Monday, May 15, 2006

Games Played May 14, 2006


One key to happiness – GAMES


Our normal routine was modified this past weekend. Katrina and Dan are both school band directors, and both of their bands were performing at the Six Flags Amusement Park in Denver on Saturday, so we moved our usual family day to Sunday (Mother’s Day). Natalia and Joel spent Saturday with us. We took them out for a pizza/pasta lunch and a round of miniature golf (won by Sue, although we give the kids a 1-stroke handicap on each hole). Later, Joel, Sue and I played a game of Boomtown, which Sue won.

On Mother’s Day, I grilled steaks, baked potatoes, made a special salad that is a favorite of the family, and created a new dessert by combining two separate recipes that we had not tried (cream cheese dessert wedges with a warm strawberry fondue sauce). The meal was a great hit. After Sue and Katrina opened their gifts, we adjourned outside for some bocce (won by Joel). Everyone had to leave earlier than usual, so we had time for only three table games.

We first played Ticket to Ride. It was an odd game, for us. We all drew north/south tickets, all in the east and central part of the map. Sue had a southern east/west route, but the entire northwest was vacant. It got very crowded very quickly in the east, with everyone jockeying for alternate routes, to finish tickets. In later ticket draws, only Mason got one along the west coast. Near the end of the game, I found myself in a very good position. I had one short ticket to complete, which required only two segments of track, each needing only two cards. On my last card selection, I had the exact four cards needed to finish the route, and I was sitting pretty, planning to use all my trains in my final two turns. Déjà vu, all over again ----- Mason played just after me, finished a long route and got down to two trains. That meant I could only finish one of my two required segments before the end of the game. I can’t believe I was so close to winning a game, again! {Well, I probably would not have won, anyway, because Mason finished way ahead of the rest of us.} Results: Mason first (very close to my record high score in this game); me second; Dan third, Sue fourth, and Katrina last. Not a good start for the females on Mother’s Day.

Next, all seven of us played For Sale. We removed two cards from both the properties deck and the check deck, without revealing which ones they were. With 7 players and 28 cards, there were only 4 rounds of bidding for properties and four rounds of selling properties for checks – a fast game. Results: Joel first, Mason second, Katrina third, Natalia and Sue (tied) fourth, me sixth, and Dan last.

There was just enough time for a 7-player game of Bohnanza, before the family had to leave. We play with all the cards, and the game still goes quickly, with seven people. Results: Katrina first, Joel second, Mason and Sue (tied) third, me fifth, Dan sixth, and Natalia last (very unusual for her in this game).

I took some time last week to prepare Through the Desert for 6 players. Because the game comes with extra caravan leaders in each of the five colors, and we don’t need them to identify who is playing which color, I took one of each color and used a permanent marker to make a black set of leaders. We will have to decide whether to play with four or three leaders, each, in a 6-player game. I’m leaning toward trying four, but reducing the number of camels of each color, since the board will fill up quickly (sodaklady suggested this, also). I’m looking forward to our first try with six.

I also scanned and printed two more marker cards for Coloretto, and we will try it with 6 and/or 7 players. We will have to adjust the number of cards below the end-of-game card in the draw deck, which probably will shorten the game length considerably, and will most likely require an adjustment in our usual strategies. It should be an interesting experiment.

Now, I just need to come up with a sixth set of trains for Ticket to Ride…………

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

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