Wednesday, September 5, 2012

JUST GAMING AROUND - Worst gaming month EVAR! (well, in the past 3-1/2 years) - I blame it on good weather....

Well, it wasn't a HORRIBLE month exactly, but my FTF gaming count in August was the worst on record (in terms of total games played) in the 
3-1/2 years I have been recording my game plays.

This is what I played:
Set - 2
Dominion: Prosperity - 1
Lords of Vegas - 1
Ninjato - 1
Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League - 1
Railways of Europe - 1
San Juan - 1
Ticket to Ride - 1
Walnut Grove - 1

I'm not at all unhappy with what I actually played - in fact the games of Lords of Vegas, Perry Rhodan, Railways of Europe and Ticket to Ride were all really interesting plays of those games. Ninjato was a new game for me so that was great (looking forward to playing again, too, now that I understand it better). And Walnut Grove is always fun for me. Dominion scratched an itch where I haven't played it in a while and with the new set coming out I wanted to get it to the table again.

I will say my online gaming has been steadily going up since I started playing more early in the year but I almost never log my online plays. I HAVE logged a couple of Words with Friends (aka Scrabble) plays when my wife and I played full games in one day, but when they are spread out over days or weeks, I just don't bother.

It seems many times the only gaming I can get in is during my 'in-between' times and online play is conducive to this. 'In-between' time is: The time between dinner and the kids going to bed. The time between getting up and taking a shower. The time during my lunch breaks (I work from home most of the time, not that that particularly matters).

Monday, August 27, 2012

STATE OF THE BACK ROOM - Insanity in the game room (TOO MANY GAMES!)

My game room has been a horrible mess for the past 2-3 months. Probably longer. And I seem to have acquired a good number of games (I've been trying to cut back, but it just doesn't ever seem to actually happen!) And, they have been piling up to the point where I was getting stressed about it.

Piles of games on side tables, on the game table, on the floor! Even worse, they were piling up in my garage as well! Earlier in the year I cleaned up the garage and got a bunch of stuff out (or re-organized) such that I had some extra storage space for my thrift finds! Boy, those shelves sure filled up fast!

As I mentioned before, this was all stressing me out and I finally bit the bullet. GASP! I was considering cutting back on my game collection. GASP! I was considering selling some of my games off!

Well, first steps in June involved setting up a BGG auction. I put up 50 items and sold nearly that many! YAH! Cash in my pocket! YAH! Games cleared out! YAH! And I didn't even miss them. Not ONE!

I have to admit I made some tough decisions in some cases. My criteria became: what is my excitement level when I think about this game? Am I excited about it enough to want to play it? If someone asked me about getting it to the table would I really want to, or would there be something else I'd want to play instead?

And, interestingly, I found some games to get rid of. Quite a few more, in fact, than I thought I would. It became easier as I thought about it more. It was freeing in fact!

Unfortunately, the tide turned again. I was hitting the thrift stores. Then my wife was hitting the thrift stores for me (without my prompting, I might add). And she actually found some really interesting games! Heroscape! The Omega Virus! Squad Leader! Axis & Allies! We even hit a bunch of stores on our way home from Portland, OR, and found some decent games. 

Now, mind you, often times I'm not just looking for games for me to keep but with the intention of re-selling them. The right games can bring in some decent cash if you know what to look for!

However, it got to the point that I was (almost!) dreading her calling from the thrift store asking about games and finding more good stuff to bring back! I had too many games!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

HOT BOX - 'Walnut Grove' (What's in the box?)

You may have heard of the game 'Welcome to Walnut Grove' or more specifically how it's most commonly known and listed: 'Walnut Grove'

Or maybe you haven't....?

Well, just before Essen 2011 I did a blog post listing games of interest to me coming out around Essen: TIMELY TOPICS - ESSEN release games that look interesting to me & why

Near end of the long list I had a 'theme' section of games that I was interested in due to...ah...theme. Interestingly, the game at that time was the former longer name I listed above. Somewhere during or after Essen it seems to have been shortened to just 'Walnut Grove'

Anyhow, Walnut Grove was on my 'theme' list for a couple of reasons. One was that it represented 'small town' life, much like in Village and Helvetia which represented 'village' life, so WG seemed to be in that same range. Another reason was it was the location of the American TV Series 'Little House on the Prairie' about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her life living in early pioneer America. I watched the show and also read the series of books as a child, so it had special meaning to me.

Well, I have a friend that goes to Essen and I got to play several Essen releases in the months following Essen, mainly due to her, although I never quite got to play Walnut Grove (looking at her game list, I'm not sure if she even had it actually)

Regardless, I didn't get to play it right after it came out, but it seemed to keep bubbling up in my mind. Then another friend of mine played it and really liked it. So, without me actually having played it, I ordered it (along with Hawaii) from and had my friend Chris bring it with him to EGG (Eugene Games Gala) so I didn't have to pay shipping :)

During EGG, we ended up playing someone else's copy of WG as 4P and I loved it (even though I did pretty terrible - we all did fairly poorly as I recall since we had all just learned it)

Anyhow, I was glad I'd picked it up as it is relatively fast but also has lots of interesting/hard decisions to make. This isn't a review but an opening of the box to see what it is that you actually get. Hopefully I'll have time to write a review soon to go into more detail.

So, here goes, in my usual fashion of taking you through the wonderful goodness of cracking a game and smelling the wonderful smell of fresh cardboard. Enjoy!

Here we have the box, ready to be opened:

You can see the lovely artwork showing a covered wagon hauling a couple of workers/farmers (Is that 'Pa' driving the wagon? Doesn't quite look like him...), with Ma on the left holding baby Carrie, and it looks to be Laura there carrying a couple of buckets of water or perhaps grain.

Very nice artwork on this box. And somehow it looks familiar...why is that...?

Monday, May 21, 2012

THE CREATIVE GAMER - Game Bit Storage Obsession - Dominion re-organized, PLUS PNP game storage idea

So, you may have seen my other posts in the past about game bit storage and my obsession with finding the right storage for the right game.

Here's a recap if you're interested:
THE CREATIVE GAMER - Game Bit Storage Obsession (aka Are You OCD Like Me?) - Part 1/3
THE CREATIVE GAMER - Game Bit Storage Obsession (aka Are You OCD Like Me?) - Part 2/3
THE CREATIVE GAMER - Game Bit Storage Obsession (aka Are you OCD Like Me?) - Part 3/3

The Part 3 post has some details about how I had my Dominion cards stored. Note that I am NOT heavily obsessed with Dominion, BUT, because my family really enjoys playing it (and I certainly enjoy it, just not all the time), I want to be able to tote ALL the cards around when I want them without having to carry all SEVEN of the expansion boxes and have to open each one up to find what I want.

If you didn't/don't want to follow the post, here's a recap:
* I purchased old Trivial Pursuit games from thrift stores and used the card box bottoms to store the cards in.
* I wasn't completely happy with the existing dividers on BGG so I created my own (although I admit I borrowed a bit from some of the other I saw):
           Tasajara's Dominion Base dividers (vertical)
* I placed the cards in the boxes and put the boxes into a photo box I purchased on sale at Michael's craft store.

This was the result:

This was before Hinterlands came out. So, prior to that, EVERYTHING fit in there including all player boards and Intrigue set of money and VP cards, plus promos up to then.

When that last expansion came out I ran out of room so had to pull the extra cards, the Prosperity player boards and a few other things (even the randomizers I think)

I was thinking about it recently and it was kind of bugging me that I had to split things up - OCD was setting in. And, I know there are 2 more expansions planned (supposedly the last - plus a couple of Promos I'm guessing).  That cardboard photo box was running out of space fast, plus I'm always worried carrying the thing around that it's going to rip open or something due to the weight of all the cards.