Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Midway: The brown shoe is on the other foot

My father was a naval aviator, and for whatever reason, whereas the rest of the Navy wore black shoes with their khaki uniforms, aviators always wore brown shoes.  This "brown shoe" image has a great deal of history and pride associated with it.  Well, today after work, Frank Hodge did well by that tradition in our game of Midway (designerLarry Pinsky and Lindsley Schutz, publisher Avalon Hill).  Unlike so many of our previous games, Frank assumed the role of commander of the U.S. Navy forces, while I took those of the Imperial Japanese Navy with the goal of invading Midway Island.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Reflecting on the symmetry of abstracts

(c) Queen Games
Used by permission
My good friend Grant Greffey recently gave me a copy of Sparta (designer Yannick Holtkamp, artist Claus Stephan, publisher Queen), a rather clever abstract in the category of perfect-information zero-luck two-player games.  My wife Kathy and I tried it out last night, and we confirmed something that we've observed with other games in this category:  There are many games in which Kathy and I go toe-to-toe, and a few in which she can wipe the floor with me, but I pretty much have the advantage in these pure two-player abstracts.  She's good at them, but I usually win, which makes them imperfect candidates for our cocktail hour gaming.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Farmers and hoplites

Two quick game accounts:

(c) Z-man Games.  Used by permission
Farmers of the Moor
Last evening, Kathy and I played Agricola: Farmers of the Moor (designer Uwe Rosenberg, artist Klemens Franz, publisher Z-Man Games).  We used the "Advanced (F)" deck of minor improvements.  We took completely different approaches to our farms.  Kathy was immediately disgusted with her hand and dismissed the idea of pursuing any of her minor improvements.  In fact, the only major improvement she paid for was a fireplace, which she later upgraded to a cooking hearth.  She was the first to build an extra room and grow her family.  She built fences like crazy and had quite the sheep/boar farm going before long.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spring game photos

I've been gaming, and photographing, but not posting so much over the last month, so I thought I'd do a little catch-up with a sampling of the things my wife and I have been playing.

Pinot grigio, Anchor Steam, and Traders of Carthage
Traders of Carthage
I've mentioned this obscure favorite a few times and actually posted about this game, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to include my photographic effort to incorporate the juxtaposition of the drinks, the game, and my lovely opponent across the table.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Unplayed games coming out of the closet

The more I read of Chris "GamerChris" Norwood's blog and the more I hear of his podcast, the more I appreciate his thoughtful take on boardgaming.  Most recently, he posted an admission of his "secret shame" - a list of unplayed games.  I recognized a number of games on his list, and was just about to chastise him for having neglected some particularly good ones ... and then I thought that perhaps I ought to see just how much glass there was in my own house before casting stones in his direction.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Showdown at Guadalcanal

My good friend Frank Hodge and I sat down after work for the last scenario in our "Pacific Theatre via Midway" series - the Battle of Guadalcanal - or more correctly perhaps, the Battle Around Guadalcanal (since we didn't worry too much about how the troops in the mud on the island itself fared - with apologies to my brother Pete the Marine).  This scenario for the first time presents the U.S. player with the same problem that faces the Japanese player in almost every other scenario - having to land transports on an objective.  In this case, both the Japanese and the Americans are trying to land forces on Guadalcanal to reinforce troops already there so as to secure control of the island.