Sunday, March 12, 2006

Games Played March 11, 2006


One key to happiness – GAMES


I have good news, and I have bad news.

The good news is that I FINALLY won a game in 2006.

The bad news is that it doesn’t count in our family gaming records. I won a 4-player game of Hearts, but since Mason had to leave early and didn’t play this game, it doesn’t count as a win for me. We only count games played at least by all five adults.

So, my unblemished record of losses continues. If I don’t win a 5- or 6- or 7-player game in the next two weekends, I will acquire the title of “Biggest Loser” of our family gaming history. Okay, now, this must be just a bad dream. I know, I’ll close my eyes and click my heels together three times, and everything will be fine ----- click, click, click. ------- Well, that didn’t work. I know – I must think positive thoughts. Every cloud has a silver lining; There’s light at the end of the tunnel; Things are never as bad as they might seem; Let a smile be my umbrella; Accentuate the positive; Keep a stiff upper lip; Things could always be worse. ------ Oh, yeah, that helped a WHOLE lot. {sniff, sniff, sniff}

I may not have won a family game yet in 2006, but I’m still having a good time playing. Yesterday, we got in five short games, since Mason needed to leave early. Alphabetically, they were: Around the World in 80 Days; Bohnanza; Hunters and Gatherers; Oh Hell (card game); and Royal Turf. Joel played all the games with us, except Oh Hell, so we played four games of 6 players and one of 5 players. We also got in a game of Coloretto, but not one that counted. Natalia had not played it and wanted to learn, so she, Joel, Dan, Mason, and I played three times, while Sue and Katrina visited and read some from their current books.

I enjoy Around the World in 80 Days more every time we play it. I would not change anything in this game. I read that someone thought the board artwork wasn’t very attractive. I can’t understand that comment. I think the paintings are delightful, very much in tune with the period of the story. It probably doesn’t hurt that I’ve enjoyed the book and the early movie, too. A few months ago, I set our family record best score with 75 days. Yesterday, Katrina set a new record of 69 days. I think that one will be very difficult to beat. And, she beat Joel by only 1 day! There is no question that he thoroughly understands this game, and I certainly expect him to beat us all soon. Results: Katrina, Joel, me, Mason, Dan, Sue.

We had a short time at the end of the afternoon, before Mason planned to leave, so we slipped in a game of Oh Hell. I’m not sure when Sue and I learned this game or from what source, and we have played it for many years, but we did not learn its official name until last year, when I found it on BGG. We have always just called it The Bidding Game. What was curious about the name of this game is that Sue and I learned to play a card game back in the late 1950’s, which was named Hell (according to the people – family members in Sue’s case, and neighbors in my case – who taught us the game). I have since learned (again on BGG) that our game of “Hell” is officially called “Nertz.” So, it is confusing when I write about either game. I have to remember to call them by their official names, not the names we learned many years ago and still call them in the family. Anyway, Mason won Oh Hell yesterday, with a perfect score of zero. That is only the third perfect score we have had in the past five years; Dan won the other two perfect games. Results: Mason, Sue, Katrina, Dan, me.

Bohnanza is currently one of the most popular games with our family, although Natalia declined to join us this time around. Sue noted that when we began playing Bohnanza, in 2001, usually the active player was offering trades and everyone else was reacting. Now, everyone else offers trades, and the active player selects the best offer. Our games of Bohnanza remind me of the films I’ve seen of the NYSE stock exchange floor. Results: Dan and Mason (tied for first place), Katrina, me, Joel, Sue.

We enjoy Hunters and Gatherers once in a while. To play with six players, we borrow a set of grey meeples from Carcassonne (using the pig and builder pieces, from the Traders and Builders expansion, as river huts). In my opinion, there is no noticeable difference between a 5-player and 6-player game of H&G. They should have included meeples for six and even seven players. This was one of our tighter-scoring games. Results: Dan, Mason, Katrina, Joel, me, Sue.

We have been playing Royal Turf for three years, and it’s still a quick, fun game for us. I was surprised to see on our gaming records that we hadn’t played it as a 5- or 6-player game for the past eight months. Maybe I’ll bring it out more often this year. Results: Dan and Katrina tied (first place), Joel, me, Sue, Mason.

We may or may not have Mason with us next weekend. If not, I won’t have a chance to get a win on Saturday. That would leave me with just one more weekend before I go down in history as having the longest losing streak in the family gaming records. If there is a game that I “always” win, I’d better bring it out…

--- Gerald … near Denver, Colorado; March 2006
aka gamesgrandpa -- A grandpa who is a mile high on gaming

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