So today we had the latest in our series of occasional house gaming afternoons, inviting friends around with the intention of getting through a good selection of board games and making it much more of a social experience than we usually manage. This time we got up to eight of us: five adults and three children, which made things rather different to previous times when Miss B had been the only junior gamer there.
On the arrival of our first group of guests, the two visiting children, T and R spotted Castle Panic in the games stack and wanted to play it as they had played it with someone else they know. Excellent choice. So we got through a five player game which started rather gently but then got into full panic mode once the youngest player managed to pull a chain of monster chits that provided about six or seven new foes for us to battle. We finally managed to survive with only one of our towers left standing. Now that is a great result for a cooperative game: a victory for the team, but only by the skin of the teeth. Lots of fun.
By this time we had a couple more arrivals, so we had a slight change of personnel at the table for a game of Giro Galoppo, which is one of the most chaotically pleasing race games I’ve come across. This was followed (with our final arrival) by one of my all-time personal favourites, Ave Caesar, just for a single race as to do the full four race series that the game suggests would be just too much for the kids. Both of the race games went down well and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Most people can get behind a race game as a concept, and both of these are beautifully executed examples and really show how much things have developed from the old “roll a die, move a dobber” mechanism. One of the guests, who hasn’t played these sort of games much, was somewhat surprised at the lack of randomness in Giro Galoppo (there isn’t actually any at all) but was very taken by the game once it had got going.
After losing the other family, we got out Forbidden Island, although once we had set up Miss B said that she wasn’t interested in it. The day was getting on a lot and she was getting tired, so she decided to sit on my lap while the rest of us played. Despite that, towards the end once it started seeming like we may possibly win (after it looking quite ropey for a while), Miss B started engaging with the game and helping out. Again a narrow victory for the team.
Finally Miss B got out Vanished!, which she was keen to show off to our guests. We set the game up with a couple of the cards removed in order to make things a little easier and quicker. Everyone started off at different rates but then got uniformly confused until somehow we managed to end up with a five-way draw, which seemed to me to be an excellent and appropriate way to finish off the afternoon.
So, thanks to all our lovely friends for taking the time to come and play with us. We had a lot of fun and hopefully will do this again some time down the line.
So I’ve been keeping this blog (on and off) for over a year now and we’ve played quite a lot of games. We’ve had only one report for most games, though a few have had extra mentions. The question now is which are the favoured games that we keep going back to?
Well, over the last couple of weeks or so, I would say that the games most requested by Miss B would be:
- Sleeping Queens
- Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule
The other games that have had a lot of play but which are usually suggested by me (and readily agreed to by Miss B) are headed up by:
- Castle Panic
Now, all this is just me recording my hunches, but it’s probably safe to say those six games are a good selection that get plenty of play and will probably continue to do so for a while. But in the interest of science, I’m planning to be a bit more systematic for a while. My plan is to record what we play and who chooses it through the month of July. I’ll report back after doing that and see what that tells us.
It was fun to see that on this week’s Tabletop show, they are playingone of our house favourites, Castle Panic. The show gets a bit more loud and manic on this game than on previous episodes, but that’s down to the chemistry between Wil and whatever guests he has. This is definitely one of the great, fun social games for folks who like beating up on monsters.
As it turns out, Miss B and I had a good game of Castle Panic at the weekend. We lost most of our walls and had a dodgy spell towards the end where the board was full of trolls and we had cards that were all the wrong colour, but eventually managed to chalk up another mighty victory for the valiant defenders.
This afternoon Miss B and I hosted a little games afternoon. Four adult friends came around and we managed to play through quite a large selection of games, with Miss B making the choices (with me guiding as to suitability for the number of players we had).
So, before anyone arrived, Miss B and I had some dice practice with a few rounds of Shut the Box. We have a fairly nice box for this that I found in a charity shop many years ago, and I only dug it out of the cupboard a few days ago and had forgotten the whole Zen of it. Plus it’s great adding practice for Miss B.
Our first couple of friends arrived and we were pretty much straight into a game of Giro Galoppo which, unlike last time Miss B stuck with to the end, and took the jostling of the race extremely well. We then got through a few hands of Sleeping Queens before a quick single race game of Ave Caesar, a couple of rounds of Ghost Party and then getting out a real oldie that we hadn’t played for a long time, Tot Ten.
By the time we were half way through Tot Ten, our other couple of guests turned up. so when we had finished, we moved on to a big game of Castle Panic. As it turned out we were very lucky with the run of the monsters, so the panic would have been better described as “mild concern”, but it was a remarkably fun little team exercise in which Miss B did very well suggesting cards to trade and behaving fantastically well. She definitely really thrives in cooperative games and seems to really enjoy being part of a team. Finally, we rounded off with a five-player game of Coloretto (report our earlier plays of this game coming up in the next couple of days I expect) which went well and left Miss B only two points short of the winning score after getting not much more advice from the adults than one or two “are you sure?” comments (which she pretty much ignored, so it shows what we know!).
(Please note, I may have got some of the sequence of all this out, but I figure that it really doesn’t matter and nobody cares. It was a bit like this anyway.)
After a very tired little girl went to bed, I got to play Dominion with the two guests who stayed a little later, which was great. I really must work out a slight simplification of Dominion for Miss B to play — I think the big problem will mostly be in all the shuffling, to be honest. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
So, another fun day leaving me very proud of Miss B. When put in a situation with adult gamers she does extremely well. Okay, so she can take a long time over turns sometimes or get distracted, but I know plenty of adults like that (myself included sometimes). I do owe a big thankyou to our lovely friends K & R and V & K for coming along and being very patient.