|Professor Plum patrols the White Hall|
while the Rembrandt self-portrait
stands under the watchful eye of a
Well, in point of fact, the afternoon of Easter Sunday wasn't quite warm enough for outdoor gaming, but the occasion did call for a family boardgame of some kind, so we decided to trot out our old favorite, Clue: The Great Museum Caper (designers John Labelle and Thomas and Dave Rabideau, publisher Parker Brothers). My sons are getting particularly cagey at this game. The 12-year-old went first, and he led the rest of us on quite the wild goose chase. He nabbed four paintings before making his escape, setting a very high bar for the rest of us to try to beat. The 17-year-old went next, and he did very well until my character spotted him in the museum. It wasn't long before we caught him red-handed. By this point, the game had taken so long that Kathy and I decided not to even take our turns as art thieves but to declare the 12-year-old the winner of our Great Easter Museum Caper.
|Ingenious always goes better with|
wine and crackers
A few days later, Kathy and I had time for only a short game, so we went to Reiner Knizia's brilliant abstract hexagonal tile game, Ingenious (designer Reiner Knizia, publisher Fantasy Flight Games). I'm very fond of this aesthetically satisfying game, even though I'm sure I don't play very thoughtfully. The game is always more fun with a glass of wine or a beer, though, and after all, it's all about having fun.
|A civilized backyard|
afternoon of spreadable
cheese and Robber Knights
The highlight of this weekend came when the weather finally warmed up enough to allow Kathy and me to enjoy our first backyard boardgame of the year. The challenge with these games is to make a selection that is small enough to fit on our outdoor coffee table and substantial enough not to have components blowing around with every little breeze. Robber Knights (designer Rüdiger Dorn, artist Michael Menzel, publisher Queen Games) is always a satisfactory option for this setting. Today we enjoyed cocktails among the chickadees while we played this tile-laying and -claiming game. I've lately taken to comparing RK to the Zoning and Bidding Phases of Sunrise City, which is a richer game (but which takes up a little more time and real estate - if you'll pardon the pun). Today, I went for quantity over quality and ended up with a lot of one-point castles, but not enough to overcome Kathy's locked-down three-point cities. I also used up my knights and tiles too aggressively, and she was able to finish with an unanswerable six-point play to win the game with a score of 26 to 23.