Monday, March 14, 2016

Casual Game Day - March 12

We had some good friends visit this weekend, and decided to have a board game day.  Mostly we played casual games, and had some good conversations.

Started out with "the cow game" - that is, our nickname for the German card game 6 Nimmt!  If this game has a theme (and it really doesn't) it is the great cartoony art of the cow's heads on the cards.  It is the one time when at our house, multiple people will be talking about hornochsen and trying not to curse their bad luck!
This was followed up by another lightweight, the dice game that we always reach for as filler, whether with gamers or non gamers alike.  Zombie Dice!  This brilliant, but again simple, little dice game from Steve Jackson Games is much more fun than it should be.  And it always allows us to compare various levels of luckiness, and decry the ever-present factor of "kid dice" - that strange luck that accrues to the youngest gamer at the table in a dice game.
If there is a game that is less in need of expansion, or of dressing up with accessories, it is Zombie Dice.  And yet . . . we have both expansions (ZD:2 and ZD:3), but never play with them (well, we did when they first came out, but gentle readers - they are not favorites here at Gaming with Chuck HQ).  And the game does not need to be dressed up.  But I have been thinking of getting some brains for scoring.  Typically we will use a score pad, but the plastic Bag O'Brains option is pretty nice, as are some of the rubber brain pencil erasers.  Perhaps.

We followed up Zombie Dice with The Resistance.  A good game, pairing logic and deduction, with suspicion and hidden roles.  Fun, and of course, the Spy players were quite secretive and kept their cool until the end, when they finally persevered.  One of the few times I've seen the Spy players win, without taking the first round.  But we had a lot of new players on both sides.

Okay, so with a house full of experienced gamers (and two new comers), and a game collection with hundreds and hundreds of titles in it, why did we pick these three?  Simple - we had 7 players, and wanted to do something lightweight.  They were perfect for the mood and the number of players.  Sure, we like 7 Wonders, and have been wanting to try Between Two Cities, with a full table - but that wasn't the mood.  There was brief mention of Caverna, and also Formula D, but we decided to stick with the light stuff.

After The Resistance, we lost two players, and then with five there was a request for Ticket to Ride.  So we got out our 10th anniversary board, set it up, and proceeded to teach two new players how to play.  They left the game convinced that they had to get TtR and also check out some of these other games that we play.  Success.

We broke for dinner, and after dinner, a different subset of the group played Apples to Apples.  A much better, and much less offensive version of the game than that other one (which I won't name, but which actively engages players to lose their humanity).  They had a ton of fun (I did not partake in AtA).

 Were there other games we wanted to play?  Yes, definitely.  Some of the people who visited have been part of various D&D games we have played over the past few years (and one of them, I have played RPGs with since the late 1980s).  But not this time.  We have planned to play next time we get together.
The other thing we talked about playing was a miniatures game.  Several of us have been quite taken in by Frostgrave (from Osprey Games).  A very fun game.  But again, while we compared our recently painted figures (wizards and hirelings) we did not play this time.  Clearly another game day is needed, real soon.

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