Archive for May, 2010

Timber Tom

May 30, 2010

Timber Tom arrived about a week ago.  We’ve played it 3 times, to a very warm reception.  It is obviously a labor of love from its author/publisher.

 

(Sorry, picture removed due to bandwith issues)

 

As you can see, the game is about hiking.  You have a hiking figure (Timber Tom) who navigates the pegboard.  Players plant trees around opponents to hinder their movement.  There are special helicopter sites, supply shacks, and all sorts of nicely crafted markers and tiles used in the game.

It’s not really all that strong of a strategy game.  But it is VERY PLEASING.  And there is a valid game present.  You need to have some strategies around how you will use your helicopter resources, when and where to use your supply tokens and axes, and when you plan (if you intend) to resupply.

Each time the game has been played it has provided a tight race.  Players are trying to be the first back to base camp with 2 treasures.  You get a treasure by climbing to the top of a mountain on the 3D board.  There are four different treasure-bearing mountains.  So you could in theory have a longer game.  But 2 treasures seems about the right length.

My friend Michael described the game as fabulous folk art.  I agree!

Coincidence

May 28, 2010

I have a few games ordered these days, and one showed up the other day – but it wasn’t any of the games I had paid for.  Turns out my friend Joe sent me The Game of Radio.  Now this is especially cool, as I was a professional broadcaster for about 9 years of my earlier life.

What makes this even cooler, is that the cardgame shows historic radio stations, including WOC, Davenport, Iowa.  A station I worked at back in 1981 and then again in ’85-’87.  I found the following photo of the game, and I’ll try to take a photo of the WOC card.

Stuff Yer Face

May 19, 2010

arrived…  Zack and I played a quick game.  Chester then showed up, and he and Zack had another quick game.  Hilarious!  My copy is a bit battered.  I will try to spruce it up and post a picture.  Think scary clown fun…

En Route

May 13, 2010

A positive PayPal balance is always a short-lived thing.  I’ve pretty much spent my mad money now.  In addition to the 4 new games from Japan, I have a few others ordered:

McMulti – Extremely expensive, but I had the money, and it is a game I’ve been curious about for years.  I bought it when the Euro dipped due to the Greek economic meltdown.  It’s coming from Korea, so I have no idea how long this will take to arrive.

Timber Tom – Seems to be a lavishly produced game, a project of its designer, who keeps burnishing it with updated rules, additional components, etc.  I’m excited to see it, and the theme is appealing too.

Hansa Teutonica – I guess an American edition is now scheduled.  But I ordered one of the 1st edition from Europe.  Seems to be garnering a decent buzz which is sustained.  Hopefully I will like it.

Stuff Yer Face – an eBay whim.  Older family game which features creepy clowns gobbling marbles…

In addition to the above, I have some bids in on an e-mail auction.  It may take a long time to resolve.  But I may end up with copies of Palermo, Odysseus, and Big Deal.  We’ll see if I win, and how long it takes to resolve.

4 visitors from Japan

May 4, 2010

… in this case 4 new games from Japan.  Apart from Go and Shogi, I have never played any Japanese games.  Thanks to a couple of fellow game affectionados I recently became aware of some hobby games being produced in Japan.  With the proceeds in my gaming account running high after my recent sale, I decided to bring a selection of these games in for a whirl.  Here the are:

Inotaizu – According to BGG:  “In 1800, Tadataka Ino was more than fifty years old when he began to study surveying and decided to construct a correct map of Japan by surveying on foot. His work took the next 20 years, resulting in an extremely precise map. The most interesting fact is that his map and today’s satellite maps show very little difference!  This technology was based on the opening of Japan to foreign countries, and the resultant maps and charts displayed Japanese surveying technology to the world.  This is a cooperative game, and each player collects the fame.
The game is a simulation of the Tadataka’s second to fourth surveys which covered the entire Japanese coastline.”  The artwork is nice.

 

Inotaizu was the game that inspired me to order.  But I got 3 others while I was importing:  Kassen, Deeku, and the rather oddly named, “The Master of the Merchant in the Sakai“.

I’ve started reading the rules, and well – we will just have to see.  I cannot yet tell if these games are really going to appeal to me.  The English in the rules leaves me wondering in a few places as to what is intended.  But nonetheless I am interested to try the games out.

Liebe & Intrige

May 2, 2010

I just returned from a fabulous little getaway to Winslow, Arizona.  Now if you have heard of Winslow, you are ahead of most folks.  The Eagles immortalized it in their hit, “Take it Easy”… standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see – It’s a girl my lord in a flat-bed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me…”

Indeed, there is actually a bronze statue and a artfully crafted backdrop showing a reflection of a girl in a Flat Bed Ford.  It was three blocks from the hotel Peggy and I spend 2 nights in.  The hotel we stayed i is the “La Posada”, a world-class hotel I cannot say enough nice things about.  It opened for business in 1930, and was the last great Harvey Houses built by the Santa Fe railroad.  The architect was Mary Colter, a woman who built all sorts of wonderful travel-based buildings for the Fred Harvey Co.  Peggy and I along with 2 other friends went to Winslow solely to stay at this beautiful and special resort.

Peggy and our friends arrived by train, while I drove out.  We did this to have a car for exploring the region.  But we spent nearly all of our time at the hotel.  It is a showplace, filled with all sorts of art and antiques.  A self-guided tour was extended when we ran into a “Harvey Girl” docent who regaled us with many stories and details about the place.

One great feature of the hotel is a huge great room with a piano, overstuffed chairs, various tables and bookcases filled with volumes to read from.  Modern hotels don’t provide this sort of space for traveller’s to really relax in and spend a day as they will.

A tradition Peggy and I have with our friends Chris and Patty is the poker game.  We’ve played poker in all sorts of ancient hotels throughout the southwest.  After our game, when I was cleaned out, we went down to the world-class restaurant for a fabulous dinner.  After dinner we decided to play one of my board games.  I had selected Liebe & Intrige for our trip.  It is a game Peggy has enjoyed before.  But I had real hopes that it might amuse Patty and Chris, who are both Jane Austen fans.

Liebe & Intrige is really “The Jane Austen Board Game”.  You, as the head of your household, have three daughters you must guide to a successful marriage.  Each daughter has attributes corresponding to reputation, beauty, and education.  Various bachelors can be encountered at sites on the game board, such as the Theater, the Poor House, the Park, etc.  Visiting each site generally allows to improve an attribute and socialize with an eligible bachelor.  Some site such as the Gin Mill, have several bachelors to interact with, but carry the risk of besmirching your daughters reputation. 

Each bachelor will offer marriage, if he completes three dates with your daughter – AND – she meets his minimum requirements.  (Thus the need to improve one’s attributes.)  Dates are basically collected cards.  And this brings the “Intrigue” of the title into play.  When visiting a site one daughter can plot against another player’s daughter to “steal” a date from her opponent.

In a few ways this game is sort of Talisman, only set in Victorian England.  So it isn’t really a complicated game.  But there is a little bit going on.  My hope it would be enough of a game to amuse me, while not too much of a game to bore or boggle the non-game enthusiast.  I was also hoping it;s strong theme might appeal to the Jane Austen-philes we know.

Eh – I have long ago come to the conclusion that folks either like board games, or they do not.  Our friends agreed to play, and may have even enjoyed it a bit.  But in all likelihood they would have much preferred to play more Poker.  Liebe & Intrige is a silly little game, and I will happily play it with anyone who requests it.  But I think I may stop bringing games on getaways with folks who don’t really enjoy playing new games.