Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I am awash in games. Not just 'new' games but also games I have thrifted. The garage is filling up with them. It is a cardboard tidal wave. Sometimes I'm ok with it, other times I feel like I'm drowning.

A while ago, when a 'friend' suggested thrifting was fun and a good way to sometimes find some interesting games, but I was skeptical. Well, at some point I decided to go. I felt a bit anxious going in - thrift stores had a sort of stigma in my mind for some reason that it was all just junk. I'm not sure why because my grandfather used to go all the time - he was a machinist and found all sorts of interesting things...I guess I never really realized that back then as a kid, but he got all sorts of expensive tools and machinery for a bargain, plus he could fix broken stuff most times so probably some REALLY good deals as a result.

Anyhow, I don't remember specifically the first time going, but I did find my first thrift list post:
Item for Geeklist "Your Thrift Store / Bargain 6 - 12 December 2010" - Clue with the painted miniature figures (instead of dumb pawns like in the version I had as a kid) for the unbelievable bargain of $1.99!

Also, I posted from the same trip a Netrunner starter pack SEALED for $1.00 (Item for Geeklist "Your Thrift Store / Bargain 6 - 12 December 2010" ). This was before the reprint so it was a really great find (well, still is, but perhaps not as valuable now)

And a 1960's double deck of standard cards but with really nifty Native Amercan/Asian inspired artwork by Heraclio Fournier Vitoria for $0.99 (Item for Geeklist "Your Thrift Store / Bargain 6 - 12 December 2010" )

Pretty neat stuff!

I'm pretty sure those weren't my first finds though. At first I didn't really record/post what I found but I'm pretty sure prior to those posts I'd actually found a variety of other games, nothing hugely exciting, but stuff I was interested in at least and it was all cheap!

Anyhow, it was all very intoxicating and I bought a lot of stuff I didn't really need or want, so I learned after a while I couldn't buy EVERYTHING. I also came to realize later that for some reason, the area I live in is a hotbed of thrifting goodness attributed to the Pacific Northwest in terms of games - other areas of the US are not so fruitful unfortunately. But when you have a lot of choices it is easy to go overboard, at least at first...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

THE CREATIVE GAMER - To Trash or Not to Trash Inserts PLUS My New Obsession with Foam Core Inserts

Lately, my family has been re-visting Carcassonne quite a bit - my parents picked up a copy last year and have been playing it off and on along with Carcassonne: The Castle a little.

When playing at our house, when we pull it out I'm surprised how much stuff we have crammed in there. In addition to the base game we have the River, the River II, Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders, The Catapult, The Princess & the Dragon, The King & the Scout and, I think, one other mini expansion. ALSO, very early on I also added more sets of meeples from - I think we have 10 different color options including Pink, Macaroni (i.e. cheese colored orange), naked (natural wood), brown, purple, and white. Each has the giant meeple, builder, pig and a few extras of the regular meeples.

Its a challenge getting all that in the box, but somehow it fits. However, its a big mass of baggies, mini cardboard boxes (that come with a couple of the small expansions) and various other bits.

In the past I've posted a lot about my storage solutions using a variety of plastic boxes, plano boxes, baggies, etc. But I don't think a plano will solve this problem and plastic boxes for everything start taking up too much space. The baggies let me smoosh them in.

Take a look at this mess:

This gives me angst. A LOT of angst. (And NO I'm not buying the whole thing again as the Big Box version)

Monday, December 9, 2013

JUST GAMING AROUND - Snow = Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries?! (x2)?!

It snowed where I live last Friday. A LOT (at least for us). From 2am to 5pm we got 6 inches of snow! Yea! Well, that's what my kids said. My cats said YIKES! And my wife was happy for the snow, but not happy for wet and freezing kids after playing in it, but was happy I mostly dealt with them and got them cocoa and such.

The following Saturday afternoon and evening turned into a gaming bonus for me! My daughter and I played Morels after she completed her homework. Then, my son and I played Pecking Order (x4) before he went to bed.

Here are Quick Reviews of each...


Take a walk through the forest collecting Mushrooms. Cook them up in your pans for points, or sell them for digging sticks that might help you find more mushrooms. But watch out for the Destroying Angels as they may make you sick for a few turns! Keep a lookout for those Morels - get a proper amount and cook them up for some big points!

I taught this to my wife's friend last week on Thanksgiving. Then, I taught my Dad and my daughter (13). My Dad seemed to enjoy it and proceeded to beat me his first game! My daughter really took to it although she hasn't picked up fully on strategy yet. We've played it several times since then and she's getting better, learning from her mistakes.

The fun in this game is three-fold: 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

GAMING THOUGHTS - Of Civilization and Card Sleeves and Time and Maps

Today I received some wooden tokens I ordered from Mayday during one of their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. I am going to use them as replacements for the cubes in Walnut Grove (which I love and have wanted to pimp out so couldn't resist the sale)

But Walnut Grove is not on my mind at the moment. I also received a pack of standard Euro card sleeves. I don't normally sleeve cards so was surprised to see the pack. I didn't order them!? Free!? Hmmmm. What can I use them for?

I checked their website and looked at the spreadsheet that shows you which sleeves go with which games.

These ones (59mm x 92mm) fit a variety of games. The ones I own that I *might* consider putting sleeves on are:
Agricola: Farmers of the Moor
Agricola: The Legen*dairy Forest Deck
Aladdin's Dragons
Atlantic Star
Balloon Cup
Blue Moon City
Civilization (1981 Avalon Hill)
El Grande Decentennial
For Sale (Uberplay 2005 Ed)
Kingdom Builder
Le Havre
Princes of Florence
San Juan
Stone Age
Taj Mahal
Times Square

I was a bit surprised to see they would fit Civilization! It was the first 'real' game I owned. I was 11 when I bought a copy of the 1st edition of it after it was part of the Games 100 in Games magazine in 1982 (or thereabouts - I did a couple of quick searches and it seems that's the year). Not sure what intrigued me about the game - perhaps the map. At some point in my youth I plastered my walls with National Geographic maps as I was fascinated by them (don't worry, I had a half-naked girl on the back of my closet door, too) But, yes, I was a game geek and a map geek way back then...I think that's why I've always been interested in war games - more for the maps than for the actual game play. I'm definitely a Euro die-hard, but I am still drawn to war games for some reason, even though I suck at fighting games and generally never play them. Ah, those maps are beautiful though....