I’m just going to leave this here.
Hello! Welcome to this week’s post. I’ve just come from my coronation and I’ve got a lot to cover. Get comfortable.
It was my night to pick, so of course that sorry son of a bitch Steve bailed. Always on my night! No matter. I’d been wanting to play some abstract games for a while, and they all play well with three. It was fine.
Happy Pi Day everyone! Since game night fell on 3.14 this year, I baked us a pie. I only have one decent pie in my arsenal, which I like to call my Mostly Chocolate Chip Pie. Because it’s mostly chocolate chips. Mostly.
It was Leon’s turn to pick, and he picked a fan favorite: Clockwork Wars. I think we all really like Clockwork Wars, but Leon really REALLY likes it because he mostly wins. Mostly.
(Pssst.....don’t repeat this or anything, but it was Workman’s turn to pick and we didn’t play Charterstone. I repeat, we DID NOT play Charterstone. Maybe they’ve forgotten? A girl can dream.)
But yes, it was game night, it was Workman’s pick, and we played Terra Mystica of all things.
Almost a full month ago, my copy of Rising Sun arrived at my door. I’ve been dying to play. But everybody else wanted to play Charterstone. Selfish bastards.
But tonight was finally my night to pick. What has two thumbs and didn’t pick Charterstone?
It’s Sunday! And it’s game day! (Whaaa?) Before I explain, some housekeeping.
We did have a game night last week. It was Steve’s night to pick, and he picked the cardboard manifestation of unending monotony. I mean Charterstone. As promised, I did not blog about this experience. But to summarize, we played twice. Workman won both. I finished second in both. I’ve decided finishing second is where it’s at. You need glory points, not wins. At least not now. And you get loser swag!
Afterward, we played Love Letter and Leon won. Dammit Leon.
And that was our weekly game night. Sorry no post, but there wasn’t much to say.
This week, Workman is in training. I won’t say what he’s training for, but he can’t be bothered with the distraction of a game night. So we decided to play today instead. We’d been wanting to play on a weekend so we could get Steve’s birthday game played.
Did you know they even made such wrapping paper? You really can get anything from Amazon.
It was Leon’s night to pick and he picked Charterstone. Dammit Leon.
It was my night to pick, and after several failed attempts (I’m looking at you Steve) to play Lords of Vegas in the past few months, Lady Luck finally smiled on me tonight.
It was Steve’s night to pick and he wanted to play Battle for Rokugan again. But despite all the many technological advances in the world of scheduling, Steve still can’t read a calendar and his wife was working tonight. So he canceled. Year of Steve my ass.
But guess what? We played Rokugan anyway. Our first back-to-backer in some time. (I mean, I could look it up and see exactly how long it’s been but I don’t really care and neither do you. We both know this.)
Just so you wouldn’t think I reused last week’s image, I went all dramatic angle on this one.
It was Workman’s pick, and he was “kinda feeling Tichu.” He first said he had some analog version of Hearthstone he was going to have us play, but I was pretty sure he was just being an ass and I responded in kind. (BGG really needs to add the middle finger emoji.) So of course when his legit pick turned out to be Tichu, I was all about it.
It was my night to pick, so of course Steve canceled. His wife got tickets to Star Wars, like that’s a big deal. (Steve doesn’t even like Star Wars!) Not that I’m a grudge holder, but this makes the third straight time that 1)It was my pick, 2)I really needed four players, and 3)Steve screwed me.
But Munch saved the day! His wife also had plans, but he wears the pants at his house, she canceled, and he was our fourth. (That’s not exactly what happened, but basically.) And even better, Munch also agreed to join for the pre-game dinner. And even even better better, Steve and fam were at the restaurant! Have you ever run into your ex and you were with someone much smarter and funnier and hotter? Yeah, me neither. I don’t think that ever happens. But this was close! I just wish Steve and fam could have stayed long enough to see us laughing and having great conversation with Munch and not missing Steve at all. But they had to get to the theater. And we didn’t have great conversation. We talked about Hearthstone. And by we, I mean not me. Other than emasculating Workman by opening the Cholula when he couldn’t, I don’t think I participated other than to eat. Workman, Munch, and Leon talked and talked and talked. About Hearthstone. It’s the Monty Python of games.
But that finally ended and we went to Workman’s house and commenced Game Night proper. My pick? Fate of the Elder Gods.
In honor of Pearl Harbor Day tomorrow, we let Steve pick. And he really wanted to play a game that would let us play with our new dice (see last week’s post). So he came up with Kingsburg.
Before we get into game night proper, I need to do a little housekeeping.
As you may recall, the last time I posted, we were celebrating our two year anniversary as a game group. I had planned a surprise gift, but unfortunately did not plan it four days sooner, which is when I would have had to have ordered it so it would arrive on time. As it was, it arrived the next Wednesday, and we didn’t play last week due to the holiday, so finally tonight I was able to give them their anniversary gift. Better late than never, am I right?
So what was the surprise?
Spoiler alert, custom dice are not as expensive as you might think, and you don’t have to order in large quantities. (Go to Chessex.com and tell them the creevedog sent you.) (The creevedog part is really optional, and probably won’t result in any advantage at all. It just sounded cool.) Long story short, I was able to create a set of dice for each of us and give everyone a set of everyone else’s dice. (That was really hard to say. Everyone got four sets of dice. Damn.)
And just like that, it was game night again.
It was Workman’s night to pick. He chose Dominant Species. I’ve played DS twice before, but it’s been a while. I remember a cut-throat war game where you climb and claw your way to the top of the evolutionary heap by conniving, scheming, and attacking the weakest among you. I can’t imagine why Workman wanted to play.
Few things in life are certain. Death. Taxes. And if it’s Steve’s night to pick, he won’t show up.
I should be more charitable. He tried. He picked Star Trek: Ascendancy. He was really excited to play. He even made it to dinner. But he was sick and felt terrible and decided to go home and sleep. (This is in no way relevant to the story and I’m not mad or anything, but he picked the restaurant too, and we went to Chili’s. I used to love Chili’s but they’ve changed their menu and I can’t even describe to you how bad it sucked. Just unfathomable suckage. Truly next level suck.)
So that left Workman, Leon and me. But we don’t sweat three-player game nights anymore. Workman shouted titles from the closet and we had so many choices we couldn’t even pick one. But we finally landed on Ra.
It was Steve’s night to pick, but his wife’s sister was unexpectedly in town and she lives in England and words, words, words....he bailed. So it was just the three amigos. (The waiter at the Mexican restaurant calls us “amigos”. I like it. I’m sure he doesn’t call anyone else that.)
Back-up plan: I was expecting my copy of Alien Artifacts. A delivery was attempted over the weekend, but I missed it, so all I knew for sure was I had a package to pick up at the post office. (I swear to god the mail person must have either waited for me to go to the can or knocked on the door with a feather because I was home all damn day on Saturday and no one came to the door. But I digress.)
So I read the rules online, watched every video I could find, crossed my fingers and went to the post office this morning.
But it was still a good game night. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!
In case you missed it, two new Ashes decks released on Thursday. It's been over a year. I wasn't excited. I didn't leave work early to go pick mine up. I didn't walk into the store and declare "I'm here for my Ashes decks and I'm very excited!" I didn't go home, sleeve all the cards (I'm a slow sleever, everyone thinks so, this is a big deal) and wait for the Hubz to get home. I didn't text the Hubz and tell him I'd scrapped my dinner plan, I was too excited to cook, please bring home some food. I didn't do any of that. That you know of.
Guess what else I didn't do? I didn't lose eight straight. Eight straight. Actually I did. Mark beat me seven times (over three days), and Leon was nice enough to meet me for lunch Friday and beat me again, taking some of the pressure off Mark. Swell guy that Leon.
So by Saturday night, my excitement was in the shitter and I was a broken shell of my former self. And guess what! I'd planned an Ashes draft for Sunday afternoon. I didn't want to play. I didn't want to draft. I wanted to back over all my cards in the driveway. But I didn't. We had a six-person draft as planned. And it was fiiiiiiine.
This is going to be a short one.
That's what she said.
It was Workman's pick and he declared it a Tichu night. I was much excited. I love me some Tichu.
Let's kick the post off with a recap of dinner. Well, just the appetizer. We ate at our favorite (usually) Mexican restaurant. Leon got there first, got a table, and ordered "loaded queso". It was on the table when I got there. It was the nastiest looking plate of garbage I'd ever seen. "What the hell is that?" "I think I ordered the wrong thing." It was cheese and chorizo and onions and onions and onions and grease. With extra onions.
Workman and Steve got there and lost their minds over it. "This is amazing." "Best queso ever." "You can't have too many onions." No, you can. You definitely can.
This has nothing to do with anything, other than I needed to mention it. So. Many. Onions. So many. Onions.
Monday was Workman's birthday. (Happy Birthday!) In keeping with Fun Group tradition, we chipped in on a gift. We got him two new games (and a manly Yankee candle, but you can read about that on my manly Yankee candle blog.) And tonight we got to play both of them.
(In a somewhat related story, during the course of this gift buying, Steve confessed that he thought the expression was "don't kick a gift horse in the mouth." His whole life he said it this way. No one ever corrected him. It was just recently that he learned of his gaff. We think this bold stupidity may have cost him at least one job, and probably countless women. Not relevant, just wanted to share.)
Workman's favorite hidden movement game is Letters from Whitechapel. He says it is "pure deduction." I've played it once, and near the end, asked the person playing Jack the Ripper to please bludgeon me with a shovel and put me out of my misery. It is not my favorite hidden movement game.
But when I heard about Whitehall Mystery, I was intrigued. It promised to strip away all the bullshit from Whitchapel that made it run long and become tedious. And even if I still hated it, it seemed like Workman would like it.
I know what you're thinking. No post last week? No game night? No Fun Group? Not exactly.
There was a game night. Last Monday. It started normally enough, eating dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. (I am in no way going to besmirch the name of this fine establishment as I do not think it is to blame for what followed.) Afterward, we went to Workman's house as usual. We sat down to play Ra.
We played one round. Leon pulled a Ra tile. I had to bid. I asked Workman to explain what two of the tiles meant. He obliged. I could hear him talking, but I became aware that I had no idea what he was saying. And I felt very bad. Very. Bad.
I went outside for some air. I sat on the porch for about five seconds and realized I needed to be at home. Like now. So I went back inside, apologized, and said I think I should leave.
Leon went on vacation. (Some people are so selfish and inconsiderate.) But we had already recruited Munch, so we had four. What we didn't have was a game. We were doing really well with the weekly pick schedule, but then Steve kept not showing up on his night and blew that all to hell, so here lately, it's just been a crapshoot. We suggested different things, but nothing was grabbing anybody. And then over the weekend I found out that the game I played at Origins, the game that I really enjoyed and pre-ordered, was ready for pickup. (And I thought it wouldn't be out till Gencon!) That game was The Godfather.
Corleone's Empire. A land where "suitcase" is a verb and you don't make change. Ever.
It's game night! I was super excited because we were playing Cry Havoc. And because I tainted last week's game night by being an asshole. But mostly Cry Havoc.
I even sent this super cute pic to the guys the night before so they wouldn't forget. I was so excited!
Kind of sad really, when it al...
Last night was game night. We had it all planned. Steve was back, and we roped Munch in for a five-player game of Battlestar Galactica. We hadn't played since the night we locked Leon in the brig for two hours because Steve was the Cylon. That was eighteen months ago. I still feel bad.
But tonight would be awesome. No awkward lessons about racism in the modern American criminal justice system, not tonight, no sir.
Workman skipped dinner to go home and clean the Gloomhaven off his table. And then he messaged us to advise that, umm, he might not actually own Battlestar Galactica. He might have, umm, traded it away two years ago. #awkward
For those of you out there who may not know, Origins is like the American version of the U.K. Games Expo. Think of it as our U.S. Open to your Wimbledon. (What's that? No, it's a tennis tournament. We have one of those over here too. It happens after Wimbledon. Well, it's kind of a big deal. I mean, I thought it was a big deal. Nevermind.)
So Origins is a gaming convention held in Columbus, Ohio in June each year. I went for the first time last year. And couldn't wait to go back this year. The Fun Group didn't go (losers!) but I went with the Hubz and two of our gaming friends from back in the day. I won't bore you with a detailed play-by-play, I'll just hit the highlights.
There are a few things I do well. I bake outstanding chocolate chip cookies. I merge fearlessly. I can knock back three margaritas and still put up a power score in skeeball.
There are even more things I do poorly. I'm a bad liar. I suck at math. And it turns out I'm a really terrible space truck engineer.
"Who's got the Mahjong?"
Ok, I'm really proud of that title. Little known fact....the title is the hardest part of blogging. For realz. I hate coming up with titles. But this one, this one just sang to me. So if you hate it, keep it to yourself. Don't bring me down.
By now, you've figured out that tonight was Tichu night.
No obligatory box top photo. Workman keeps his Tichu cards in an old yellow deck box. It has a certain charm, yes?
It's draft day! Who's excited?!?!
Concordia is Latin for "harmony". This is apropos of nothing, except that I took two years of Latin in high school and I rarely get to use it, so I thought I'd share. Apropos of game night, it was my night to pick and I wanted to play Concordia.
This is the spot in my post where I typically slap in a big yet poorly angled photo of the game box. Concordia's box cover is next-level awful. Like, it's famous for how bad it is. It keeps people away. It's best you don't see it.
Steve picked tonight, and he went with Tigris & Euphrates. What can one say to introduce such a paragon of board gaming excellence? Where does one start to describe this Knizian triumph of game design and the color beige? I'll start here:
It was Workman's turn to pick, and he wanted to play Sporadicus.
I had never played, so I watched a few reviews. I learned that the game involved three phases: Intrigue, where you negotiate via manipulation and deceit; Market, where you wheel and deal and blind bid for assets and people; and Combat, where you fight to the death in a dice-chucking arena battle. So basically, we were signed up for a night of Workman: the Board Game.
This box contains mature content.
I don't only play games with the Fun Group. I also play with the home team. My husband very much enjoys board games. Not as much as me by any means, but very much. And I have two adult sons who will play when asked. Usually. If there isn't anything pressing on TV. Or if they don't have anything else they'd rather be doing. Or if, you know, they're "feeling it".
It was my night to pick. And Steve was finally going to show up. Correction, Wednesday was my night to pick. And Steve was finally going to show up. Until Tuesday, when he realized he couldn't actually do Wednesday (calendars are hard) and we were all gracious enough to move to Thursday.
And then on Thursday afternoon, this happened:
Our responses speak volumes about our character.
We were once again sans Steve, and Leon just now got around to watching Rogue One, so it was feeling like a Star Wars: Rebellion night.
Heroes, villains, gaming groups......the really interesting ones are only interesting because of how they came to be. And most of them came to be as a result of some accident or strange twist of fate. The Fun Group is no exception.