Monday, April 9, 2018

April Games Part One

This first week of April was the spring school break - which usually means a break from all our regular activities. I had been looking forward to a break from things and just hanging out with the kids and playing games and going of bike rides and hoped they'd get a chance to meet up with friends... but then there was three final performances for theatre classes, there was an extra rehearsal for a jazz class, two dance festivals and a make-up violin lesson... so... pretty much the same amount of running around as we normally do... and it was bitterly cold all week and we didn't get out for any bike rides (other than to get places)... at least we did get in a few games...

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Gaming got underway on Sunday when we went over to my folks for supper and we tried out Bohnanza. They're not really gamers and it took a while for everyone to figure it out, but in the end everyone had a lot of fun. I think we'll definitely be able to play this one with them a lot. I'd never played the game before - I really like it.

Monday, 2 April 2018

A few years back (okay, maybe MORE than a "Few") I picked up a Carcassonne Big Box (strangely, when I initially catalogued it on BGG there was a listing for the Big Box, but then sometime later I received a notice from BGG that they had split it up and anyone who had the Big Box in they collection had had it split up in to several entries - one for each of the expansions... but now I see there is a Big Box again...?) at one of the Dragon's Den Games Boxing Day sales, but so far we've only ever made use of the base set and the first expansion. I'd put Carcassonne on the 25x5 list with the express purpose of playing it every day for one week and playing though all five expansions. We decided this week should be that week...

Monday we played with the base set and Inns & Cathedrals (which we've played before). I think we were all relatively close until the very end when I rocked the farming and left the kids in the dust. It's been a while since we've played and they'd completely forgotten about farming and how many points it can bring in at the end...

Since Monday was the one day that we really didn't have anything else to do we got in a few other games...

We played a game of Dominion next. I let Finnegan come up with sets for us to play with. He has fun coming up with themes. The themes have nothing at all to do with game effects - they're all about the card titles and maybe the flavour text. Sometimes they totally don't even work together at all... but usually they turn out pretty interesting. No worse than any totally random sets.

Today's set I think he called "Towns and Villages", but I was thinking it should have been called "Property Tax Assessment" or "Tax Assessment Time"... it included Village and Festival from the base set, Hamlet, Farming Village, and Harvest from Cornucopia, Shanty Town and Mining Village from Intrigue, Taxman from Guilds, and Inn and Border Village from Hinterlands. Finnegan and I started in with the Taxmen early on - turning all our coppers into silver and then gold, Keira didn't buy a Taxman until later in the game when it was much to late to catch up... I'm not sure what she was celebrating in the picture above, Finnegan and I had scores in the 40s, while she had 27...? (which is odd, usually she totally creams us at Dominion!)

After supper we played a game of Lords of Waterdeep.

I played the Red Sashes secretly controlled by Larissa Neathal - though I tried to keep the kids guessing by picking up lots of Arcana and Piety quests... I think I managed to get at least one building out there every turn though, so they were pretty sure of who I was by the end of the game. They were less sure for the first few rounds, because some of the building were just so good!

The city at the end of the game - with all my buildings - MWA-HA-HA-Ha-Ha-ha-ha-haaaaa....

Finnegan played the City Guard who were secretly controlled by Mert the Money Lender, and The girl played the Harpers who were secretly controlled by Nindl Jalbuck.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

On Tuesday we got to trying out one of the Carcassonne expansions we HADN'T played before: Traders & Builders. I REALLY like this one. The Traders part really gives players incentive to actually HELP other players finish off their cities. This is because whoever FINISHES the city (i.e. places the last tile that caps off the city and causes it to score), regardless of who has followers in the city, gets all the trade goods in the city - and whoever has the most of any type of trade goods (of which there are three) at the end of the game gets a bonus ten points!

In the evening we played a game with Amanda. We'd considered introducing her to one of the new Carcassonne expansions, but for some reason ended up playing Dominion instead...? We ended up playing with another set dreamed up by Finnegan which he called "the Royal Architect". This one included Throne Room, Gardens, and Council Room from the Base Game, Plaza and Masterpiece from Guilds, Menagerie from Cornucopia, Stables and Development from Hinterlands, and Courtyard and Great Hall from Intrigue. It played super fast with four - I thought Materpiece would be useless, but Amanda used it to pick up LOADS of silver right off the start and I think started picking up provinces on the third turn!? The rest of us just couldn't keep up!

We seem to mostly used the Base GameHinterlandsIntrigue, and Guilds & Cornucopia. WE actually have TWO MORE Dominion expansions that we've never played with (Adventures and Prosperity). I bought each of them at the last two ToonCon auctions - both brand new, never used - for less than half price - and we've never even cracked them. I think I put Dominion on the list as incentive to do so. We'll have to make the effort to do so for the next time we play. I think at least one (or both?) of them adds a totally new element to the game, which is why we haven't bothered trying that one.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Today we tried out Carcassonne: Princess & Dragon!


Yeah, that Dragon came out really early. Princess & Dragon is really nasty. I think it's really meant to be played with more than just the base set. Other than this first turn when the dragon ate my monk on the cloister and Finnegan's Knight in the city, we kind of tried to keep the Dragon stuck in a corner so it couldn't do TOO much damage... for the first half of the game or so...

The Fiary was a nice counter to the Dragon, but not nearly enough.

If there wasn't enough dick moves in Carcassonne with nasty placement of tiles that make it really hard to finish cities, etc - Princess & Dragon takes the screwage to a whole new level... which none of us are terribly fond of... I'm not certain this will see much play at our place.

If it does, we'll mis it in with at least a few other sets, because with just the base set, the princesses and dragons just came out too often. The princesses would just ruin Amanda's plan as she tends to build sprawling megalopolises!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

We didn't get to trying out a new expansion for Carcassonne today, but we did get Amanda to play with Traders & Builders.

It was a SUPER close game! Amanda and Finnegan both scored 80 points, I was just behind with 78 and The Girl was only a little further behind with 74!

Friday, 6 April 2018

Friday morning and afternoon a couple of the kids friends were over and we played Warhammer 40K all day. It was pretty mad. You can read a full report of the ensuing shenanigans - with loads more pictures - here:

Another 40K Friday

Later when Amanda got home we had another go at Carcassonne. Again we didn't try a new expansion - my brain was pretty much mush after 6 hours of running five games of 40K for the kids (on top of ongoing migraine/screwy-head/new medication issues... uuggghhh...). But we did try a game with the base game and the first two expansions (Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders).

It was a pretty freaking epic game - well, epic compared to the games of Carcassonne we've played - and a lot of fun. Amanda crushed it - building THREE sprawling mega-cities and scoring 178 points in the end. Finnegan was second at 124, I wasn't far behind him at 120, and The Girl was last at 120. A lot of those cities would never have been finished off if it weren't for Traders& Builders...

Saturday, 7 April 2018

While Amanda took The Girl out to dance, Finnegan and I got in another game of 40K. Again there is a full report on that action elsewhere on this blog:

Ambush at Carf Gakl

Later, in the evening, we played ANOTHER game of Carcassonne!

This time we finally did get back to trying new expansions and we added Abbey & Mayor to the base set and Traders & Builders.

Everyone seems to start out with little cities and short roads, scoring four or six or eight points here or there... Not Amanda.

No, when Amanda scores her first points in a game, she picks up the 50 counter to say she's wrapped the scoring chart and passed us all with her ridiculous megalopolises!? (For what it's worth, I capped this off and took the trade goods, though!!)

In the end I finally squeaked out a win with this one - largely due to some last minute BARN/FARMING! WOO! Unlike Amanda's 50 point lead in the previous game, however, this one was very close. I had 124, Amanda had 116, Finnegan had 112, and The Girl had 77...?

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Finally, back to Sunday and one more game of Carcassonne!

This time we tried a quick game with just the River II Expansion.

It was quick with just the base game. Amanda and I actually tied for first with 82!

Whew! Busy week!

Hopefully we'll keep up with the regular gaming all this month. There are two or three more expansions in that Big Box (it's weird... the big box says it comes with 5 Expansions... 1. Inns & Cathedrals, 2. Traders & Builders 3. Princess & Dragon, 4. Abbey & Mayor, and 5. River II, Count, and King & Cult... Except on BoardGamGeek it is counted as FIVE separate expansions River II, The Count of Carcassonne, King & Scout, and The Cult!?  This is why it looks like I have so many games on BGG - I have so many micro-mini expansions for games and each is a game entry... I digress... I do hope we'll get a chance to try them all, and try a few more in various combinations before the momentum wears out...

Looking at our (25+5)x5 Challenge Board (more details of which can be found in the GAME PLAN 2018)...

We are 13 weeks into the year and as that is essentially 30x5 games that's a minimum of 150 games so about 3 games from this list need to be played each week - on average... So far we are doing okay. We're a bit ahead of the game, actually... But we're technically DONE with games like Carcassonne. if we do try out the rest of the expansions and play some MORE games to mix and match and try new combinations, well... that's not working towards completing the challenge... The Challenge isn't everything, though. I mean, the main goal is to have fun, and if it inspired us to get that Big Box off the shelf and FINALLY try all those different Carcassonne expansions after all these years and we don't play another game on the list all year... It was probably a success. I need to keep that in mind.

I WOULD like to TRY and play a few more of these games, though.

The COIN games will definitely be the hardest.

Rather than 5x Pax Renaissance and 5x Bios: Megafauna I should have said 10x Phil Eklund Games... Oh, but High Frontier is on there as well... Hmmmm... Maybe 5x PAX games (which could include Pax Renaissance, Pax Porfiriana, Pax Pamir, or Pax Emancipation- when it comes out) and 5x Bios games (Which could include Bios Megafauna or Bios: Gensis, etc...). Perhaps I shall make it so.

The rest should be pretty easy.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle  is kind of holding us up a bit. A number of them are kind of campaign games - or at least can be played as campaigns (Hero Realms, Mice & Mystics, Shadowrun: Crossfire, etc) and I kind of want to finish Harry Potter before starting in on the next campaign game...

My plan for Firefly and Arkham Horror was similar to Carcassonne - we have a few expansions for each we've never played with I thought each game we'd add one. Unfortunately both those game are considerable LONGER than Carcassonne and so I don't think we'll be banging those out in a week! I should pick a month for each and play a game each Saturday afternoon for a month adding a new expansion each week. I think I had planned to do so last October with Arkham Horror... but the kitchen renovation kind of hindered that plan some. Maybe this year!

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I'm not sure... Maybe another game report. I've been having a hard time focusing enough to paint lately - due to the never ending head-screwiness and some new meds to deal with that (I saw the Neurologist at the beginning of last week and it has been decided that it probably is just a weird chronic migraine that I've been suffering from all along - for SIX MONTHS NOW! I've been given some new medication that I've been taking for the last week, but it doesn't seem to be doing much just yet... I think it may actually be intensifying things a bit...? GAH!? At least I can still play games - sometimes - and ride my bike and type on the computer, though reading fro prolonged periods and reading rules is challenging - which is why we haven't been tackling some of the more complex games on the list just yet!).


  1. A 6 month migraine!? Holy heck! I hope you get some relief soon!

    At least you're getting plenty of fun gaming in. I don't have the Carcassonne, but I do have several of the expansions purchased separately.

    1. Yeah, my symptoms haven't presented nearly as severely as many people I've known who've had migraines - who basically can't get out of bed for days. Which is perhaps why it's been difficult to nail down exactly what's been going on, and possibly why it's been going on so long..? Because I HAVE been able to get up and go about my daily routines - albeit at a slightly diminished capacity due to woozy-dizzy-screwy-head-feelings - I haven't had a chance to actually ever get better...? I don't know... Good thing I don't had to operate any heavy machinery or drive extensively!

      Kids of Carcassonne (or My Fist Carcassonne as it is now called) was one of the first games we played with the kids, so I thought it would be a natural game for them to grow into and bought the Big box very shortly after we started playing it with them. But they had a real problem with competitive games and so for a while we sought out co-operative games or games with a more role-playing aspect and Carcasssonne was more or less forgotten about. It's been fun to get it back on the table and try out all these expansions.

  2. oops!
    Meant to say "I don't have the Carcassonne Big Box".

  3. 6 month migraine ouch! Loads of fun looking games,difficult to paint without the ability to concentrate at least you can play!
    Best Iain

    1. thanks, Iain.

      Yeah, it sucks. And it's really cutting into my productivity! I used to her able to sit and paint for hours in an evening. I did get in a bit of painting last night. I sat and painted for about an hour, but was probably only painting about half the time... so annoying.

      At least there is no shortage of light games around here to play...