Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

Archive for April, 2007

Should I Update GoneGaming Posts?

Posted by sodaklady on April 20, 2007

I know it shouldn’t bother me but it does.  Since the SNAFU with Blogger, all of my old posts show they were posted by Coldfoot.  I’m considering republishing them which would also let me add tags, a nice addition to Blogger.  Unfortunately, I know that this also causes all of them to be listed again in the RSS feeds.

So it it worth my effort and the annoyance of RSS feed users  to do this?  Another option is to choose a few of my favorites and repost them here.

Please give me some feedback here and let me know what you think.

Posted in Internet | 3 Comments »

Local Band to Feature on Grey’s Anatomy

Posted by sodaklady on April 20, 2007

Today’s paper has an article on a Rapid City band, the Reddmen, who have had one of their songs chosen to be on an upcoming episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  How cool is that?!

The band has been together for over a decade but this is the first national notice they’ve gotten.  The lead singer/guitarist, J. Waylon Porcupine, got an email from someone identifying himself as an editor from Grey’s Anatomy asking where he could find their music.  He thought at first that it was spam.  But he answered politely and sent the man to their record label’s web site.  The editor had heard one of their songs on his cousin’s MySpace profile and liked it.  I think the truly amazing part is that the band is very low-budget and records on 8-track in a basement!

The song is “The Secrets of Amanda Prines” from their 2003 album, “Sons of the Morning Star” and should air on April 26th.

The other band members are Trevor Leo and Miyo One Arrow.  In case anyone is interested, their record label’s web site is http://www.tigersvscrime.com.

Posted in Non-gaming | 1 Comment »

The Story of SodakLady or How I Found BGG

Posted by sodaklady on April 18, 2007

There are several Lists on BGG asking “How did you find BGG?”  so I thought I’d write about my path to that wonderful site.  Some people find these stories interesting; if you don’t, then just click to the next Blog on your list.

 I’ve always enjoyed playing games, board games and card games alike.  I grew up with the usual array of kid’s games:  Sorry, Monopoly, Mouse Trap, the Pop-o-Matic games, and our favorite at the young age of 10 or so, Barbie Queen of the Prom.  When I got a little older, I learned Euchre (I’m a native Illinoisan; what else would I play?) and Cribbage.

 My first husband taught me Spades, Hearts and double deck Pinochle.  After that, Euchre seemed kinda tame—no offense to those who love the game; it just didn’t seem very challenging after dealing with Pinochle.  We didn’t play board games but being in the Air Force meant there was always someone around to play cards so I didn’t miss them.

 My second husband taught me Risk.  In fact, he taught me how to win at Risk.  We played constantly for about a year while we were stationed in England.  There was always a game going, left on the kitchen table in whatever state it was in when we got tired.

 When my son was old enough (5 or 6?), we started buying games we could play with him, one of which was Can’t Stop.  It just seemed a simple, fun family game then and now I find that it’s one of the favorite fillers of many gamers.  That’s when it became a tradition to buy one game a year—the Christmas game.  

 There were some stinkers bought and quickly disposed of, most of them purged from my memory, thank goodness.  One I do remember is Jumanji.  What a disappointment!  There were also some good ones like Screaming Eagles, which I still have.  Another one, Quarto, is probably the real beginning of my journey to BGG.

 I think it was 1998 when I bought Quarto out of a catalogue which contained games, dexterity puzzles, jigsaw puzzles and cute nick-knack items.  This obviously put me on some mailing list for a lot of catalogues I didn’t need or want but one caught my eye:  Turn Off Your TV.  It was full of games I’d never heard of and got my heart racing just to read the useless blurbs and look at the beautiful boards and pieces.  Some of the prices also got my heart racing!

 From this large selection, I chose a game with a small price tag but a wonderful sounding theme.  It was an exploration game, sending your expeditions to the Himalayas, the Brazilian rain forest, the desert, ancient volcanoes and to Neptune’s Realm.  Cool!  Of course, I’m talking about Lost Cities.

 What a surprise for this newbie when I opened the tiny box—a big-ass set of cards and a pathetic excuse for a board that you don’t even put any tokens on.  Even after reading the rules, I wasn’t very impressed.  “Crap, another dud!”  But I talked my husband into trying it and, of course, we were very surprised with how much game could be had from a simple set of cards.  “Wow, there are some tough choices here!”

 The next Christmas, I again looked through the Turn Off Your TV catalogue and found Tikal.  I don’t know why I chose it but it turned out to be a bad choice, as you might guess.  This was just too much game for us and I think we didn’t even finish the game the first time we tried it.

 The next year, there was no catalogue; I think they went out of business.  Back to the usual crap that one can find in the big box store.  I don’t remember what I bought so you know it wasn’t a hit.  In fact, we went through a couple more boring Christmases before I discovered the internet.  Yes, I’m a late bloomer.  Shut up.

 When it was time to find “the Christmas game” for 2003, I went searching for Turn Off Your TV but what I found wasn’t a board game site.  I don’t recall what it was now but I was very disappointed.  What I did find was the Fun Again site.  Ooooo, look at all the games!  And people who have played them and commented on them.  Thank you, thank you.

 As you can guess, my browsing inevitably brought me to Board Game Geek time and time again.  Between the comments on Fun Again and all the information on BGG, the game for that year turned out to be Puerto Rico.  I was so anxious to try it out, we didn’t even wait for Christmas.  Richard, Cori and I tried it out right away and hey!, they liked it!  They even asked to play it again.  It was an amazing revelation which sent me back to the internet looking for more; give me more!

 By Christmas day, I had bought a total of EIGHT games:  Puerto Rico, Age of Steam, La Citta, Stephenson’s Rocket, Domaine, Scarab Lords, Castle and Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde.  It has become known as The Year Of The Games.  My husband couldn’t quite grasp what had come over me and wondered if we didn’t have enough games now.  How could I explain that I’d been bitten by the gamer bug; I was addicted?

 My husband’s a great guy and after three and a half years (and over a 150 games bought), he’s learned to accept my addiction.  After all, he has one of his own—old Yamaha motorcycles—which I don’t understand any better than he understands mine.

 Now, as an added bonus for those who have read this far:  an explanation of my user name on BGG.  It is not soda k lady, nor soda klady; it is sodak lady.  The nicknames for the Dakotas around here are No. Dak. And So. Dak.

Posted in Game-related Thoughts | 3 Comments »

Change Is Good

Posted by sodaklady on April 15, 2007

Yesterday we changed our cable Premium channel from the Starz/Encore combo to HBO.  We haven’t had HBO for maybe 10…12…15 years; a long time anyway.  We realized we weren’t finding anything we wanted to watch on Starz so it was time for a change.  I spent yesterday watching 3 movies back-to-back on HBO:  Walk The Line, Must Love Dogs and Cinderella Man.  I totally enjoyed all three of them.

Richard and Cori both commented on the remarkable change; how nice it was to find new, good movies.  Being  a natural pessimist, I reminded them that this was all new *for now*.  We’re catching up on stuff that HBO has probably been playing for a long time and in a couple of years, when we’ve seen everything new, HBO will probably become as stale as Starz seems now.  Change is good.

Which probably explains why I’ve recently made a trade for Return of the Heroes and its expansion, Under The Shadow of The Dragon.  I don’t have any other RPG-type board games though I’ve played a couple that Mike has brought over:  Runebound and World of Warcraft.  Richard joined us for WoW and was really getting into it.  This is the most I’ve seen him enjoy a game in a long time and I concluded that I needed to add an adventure game to my collection.

The final push came from reading ozvortex’s blog entry Enter The Dragon.   I got pulled into his narrative of a game of Dragonquest he played with his daughter, Maddie; it sounded like such fun!  “A desperate battle against incredible odds.” — One of our favorite lines from The Last Starfighter.  Right, it was time to seriously look for a new game.  You know what that means–head on over to BGG and do some research.

After finding a few RPGs and reading reviews and comments, I chose Return of the Heroes for its simplicity of play and the various “tasks” you can choose from as a means of increasing your stats.  It should arrive on Monday or Tuesday and I hope we have as much fun with it as Maddie and her dad had playing Dragonquest.  Have I abandoned Eurogames for Amerigames?  No.  But change is good.

Posted in Game-related Thoughts, New Game | 5 Comments »

Board Games on TV

Posted by sodaklady on April 12, 2007

On CSI (the original) tonight, one of the lab techs, Hodges, was having a lucky day.  He found a dollar on the sidewalk, a pretty girl gave him the eye, he used the dollar in a vending machine to get some chips and got two extra bags, he got a hit on a search with a 1 in 6 billion chance of a match and to top it off, he won The Three’s Company Board Game in an auction!

Posted in Game-related Thoughts, Humor | 2 Comments »

My Game Collection–REALLY!

Posted by sodaklady on April 4, 2007

My April Fool’s Day joke backfired on me a little bit; it has been the most popular post since I started this new blog and I’m feeling a little bad that I probably disappointed a few people. To make it up to everyone, here’s pictures of my board game collection. It’s now too large to fit in one place, so games can be found in several places around the house.

Game shelf

This is the main shelves, located in the library. Sorry about the glare. I tried not using the flash but then the pictures turned out blurry so this is the best of the lot. That’s Cross Cribb who’s title you can’t see.

Games beneath the bar.

These are hiding in the bottom of the bar which looks like an old-fashioned ice box. It’s near the kitchen, our main gaming spot.

Games under the end table

The end table holds my Kosmos 2-player games and a couple others that are favorites with my husband and me. Two copies of Fjords! ? Yes, I think it’s an interesting change to play with a double set of tiles sometimes, but only 6 farm houses.

Baker’s rack in the kitchen

A few of our current favorites and the basket full of card games have a special place in the kitchen where they’re easy to reach. The two chunks of wood on the left are the card-holders my husband made years ago when our daughter was learning to play pinnocle and couldn’t hold 13 cards. They’ve seen a fair amount of use, usually for Command & Colors: Ancients, which doesn’t come with card stands; or when Mike and Teresa come over with their baby so they can keep their hands free.

There you have it. I hope you’ll forgive me for my joke and enjoy browsing through my collection.

Posted in Game-related Thoughts | 5 Comments »

My Game Collection

Posted by sodaklady on April 1, 2007

video-games.jpg

Gotcha! I hope all of my board game friends have a fun April Fool’s Day.

Posted in Humor | 5 Comments »