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[SR] Family Game Day, 8/12: Fearsome Floors, Rette Sich Wer Kann, Techno Witches, Mission: Red Planet, El Grande, more

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  • W. Eric Martin
    Jim Forsythe hosted a family game day this past Saturday, and I attended once again with my family of one to play a bevy of kids games and a couple of adult
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 13, 2006
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      Jim Forsythe hosted a family game day this past Saturday, and I attended
      once again with my family of one to play a bevy of kids games and a
      couple of adult titles.

      Maniki (Megan, Sara, Katie, Connor, Michael, Jim, Eric)

      A light intro to start as we waited for others to arrive. I served more
      as the guide and judge to keep everyone on track and test out suggested
      strategies for moving the animals around. If everyone took too long,
      though, I'd claim the card myself. Have to keep those kids motivated!

      Fearsome Floors (Megan, Jenny, Eric)

      While Jim played Cash 'N' Guns in one room, I taught Megan and Jenny how
      to run away from a monster -- or at least I tried to. On the first turn,
      though, I flipped over the double kill tile for the monster, and since
      all the tokens had blocks to the south of them, the monster walked
      straight across the board, through the wall, and straight across the top
      to kill two of Jenny's pieces.

      With the goon in the upper corner, pieces were killed over and over
      again, stepping onto the board only to be squashed again immediately.
      Jenny was set back repeatedly, while Megan and I managed to slip across
      the blood and set our sites on the portcullis. I misjudged a movement on
      what turned out to be the next-to-last turn; I had planned to lure the
      monster in one direction, then have him turn to wipe out me and Megan to
      keep her from winning. Alas, the monster kept on coming at my lure and
      killed him instead, letting Megan win on the next turn. That'll teach me
      to go easy on youngsters.

      Apples to Apples Junior (Michael Curtin, Sue, Sara, Jenny, Megan, Eric)

      We played with a round-robin judge, and I won the first two cards. Who
      wouldn't pick ice cream for sweet?! The scores bounced around a bit, but
      I maintained my lead and won.

      Rette Sich Wer Kann (same six players)

      Okay, I knew I was taking a chance with this game, but I thought it
      would be interesting to see how the lifeboat game plays with young
      girls. First of all, I now know that if you are a boy and have won the
      previous game, you will be targetted continuously. Second, Jenny and
      Megan often noted which move wouldn't harm anyone and advocated those
      moves. ("The black boat has an empty spot, so we can place the leak
      there and no one will have to go overboard.")

      I did my best to start the blood churning, and since the game is
      designed to make this happen, the bodies started floating and feelings
      started to get hurt. Jenny felt picked on because she was the first to
      die, but soon the body count of others overtook her. I kept trying to
      make a case to target Sue since she had the most points (you know, since
      that was the goal of the game), but Jenny only wanted to kill me.

      The best part was when Sara, Sue and I all voted to throw Jenny
      overboard. Sue was almost in hysterics because Jenny looked so hurt; why
      were we being so mean!! Sue maintained her lead and won.

      I think everyone but Jenny had a good time. Sue pointed out that the
      dynamic of playing not to hurt anyone was extremely typical of girls,
      and they kept trying to make that happen, even though it's not possible
      in this game. Someone must go to make the boat lighter -- and when the
      time comes, it's going to be a boy who gets tossed over!

      Diamant (Michael, Megan, Ian, Jim, Eric)

      A quick game while waiting for pizza to arrive. After Jim ducked out
      early in the first mine with five gems, I avoided my usual "run early"
      habits and made a few decent scores. The second mine closed after only
      two cards, and I timed my exit in the fourth mine perfectly. Jim ran as
      far as could in the final mine and left with an enormous stash, yet he
      ended up one gem short of me. The next card was a disaster, though, so
      fate was with me one way or the other.

      Techno Witches (Ian, Connor, Michael, Eric)

      This is an extremely clever race game that should be more fun each time
      you play it as you'll be able to better imagine the path that you're
      taking through the obstacles. I made a fine run with my first spellbook
      of five tiles, which put me in the lead for good, blocking off Connor
      who was blocking Michael. Ian had curved into a corner, so he had
      catching up to do. I made a couple of goofs over the next couple of
      turns, but I was close ot the finish when everyoen called the game in
      favor of a cookout.

      Mission: Red Planet (Jim, Michael, Eric)

      My first playing with only three, and the game works extremely well with
      that number. The chaos level is way down as fewer cards are drawn,
      meaning fewer Discovery cards throwing kinks into the endgame scoring,
      and fewer role cards disrupt your plans. In our game, each of us drew a
      Bonus card, so we had no Discovery cards at all affecting the scoring. I
      made a play for ice near the end of the game, and edged out Michael for
      the ice bonus of 9 points while simultaneously making my bonus for most
      astronauts in the central regions. Unfortunately, Jim tied for having
      the most astronauts on Mars, making both his Bonus cards and winning
      with 57 points to my 53.

      El Grande (Jim, Michael, Eric)

      I've heard lots of people say that El Grande is strictly a five-player
      game, but I think it works great with three and wouldn't hesitate to
      play it again with that number. As with Mission: Red Planet, with fewer
      players you have less chaos as fewer action cards are played, giving you
      a chance to build a plan and try to make it work. (I've played the game
      a grand total of twice, though, so perhaps I'm missing something that
      the five-player fans can tell me about.)

      I placed the 8-4-0 mobile scoreboard in my Grande region early in the
      game and held the majority each scoring session, even scoring it an
      extra time during the game and once with the King inside. Those 42
      points were a third of my score, and I beat out Jim by only a half-dozen
      or so points.

      Other games played include Cash 'N' Guns, another game of Fearsome
      Floors (in which at least six tokens were killed on one turn!), Circus
      Flohcati, and Snap. Thanks again to Jim and Sue for hosting!

      Eric


      --
      W. Eric Martin - TwoWriters.net
      "It is still fashionable to believe that how you organize yourself
      religiously in this life may matter for eternity." - Sam Harris
    • W. Eric Martin
      Jim Forsythe hosted a family game day this past Saturday, and I attended once again with my family of one to play a bevy of kids games and a couple of adult
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 13, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Jim Forsythe hosted a family game day this past Saturday, and I attended
        once again with my family of one to play a bevy of kids games and a
        couple of adult titles.

        Maniki (Megan, Sara, Katie, Connor, Michael, Jim, Eric)

        A light intro to start as we waited for others to arrive. I served more
        as the guide and judge to keep everyone on track and test out suggested
        strategies for moving the animals around. If everyone took too long,
        though, I'd claim the card myself. Have to keep those kids motivated!

        Fearsome Floors (Megan, Jenny, Eric)

        While Jim played Cash 'N' Guns in one room, I taught Megan and Jenny how
        to run away from a monster -- or at least I tried to. On the first turn,
        though, I flipped over the double kill tile for the monster, and since
        all the tokens had blocks to the south of them, the monster walked
        straight across the board, through the wall, and straight across the top
        to kill two of Jenny's pieces.

        With the goon in the upper corner, pieces were killed over and over
        again, stepping onto the board only to be squashed again immediately.
        Jenny was set back repeatedly, while Megan and I managed to slip across
        the blood and set our sites on the portcullis. I misjudged a movement on
        what turned out to be the next-to-last turn; I had planned to lure the
        monster in one direction, then have him turn to wipe out me and Megan to
        keep her from winning. Alas, the monster kept on coming at my lure and
        killed him instead, letting Megan win on the next turn. That'll teach me
        to go easy on youngsters.

        Apples to Apples Junior (Michael Curtin, Sue, Sara, Jenny, Megan, Eric)

        We played with a round-robin judge, and I won the first two cards. Who
        wouldn't pick ice cream for sweet?! The scores bounced around a bit, but
        I maintained my lead and won.

        Rette Sich Wer Kann (same six players)

        Okay, I knew I was taking a chance with this game, but I thought it
        would be interesting to see how the lifeboat game plays with young
        girls. First of all, I now know that if you are a boy and have won the
        previous game, you will be targetted continuously. Second, Jenny and
        Megan often noted which move wouldn't harm anyone and advocated those
        moves. ("The black boat has an empty spot, so we can place the leak
        there and no one will have to go overboard.")

        I did my best to start the blood churning, and since the game is
        designed to make this happen, the bodies started floating and feelings
        started to get hurt. Jenny felt picked on because she was the first to
        die, but soon the body count of others overtook her. I kept trying to
        make a case to target Sue since she had the most points (you know, since
        that was the goal of the game), but Jenny only wanted to kill me.

        The best part was when Sara, Sue and I all voted to throw Jenny
        overboard. Sue was almost in hysterics because Jenny looked so hurt; why
        were we being so mean!! Sue maintained her lead and won.

        I think everyone but Jenny had a good time. Sue pointed out that the
        dynamic of playing not to hurt anyone was extremely typical of girls,
        and they kept trying to make that happen, even though it's not possible
        in this game. Someone must go to make the boat lighter -- and when the
        time comes, it's going to be a boy who gets tossed over!

        Diamant (Michael, Megan, Ian, Jim, Eric)

        A quick game while waiting for pizza to arrive. After Jim ducked out
        early in the first mine with five gems, I avoided my usual "run early"
        habits and made a few decent scores. The second mine closed after only
        two cards, and I timed my exit in the fourth mine perfectly. Jim ran as
        far as could in the final mine and left with an enormous stash, yet he
        ended up one gem short of me. The next card was a disaster, though, so
        fate was with me one way or the other.

        Techno Witches (Ian, Connor, Michael, Eric)

        This is an extremely clever race game that should be more fun each time
        you play it as you'll be able to better imagine the path that you're
        taking through the obstacles. I made a fine run with my first spellbook
        of five tiles, which put me in the lead for good, blocking off Connor
        who was blocking Michael. Ian had curved into a corner, so he had
        catching up to do. I made a couple of goofs over the next couple of
        turns, but I was close ot the finish when everyoen called the game in
        favor of a cookout.

        Mission: Red Planet (Jim, Michael, Eric)

        My first playing with only three, and the game works extremely well with
        that number. The chaos level is way down as fewer cards are drawn,
        meaning fewer Discovery cards throwing kinks into the endgame scoring,
        and fewer role cards disrupt your plans. In our game, each of us drew a
        Bonus card, so we had no Discovery cards at all affecting the scoring. I
        made a play for ice near the end of the game, and edged out Michael for
        the ice bonus of 9 points while simultaneously making my bonus for most
        astronauts in the central regions. Unfortunately, Jim tied for having
        the most astronauts on Mars, making both his Bonus cards and winning
        with 57 points to my 53.

        El Grande (Jim, Michael, Eric)

        I've heard lots of people say that El Grande is strictly a five-player
        game, but I think it works great with three and wouldn't hesitate to
        play it again with that number. As with Mission: Red Planet, with fewer
        players you have less chaos as fewer action cards are played, giving you
        a chance to build a plan and try to make it work. (I've played the game
        a grand total of twice, though, so perhaps I'm missing something that
        the five-player fans can tell me about.)

        I placed the 8-4-0 mobile scoreboard in my Grande region early in the
        game and held the majority each scoring session, even scoring it an
        extra time during the game and once with the King inside. Those 42
        points were a third of my score, and I beat out Jim by only a half-dozen
        or so points.

        Other games played include Cash 'N' Guns, another game of Fearsome
        Floors (in which at least six tokens were killed on one turn!), Circus
        Flohcati, and Snap. Thanks again to Jim and Sue for hosting!

        Eric


        --
        W. Eric Martin - TwoWriters.net
        "It is still fashionable to believe that how you organize yourself
        religiously in this life may matter for eternity." - Sam Harris
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