#Boardgame Vacation 2020 featuring @BlueOrangeGames @days_of_wonder @UnstbleUnicrns & @LederGames

My family was fortunate enough to escape away for a bit. We went to a location a long days drive from home. As an added bonus, Gavin, the best friend of RockyMountainNavy Jr., and his family also vacationed in the same area. Our two families got together quite a bit and a good deal of boardgame play ensued.

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Courtesy Blue Orange Games

Gavin’s family plays boardgames, but they are much more familiar with the mass market segment of the gaming market. That said, earlier this year RMN Jr. introduced Kingdomino (Blue Orange Games, 2017) to them* and they added it to their game collection. Ticket to Ride (Days of Wonder, 2004) was already part of their gaming shelf along with Qwirkle (Mindware, 2006)

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Courtesy Blue Orange Games

Since they already played Kingdomino, we introduced them to Queendomino (Blue Orange Games, 2017). It was a restrained hit; they really like the speed and simplicity of Kingdomino and the added ‘gamer’ elements of Queendomino did not totally attract their attention.

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Courtesy Unstable Unicorns

The next game we introduced them to was Here to Slay (Unstable Unicorns, 2020). This title was THE HIT of our 2020 vacation gaming! The RMN Boys and brothers Gavin & Skyler played my Kickstarter Exclusive Edition of this game too many times for me to keep track of. Skyler in particular was taken with game and is seeking a retail copy as soon as it is available.

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Photo by RMN

The RMN Boys also took along Ticket to Ride: New York (Days of Wonder, 2018). Given that all the boys were already familiar with Ticket to Ride learning the ‘new’ game was easy. Once again, it was Skyler who was the most excited; he likes Ticket to Ride but feels that sometimes the game is too long. The quick-play Ticket to Ride: New York fits his need for a simple, quick game that friends can play once as a filler or as a short series. 

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Photo by RMN

The newly released game Fort by Leder Games arrived the day before we traveled and made the trip. The RMN Boys and myself played the game twice. The initial play was a bit slow as we all learned the iconography. Our second play was much better as now, understanding the iconography, we could start developing strategies for play. Thematically the game is pitch-perfect and will surely regularly find a place on our gaming table.

It was also very fun to talk to Gavin’s family about the hobby boardgame segment of the boardgame market. They had a bit of some insight, but really have had only a peek. We resolved to invite Gavin on occasion over to play with us in our Saturday Family Game Night which will make us an even four-players; thus opening up many more titles to play beyond our usual (and sometimes a bit awkward) three-players. It’s a bit unfortunate (but ultimately for the best) that Skyler is leaving for tech school shortly for he is the more ‘gamer’ of the two brothers. Nonetheless, I am sure the RMN Boys and Gavin & Skyler will be gaming buddies for a long time to come.

Which brings me to a moment of sadness, and joy. Sadness because the RMN Boys have found a gaming group that does not include me. Joy because I passed along to them a love of gaming that they are spreading to their friends.

Is that not what we play games for?


*RMN Jr. considers himself some kind of a superior Kingdomino player as he is usually the winner in our house. It drives him crazy that Gavin’s mom not only regularly beats him, but beats him handily!

Feature photo by RMN

#RPGaDay 2017 – You can game every day for a week. Describe what you’d do!

#RPGaDay August 6, 2017

First off, understand that I am a tabletop gamer. To me this includes RPGs, wargames, and family boardgames. So in a given week I play more than just RPGs.

My game week starts on Monday. This is a day where I select the games for the week and start any relevant research.

Tuesday is either #TechTuesday or #ThreatTuesday for my blog. Here I look to find interesting technology for my science-fi games or explore the "threats" in wargames.

Wednesday is #WargameWednesday. This is my day for usually a solo wargame from my grognard collection.

Thursday is #RPGThursday. This is the true prep evening for the upcoming weekend.

Friday and Saturday are for gaming with the boys. This can be an RPG session (Edge of the Empire or a FATE Accelerated game) or one of the lighter wargames like Memoir '44or a "Manual Video Games" like Wings of Glory or Tanks.

Sunday is a day of rest. If there is gaming, it is usually very casual and with Mrs. RockyMountainNavy. Something like Qwirkle or Patchwork.

Family Friday – Holiday Gaming

This holiday we were blessed to have my niece and nephew visit from Korea. Looking for games to play that required little English, we pulled out Ticket to Ride. The game was a huge hit. I myself played six games of the original Ticket to Ride, Ticket to Ride Europe, the 1910 and 1912 expansions, as well as TTR Asia. The kids played literally EVERY day; sometimes more than once! This was definitely THE HIT GAME of the holidays.
Other games that got much play included Qwirkle, Fundomino, Rush Hour, Abandon Ship, and even Bananagrams (yes, I know that one requires English but put my 4th grader up against an international college student was a bit unfair – for the international student!)

Family Friday – Qwirkle Goes Mobile

Courtesy BGG

No, this is not an iOS or Android version. Qwirkle is now available in a small travel version. I like the same black tiles but when I opened my set more than a few tiles stuck together and had to be pried apart. This resulted in chips and blemishes on the tiles. Not enough to make any single tile recognizable from the back but enough to be unsettling.

The smaller tiles have an advantage in that the area needed for play is also smaller. I also like the travel bag that maintains its shape vice the bag of the full set that never finds a good place to lay on the shelf between games.

Family Game Night – Jan 28, 2011

Invited friends over and hosted a family game night.  It was a real success.  We had four adults and six kids ranging in age from 1st grade through high school.

Qwirkle

First game up was Qwirkle.  This was played amongst the adults.  Interestingly, this was Mrs. RMN’s first game (though she has watched/helped in many) as well as the intro game for our guest couple.  Game took about 45 minutes to play. Verdict: SUCCESS.

 

 

 

Fundomino

For a quick filler before dessert we played Fundomino.  Three kids versus guest father.  Game went fast with good action right up to the last plays.  Playing time: 15 minutes.  Verdict: Success.

 

 

 

Dragonheart

Another game played was Dragonheart.  This was played by the Dads first as a teaching game.  Afterward, I stepped out and let some of the kids play against the guest Dad.  Verdict:  SUCCESS!

 

 

 

Magic Labyrinth

While the adults were playing Qwirkle the kids played Magic Labyrinth.  This proved very popular; so much so that when the adults were finished the kids challenged guest father to a match.  Playing time for a four player game was about 30 minutes.  Verdict:  SUCCESS!

 

 

 

Abandon Ship

The night finished up with a large seven-player game of Abandon Ship.  All six kids played (the high schooler helped the new younger player) against the two Dads.  The game was a good race all the way to the end; I think five of the original seven rats were within reach of the top.  As it turned out, one of the youngest players won a close race.  All wanted to play again but the hour was getting late.  Playing time: 30 minutes.  Verdict:  RESOUNDING SUCCESS.

This was the first Family Game Night we ever hosted with another family.  It was a great time and no TVs or computers were turned on all night.  All the kids, big and small, and all the adults had a great time.  Even Mrs. RMN joined in a game instead of just being an observer.  From the kids perspective it was a blast with interesting games.  From the adult perspective it was good friends, conversation, (a wee bit of drinking) and tons of enjoyment playing with the kids.  It also helps that our guest family is game friendly (we have introduced them to several games before) and were anxious to play.  They left with a list of new games that they will eventually get.

Christmas Games 2010 – Qwirkle

Courtesy BGG

Qwirkle is a game that we have actually had in the family for a few years.  At one time it was a present for Little Miss RMN but it languished for a time in the basement closet.  This year we pulled it out and enjoyed playing it.  We even took it up the the grandparent’s house and challenged Gramps to a game; instant hit!

The original plan was to get a copy for Gramps but we had an early setback when we went to get a copy. Black Friday at Borders we had a 50% off one item coupon and had seen the game.  When we got there every copy was gone!  This started an odyssey of shopping.  We actually saw copies at Target but it was not on sale at that time.  Later in the season Target put Qwirkle on sale but when we went it was sold out.  I eventually used a money-back deal to bring down the regular price of a copy.

Turns out we went through a bit to much effort.  You see, when the sale came Gramps bought his own copy (I think this is the first time ever he has bought a copy of a game we showed him).    He is a big fan of the game and challenges Grandma often.  When Grandma was hospitalized, Qwirkle found it way onto that really small table used in hospital rooms (though both will tell you it was way too small!).

The copy of Qwirkle we got was sent as a present to the nephew.  Early reports are he likes it.

Day before Christmas we were walking through Target and looked at the games aisle.  Qwirkle was sold-out.  Suprisingly, we bumped into a couple that were looking for the game.  It seems Qwirkle is quite popular this year, an apparent fact I find surprising given the lack of advertising seen.