’s finally getting nice enough to fire up the grill again) and some games.  My son played some Tastes Like Chicken with us before he had to go to bed.  Then we broke out the Railways of the World.

Joe got out to an early lead grabbing a Raleigh service bounty and the Atlanta to Richmond line.  The only thing keeping him in check was the large amount of debt he took to do it.  I was doing alright around Chicago, but I was running out of goods to ship.  Completing a Western Link and the major line from Minneapolis to New Orleans got me enough points to get into third.  Kevin was able to take the center of the board and had a decent number of bonuses from major lines that allowed him to overtake Joe and finish the game in the lead by one point.

Phil joined us after that game, and we all decided to play another round since it wasn’t too late.  This time the game started out with 5 of the 6 possible Service Bounties available.  Only two, though were easily achievable.  Joe won the first round and again grabbed the bounty for Raleigh.  Kevin grabbed the one for Mobile.  I was able to snag the Passenger Lines bonus and a Service Bounty to Jacksonville.  Then I spent a few turns messing around trying to get the Service Bounty to Toronto, and to keep Joe from getting it.  It never worked out, though and Kevin was actually the one to get the bonus.  Louis grabbed the Northeast, though, and never really let go.  He was able to quickly upgrade his train and was shipping for 5 to 6 points each time.  I ran out of things to ship and the only way I could grab points was to do another trip from Minneapolis to New Orleans.  In the end, though, I missed my Railroad Baron, and Louis held a solid lead, taking him from last place in the first game, to first in the second round.

That’s all for this week, Happy Gaming!

Weekend Update: St. Patty’s Day

With the St. Patrick’s Day festivities going on here in town, we had some friends pay us a visit for the weekend.  It was pretty crazy, and many games were played.

We started off Friday night with a game of Forbidden Island.  We played on the easiest difficulty, since it was only my second time playing it, and nobody else had played it.  We were easily able to grab all four treasures and get off the island before the water rose too high.  We’ll definitely bump up the difficulty next time.

That was followed by a quick game of Dominion, that was pretty unmemorable.

Saturday held the majority of the festivities in town, but we had pretty much decided to stay home.  The wives all got together at Phil’s house, so Joe came over and he, Nick, and I played through a game of Railways of the World.  I got pretty lucky with the way the bonus points were showing up, and I was able to get a couple service bounties and major lines without leaving my area on the lower east coast.  I was able to pull out to a good lead early, and held it while Nick was making his way from the upper east coast to the Midwest and Joe spent his time completely in the Midwest.  In the end, none of us had racked up a ton of debt, and I was able to hold on for a sizable win.

Image used from Board Game Geek

We then played a game of Puerto Rico.  I hadn’t played in quite a while, and I had never played with only three people, so it was a different experience.  I was trying to make use of my usual trading/building strategy, but Joe was able to get a much more balanced game going.  At the end, I was able to pull back into the game, but I was still a point short of Joe.

After dinner, we traded Joe away to get the wives back.  The four of us started the evening battling the evil forces in Castle Ravenloft.   We took on the Dracolich with a team consisting of a Cleric (me), a Rogue (Laura), a Warrior (my wife) and a Wizard (Nick).  It looked pretty hairy early on, when I hit a streak of bad luck on encounters and was forced to use a healing surge.  We did find the Dracolich, though, and after a few turns of struggling to get things under control, we managed to get a rhythm going and took him down.  It was a pretty epic fight.

After that, we played another game of Puerto Rico.  This time I took on the strategy of shipping tons of stuff.  I was able to produce a bunch of corn, and I had no competition for boats.  I was easily able to rack up a bunch of points early and take the win.

We finished out the night with a couple games of Dominion.  The first game had a bunch of cards for extra buys and special victory cards.  I ended up going with Mints and Harems and getting quite a few points that way.  My wife was pulling in cash pretty easily too, but my Harems were just too much in the end.  The second game had a ton of extra actions, but card draw was limited to a Witch.  I was able to get a little going, but never a smooth progression.  I ended the game with 18 points, while my wife had 25.  Nick hadn’t been able to get anything rolling and was stuck with only 3 points.

Overall, it was a great weekend full of games, both new and old.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Shogun

One of the greatest things about where I live, is the friends I’ve made here.  The thing that really brought us together was our mutual affection for board games.  Honestly, before I moved here, I considered Monopoly, Risk, and Scrabble to be the height of board games.  Now, though, I realize that there is a whole world of games that I never would have found had I not met these people.

Every weekend we try and get together and play games.  We typically play after the kids go to bed, and we’ll be up until the wee hours of the morning.  The Weekend Gaming series will recap the games I played over the course of the weekend, and may include short reviews of the games.


This weekend, the guys managed to get together on Saturday while some of the wives were out at a wine tasting event.  This allowed us to get in a longer game that was new to all of us.  The game was Shogun, and there were five of us total.  The game is a bit like Risk, but as you can probably guess from the title, it takes place in Feudal Japan with each player trying to gain the title of Shogun.  The game takes place over 6 rounds (seasons) with a scoring round after the third and sixth rounds.  There are ten actions that can be taken each round, and each province a player controls can use one of the actions. The actions are things like building buildings, reinforcing provinces, attacking, and collecting taxes or rice.  Taxes are needed to pay for the armies and buildings, while rice is needed to feed your people.  Points are scored for provinces controlled, buildings in those provinces, and having a majority of each type of building in the various regions.

Battles in the game are definitely a unique feature.  Each player’s army is made up of colored cubes.  When you fight, you drop all of the attacking cubes and defending cubes into the “battle tower”.  This tower is setup so that not all of the cubes that get put in will come out.  So whoever has the most cubes come out of the tower is the victor.  Any cubes that get stuck in the tower are left there, and can aide (or hinder) you in later battles.  There are also neutral “farmers” that will fight for the defender, provided there isn’t a rebellion occurring in the province.  These farmers will also be fought against when collecting taxes or rice, or when attacking an empty province.

The game is a lot of fun, and definitely akin to Risk.  There are a lot more things that can be done on a turn, though, and victory can be obtained through buildings and defense rather than a purely offensive strategy.  The battles are also a little less random than in Risk, though they still can be quite brutal.  And with the way the actions work, it is not possible for one person to take an army and sweep across the map in a single turn.

There are a lot of things to keep track of, and it can be a bit overwhelming.  We definitely were doing things a bit randomly in the earlier rounds before we figured out the way some actions interacted with each other.  It was obviously a big hit with everyone, though, as one of the guys called around to get a game together on Sunday night, which rarely happens.


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