Friday, December 31, 2010

Gaming Goals for 2011

Resolutions and a glimpse at the future...
'Tis the season for reflection, introspection, and looking ahead. In the spirit of the season, we decided to post our gaming goals and hopes for the upcoming year, and outline some games we're hoping to play in the next year. We thought it might give you all some insight into what we are thinking about, and also might help us to have something to be "accountable" to and refer back to as the year progresses. Without further ado, here's our goals for 2011!

Katie's Goals:
1. Play harder and harder games, and learn new ones all the time. Like games that are even harder than Settlers of Catan.
2. Learn to read while I’m playing games, especially hard ones. To play the toughest games you have to be able to read, so I’m practicing
3. Play 100 different games with my family.

Games I’m excited to try out this year:
Monsters Menace America, Mississippi Queen, RoboRally, Runebound

 Jack's Goals:

1. Dice!

2. Cards!

3. Un-hunh! Yep.

4. Robot!

Randy's Goals:
Ah, 2011... what will you hold for me? I don't have a lot of gaming hopes, but I think that they're pretty significant. First, 2010 unfortunately had very few roleplaying sessions for me. One hope for 2011 is to play in either a Pathfinder or D&D 3.5 campaign. Yup, I've been missing it. Pathfinder's Advanced Player's Guide has whetted my appetite for that. Additionally, I would like to in either Burning Wheel, Savage Worlds, Mouse Guard, d20 Modern or Shadowrun campaign. Something different. As for board games, I'm making my goal helping Katie fulfil her goal. 100 different games in a year? That girl has ambition! I'm looking forward to that.
 And I have another goal... getting my own game finished and ready for publication. I've had a card game in the works for a couple years. I made a playtestable copy about three years ago, and I (as well as Angie and Julian) thought it was pretty fun. It just wasn't ready yet. I shelved it to work on another project collaboratively that ultimately didn't get very far, and since then I have pulled it out every now and then to tweak some mechanics, make some drawing for cards or add some text. Now, I'm itching to make it something. I'm not going to expand on it right now, but it's a wild west shootup with a quirky theme. I'll share more later.

Angie's Goals:
1. Have a monthly family-friendly board game night, rotating between families. We've been talking about it for a while (you know who you are!), let’s get it going!
2. Start and maintain a regular weekly family board game night with my kid(s). We decided on Wednesday nights, so I'm excited to see this through and get a regular thing going that we can all look forward to. A mid-week pick-me-up and opportunity for us all to focus on family time and not the hectic nature of our typical everyday life. At least for long enough to get a game or two in.
3. Help Katie reach her goal of playing different 100 games. Does anyone know how to put a counter on our blogger page so we can keep track online?
4. Find a game I can play with Jack, and teach it to him. Any ideas?
5. Keep reading and writing about games (books, articles, blog posts). Figure out a way to actually get people to reply to our blog posts and get more involved… (wink wink nudge!)

On the horizon- What we hope to be playing this year:
New games we would love to play in 2011 (A.K.A. Angie's Wishlists....)
Board/Card Games: 7 Wonders, Sid Meyers Civilization: The Boardgame (the Fantasy Flight Version), Innovation, Puzzle Strike: Bag of Chips, Alien Frontiers, Dominant Species, Earth Reborn,  Yomi: The Complete First Edition
Puzzle StrikeYomi: Complete First Edition7 Wonders Board Game by Asmodee EditionsDixitCivilization: The Board GameEarth Reborn

Video Games:  Little Big Planet 2, Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2, Pokemon Black/White, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Portal 2,  Paper Mario 3DS, Sly Cooper 4 (no release date, I’m just wishing…)

LittleBigPlanet 2Mass Effect 3Dragon Age 2 - Bioware Signature EditionPokemon - White VersionPokemon - Black VersionPortal 2

As a final 2010 bonus...

Angie's 5 Random Board Game “Top 5” Lists for the upcoming year:
1. Games I missed and hope to try: Battleground Fantasy Warfare, Railways of the World Card Game, Summoner Wars, Steam, Dixit
2. Loooong games I want to get played: Le Havre (with new unplayed expansion!), Descent, War of the Ring (and new unplayed expansion!), Twilight Imperium (3rd Ed), Duel of Ages
3. Games I want to play more of: Galaxy Trucker (don’t own this one, Julian will have help out!), Space Alert, Agricola (and expansions!), Glory to Rome, Through the Ages
4. New-ish (to us) games that need table time: Grind, Mtg: Archenemy, Memoir 44 expansions, Starcraft, Battlestar Galactica
5. Games that might deserve a 2nd chance: Evo, Keythedral, Torres, At the Gates of Loyang, Nexus Ops

You may here more about these topics and games from us in the future, feel free to ask questions or talk up any of these games or lists. Also, I would love to play these games with YOU, so if you're local and interested, drop me a line!

That's All Folks!

Thanks for reading our blog, we'd love to hear from you. We know you're out there, so post a comment would ya? Share your ideas and opinions, ask questions, suggest topics, or just let us know you're there! Thanks!

Also, check out a personal list of "gaming wishes" for the upcoming year from our fellow gaming blogger Julian at Cool Factor 5. This is another in the series of challenge posts I keep talking about, and I'm always excited to see how differently the same topic list manifests on these two blogs. It's something we're planning to continue into the new year, maybe with some new twists and surprises added in. :)

Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In for the Long Haul

Hi, y'all! Randy here. Today's topic is about games that take a loooooonnnggg tiiiiiime to play. I've included five below. Maybe it reflects that I didn't write our post on cooperative games a couple days ago, but it just so happens that all but one of the games below are either team or cooperative games. Why? I dunno. That was just how I was feeling. Anyway, check them out... my top five long games:

5. Arkham Horror
Arkham Horror

The game Arkham Horror is based on the Cthulhu Mythos of writer H.P. Lovecraft. It is a world where Things Man Was Not Meant To Know(tm) exists, where slumbering gods, alien and unsympathetic to humanity, may wake at any moment to make the Earth a charnel house. But, of course, a few heroes stumble through and manage to keep the cultists and horrors from beyond at bay. The game is cooperative, and it does a great job of keeping you on your toes. You are tasked with keeping the public unaware and closing portals into the realms beyond, from which these horrors continually pour through. Its length (expect three hours) means it doesn't come off the shelves often, but I like it.

4. Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Galactica is a great cooperative game that employs a traitor mechanic. The game starts with each player picking a character, and then drawing a loyalty card that specifies whether or not they are a Cylon, which is kept secret. The ship is travelling to a habitable planet to colonize, and the humans win when they get there. When a challenge arises, it is coded with a color and everyone contributes a card face down, with cards of the appropriate color contributing to the effort, and those of opposing colors detracting from the effort and sabotaging the Humans' efforts. Halfawy through the game, another loyalty card is distributed (representing 'sleeper' Cylons, if a Cylon card is received by someone who previously not a Cylon). I've only played twice, but it is a fun game, and clocks in around 2-3 hours.

3. Duel of Ages

Duel of Ages Worldspanner
An interesting game that only sees play very occasionally is Duel of Ages (DoA). The premise of DoA is that champions from different ages, worlds and cultures come together to fight in an arena assembled of pieces of disparate worlds. You could have a wild west area next to an office park next to an alien wasteland. It is a team game, with each team controlling the same number of characters (though possibly with players controlling more than one character). The teams' members will try to coordinate to explore labyrinths, invade the other team's base, attack other teams and (with expansions) do other challenges. With 360 genre-spanning characters and loot, it can be a blast. I can't think of another game where you could play a samurai riding a BMX with a Spanish Cannon in tow.

2. Through the Ages.

Through the Ages 2nd Edition By Eagle Games

Through the Ages is an excellent civilization-building game by Vlaada Chvatil (Galaxy Trucker, Space Alert). The game comes in a deceptively smallish box, but is densely packed with high-quality components. It takes around 3-4 hours to play, putting it the longer end of the board game spectrum for us. I feel it does a great job of simulating the passage of time periods. Be prepared to move around a large number of tiny, tiny wooden disks that represent workers and resources. I love this game!

1. Roleplaying Games

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook Star Wars Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, Saga Edition D&D Gamma World Roleplaying Game: A D&D Genre Setting (4th Edition D&D)

Aaaahhh.... the classic "I've-just-spent-way-too-much-time-gaming!" game... or rather, genre. Roleplaying Games, immersive as they are, can easily span to eight hours or more. They somehow don't seem as long as the games above, but that mainly reflects the social, free-form nature of them. My current favorite is Pathfinder (successor to Dungeons and Dragons version 3.5), though recently I have enjoyed the new Gamma World 4th Edition and Star wars Saga Edition. If you haven't played a pen-and-paper roleplaying game, I highly recommend trying one. Chances are, you know a geek who plays. I unfortunately haven't had the chance to play regularly in quite a while, but this is one of my favorite pastimes.

What are your favorite long games? Or what gaming experiences that have lasted a long time have you enjoyed? Let us know! And after that, why not pop over to Cool Factor 5 and see what he has to say about his favorite long gaming experiences!