Friday, January 28, 2011

Just Gaming Around - "Jaipur" by Sébastien Pauchon (Review)

Glad you could make it to the Board Game Back Room today! Previously I showed you What's in the Box for Jaipur. So far I've played this game a handful of times against Bob (who introduced me to the game). Obviously, I liked it enough to pick up my own copy. I would call this game a 'social' game as it's fairly light and you can have a nice conversation while you're playing the game, but at the same time it definitely has some interesting decisions to make so you still need to pay close attention to what the other player is doing on their turn.

Jaipur, released in 2009, was designed by Sébastien Pauchon, the same designer as such outstanding games as Yspahan, Jamaica, and Metropolys. Artwork was done by Alexandre Roche who also did art for such acclaimed games as Carson City, Rattus and Troyes.

Front of the box

What do you find interesting about this game?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Timely Topics - Do you use Card Trays for Gaming?

Card Trays. Do you use them when playing games? Or any other kind of card holder?

I used to think the idea of card trays was kind of silly. You should be able to hold a bunch of cards and fan them out and play them easily, right? 

But, sometimes, if you think about it, things can get a little awkward, especially with games that come with two (or more) types of cards you have to manage. How do you hold them in your hands? Each type in a different hand? Maybe. Or, you hold them in your hand all sort of mixed together. But this can be troublesome if you get them too mixed together, and it can be a lot of cards to hold. 

So, you most likely resort to separate piles and playing goes something like this: Look at one set. Put it down. Pick up the other set. Look at it. Put it down. Forget what was in the other set. Put down the current set and pick up the other set. Oh wait, I need to look at both together. Pick up the other set in your other hand. Scrunch your hands together to manipulate them. Then fumble around until you almost drop them all!

Blech! What a pain!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

EGG (Eugene Games Gala) Convention next week here in Eugene!

I'm excited for the EGG game convention here in overcast Eugene, OR - perfect game playing weather! It is the weekend of Feb 4-6 (so in less than 2 weeks!). You can register at that link and find out a bit more about the convention, where it's located, etc.

What's really great about this convention is that everyone is very friendly and, even if you haven't been before, you are always welcome to join any game. 

There are tables all around the outside walls of the room where people put the games they've brought and generally you are allowed to look through them to see if there is something you are interested in playing. If you find something but don't know how to play, if you ask around eventually someone will speak up that they can teach and likely will even play it with you. 

Or, if you see a game starting up you can ask to join in if there are any seats available. So, if you go, you don't have to worry if you've brought a friend or not - there are plenty of new friends to be made!

Sad news and what you can do to help

I just wanted to post this news about a respected and well loved gaming community individual, Tom Vasel, and the crisis his family is going through right now. Their newborn son, Jack, is in the NICU in Miami, Florida. He was born two months premature in November and has been fighting ever since.

Jack Vasel

The details are on an update thread posted by Tom but here's the short story: the fight has been up and down with some good news, then some setbacks. The worst news yet came on Monday (yesterday now at the time of this posting)....he has fought off bacteria in the brain (E. Coli Meningitis) which had already been eating holes in it and now has hit a second time and he is ravaged so severely he has not much of a life left if he does survive.

The family is facing some difficult choices.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just Gaming Around - Carcassonne: The City (Review)

You may have heard of a little game called Carcassonne - a relatively simple tile laying game that is great for families and hard-core gamers alike. The basics of playing it involves drawing a tile and placing it, then placing a meeple (player piece) on it and, if it completes a feature (a city, a road or a cloister) you get some points depending on the size of the item, or in the case of the cloister you just get 9 points. You can also place farmers in fields that score points at the end of the game depending on how many cities they touch.

It's a great game to get people involved in games that might not otherwise enjoy games. It's very puzzle-like and playing it is easy to understand. It's also a terrific game to play with kids. It has many expansions to add to the complexity or change the game up to make it interesting in different ways once you tire of the regular game. And, there are many off-shoots that are based on the base game that tweak it in several ways.

Carcassonne: The City is one of those tweaked versions of the original. It was originally published in 2004 in this fantastic wooden box version:

Nice wooden box with a clasp and hinge.