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.
Ho hum, I’ve just not got around to updating this blog for rather a long time now, and in particular I have been sitting on this post for ages. But as it was intended to be a 2011 award, I guess I’d better at least post it while the year is still current.
Okay, so we had our two final games together in a head-to-head game-off: Ghost Party and Enchanted Forest…
It was decided to play ghost party first and, as usual, the game was a lot of fun. Miss B insisted on coming up with names for all the characters at the party, and there was lots of squeaky excitement every time Hugo the ghost moved — and particularly when he caught someone (“my human friend is having a ride”).
Enchanted forest took rather longer to play. B loves the theme, and generally has fun with the mechanic, but seems to have trouble with the way it can take a long time to gather enough information to visit the king, and can get frustrated with forgetting where things are. As can I, to be perfectly honest.
So, based on this play-through, I would choose Ghost Party as the winner. But then again, it is not my choice. Over to Miss B to choose the winner of the 2011 Golden Thingummy Award…
And the winner is…
So, it’s been a little while but I’ve finally got around to writing this up. Anyway, back at the awards selection process, Miss B chose two pairs of the candidate games to play back-to back for comparison, and so here we have the semi-final round…
I’ve said it before: I like Loot. We both have fun playing this using the full ruleset and with the help of Miss B’s card holder device it now plays pretty smoothly with me only occasionally having to advise her on appropriate cards to play. However, Ghost Party is some stiff opposition. We still drop any requirements for exact die rolls and don’t bother scoring, and with that set up this is an all-round fun way to spend 10 minutes or so. I think going into this match-up I always knew which Miss B would choose: Ghost Party. “Because that game is the best I’ve ever played. It doesn’t even matter if you get caught on the stairs.” The judge has spoken.
I figured this would be a closer run one. Enchanted Forest is a damn good family game with kids often outstripping their parents in memory skills, a good set of mechanics and a charming theme; we played this with 2 dice, 2 treasures at a time, no exact numbers required, and magic being an unlimited teleport. Shave a Sheep has the advantage of being much quicker to play and having goofy Lego sheep and wolf figures. Win all round. After playing, the decision went to Enchanted Forest, “Even though it’s longer. I don’t mind if I guess wrong.”
So, entering the grand final we have Ghost Party and Enchanted Forest. I know which I would vote for, but I don’t make the final decision. In an attempt to spin this out a little longer, the final result and the announcement of the 2011 Golden Thingummy Award will be covered in a later post. Can you stand the suspense…?
We had a few friends (and a couple of friends-of-friends) come to visit for an afternoon over the weekend with the intention of playing either some games or some folk tunes as the mood took us, and in the event this turned into quite a serious games day, with tables on the go in two rooms. This was Miss B’s first experience of “grown-up” social gaming and I’m very pleased with how it all went.
I completely neglected to take any photos, so this post will go unadorned. It must be said, though, that my photographic skills fall somewhat short of professional standard to say the least (as you’ll know from previous posts), so you’re not missing out much.
Miss B kicked off with a couple of rounds of Ghost Party without the messing about with scoring, then on to a mildly simplified Enchanted forest. Next up was Giro Galoppo, which was a hoot for the rest of us, but a few turns in Miss B heard a game of Uno starting up in the other room and decided to switch her loyalties. Then she rejoined the crowd in the dining room for a round of Ave Caesar.
All in all this seemed to go really well. Aside from the switch from Giro Galoppo to Uno, Miss B maintained an admirable focus most of the time. Yeah, she slowed play down quite a lot at times, but everyone was very helpful and accommodating (so huge thanks to everyone for that) so she ended up telling me how much fun she had had.
And, of course, one of the key success metrics related to young children is whether or not things end in tears at any point. Well, I don’t think B won any games, but I don’t remember any tears at all until we reached bedtime. I hope we can do something like this again soon.
Ooh, it’s been a bit of a long time since I last posted, so I figure it’s time to get back to it. This time it’s something a bit different as Miss B and I have decided to give an award to our favourite game of those we have played.
So we dug out the twelve games that we have tested and reviewed so far and spread them out on the floor to provide a pleasingly varied selection. We then decided on how we would judge the competition (or at least I decided, and Miss B agreed that it would be fine).
First, the full range would be reduced to a shortlist of four nominees: Miss B would choose two games and I would choose the other two. Then we would play two of these games and decide which we thought was best (by which I mean Miss B would decide), followed by the other two, which would result in two finalists to be played off head-to-head in a winner-takes-all gamestravaganza.
After a bit of a discussion, Miss B made her selections: Ghost Party “because I like Hugo chasing all the people around to get into rooms” and Enchanted Forest because “I like finding fairy tales”. Yup, two good choices there.
As for my choices, I considered my place here to choose a couple of games that I think we have had a lot of fun or value out of that I think might give B’s games a bit of a run in the playoffs. So I chose Loot, which I enjoy playing even for just the two of us, and which has introduced some good card gaming principles to the mix, and Shave a Sheep which, though it wouldn’t be high up my personal chart, has provided a lot of fun and entertainment for all of us and I’m sure it will continue to do so.
Watch this space to find out which game gets the award. We’re still looking for a good name for it, by the way.
So there we are, finishing a nice game of Ghost Party when Miss B says, “Let’s play a different game and you can try and sneak away from Hugo.”
A bit of a discussion on this and I wasn’t much clearer on the way this would work but, what the heck, I was up for this so we cleared the board and Miss B explained how it will work. We needed a few revisions during play, but this is the game we ended up playing:
- Hugo starts on the -6 step.
- Hugo moves 4 spaces instead of 3 each time.
- When you have someone on the stairs (or in the basement), you have the option of moving them back up the stairs and getting them back into play.
- Our usual kiddie rules of never needing exact rolls to get into rooms and not counting the scores on the steps or rooms.
Ending the game proved a little problematic with people on stairs constantly escaping meaning that eventually Daddy’s “enough already!” clause came into play. B’s idea of the winner being whoever sneaked up the stairs quickest was probably also not the best thought out house rule. However, we had a lot of fun. The faster moving ghost acted nicely against the escaping captives. In fact, I think that if we played until everyone was either on the stairs or in a room, and then actually scored up properly this might be quite a fun variant.
I’m sure we’ll have lots more rule changes suggested from Miss B for this and other games. I’ll continue to report back on them…
“Can we play ghost party again? With Mummy?”
Well, Mummy was willing to give it a go, so off we went with three players this time. Miss B thoroughly enjoyed dividing up the people and explaining the game to Mummy (missing out only the rules!) and soon we were playing. As is inevitable, Hugo got to move a lot more between our turns and Miss B was getting really excited as people got caught and sent downstairs. This one is definitely cemented as a favourite, but I think it’ll be a little while before we introduce the proper scoring. More positives: Miss B wasn’t losing track of which colour her pieces were this time, and the whole moving clockwise thing was pretty well bedded in.
The verdict from Miss B (aged 4¼): “Good. I liked that we all played together and I won.” Yeah, don’t rub it in, kid, you just had some lucky rolls. It seems that the social aspect is pretty important though, with all of us playing being a major selling point.
The game: Ghost Party (Ravensberger), 2 to 8 players, age 8+.