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Archive for January, 2016

Where’s Rey?

January 20, 2016 12 comments

Oh dear, we’re getting caught up in something again. As you may well know, there is something of a fuss going on about the new Star Wars film and the fact that one of the major characters, a young woman named Rey, is being excluded from some lines of toys. Or at least not being given the prominence of the other characters. It’s like Black Widow being missed out of Avengers lines, but possibly even worse as, while Black Widow was one of half a dozen lead characters, it is probably not a spoiler to say that Rey is the joint lead, along with one other character, and she may well be more important.

Anyway, recently a new Star Wars Monopoly set came out recently including figures for two characters from the original films, a young Luke Skywalker plus Darth Vader, and two from The Force Awakens, Finn and Kylo Ren. All male. None Rey. When I passed this information to Miss B she was outraged and immediately went up to her room, emerging a short while later with a letter.

20160107_Bethan_Hasbro

The original letter.  And a foot or two.

“To Hasbro Gaming. I think the idea for Monopoly Star Wars is brilliant. But you have missed out important characters. Firstly Rey. Rey is the main character. And even if you included her then that is only 1 female character. Leia is important. And what about Padme Amidala? Please give a GOOD reply or I will be complaining heavily.”

So we stuck that in the post.

Today Miss B was delighted to receive a response.  She eagerly opened the envelope and then started growling with annoyance. She had received a pathetic non-response which didn’t even acknowledge her point.

“Thank you for contacting Hasbro UK Ltd.

“We appreciate the opportunity to assist you and hope you and your family will enjoy our products for many years to come.”

20160120_HasbroReply

You have *got* to be kidding me.  Who thinks this is customer relations?

As you can see from the picture of the reply, Miss B took her frustration out on the poor, defenceless bit of paper, and would probably have flushed it down the toilet if we hadn’t managed to point out that it is probably worth keeping for posterity.

The situation now is that the anger has been channeled into a new letter demanding a different response, which will be winging its way to Hasbro UK tomorrow. I will report back on what comes of this.

Categories: Uncategorized

Our month in gaming: December, plus bonus 2015 roundup

January 10, 2016 4 comments

Happy new year! I’ve been more than a bit tardy with getting back to blogging this year but here, at last, we have the final gaming roundup for 2015…

Scrabble Scramble: a pocket sized, dice based word game; not bad!

Scrabble Scramble: a pocket sized, dice based word game; not bad!


December was a bit of a quiet month for us from a gaming point of view, with only 17 plays of 7 different games. Based on those numbers, you’ll be able to infer that there were some multiple plays, and indeed there were. The biggest game of the month was Codenames, with 6 plays: three plays were just one-on-one games with Miss B and I working for the best score we could, but on Christmas day we had a few games with the extended family, with proper team play, and it was a lot of fun.

Our other multiple plays in December were Loopin’ Louie with 3 plays and Balanx with 2.

And, of course, that brings us to the totals for the year. We got up to an impressive 360 plays throughout the year, so were unbelievably close to averaging a game per day. This is better than we have managed in previous years: 2014 had 223 plays and 2013 had 326.

As for variety, we played 121 different games in 2015, beating 102 in 2014 and 112 in 2013. And, just for the hell of it, let’s work out the mean number of plays per game: 2.98 in 2015, 2.19 in 2014, and 2.91 in 2013.

So, whichever way you cut it, 2015 was a bumper year of gaming by our standards.

I’m sure you can guess what our top game was, based on previous posts, but I’ll go through the games we played at least 10 times in an attempt to build up some dramatic tension.

Apples to Apples, Boggle Slam, Dobble, and Love Letter all had 10 plays each.

Backgammon and Timeline were each played 11 times.

Loopin’ Louie got to 12 plays.

Yardmaster Express had an impressive 16 plays.

But our game of the year, with a walloping 19 plays, was the little tin of dice called ‘6’. This was particularly impressive as our first play of this was on the last day of May, so it only had a little over half the year to amass all those plays. But, like Yardmaster Express, play is quick and we often played more than once in a session.

All this brings us to our final results for the 10×10 challenge. Well, as we only played nine games at least ten times, and some of those weren’t on the challenge list, you can see that we failed. We did manage to get a tenth play of Apples to Apples in over Christmas, but that was about it. Our final scores were as follows…

Game Plays so far
Dobble 10
Plyt 9
Love Letter 10
Empire Express 8
Apples to Apples 10
Piece o’ Cake 7
Gubs 6
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 7
Dungeon Roll 4
Timeline 10
Backgammon 10

If we had gone with a “standard” version of the challenge, where we can declare the games we are going for as we go along, we would still have been one short, but then, maybe we would have edged another one over the line. We’re not planning to do the challenge again this year, but I guess we can change our mind later by joining this standard version.

Finally, I guess we have to consider the status of this blog. The truth is that, while Miss B enthusiastically plays some games sometimes, most of the time she would much rather be doing something else. She’s growing up so fast and, while she will always have the opportunity to play games, the priorities of a nine-year-old are not the same as those of the four-year-old I started with.

I expect we’ll keep the blog ticking over for the time being and post occasionally (maybe I will go with the monthly updates at the least), but I expect I might not often get up to even the couple of posts a month that was the norm for last year.

But then again, maybe things will change again. We’ll certainly be playing now and then, and we’ll just see where things go.

Thanks for reading.