Monday, February 16, 2015

Family Day Long Weekend (of GAMING!)

In the Province of Saskatchewan The third Monday of February is a statutory holiday called Family Day. This Family Day long weekend we had a Weekend of Gaming!! Originally I’d planned to have a Song of Shadows and Dust campaign – but that kind of fell through as only Paul (in Winnipeg) and Terry (in Edmonton) showed any interest and so I decided to call it off – it seemed a bit much to ask them to collectively drive almost 1300km just to play games with each other and possibly me and The Boy… AS it turned out this was really for the best as we ended up having a massive blizzard over the weekend and the roads and highways are just awful!

The complete and utter lack of interest/response from my regular gaming pals for this weekend put me into a bit of a gaming funk for a bit… and then I missed Freezerburn and spent  five days in hospital (not related)… after that I decided “screw it” I’ll have a weekend of just gaming with my family. And after another bit I decided to invite a few others to join in as well….

Here’s how it all went down...

Friday Evening - 13 February 2015

I ran a Call of Cthulhu adventure called Cold Harvest. I used a homebrew mash-up set of rules using elements of Fear and Faith, Flying Lead, and A Tale of Blades and Heroes. I wanted something simple so the focus would be on the “role-playing” and not the system of rules. I wanted the focus to be on the role-playing as the adventure is investigation heavy with very little action. Unfortunately I also wanted to run it as a one-shot, one evening adventure… and one of the three players had to spilt just after 10pm giving us only three hours to play it in… so I tired to rush it a bit… and left bits out (some on purpose, others because i forgot about them in the rush)… and then we didn’t even get to really finish it… so it was a bit of an anticlimactic fizzle to start off the weekend. Luckily things went up from there.

Saturday - 14 February 2015

This is when the snow REALLY started to fall. It was also blowing and drifiting.

In the morning Rick and Other Tim came over to join Amanda, Myself, The Boy and The Girl in a six-player game of Small World! It was fun to try out a six-player game… but it also took a long time… and we had to cut it a bit short as Amanda and The Girl had to cut out to go to a hair appointment… ah well…

Once the girls were gone Other Tim busted out a game he brought along called Glory to Rome. I really enjoyed it – a lot of options and hard decisions to make every round – I still don’t really get the strategy at all, but I had a fun time trying (and I think I actually won in the end?). The boy was a little overwhelmed and didn’t have so great of a time…

After Glory to Rom Rick had to leave so Other Tim, The Boy and Myself busted out Ingenious.

Around the time we finished Amanda and The Girl staggered in having clawed their way through and over countless snowdrifts between our place and the hair salon downtown. At this point Other Tim had to be on his way and I headed out to start shoveling snow.

Sun Dogs on Saturday afternoon. For those that haven't heard of them they are the lights to either side of the sun in the picture and is the sun’s light being refracted through ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. Generally only visible when it’s really freaking cold.

When I finally come in I found the kids actually playing a game of  O Zoo Le Mio - which was kind of exciting – it is extremely rare that they actually get out a game on their own and play it – this may be the first time they’ve done that – at least the first time they’ve done that and played the game using the ACTUAL RULES of the game…

After supper we tried out two new (to us) games…

Dungeonville… I’d picked it up really cheap (like $5?) off ebay a number of years back from a distributor that was going out of business… art by John Kovalic… how bad could it be. Maybe I won’t go so far as calling it “bad’… but it’s a little simple for the likes of us and it wasn’t exactly the most fun we had we had all weekend....

Pirate Faces!

Finally we played another new to us game (also bought cheap off ebay from the very same distributor – also $5). It’s a Reiner Knizia game, so it’s quick and fun enough and clever with a bolt-on theme.

Sunday - 15 February 2015

My friend John brought over his new game Onward to Venus – which is a super fun game designed by Martin Wallace based on the Doctor Grordbort graphic novels from writer/artist Greg Broadmore. I got to play the British Empire, Amanda was France, John the Germans, The Girl played the Russians (because… ballerinas…), and The Boy played the USA.

Let’s just say that the sun does not set on the British Empire! Huzzah!

John also got me two of the graphic novels for my birthday - which was pretty awesome - THANKS!

After John took off we tried out yet another cheap ebay game that we’re finally getting around to trying out. I’d picked it up largely because of the theme – recycling – that’s a good thing to teach kids, right? While it turned out to be a clever enough card game, the theme was pretty weak and you were theoretically different companies competing to get the city contract and if you ended your turn with too many cards in your hand you had to “illegally dump” them… Ah well…

In the evening Amanda and I wandered over to the Persephone Theatre for their performance of Mary’s Wedding - which I thought was really well done.

Monday - 16 February 2015

John stopped by again this afternoon to join us for a five-player game of Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean. We’ve played this a couple times over the last month. I really like it. You play an island in the Aegean and start with two villages that generate one of six different types of basic commodities. With those you trade with other islands (players) or neighboring or foreign lands to get different commodities to build other villages, or workshops, or agora structures on your island. The first to build all six villages, two workshops, six agora structures and two wonders wins. I don’t know if we’re getting better at it of if it just gets easier with more players - The first time we played (a three-player game – me and the kids) I don’t think anyone finished building everything. The second time we played (four-player – me and Amanda and the kids) both The Girl and I finished on the very last turn. This game The Girl (who is eight) beat us all by finishing all her buildings with two turns left to go!?

Amanda took the kids out to go sledding for a bit afterwards while I did some cleaning and sorted out how to play the next game…

Amanda getting a little rowdy – wanting to demonstrate how her witch pulled off that tight turn around the tower… Fun game – witches, on upright vacuums, racing around the tabletop…

After supper we tried out one more new game – Delta V – where we played mining companies exploring for and mining minerals in the Delta V asteroid field. It’s sort of Memory match with rockets and aliens…

I don’t know about Amanda and The Girl, but The Boy scored 3 or 4 contracts for a total of 20 points, I completed two… for a total of -1 points… Clearly I should not be heading up any mining operations in deep space!!

Oh and over the weekend we played a few games of Hearts and Kaiser – which I’ve been teaching the kids with my new fancy schmansy deck of Cthulhu cards!


Now to get back to some miniature gaming! 

I will still be having an 11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash on my actual birthday (Wednesday the 25th) and it WILL be a miniature war game!! If all goes according to plan I'll be running a great big game of Galleys and Galleons! (or if things don't go according to plan, it may well be some other game using the Song of Blades and Heroes engine - possible Flying Lead or Fear and Faith..?)


  1. Replies
    1. Yes... the trick will be getting the kids (and myself) out of game mode and back into doing-other-things mode now that the weekend's over...

  2. Looks like a fun weekend Tim! Although I must say it boggles the mind that even with a Blizzard the Hair must be done! HAHAHA.
    How are you enjoying Flying Lead? A far cry from the Savage Worlds shenanigans I am sure.

    1. I haven't actually tried flying lead as a skirmish game yet per se. I used elements of it in the role-playing system I came up with for Friday night, but as there was zero action we didn't really try out that element of it.

      I am curious to try it out as such and see how it works compared to Savage Worlds and Force on Force. I have a feeling it will play out a game quicker than Savage Worlds would (as all the SoBH games do) but won't have some of the details that some players would like (I'm okay with a fair amount of abstraction in favour of a faster moving game that can play to a satisfactory conclusion before my bedtime!).

      The hair salon isn't that far - it's just downtown - so 10-12 blocks... normally a 15 minute walk... it might have taken them half an hour coming home!