Sunday, January 8, 2017

12 Days of Gaming (or What I Did For My Winter Holidaze…)

Saturday, 24 December 2016

It seems to have become a bit of a tradition these last few years to play games just about every day between 24 December and 5 January (The Boy’s birthday).  Usually we gather at my folks place on the evening of the 24th – because we usually have to wait until Amanda and my sister to finish work. This year, however, the 24th fell on a Saturday, so we were able to get started a bit early.

The morning of the 24th I did my usual Saturday morning errands – running to the library downtown and usually I heat to the Night Oven Bakery (but I skipped it on the 14th as we were running a bit late and I figured there wouldn’t be much left…)

Wow, was it EVER quiet downtown!

Despite an early blast of snow in October, it has been exceptionally mild and most of that early snow melted. Despite a drop in temperatures in mid December, we didn’t get any precipitation, and thererefore, there was little snow… so far…

Heading over to my folks – The Boy zips ahead of us (still on his summer bike – but with winter apparel!?)

Amanda – also on her summer bike.

Across the bridge – still some ice on the water…

Despite riding her own bike well into December, The Girl finally decided it really was too much effort to ride her bike in the cold – even if there wasn’t snow – so she’s been riding on the back of my cargo bike.

Up the bike hill on the other side of the river.

I guess technically it isn’t really a “hill”, per se, it’s really the steep BANK.

I made The Girl get off and walk up the hill – I’ll haul her around on the flats, but not up hills anymore! I ride up the hill about as fast as she walks anyway…

Finally at my folks – the kids opened up one gift right away – and everyone was enamoured with The Girl’s new Rubik’s Cube. 

Amanda, showing The Girl how it’s done…

Usually The Boy always has stuff to do in his bag – books to read and a note book and sketch book… for some reason he didn’t bring ANY of that and found himself at loose ends. Luckily, I’d brought my copy of Rogue Stars that had arrived in the mail the day before.

Unfortunately he didn’t put it back in my bag and it got left there and I didn’t get it back until a day or so ago…

My sister arrived and the gift rampage begins.

This takes forever as the kids need to thoroughly investigate each and every gift. I’m not complaining, mind you. It’s better than them tearing through everything as fast as they can and then wonder where the rest is…

After all the gifts had been opened Amanda went back to trying to solve The Girl’s Rubik’s Cube .

The Boy mostly got a PILE of stuff for Sentinels of the Multiverse and Sentinel Tactics (like FOUR expansions for SOTM and two boxes of miniatures for Tactics). He spent hours just reading through all the cards and organizing them.

My mom had asked me to pick out a game that all of us could play. It’s hard to find a seven player games that would be interesting enough for the seasoned gamers of my family, but easy enough that my folks and sister could play. So I had spent some time looking and finally my friend Other Tim turned me onto a game called Mysterium, which sounded like it fit the bill perfectly. Unfortunatley when we busted it out, my Dad and sister decided they just weren’t going to play.

I played the Ghost for this first game. I didn’t end up getting any pictures of the game in progress as I was too busy doing the ghosty things – but also having to explain and re-explain how it all worked (despite the fact that I’m supposed to be SILENT throughout the game!?). So above is a picture of the mess I was cleaned up afterwards…

Puzzle. The tradition everyone does get in on…

The Girl has been bugging us to play Dixit for ever. I suggested to bring it along to my folks as it’s a waaaaaaay better game with more people. And it was a much more fun game to play with more people. My dad joined us for the game. My Sister pryed herself away from the puzzle long enough to come over to see what was going on.

The loot to be hauled home.

Good thing I brough the Yuba!

Before heading off to bed Amanda set out all the gifts from her parents and the one or two we got for the kids. (In the background is all the loot hauled home from my folks).

Sunday, 25 December 2016

A very patient 8-year-old waiting… We slept in. This was at about noon…

A very excited boy with a new book.

Seriously, that’s all he needed.

All he wanted to do for the rest of the day was read. Opening the rest of his gifts became a bit of a chore.

New sweater for The Boy – The one Amanda’s wearing I actually knit for her 9 years ago. I spent the entire month of December knitting it in secret whenever I could steal a moment – or staying up way after she’d gone to bed…

Present open, picture taken – back to reading.

Apparently my mother-in-law thinks I’m a cynic or misanthrope (or a cynical misanthrope!?). This little book has hundreds of pages with a quote from some famous personage or author about why humans are awful, and opposite  a lined page to write why this is so… Do I really come off as being that negative...? Am I reading too much into this...? 

On with the games! Recruited the kids to help punch out the tokens in Nations

Of course every time I turned my head and/or he didn’t have something someone specifically asked him to do, The Boy disappeared back into his room to read his new book.

Nations. Amanda and I really like this game. The kids say they like it, but every time we've played they always seem to get really frustrated in the third or fourth age when they realize I have PILES of workers out and and starting to reap what I've sown throughout the earlier ages. I tend take extra meeples in the growth stage and get off to a slower start - but it usually pays off in the end game. I can't remember who actually won this one. Amanda also does very well at it - which I find frustrating as she seems like she has no idea what she's doing and it seems like she does just random things... but they all seem to work out really well for her! 

Reading his book at supper.

Later in the evening we played Railways of Great Britain. Everyone really liked this version of Railways of... I think it was because there were SO MANY so close to each other and so many short lines they could set up. I didn't take out nearly so many bonds as I have in other games. 

Monday, 26 December 2016

After lunch The Boy and I headed out to Dragon’s Den Games for their annual boxing day sale.

I meant to take a bpicutre there, but, in all the excitement, completely forgot. We were there much later than previous years (when we’ve shown up right at opening) it wasn’t as insanely busy – no line-ups snaking around the perimeter of the store – but it was still very busy!

Our haul from the Boxing Day Sale (less two packs of minis I forgot to put in the picture). A realtively small haul - compared to previous years. The Boy picked up the Fantasy Age Bestiary. The Girl had asked me to pick up Mice & Mystics for her, if the had one (they did!). I picked up Pulp Cthulhu, the latest Wargames Illustrated and stocked up on  some new brushes and painted and tufts.

Later in the evening some friends came over (Kurtis and Shannon) and brought along Imhotep to introduce to us.

We also played Hanging Gardens.

Still later Shannon’s brother joined us and we played a game of Samarkand.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

I spend most of the day on the 27th over at Brent’s playing Angola with Brent, Kurtis and John. Brent and I both played the exact same factions we played last time Where John and Kurtis reversed roles. Totally different game – in the previous game I ended up with a little enclave in the eastern part of the country and it was always difficult to get my reinforcements to the fronts that developed - where I needed them as they mostly arrived in Luanda (on the coast). This time  I help most of the cities along the western coast for most of the game.

In the evening when I got home we tried out Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu. It was hard. We lost.

Wednesday 28 December 2016

In the afternoon a friend and her two daughters (10 and 8) stopped by and we introduced them to 7 Wonders – it was an epic 7 player game and at the end of it our entire extended dining room table was covered with cards and surrounded by smiling faces… and I forgot to get my camera out… dang it.

Finally got around to trying out some of the Sentinels of the Multiverse stuff The Boy got.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

In the afternoon we went out todo some climbing at Grip It! It’s been a few weeks since we last went, so we weren’t there for long before muscles were aching and we decided to call it quits… We'd been going fairly regularly through September-October-November... and were slowly not feeling less and less awful and sore afterwards... but after just a few weeks of not going, I was feeling it all week - especailly any time I went out to shovel snow! We'll have to get back into a regular pattern of weekly (or semi-weekly) visits! 

In the evening my friend Christian came into town with his daughter to play a few games.

First we tried out Are You the Cultist? Which was a lot of fun – once we figured out what the heck we were doing.

Then we had another stab at Mysterium – with The Girl as the Ghost – it was a LOT of fun this time around. Unfortunately we lost – amazingly the kids, who were only able to see one of the final cards all guessed right. Amanda, Christian, and I – who got to see two of the final cards, all guessed a different murderer and it was 3 – 3 there was no majority and thus we lost… darnit! SO close!

After they left we played a quick game of Carcassonne.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Everyone got haircuts today and we didn’t get in any gaming with the kids.

We did get in one last game of D&D for the year in the evening.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

More snow had fallen and with it the temperature on New Year’s Eve.

I had to run around and do a few errands in the morning and the roads and pathways were just awful.

I hadn’t put my winter tires on, so I actually borrowed Amanda’s fat tire bike. Despite the fact that she’s had it for FOUR YEARS now, and raves about how great it is for winter riding, I had never tried it out. I got that it worked for her, but I never really understood HOW great they are in the snow. Wow. What an eye-opener….

I hate to say it… but I think I might need ANOTHER bike!?

Other Time stopped by for the afternoon to play Firefly with us – it was his first go at it. We actually finished the game and Amanda won.

I was flying the Serenity with Nandi as Captian. I thought I’d been doing pretty good for myself… but not as good as Amanda!

Afterwards Other Tim introduced us to Show Manager – which was really fun.

(not going to buy another game… not going to buy another game… not going to buy another game… not going to buy another game…)

After Other Tim left we played a quick game of Timeline.

We ended up all staying up to Midnight and watching Bladerunner – which I have not seen in a very long time!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

On the first my Friend Aaron and his two boys came over for the afternoon. One has been painting a pile of Tyranids for 40K and has been dying to get in a game – so I pulled out my Imperial Guardsmen and Trench Terrain and set up a little scenario for him.

Because I had defensive works I took less points than him. Though afterwards I realized they were as much a hindrance and really needn’t have done so.

My guys were quite spread out and his tyranids were on my front line on the first turn – not really diving me any opportunity to shoot them up. As they did little shooting, the trenches weren’t of much use to me…

Ah well… he had fun.

We were invited to play games at Kurtis and Shannon's in the evening, but we all ended up being so exhausted from staying up so late the night before, we all packed it in early... 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Bright and sunny, but brutally cold – we walked downtown to see Rogue One.

We were supposed to meet up with the family of one of the kids friends, but their friend was sick. She’s been sick since early December - first with one thing, now another... We’d hoped to meet up with them a few times, but totally weren’t able to. It was a bit of a drag…

The movie was okay.

In the evening we played Loonacy…

… and a round of Race for the Galaxy.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

We didn’t end up playing any games at home today.

The Boy did go out to play D&D at King Me Boardgamery (as he does every other Tuesday).

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Bruce Stopped by and played Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu with me and the kids.

Something fishy going on in Innsmouth.

Amanda got back from an appointment and joined us for a game of Big Book of Madness – a new co-op game The Girl got… wow is it hard. WE totally lost on the 3rd round (out of a potential 6 or so…).

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The fifth was The Boy’s Birthday.

He is now a teenager.

Aaron’s boys came by for a little party in the evening. The kid’s other friend was still sick and couldn’t make it!

The played a round of Red Dragon Inn.

Friday, 6 January 2017

this is getting into our 13th day of gaming… but there were a couple days were we didn’t all get to play games. It had been my hope to play all of the new games we got at least ONCE before the holidaze were over… we were MOSLTY successful…

Knocked one more game of the list of new games Friday evening – ABYSS.

I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t expecting much from this game, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. I totally crushed it. I think I had 80 or 90 points, The girl had around 60 maybe… I had more points than Amanda and The Boy combined.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

That brings us to yesterday – Amanda and the girl were out most of the day at various dance classes. While they were out Bruce and Adele stopped by

We played a game of Firefly. This was the first time I’ve ever completed a scenario that wasn’t the “First Time in the Captain’s Chair” beginner scenario. The Boy actually won…

I felt like I was going pretty good this game as well – I completed two of the Goals and was on my way to complete the third when the Boy finished it first… This was just after finishing the first goal. I picked up a few more guns before moving on to the 2nd as it required a bit of misbehaving.

Later, after the girls got home, we tried another game of Abyss.  The point spread wasn’t so great this time around. I barely squeaked out a victory 3 points ahead of Amanda – the kids were less than 20 points behind…

And that was about it for our Holidaze. The Kids activities have all started up again. Amanda goes back to work on Monday. The kids and I will be back at our regular homsechoolification…

We didn't get to playing any Sentinel Tactics or trying out any of the Dominion (Intrigue and Adventure) or The Grizzled: At Your Orders expansions I got - or Mice and Mystics... Hopefully we'll get to those in the coming weeks - and many, many more games! 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I did get some painting done over the holidaze – hopefully get some pictures of those up shortly… 


  1. Quite an epic gaming marathon, Tim! Your family has an iron constitution.

    1. Thanks, Jonathan! I'd like to think that playing all these games wasn't too arduous - requiring an "Iron constitution"!

    2. I think they actually have a CARDBOARD constitution.

  2. Wonderful game fest, thanks for sharing - that mud / trench battlefield must have been a jaw dropping experience for the kids.

    1. Thanks, Norm! Yeah, the kids through it was pretty rad.

      Afterwards, however, my opponent claimed it was the terrain that made the game take so long. I beg to differ - terrain hardly slows down anything in the current version of 40K. It was the constantly having to look through the rulebooks to figure out how this special rule or that special ability worked (and Tyranids have a LOT of them...).

  3. Sounds like the perfect Christmas to me!

    1. It was a good time, to be sure! Thanks, Gordon!

  4. That's an epic holiday of games, if we were to get two games in over a holiday with my family I'd be surprised! Best Iain

    1. There was a lot of gaming going on...