Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

Teach Your Children Well

Posted by sodaklady on December 26, 2012

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday with their loved ones. We spent time with our son and his girlfriend, and our daughter. We had lots of fun and laughs but, as happens on the rare occasion when we all get together, we also discussed serious topics. This year we inevitably turned to the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

The discussion was mainly focused on the NRA, schools, and generally what could be done to prevent this from happening. I think the answer is not to look at how to prevent such horrors, but to ask what causes someone to do such an unthinkable thing? What is it in our society that promotes this kind of thinking?

I grew up in the 60’s. That’s not so terribly long ago and yet it’s an eternity when you look at the giant differences. We would never think of talking back to an adult unless you were looking to get a slap in the mouth for your trouble; we behaved in public or could look forward to a whack on the butt; we knew that an A on our report card meant we earned it and an F meant we were in trouble; we might play “cowboys and Indians” with toy guns but we also knew that when our beloved pet died, it was forever. In short: we learned there were consequences to our actions, for good or ill.

We raised our children the same way, teaching them that their actions would have consequences for them. In the late 80’s when they were about about 4 and 8 we took them to Mt. Rushmore with another couple who had four small children. While we were sitting in the cafeteria someone came up to us and complimented us on how well-behaved our children were.  What a feeling, to hear that the little people that will someday be the ones in charge of the world are worthy of praise from a complete stranger.

Somewhere along the line we’ve become so concerned about child abuse that we’ve taken it to an extreme, disallowing parents to show these impressionable creatures that being bad is not allowed. We had a man and his wife over one time, the man to help my husband put up walls in our unfinished basement, the woman and their son to socialize. The boy was about 2-3 years old and whenever he would misbehave, his mother would say, “I’m going to tell your father”, “I’m going to get your father up here”. Not my style of parenting at all but I let it pass. Until. The boy mouthed off to his mother and pointed his tiny index finger at her. I reached out and took that hand and calmly told him that we didn’t do that here; that he should show his mother respect. He was shocked, I think, that someone would actually show him there was a limit to his bad behavior and he was a good boy for the rest of their stay (which was their last, thank goodness). Was I wrong? My house, my rules.

I’m not saying everyone should beat their misbehaving children–I never used a belt or switch on my kids, maybe because that’s what I grew up with–and a “time out” works for many kids. But we need to set boundaries and make sure they’re followed or there will be consequences.

Children should once again know that they earned good grades rather than being given a gold star for everything so they don’t feel inferior to some of their peers. Children should have specific chores to do around the house so they learn responsibility. Even at 3 years old, my kids had to pick up their toys; that’s not too much to ask, is it? We love our children and want them to love us back, but we must also be aware that what they learn as children will carry over into adulthood.

Is this the answer? I don’t know. Maybe we’ll never know what goes through the mind of someone who takes a weapon into a public place and shoots everyone in their sight. Maybe the answer is something as basic to human nature as having a pet as a child, something to love and who shows you its love everyday no matter what. Wouldn’t that be nice?



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Autumn is here. It’s Game Time!

Posted by sodaklady on September 27, 2012

Summer always seems too busy, and too tiring, for games. But it gave me the chance to discover gaming on the iPad! Even when you’re busy, you can take a couple of minutes to take your turn at several very good games. I am currently enjoying several games of Carcassonne, which I was talked into paying the exorbitant amount of $10 and it was worth every penny! Every little touch, such as the chat and the option to see what tiles remain in the draw, adds to the ease and enjoyment of the game. I also am playing Summoner Wars and patiently awaiting new factions to try out; Le Havre is kicking my butt since I was only vaguely familiar with it before the purchase; Ticket to Ride Pocket; Lost Cities,;and the oh-so-fun-and-frustrating Disc Drivin’. But enough of that–on with the board games!  (The links here are to the Video Game Geek game page, when available.)

Now that I’ve finished canning beans, making pickles, and freezing applesauce, there’s time to think about board games again. I recently bought Castles of Burgundy after finally making it through a video review of it. For some reason, I had a hard time getting interested enough in most of the reviews to watch more than a couple of minutes, and I couldn’t get into reading the rules at all, but my long-time Geek Buddies assured me with their ratings and comments that this was a game I should try. And they were indeed correct.

I set up a 2-player game to play solo, working through the rules so I could easily teach Richard the game, and after only a couple of turns knew this was fun! I love rolling dice but they are so unabashedly evil to me that I usually want to throw them across the room at some point in the game. Not so with Burgundy. You have several choices of what to do with your roll as well as “Workers” to help you adjust the count if you need to.  Any roll can be used to get you more Workers, and they are worth points at the end of the game so are always a useful commodity. There are tough choices in how you attempt to build your estate, and the game comes with several different estate layouts to keep the game from becoming the same old thing.

Castles of Burgundy

Castles of Burgundy

Speaking of dice, Richard and I have been playing Wurfel Bohnanza (the Bohnanaza dice game) whenever we have 20 minutes of so to kill, like between lunch and get-up-and-get-back-to-work. This is a light, quick, fun dice-roller so don’t let the bad rolls get to you. Roll the dice, set at least one aside as you try to fulfill the orders on your card, then roll again. Oh, wait! Those other players who seem to be just waiting around to take their turn? They need to be paying attention because if you roll what they’re looking for, they can use it to fill their order, too! This is a good little filler for people who can’t help but love to roll dice.

Wurfel Bohnanza

Wurfel Bohnanza

Another new-to-me game that I’ve had my eye on since it’s debut at Essen 2010 is Matin Wallace’s London. This is basically a card game but the board map adds another way to earn points at the end of the game. The premise is the rebuilding of London after the fire of 1666 so the cards (which represent buildings, for the most part) are divided into 3 groups to keep the theme running in chronological order. You must use a card from your hand as payment for another card that you wish to build. This, as in San Juan, can be cause for some tough decision-making. Now balance making points with making money, throw in the Poverty Points (which are bad, as you can guess) and you have a game that is an intensely satisfying experience. Yes, it may take longer than you had planned– 1 1/2 to 2 hours– but it’s the type of game my husband and I enjoy. We also love the crayon rail games (Martian Rails, British Rails, Eurorails), so if that helps you set the atmosphere, so be it.

London board game

London. I like the colors and style of the map, but others have been less than enthusiastic.

And the final new addition which we’re really enjoying is the expansion boards for Ticket to Ride, India and Switzerland. These are tight boards which are good for 2 or 3 players, and each have a little twist to the basic rules, of course. Switzerland has tunnels; lots and lots of tunnels. If you try to build a tunnel line, you also turn over 3 cards from the deck. For each one that matches what you played to build that stretch of rails, you have to play another card. You don’t lose the cards you played, but your turn is over with nothing accomplished. There are also some Destination Tickets that are more generic, giving points for connecting a specified country to any other country on the edge of the board or a specific city to any country. The points vary depending on how hard these connections are to manage.

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride maps, India on this side, Switzerland on the back.

India is more standard in its tickets and rail-building, with the exception of Ferries. Ferries are water routes that have one or two spots on them which must have a Locomotive to fill. And there is an additional end-game scoring for “mandala”, which means “circle” in Sanskrit. Every ticket you finish which has at least 2 distinct continuous paths qualifies for a bonus; the more tickets which qualify, the bigger the bonus. This is a clever variation because of how densely populated the map is, and it may be my favorite so far.

So with the leaves falling in the yard, and the squirrel gathering walnuts from the trees out back, I’m hoping to find the time and inclination to do more writing here. And Essen is just around the corner, friends!

Posted in board games, iOS board games, New Game | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Game Day: Doing it Old-Style (mostly)

Posted by sodaklady on May 21, 2012

Our tiny group has taken a bit of a turn lately. Dave has been plagued with various problems, including working 7 days a week! so Mike has brought his nieces (Sabrina, age 10 and Samantha, age 13) along with him. He has been honing their gaming skills for years and they enjoy a variety of games including Caylus and Power Grid.

Sunday Mike brought Talisman and Cosmic Encounter with him. These are two older games, Talisman being around since 1983 and Cosmic Encounter since 1977. Both of these games have been reprinted by various publishers to keep them available for the fans.

I brought out Cartagena (2000), Tsuro (2004) and Bohnanza (1997). Again, these games have been around for a fair number of years, Tsuro being the baby of the bunch at only 8 years old.  I also had to play my current favorite, Kingdom Builder, just today nominated for the 2012 Spiel des Jahres (German board game of the year award).

So what keeps some of these older games in the forefront of people’s imaginations? What makes them classics, worth reprinting years after they were first introduced even with the plethora of games coming out each year? Sometimes, I think, it may just be nostalgia. Talisman and Cosmic Encounter were many gamer’s introduction to board games; their Monopoly, as it were. And that seems an apt comparison to me because the amount of randomness and lack of control, not to mention the time it takes to play Talisman, is very similar.

As for Cartagena, its cleverness surprises me every time I pull it out. Play a card to move forward; move backwards to receive more cards. Simple. But managing your cards and where you leave your playing pieces at the end of your turn are the goals to succeeding in this game. People who figure out these two points will enjoy this game, people who can’t be bothered will never understand.

Bohnanza is a great game for a group of rowdy, extroverted people ready to haggle and trade. Again, a simple concept– you must not rearrange your cards in hand– results in a fun and memorable game unlike anything else. I can understand this being a classic; it’s great for families, serious gamers looking for something light, kids playing something without supervision, and drunks out for some laughs. Those last two are quite a bit alike, actually, aren’t they?

Personally, I’d rather play a lot of these older games in my collection than almost anything released in the last 3 or 4 years. How many games being released this year will become the new classics in 10-15 years? Will Kingdom Builder have a cult following, yearning for another expansion or a fancier version with better bits?

As far as game day went, we had a great time. Well, except for Cosmic Encounter, which I just do NOT get. I’d rather play The Farming Game!

Posted in board games, Game Night, Game-related Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wil Wheaton hosts a game of Small World

Posted by sodaklady on April 3, 2012

If you haven’t heard, Wil Wheaton has started a video series called TableTop that is simply sitting in on a game with him and some friends. How entertaining could that be? That was my first impression on hearing of it, but today was the first episode which featured Small World by Days of Wonder, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing voyeur at a gaming session.

Wil starts by introducing the game and its theme as well as his opponents for the day, then does an excellent job of summarizing the rules.  As the game gets going, you watch what feels to me like a typical game session with trash-talk, back-stabbing, silliness, cussing (it’s bleeped, so don’t worry), and lots of laughter. The half hour show, which I didn’t expect to watch all the way through, was so much fun I didn’t realize the time had flown past.

I highly recommend setting aside a small part of your day to check it out at

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Kingdom Builder

Posted by sodaklady on January 31, 2012

Kingdom Builder box coverI’m not a fan of Dominion so when I bought Kingdom Builder, I wasn’t looking for the next awesome game by Donald X. Vaccarino; I was looking for a lighter, fun game with lots of re-play value. Did I find that? Yes. Emphatically yes.

The game is for 2 to 4 players, age 8 and over, with a play time of about 45 minutes. If you’re a fan of Dominion and think this is another deck-builder, it’s  not, in any sense; nor is it card drafting or hand-management as you only get 1 card at a time; nor is it area control, worker placement or pick-up and deliver. There are no stocks to invest in, no trading or betting or bidding. The mechanics listed on the Board Game Geek page is “route/network building” and that’s close but still misses. You’re just making points the best way you can manage given 3 random cards that set the parameters, and four random abilities provided by the map layout. And that, it turns out, is more than enough.

Kingdom Builder boards

Here are the 8 boards that come in the game. You can't build on the grey mountains at all, and only on the water with a special ability chit.

On your turn you show your card and place 3 of your wooden houses (settlements) on that type of terrain, adjacent to previous houses if possible. The “adjacent” rule is very important, limiting where you can go and possibly making your opening move a critical one. If you have built next to a location where the various ability chits are placed, you can use each of those abilities once each turn either before or after building your settlements. Then you draw a new card. That’s it; that’s your whole turn. Doesn’t sound like much, does it?

The secret is in which locations with their special abilities you build next to.  The abilities are:  place a new settlement on a desert (yellow) hex, move a settlement two hexes in a straight line, move a settlement to the terrain type on your card, place a new settlement on the edge of the board, place a new settlement on  a grass (light green) hex, place a settlement on a hex of your terrain card type, move a settlement to a water hex, and place a new settlement at the end of a row of three or more of your settlements.

Kingdom Builder location summaries

These nice location summary cards are placed next to the boards as reminders.

When you add 4 of these abilities to your placement options, it can open up your choices nicely. But if you choose poorly, you can find them totally useless in helping you achieve points as dictated by the scoring cards drawn for this particular game.

There are 3 scoring cards (out of 10 that come with the game),  dealt randomly each game. You can be trying to place settlements adjacent to mountains or water, on many horizontal lines or vertical lines, or adjacent to castles and locations. You may be trying to create one very large settlement area or as many areas as you can. Maybe you’ll have to build settlements in each of the four map sectors, or connect locations and castles. Sometimes the combination of scoring cards work together but sometimes they are such that you have to choose which ones to concentrate on.


Kingdom Builder scoring cards

Here are the 10 scoring cards with lovely artwork.

When a player puts his last settlement on the board, that triggers the end of the game–scoring occurs at the end of that round. You add the points you earned for the three scoring cards, and three points for each castle next to which you placed a settlement. The winner is the player with the most points, of course. In case of a tie, you’re all equally brilliant!

The components are nice, as you would expect from Queen Games. The colors and artwork are clear, making it easy to see across the game table, and the cheat sheets for the locations’ abilities are a nice addition. I like that the back of each map board has a score track, making it useful as well as eliminating the need for VP or money tokens to keep score.

Each time I’ve played, I’ve had a good time even if I lost. Although the game is simple in theory, there’s a puzzle-like aspect to finding the best way to accomplish the goals set out by the scoring cards. How do I get across the board or build many small areas when I am required to place adjacent if possible? Which ability tile is going to help me the most? Where should I start when I want to make one long horizontal line but the board is full of rivers?

Kingdom Builder score boardThe game may take 45 minutes to play, but it doesn’t feel like that much time has passed because the turns are quick for the most part. There is very little confrontation except when someone builds in your way, which could be on accident or deliberate, depending on the people with whom you’re playing. Around here, you can assume it’s deliberate!


Posted in board games, New Game, Reviews | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Game Day: More Risk Legacy

Posted by sodaklady on January 2, 2012

When Dave and Mike showed up, I had Hansa set up ready to play. This is a simple but tricky Michael Schacht game that I really enjoy. I had forgotten how nasty it can be but fell right in to old way, screwing my left-hand neighbor who just happened to be my husband. Well, you know what they say about Karma… yeah, more on that later.

Then we convinced Mike that we should play Risk Legacy next; wouldn’t want to forget it or run out of time! 😀

Risk Legacy set up 1

Here's the setup, my first bad decision.

Mike, Dave and Richard all stuck with their starting factions but I, being the adventurous type, decided to change to the one that was ignored the last time. I also liked their ability to treat their starting base as “fortified”, which gives a +1 to their dice when defending. Mike started again, and again placed his base in North America. Then it was my turn and I chose to switch things up again, moving my start territory from Africa to the northern reaches of Asia. Ohhh, I know, I know. What a bone-head move! But it’s only a game, right?  Richard started in his favorite location, Australia; Dave switched from Europe to South America.

For his turn, Mike spread across his N. American continent. On my turn, I took a couple of territories to protect my base and broke into Mike’s continent by taking Alaska. Well, I could see it from Russia! 😉 Then Richard’s turn. Remember that Karma? Yeah, here it came, marching north from Australia. And while I was getting a butt-kicking on one continent, Mike was taking a beating from Dave on his continent. I wasn’t spread as thin and managed a bit of a defense but Mike was seriously hurt. On the next turn he could only reinforce his dwindling defenses.

Butt-kicking in Asia

Karma kicking my butt.

Now came the, possibly, second dumb decision from yours truly. I trusted Richard. Dave was on the verge of winning on his next turn. I asked Richard if he could stop picking on me for one *$#@!* turn so I could take Dave’s second base from him. And I did. But the two-faced man that I married turned around and attacked me again! World domination is not a job for the faint of heart. And so I was left with few resources and no base. A perfect setting for Dave to make a final run through America’s base and into Asia winning his final point with my base.

It didn’t take much, just one word from someone, and we were setting up for a second game. Everyone kept their factions and their start locations with the exception of me starting in the southern part of Africa. I had hoped that a more defensible starting location would be the key to my first win. Oh, how foolish of me.

Risk Legacy set up 2

The second game, trying a different strategy in the initial base location.

Double butt-kicking

Africa getting a double butt-kicking.

After the initial turn where we all take our respective continents, Dave started right in attacking Mike to his north then me. As if that weren’t enough for one peoples to endure, Richard marched his army right over to Africa through southern Asia and attacked me from the other direction.

And as history repeats itself, Mike wasn’t to fare any better this game than the last either. From northern Africa, Richard then continued through Europe to attack Mike on a second front, eventually eliminating all of his men. This forced Mike to start in a new area with a lonely 4 men. They settled in Asia in order to pick off a single man left by Richard to defend on his trek through to Africa. This was a fly bite on the rump of an elephant. There was no slowing down the war machine of my evil husband.

One man short

Outside of Mary's Town, Richard ran out of men.

On Richard’s next turn, he got 22 armies, Marched through America, taking its base; then on through Dave’s South America and taking his base; and the final push into Africa where he came up juuust short. Oh, too bad. But, really, when you control all but a few pockets of resistance, there is little doubt of the outcome. On his next turn he had no trouble taking the final point he needed to win.

At this point, I’m beginning to wonder if there is a safe place to start for me. I think next time Africa, but using the old standard, the Australian Strategy:  just sit still and add men until I have enough to break out. Or Mike and I need to gang up on someone.

In truth, the weird thing about Legacy is that the board is totally empty except for your starting locations. No maneuvering for who will take Africa or America; no single, expendable men slowing down your progress through to your target location. But it also must be noted that I can NOT ROLL DICE!!!!

Flash Point: Fire Rescue

Flash Point: Fire Rescue

After two games of death and destruction, we decided to save lives. Mike had brought Flash Point: Fire Rescue, his newest game. He had played 4 or 5 times with his nieces but hadn’t managed a win so our chances seemed slim but somehow, by the skin of our teeth, with only 2 black cubes remaining between us and a collapsed building, we managed to win by saving 6 people and a dog. It’s a pretty good co-op game, very thematic but also fairly fiddly. And… dice rolling can kill you!

We ended the day as we end many of them, with Ra: The Dice Game. Mike won by a fair margin which means we each won one game this day and beat a co-op game.  I hope that is some kind of good omen for the coming year.

Posted in board games, Session reports | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

A Quick Look At 2011

Posted by sodaklady on January 1, 2012

I’m not going to do a traditional post listing every game I played this year; I think that’s boring to write so it’s probably boring to read as well. But there are a few things of note that I wanted to mention.

As far as board gaming goes, this has been a stellar year for me. In the middle of June our group of three expanded to four with the addition of Dave. And a great addition he is:  funny, smart, a gracious winner as well as a good loser, and willing to give anything a try.

Richard and I discovered the crayon rail games this year and logged an amazing 53 plays of Martian Rails. In fact it was the final game of the year, played on New Year’s eve as we waited for the year to close. We also played Eurorails 22 times. That’s a lot of crayon rails!

Two other games that got more than the usual number of plays was Defenders of the Realm and Power Grid, both with 11 plays. Defenders of the Realm was played mostly 2-player, while Power Grid has become one of the group’s favorites. Along with Ra: The Dice Game, it will never be turned down.

Cori's Wedding

A bring-your-own-umbrella wedding in the back yard.

On the personal side of the year, our daughter, Cori, got married in a lovely steampunk ceremony in the back yard, in the rain. It was the highlight of the year and will be remembered by everyone in attendance as one of the best weddings ever.

The less wonderful part of life also visited us this year; we lost my mother in July, one of our cats in September, and our Corgi in November. Those were probably the worst six months I can remember in a long, long time.

And so… a new year begins and I wish all my readers a new year filled with hope and love and laughter. And may this year be better than the last.

Posted in board games, Personal | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Wood Projects: doll high chair & Welcome sign

Posted by sodaklady on December 29, 2011

Doll high chair 2

Here's the chair with the tray forward to allow room to put the doll in the seat.

Doll high chair 1

Here's the chair with the tray back, to hold the doll in place.


One of my husband’s co-workers requested a pair of doll high chairs for her daughters. She had found a picture online that showed the type of thing she was thinking of but it had disappeared before Richard got around to that project. We didn’t have any design plans but we do have plenty of experience so this is the result. I love the sliding tray, so easy but also sturdy.






Richard has recently discovered the joy of scroll saw work so for Christmas he made one of these Welcome plaques for each of our grown children.

Welcome sign


Posted in Wooden Toys | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Game Day — Risk Legacy

Posted by sodaklady on December 20, 2011

Mike came by early on Sunday so he and I played one of my BGG Secret Santa games, Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. I had tried it a couple of times solo but having a partner to go questing with added a lot to the experience, as well as making some rules pertinent where they have no meaning when playing solo. We were doing pretty well, Mike taking the Leadership deck and me playing the Tactics deck; he added most of his characters to the quest and I had the big-hitters to take on the enemies… except the Encounter deck was too busy spitting out Locations to give us anything to fight!

With one location as our current quest and four sitting in queue, we were adding at least one Threat to our Threat Level each turn. The couple enemies we did encounter didn’t give us much trouble but then… dun-dun-duuunnn… OMG! Double whammy! Mike had put out a very large contingent of allies and sent them all questing with a total of about 31 Willpower. Whoa, I thought, do we really need all that? (There was about 9 threat in the staging area.) Then we drew our two cards: Driven By Shadow which adds 1 Threat to each enemy and each location! Whew, it’s a good thing he sent all of his guys questing then; we were safe. But wait! We also drew Ungoliant’s Spawn who subtracts 1 Willpower from each character committed to the quest. Oh, nooooo! That was our undoing.

And now for the main event of the day, Mike’s newest purchase, the reason you’ve all come here today: Risk Legacy! There should be no spoilers here since it was our first game and no new rules or rules changes were made, no hidden components were revealed.Risk Legacy

The box arrived at the table unopened, the seal stating, “NOTE: What’s been done can never be undone.”  Now if you’re like me, you’d want to try whatever you could to play the game but still leave it so you could start fresh, undoing what choices and changes you’ve made; not Mike. He was determined to have this be the one and only way it would be played. So… make your choices good ones!Risk sealed box

On opening the box, we found 4 packets stickered to the lid with instructions on when they could be opened. Lifting the board from the box revealed two rather large compartments also with instructions. On the back of the board is a form for the players to sign and date stating, “We, the undersigned, take responsibility for the wars we about to start, the decisions we will make, and the history we will write. Everything that is going to happen is going to happen because of us.”  Then at the bottom, “The wars started on the following date.” Fun! We all got that tingle of excitement–something cool has begun.

Risk Legacy future packets

The basic Risk rules apply but the set up is different; you only get one area from which to begin your takeover. The story is about humanity leaving all of the nastiness on Earth and landing on a pristine planet to start anew. Uh-huh, we can live in harmony. Sure. Anyway, everyone chooses one spot as their starting location as long as it isn’t adjacent to another player, and spreads out from there. Each player chooses a faction and customizes it using one of the two stickers provided for each.

I chose the Enclave of the Bear because one of my cats’ name is Bear. Oh, like none of you would do that!! I chose the attribute that lets me conquer a territory if I roll a natural 3 of a kind and defeat at least one defender. Cool but tough to do. The other choice was for the defender to subtract 1 from the lower defense die in the first territory I attack. Might have been more useful but not nearly as cool!

Balkania and Bear factions


Khan and Saharan factions

Richard took the Saharan Republic– I think he liked the hot chick with a gun! He chose the ability to maneuver to any territory you control even if it’s not connected. The other choice was to make the maneuver at any point during your turn. Oh, that might have been useful if you’re not sure which front someone is going to attack. Alas, tis done.

Dave liked the military outfits of the Imperial Balkania and chose to give them the ability to round up rather than down when dividing your territory and population for new recruits. His other option was to be able to draw a card even if you didn’t conquer a territory but you have to have expanded into 4 or more territories. That can be tough to do except at the beginning of the game when almost everything is empty so I think he made a good choice.


Mike was surprised that no one had taken Khan Industries so grabbed them for himself. He made a good choice, giving them the ability to add a troop at the beginning of his turn to each territory with a headquarters they they control. Nice. The other option seemed just as good though: add a troop to the territory you just drew a card for if you control it.

The final faction is the Die Machaniker. We group chose to let them have their starting base be fortified if they are defending it. The tossed ability is that your territory cannot be attacked again this turn if you defend it with two natural 6s.  I think we made the better choice and I would be happy to get them the next time we play.

Die Mechaniker faction

We rolled and Mike got to start. He chose to start in one of the southern territories of the US. I chose North Africa, Richard took Australia, and Dave settled for a spot in Europe. During the course of our 45 minute game, Dave was attacked from all three directions at one point or another. I came very close to winning when I took his base and then headed towards Mike’s all in one turn. If Mike hadn’t put up such a good fight in the one territory between me and his HQ, I would have made it. Instead, depleted, I watched as Richard took the win. He got to be the first person to sign the board and he created a major city and named it.

We have added a couple of “scars” to the board, two Ammo Shortages which makes the defender subtract 1 from his higher die, and a Bunker which lets the defender add 1 to his higher die. And Mike has added a minor city, naming it for one of his two sons. we really enjoyed this and all look forward to whatever changes we will see in the future. You noticed that the factions have spaces for 4 more large stickers and a smaller one just under the name– can’t wait to see what those will be! Unfortunately, that probably won’t be until after the new year.

Until then, Happy Christmas and a game-filled New Year to all!



Posted in board games, Game Night, New Game | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

This Year’s Wooden Toys

Posted by sodaklady on December 20, 2011

Each year my husband makes toys with the local Woodworker’s Association to give to charitable groups in the area at Christmas time, but he also makes toys for the children of his co-workers. As the years go by, the children grow as does their collection of Richard’s Wooden Toys. (Can I trademark that even if the plans come from books and magazines? 😉 )  This year he had a request for a jet plane and a train engine so along with pull toys, doll cradles, trucks, cars and heart boxes, we now have two new very neat toys. I absolutely love the train engine! My husband, retired air force, is partial to airplanes and has several styles but this is the first jet plane. The plans said it was an F16 but he made sure I knew that it most certainly was not, as F16s have only one engine!

Toys 2011


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