Monday, June 4, 2012

Skip-Bo, Dominoes, and things from Redondo Beach

This past weekend, May 31- June 3rd, I visited Redondo Beach in the greater Los Angeles area.  I was fortunate enough to stay with a friend's family, and that led to a lot of games.  We were also lucky enough to have some friends from college visit us, and that led to even more games.  Overall, a good time spending time with friends, getting to know people better, have a lot of laughs and play games.

I took the train down to LA on Thursday, arriving late in the afternoon.  That evening we broke out No Thanks, Scary Tales, Tiki Topple, and Mexican Train Dominoes.  It had been years since I had played Dominoes, so it was nice to get an old classic to the table.

Friday wasn't much of a game day, even though it was my birthday.  I did get a chance to go mini-golfing and arcade game playing(ski-ball and the like) with my friend.  I know it's not a boardgame, but hey, it's a game, an activity, and mostly fun.  I think of mini golf as a fun dexterity game with more space to play.  After dinner, a family friend stopped by, so that gave us 6 for Skip-Bo.  We played one game alone, and then 2 games with partners.  I was able to win one of the partnership games.  It's actually a really fun game.  I wouldn't have chosen skip-bo, but now it's moved up on my list of fun games for the not as serious crowd.

Saturday was a bright and early start since games began at 10am with the aforementioned couple.  We started the morning off with Ticket to Ride Europe, including the 1912 expansion.  We didn't play depots, just the extra tickets. Early on, I got blocked off from Budapest by both of the 1 length routes.  Needless to say the workaround was extensive.  Sure I could have burned a station, but I kinda needed to go other places too, and didn't want to get caught without enough stations too early.  That basically cost me the game though.  One player was able to go from Petrograd to Madrid, in a straight shot.  This allowed her to draw a lot of tickets, and make small branches to make things work.  She ended with over 100 points in Tickets alone, and something like 194 as a final score.  I managed 2nd with 121, but that was a very, very, distant 2nd.
After Ticket, we moved on to something a lot lighter, Scary Tales.  Everyone had fun with that, since the game is not overly serious in nature, and feels very light.  The dice really do help maintain a quick pace and everyone tends to have fun with it.
One player had to depart, so we moved to Coloretto.  Yes, that's right, I finally got it played.  I really like the game.  I think there's a lot of thought that goes into your choices and there's enough interactions with different players, and ways to make the game hard on them without the screwage factor.

The most important part of Saturday was talking to a good friend about Star Runner.  He had a lot of good ideas to add more secrecy to the game play, and while that will add a little bit of time, I think it enhances the feel of the game, makes it feel more like you are moving things in secret, and gives the patrols a better reason to exist.

Overall I had a good time.  Some of the social aspects were not as good as they could have been, but I wouldn't change a thing.  I got a lot of games played, I think I'm completely back on track for the goal of 300, plus, Star Runner will be worth the extra work.

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