Sunday, April 16, 2006

Games Played April 15, 2006


One key to happiness – GAMES


We enjoyed our usual family games on Saturday, following our delicious traditional Easter lunch. We played five games; Natalia played two of them, and Joel played four. Everyone won a game (including a tie in one game), except me. Guess I was a good host. Certainly glad I won at least one game this year…

We started with Alhambra. This was the second time we have played this game, and I think we will be playing it occasionally. This was Joel’s first time to play it, and he finished third, which again demonstrates his gaming talent. We all see Alhambra as a simplified version of Princes of Florence. It plays quickly, even with six players, and it doesn’t challenge your brain quite as much as PoF. Results: Dan first; Sue second; Joel third; me fourth; Katrina fifth; Mason last. Mason won this game the first time we played, but just could not get things going in this game. His winning score in the first game was 81 points – the same score Dan won with this time. Interesting coincidence.

We play Bohnanza almost every week, as we did this Saturday. It is one of the few games Natalia enjoys. I find it very interesting that both Natalia and Joel do so very well in this game. Results: Joel and Sue tied for first; Natalia and Dan tied for third; Mason fifth; me sixth; Katrina last.

The other game Natalia enjoys is Nertz (we call it Hell in our family). Seven people playing Nertz as quickly as possible around one table makes a chaotic scene, and we thoroughly enjoy it. Results: Natalia first; Joel second; Dan third; Katrina fourth; Mason and me tied for fifth; Sue last. Dan has really improved in this game; for years, he was always last. Sue and I have played since we were in high school, and we taught Katrina and Mason how to play when they were quite young, so we have had a lot of practice. We all taught Dan how to play the game, when he married Katrina, and he has been trying to catch up ever since. Looks like he has finally arrived. Natalia and Joel learned to play last year, when their great-grandmother (age 96 then) taught them how to play (the rest of us were helping, too). They both love the game and do very well at it, obviously. We’ve played this game twice this year, and Natalia has won both times.

We had played Hunters and Gatherers only once this year, so it was time for another round. Results: Mason first; Dan second; Joel third; me fourth; Sue fifth; Katrina last.

Finally, we played a game of (what a surprise!) Settlers of Catan. It seemed to be a rather slow-developing game this time, but once things got rolling, it came down to a tight finish. Our last several games did not include too many dice rolls of “7,” but this game was loaded with such. It was difficult to accomplish much early in the game, because of all the “7” results. In the last round of the game, Mason had a huge hand of resources and nine points. It was obvious he was ready to win the game. Sue’s turn was just before Mason’s, and she played a Monopoly card, taking most of Mason’s resources, and leaving him unable to win that turn. Big congratulations from everyone else around the table (except Mason), when she managed that coup! Dan played after Mason, then Katrina, then me. At the end of Dan’s turn, I had nine points and a hand of cards that would assure me a win. However, Katrina hit an excellent dice roll for herself, traded for some resources she needed, did some building, and had nine points plus three cards in her hand. She bought another Development Card, and yes, it was a VP card. She won the game! I would have won on my turn, next after her. I couldn’t believe how she pulled out that win. I won Settlers last week (my only game victory this year), and I thought I was going to make it two Settlers victories in a row, but it was not to be. Maybe next time… Results: Katrina first; Mason and me tied for second; Sue fourth; Dan last. It was an exciting way to end the games for the day.

We still have two unplayed games to try – Cartagena and Australia. They are on opposite ends of the complexity scale; it will be interesting to see which we play first. I hope to get both of them to the table in the next few weeks.

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

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