Summer always seems to catch me lagging behind in my posting. Now that school has started up again for the kids, maybe I'll catch up again on some posting!
Botswana which is just a re-theme of Quandry by Knizia. Cute theme and same gameplay as before - a good filler. I then taught them Taluva, which is an awesome game, but needs a playing or two before you are seasoned. Having been the only one to play before, I was at a good advantage and won (though Greg was close). Nathan Winchester finally arrived for the big game of the night - Shogun, which neither Nathan nor I had played before. I raced out to a good lead in the first year, but had no allies during the second year and Dion ate my holdings which were too spread out for me to defend. Good game! I should have played this one long before I did.
My next gaming session saw Matthew Frederick, Amelia Boli, and Robert Bolan stopping over for a bit of gaming. Matthew brought Giants, which I had never seen nor heard about. This one is an engine game where players try to gather resources to build Moais. The game looks wonderful with some really nice bits and the game was interesting, though it suffers from a similar issue that a lot of games like this have - getting that one "thing" ahead of other players seems to really be the key to winning. After Giants, we played some Lexio, which is really much faster than I thought. Regardless, its an interesting enough game yet light.
The week after that was over at Rob and Michelle's place. I had just bought a copy of Glen More that I wanted to try out, and Noah Antwiller, Matthew and Amelia were willing to try it too. This was an interesting one that I think needs more playing. The mechanism is a bit of set collection where you score by having more than the poorest player of that item. You pick your production tile on something of a rondel type mechanism and the player at the back of the pack chooses next. I believe Noah won a close game over Matthew. We changed partners and Amelia and I played Notre Dame with Nathan Winchester, Liz Longiliere, and Dan (?). I started out going after the parks to start up the bonus point engine, but ran out of money soon enough and dropped out of the running. We finished the night with one of my all time favorites - Ave Caesar. Nathan, Noah and I were joined by Rob Smolka, Matt Longiliere and Mike Beurlin. The first race saw only Rob and Mike finis, with the rest of us being screwed over a lot. I made my comeback though and won the last two races! Mostly though, I recall a lot of laughing and swearing at each other - which makes this a great game.
Combat Commander:Europe rivalry.This one looked like it was going to be all over before it began as I managed to call a first round artillery attack on Robert's American forces, breaking a load of them. I also pinned some of his others down in mines. Then the hand of fate took over and b-slapped us both. someone started a fire and for the first time ever I think we saw breeze after breeze card kick up the blaze until a good third of the middle of the map was on fire. Robert was behind on points by a huge margin and decided he needed to win by surrender before time eliminated him. He managed to eliminate my artillery and then use his to decimate my troops. I couldn't find recover cards, and even when I did, I tended to roll such that all my guys immediately were suppressed. Robert tried over and over to rout my forces, but that didn't work much for him as somehow when Robert rolled, the cards hated him there too. Finally, he made one last desperation artillery strike to try and kill that last unit, knowing his cards would run out and force the end of the game. Alas, it was not to be and I outlasted him. Again, such a great game.
Ascending Empires. This strange game is a cross between Crokinole and a Euro (set in space). Yes, you flick your pieces around the board to explore planets and make attacks. There is both required dexterity and euro-like planning. I roared out early, then got ganged up on and finished dead last. After the game, Robert took off and Erik taught me to play Battleship Galaxies. This is an interesting combat boardgame that is not much at all like Battleship. In fact it is a bit more like Heroscape in relationship than Battleship. You each form up a fleet and deck of special ability cards and then go at it. Of course there are special spots on the board (glyphs anyone) that give you tactical advantages so you have to charge for those too. I never got a chance to launch some of my ships - they were in the hold of my largest ship when Erik "sunk" it.
Other than the weekly game nights, I've been playing some with the kids this summer. The classic Killer Bunnies always rears its ugly head. The game is actually a little better now that my daughter can read. We've also been playing a lot of Carcassonne. They love playing this and I've been playing a lot of the Android version on my phone as well. I just ordered the stickers to do up the meeples! I also pulled out Ticket to Ride and we play this a little too. Finally, I taught my son to play classic Risk. He of course loved it, so now we can at least move onto Risk 2210 and Risk Godstorm!