Sunday, April 30, 2006

Games Played April 29, 2006


One key to happiness – GAMES


This was an interesting family Saturday game day. Katrina had LASIK eye surgery Friday, and since we couldn’t be certain how she would be feeling/seeing, we volunteered to take a buffet lunch to their house, and I tried to select some games that would not be too stressful to the eyes. As it turned out, her surgery was excellent, and she had driven herself Saturday morning for a follow-up visit with the ophthalmologist, so she was fine for games. She even drove Natalia to a friend’s birthday party in the afternoon and picked her up later.

Before Natalia left for the party, she asked to play Zirkus Flohcati (Flea Circus). With seven players, this game takes a different strategy than with fewer players. It is very difficult to get a card of each color, for example, before all the cards have been drawn. It plays very quickly, even with seven players, so we played two games of it. Results of the first game: Dan and Sue (tied) first; Natalia and me (tied) third; Mason fifth; Katrina sixth; Joel last. Results of the second game: Katrina first; Joel second; Mason third; Sue fourth; Natalia and Dan (tied) fifth; me last.

When Katrina returned from taking Natalia to the party, we played our second game ever of Hacienda. The first time we played, we used the symmetrical side of the board, and we decided to try the asymmetrical side this time. It does alter the game. We have not played this enough to get comfortable with the strategies, yet, so we all allowed Sue to monopolize one corner of the board, including connecting all her land tiles into one very long string. She won the game hands-down, with the rest of our scores fairly close together, but way behind hers. Results: Sue first; Mason second; Katrina third; me fourth; Dan last. I believe we will be playing this game more often, now.

As usual, Mason wanted to play Settlers of Catan, so we finished the day with it. Mason loves this game and has the most wins (ahead of Dan by two at this time). Even though I managed to improve two settlements to cities on two different 8-value sheep hexes, and 8’s came up reasonably often, I still couldn’t manage to grow quickly enough. Amazingly, I bought seven Development Cards, in this order: Soldier, Year of Plenty, Year of Plenty, Monopoly, Year of Plenty, Soldier, Soldier. You would think I would have won the game with those cards, but I wasn’t even close. I didn’t have time to play the third soldier card, and no one claimed the largest army victory points before the game ended. Mason stole the longest road card from Katrina just before she would have won the game. A couple of weeks ago, Sue used a monopoly card to prevent Mason from winning, which allowed Katrina to win. This week, Sue used a monopoly card to prevent Katrina from winning, which allowed Mason to win. Sue figures it balanced out. Results: Mason first; Katrina second (9 points); Joel and me (tied) third; Dan and Sue (tied) last.

While Katrina was absent twice, for short times, the rest of us played several hands of Frank’s Zoo, but decided not to keep score. Also, before Natalia left for the party, we played several hands of Nertz, also without keeping score. Although we really enjoy keeping records of most of our games, sometimes we just enjoy the fun of playing without keeping score. It was a great family day!

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

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