Sunday, September 03, 2006

Games Played September 2, 2006


One key to happiness – GAMES


Another fun day with the family. Sue and I fixed a simple, but delicious, meal with a recipe called Lumbercamp Falls Skillet – a one-dish meal that we’ve enjoyed two times in the past year. I got the recipe several years ago from Midwest Living magazine, but only got around to trying it late last year. In a Dutch oven, we cooked some bacon (which was removed, drained, and crumbled for the topping), sliced potatoes, corn, onion, bell pepper, smoked sausage, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Along with a fresh salad, tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, and a brownie sundae dessert, it makes a great and quick meal for seven people. Everyone ate a lot! Then, it was on to gaming.

We had played two games of Hacienda back in April, and we decided to try it again. The first time we played, with the symmetrical board, Dan and Mason tied for the win. The second time, with the asymmetrical board, Sue beat us all very well. In this third game, also asymmetrical, we were all a little more knowledgeable and played a little more defense, but Sue again took us to school in it. She claims to not really understand the game and asks questions during the play, and I noted that it sounded a bit like a “first-time” poker player asking whether having two of one kind and three of another was a good hand! Results: Sue first; Katrina second; Dan third; Mason fourth; me last. It appears to me that Sue is becoming a more aggressive game-player. In the last several games of Settlers, Through the Desert, and Hacienda, Sue has played more defense than I ever recall her doing in the past. She is also winning more games and placing better in the others. It has been an interesting recent change in her gaming style.

Next up was Through the Desert. In the past games, Katrina had two wins, Sue had one, and Dan, Mason, and Katrina tied for the win in the fourth game. With five players, the board fills up quickly, and the game ends fairly quickly. Three players were trying for the longest white caravan, so the camels went quickly. I managed to have the longest caravans in both purple and blue, which was a nice surprise, and I enclosed two small areas, but was blocked from completing two other areas. However, Mason enclosed two sizeable areas and won the game. Results: Mason first; Dan second; me third; Katrina fourth; Sue last. Sue prevented me from getting two additional areas enclosed, so she definitely understands this game. I did a lot of defensive playing last time we played TtD, and I came in last. Sue was last this time. I’m thinking that this game definitely rewards offensive, rather than defensive play, as many or most games do. I’m also thinking that I need to learn this game better – I’m the only one who hasn’t won a game of it!

Settlers of Catan was our next game, where Dan and Mason have a nip-and-tuck rivalry going for most wins. Luck definitely plays a role in this game. I have had good luck with the Development Cards in several games, but this was not one of those days. I bought 8 cards and received 7 soldiers and one Monopoly card. Dan bought two cards and got one Road Building and one VP! I did have the largest army, eight total points, and was beginning to think about winning this game, when Dan announced that the game was over. Results: Dan first; me second; Mason and Joel (tied) third; Katrina and Sue (tied) last. Mason and Dan are once again tied for most victories, with 19 each. They are hard to beat at Settlers.

We played our usual seven-hand game of Bohnanza toward the end of the day. Joel won with 14 gold, followed by Natalia, Mason, and Katrina with 13 – a close finish! Results: Joel first; Natalia, Mason, Katrina (tied) second; Dan fifth; Sue and me (tied) last (with 7 – Joel doubled our scores). Joel is a great game-player. I recently posted a photo of him on BGG with our completed Settlers game of last week. He and Natalia have each won more games this year than I have, as has everyone else in the family. But, that’s okay. I love playing all these different games, anyway.

We finished the day with four hands of Nertz, but decided not to keep score. Katrina won two hands, Natalia won one, and I won one, but I’m glad we didn’t keep score, because I believe my scores for the other three hands were all negative!

Next weekend, we will have visitors from out of state. I doubt whether we will play any games with the whole group, so I don’t expect to have a report next week. It is possible Sue and I will play some cards with her sister and brother-in-law, while staying at a cabin in Estes Park, Colorado, the following week, but we won’t have any game results to add to our family gaming records next weekend.

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

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