Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

Baby Steps

Posted by sodaklady on May 19, 2008

Jack, Tage and his girlfriend, Alicia, came over again on Sunday but not to play Last Night on Earth this time; the boys and Cori wanted to play a CCG called Legend of the Five Rings. It takes a while to play and they rarely get the time to finish a game so they’d decided to make the time. Alicia and I weren’t interested in learning to play so I thought…yeah, you know what I thought!

It was a lovely evening so we all went outside, the CCGers taking the larger patio table, and Alica and I on the porch at the smaller, cafe-style table. I brought out Fjords since it’s very easy to teach and grasp, and it doesn’t take a lot of space to play. About 5 minutes later, I said, “it feels like it’s going to rain.” I turned in my chair to look up the valley and sure enough, dark clouds were moving our way. Not two minutes later, the wind hit us and sent everyone scurrying like ants from a kicked anthill, picking up games, glasses, chair cushions, shutting car and house windows, and generally battening down the hatches.

Back in the kitchen, the card players set up on the ends and one side of the table; Alicia and I on the other side starting Fjords again in the middle of the table. She did very well, showing patience in her farm placement and thought in her tile placement, with an occasional word of help from Tage on her left–ah, he were watching in his spare moments. In the end, I won by 3 points. Not bad for a beginner but I had the feeling it didn’t really grab her so put it away to try something else.

“Something else” was Ingenious. This is a great abstract since it doesn’t make your brain hurt to play; it just feels like fun. Through the first half of the game, I did the score counting, showing how it’s done but after that Alicia did her own scoring. Again, the boys on either end of the table would make a comment once in a while, showing that they were watching what we were doing. I think I only blocked her once, mainly to show that it could be done. I won by 3 points. Now, I had told her how the end scoring was calculated (Your lowest number is your score) and continued during the game to say things like, “you need to find some orange,” so she was aware of her position. The boys, watching from the sidelines, must have missed this and Cori’s summation in the middle of the game when one of them asked was not helpful: “The highest low score wins.” So when they saw the end game score result, they finally got it. “Oh, I see now. That’s actually very clever,” Jack said, sounding impressed.

Alicia wanted to play again. What better assurance that she liked it could you ask for? The second game was very close. We tied for lowest score so had to compare our second lowest, and Alicia won by 2 points. She was ready to start a third game but, unfortunately, I was tired and my eyes hurt so begged off. But it was a pleasant experience to see someone discover a new game and enjoy it. Maybe the next time they come over, they’ll allwant to give it a try–before attacking zombies, anyway.

How long before I can get these CCG players to try Glory to Rome? It can’t be that big of a sidestep, can it?


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