Reunited & It Feels So Good

Reunited & It Feels So Good

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Carcassonne, Not Just Another French Town

This has been a fun weekend in gaming. On Saturday, we were invited to Tom Leisure's birthday party that included dinner and gaming. Tammy and I played two games; Bang and Carcassonne. Tammy enjoyed both games, and had wished that we played Bang again as she was just understanding the strategy when she was shot & killed. I was the Sheriff, and the deputy and I won the game by defeating all of the outlaws. When we got home, Tammy grabbed my Ipad, and I went to sleep while she played ?? how many games of Carcassonne. This afternoon, she played Ian and he beat her 120/80 points. Suffice to say I got out the game, added the river expansion, and we played two more games of Carcassonne. Hunter and Ian each got the victories. It made for a fun evening, as we enjoyed the Survivor final and a hot meal with fresh baked bread!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I played two back to back game of Fresco this past Sunday. We played the basic game first and then with all three expansion. I like the ability to assign my workers/painters but I did not enjoy the card expansion as it just became a victory point grab. It really derailed the them for me. While it was fun, the replay value is suspect. On a separate note, Carcassone on the IPad is very fun. I found that it captures the board game very well.

My secret Santa struck again as another package arrived yesterday. I got a copy of 7 Wonders! Thank you secret Santa.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The 6th Annual White Dragon Con Has Come & Gone

The 6th Annual While Dragon con was another successful day of board gaming. It is hard to believe that it has come and gone already. 16 like minded board game enthusiast gathered at my home last Friday. As in the previous 5 years, El Grande hit the table. My only goals for the day was to play Dominion with Eric Carter and learn my new game Fresco. Every thing else was just icing on the cake.

You might be asking yourself what is the White Dragon con (or not?) Six years ago, on the way home from Gen Con Indy, Pat, Andy, Ryan, and myself decided that we needed a day of gaming in the winter to help us scratch our competitive itch until the next Gen Con. So the White Dragon con was born. It is loosely based around mine and Pat’s birthdays.

I had a great time playing Dominion with Eric, Andy, and Josh. Dominion is such a fun card game that is always refreshing to play as no two games are ever alike. In the game, you are building a deck of cards that allow you to purchase victory points along the way. However do many victory point cards get in the way of your card deck functioning. The game foundation includes coin cards, victory point cards, and action cards. To begin each game, you select 10 action card piles that you use purchase as you build your deck. Given that there are over 100 action cards to choose from, the card combinations are huge! Playing with Eric was a real treat as he is a professional artist, and his art is featured in the game. I don’t know about you, but playing a game with the designer and/or artist is a real bonus for me. As I have shared in previous posts, board and table top games are creative works of art. Playing with the artist is so very humbling for me as I so admire their creative endeavor and inspiration. I am sure that it was a seed planted in me by both of my parents as my mother was an artist for Hallmark cards, and my father was an interior decorator. Thus enjoying the arts is a very important family value in the Endres home.

Fresco is a double whammy for me. Not only is is a very elegant beautiful board game, but in the game your are playing an artist who is working with a crew to restore a fresco in a Renaissance church. In the game you have to manage your crew, buy paint, mix colors, and impress the local Bishop. After a first play, I am eager to get it to the table again.

A third unexpected treat was watching my wife play 10 Day Across Asia. It was the first time she has played a game at the White Dragon con.
I would like to close by thanking my secret Santas for some wonderful early Christmas gifts including Gosu, and Fresco. I hope my secret Santa targets enjoy the games that I sent them.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November in a Nutshell

It is hard to believe that November is almost over. Thanksgiving was a blessing as we spent the day with Tammy's parents. Her father is battling cancer, and I enjoyed visiting with him while watching football and eating a wonderful meal. The day ended as we brought home an 8 week old farm kitten that Tammy named Pearl. She is has been very curious and lovable this weekend.

I have played several old and new favorite games this month including Agricola, Dominion, and Gosu. I am participating in several board game secret Santa gift exchanges, and I received Gosu. It is a game of Goblin Supremacy. The board game geek data base describes it as a hybrid of Race for the Galaxy and Magic the Gathering. While I have not played Race for the Galaxy, it is no where near Magic. I like the fact that it has a neat game mechanic that triggers when you get behind in points. You are never really out of the game.

On November 9 - 12, I traveled to Rochester, NY to research project X. It was a very successful trip.

This Friday the 3rd celebrates the 6th annual While Dragon game day to celebrate mine and Pat's December birthdays. It is always a tradition that we play El Grande.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

That JayHawk is a very ANGRY BIRD

Wow, so many ups and downs this past week. Mizzou lost twice, the Chiefs won 1 & lost 1 in overtime, and KU won after scoring 5 touch downs in the fourth quarter yesterday. Ryan & I were the only pair that stayed the whole game in our row. Plus, I visited with my college room mates who are split a pair of KU football season ticket. I have not seen Mike in 20+ years. During that time, he has served two tours of duty in Kuwait for the US Navy. Thank you Mike.
Last week, Pat and Kevin joined me at my house for an evening of games. We played Dominion, A World Without End, and a three player game of Sid Sackson's "I'm the Boss." It is a very open ended business negotiation game. It is a game that I think would play very well with 6 players.
Angry Bird has attack the Endres home like a virus. Hunter, Tammy, and I have all down loaded onto our droid phones. It is so addictive. Launching birds at pigs via a sling shot has never been so fun.
I did not attend game night tonight as I have been grading papers throughout most of the day. After dinner tonight, we did play 4 games of "10 Across Asia." Overall, the past week in gaming has been very rewarding. I am participating in 3 Secret Santa Board game exchanges this year. To give expecting nothing in return!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MIZ.....ZOU !!!!!!

We had more fun than any one family should be allowed to have last weekend. Tammy took Hunter to tour the University of Missouri on Friday, and I joined them after work. It was the 99th Home Coming weekend at MIZZOU. The University boasts that home coming was invented at MIZZOU. We attended house decks Friday night along the greek row. The theme was board games. House decks are small skits that the greek house produce that focus on the up coming game that weekend. My favorite skit was the game Mouse Trap. As you can imagine, the mouse trap caught a Boomer Sooner mouse. On Saturday morning we attended the ESPN game day taping, and traditional home coming MIZZOU parade. The day ended with a fun tail gate dinner and a fantastic game that ended in a Missouri victory. As the game ended, thousands of fans stormed the field.

On Sunday we played Samarkand. It is a camel/desert trading game by Queen games. It is an easy game to learn, and the production is very good. The evening ended with a teaching game of Call of Cuthulu card game with Andy Dawson.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Fall is here, & it is time for Chili

It has been a great week in gaming. MIZZOU football crushed Texas A&M, Nebraska lost !!!, and MIZZOU plays #1 Oklahoma next Saturday on ESPN for home coming.

My wife and I played several more games of Scrabble on our phones via the Droid market. Overall, I am 5 & 3.

Ryan and Hunter had awesome runs at their League Cross Country meet this past Thursday. Congratulations to Ryan for making the 3rd League team, and for Hunter in posting a PR while smoking a runner from Eudora in the final leg of the race. As Mr. Erickson shared with you, "you stole his will." Desoto boys and girls took second place in the league.

Gaming night was a fun time this week. We played Sid Sackson's Buy Word, Z-Man's Magical Athlete, and a World Without End. In addition a fellow gamer brought a crock pot of Chili, and Amy brought a chocolate cake. Magical Athlete was a simple but very fun race game. The game begins with a draft of magical athletes for 5 races. I ended up with a Amazon, Assassin, Pirate, Priest, and Druid. Each athlete has a special ability that creates combinations during their race as other athletes might trigger their ability throughout the race. I lost the game by 1 point as Tara's thief stole a victory point from me at the beginning of the last race. I wish the game had a better production value. It screams to be tricked out.

On a final note, Tammy and I celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary on Friday the 22nd, and our oldest son turns 18 on Tuesday the 19th. Happy Birthday Ryan, I am so very proud of you. Happy anniversary Tammy. I love you very much.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Poo The Card Game

I did not want to like Poo. I have not purchased Poo, and have avoided playing Poo until last night. The game is simple, you are a monkey who is throwing poo at your fellow monkeys. If your hit with 15 Poo, you out. As you can imagine, it invokes a lot of gross humor???

Afterwards, we played Leaping Lemmings. It plays 2-6 scientists who have genetically engineered Lemmings who want to jump of the cliff for points. Dawson shared that it felt more like a game of collecting food pellets. I have to agree with him. on a scale of 1-10, it is a four. However the theme and production is very good.

Tammy and I are 2 & 2 in Droid Scrabble. I have yet to best her record setting 121 point play. I did pull out a classic Sid Sackson game while tailgating at the Missouri vs. Colorado game this past Saturday, Buy Word. It is a very fun simple word spelling game. The goal is to have the most money at the end of the game. After drawing tiles 2-5 tiles, you pick which ones you want and pay the amount of pips squared. For example, if the letter tile is an "E" that has one pip, you pay 1 squared = $1 to the bank. Then after everyone has paid for their tiles, you sell you word for the total pips squared. So if you bought 1 tile in three rounds for $1 each, and to spell the word CAT. You could sell the word for 3 pips squared for $9. Making a profit of $6. More challenging letters have more pips such as the Z, Q, or X. After spelling your word, the letters go in the box. There are several variants such as drafting tiles, trading, or auctioning as well as playing them on the table in a crossword format. It is a very fun game, that may get lots of plays this winter.

Project X had a slow but steady week.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Tammy and I have been playing Scrabble over the droid platform this past week. Today, she played "quest" with a triple "q" score and double word score for 121 points. I was then behind by 200 points. Ouch! Tonight we played Acquire, and The World without End. I won the World by 1 point, but came in 4th place in Acquire. Paul played a great game tonight even though he went last and did not manage to make a early merger for that bonus stock option.

Over the last two weeks, I did manage to find two more Sid Sackson titles including Buy Word and Bazaar. However, I am really looking forward to I'm the Boss coming soon from Face 2 Face games.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Taking a Break

My achievements in gaming has been slim pickin's! Over the last two weeks, I have played 4th Ed. D&D with Ian, and A World Without End with the Pulp Fiction group. This past Saturday was a day of family activities and sports! What would MIZZOU football do without TJ Moe?? Project X has had a solid two weeks.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Return to Castle Ravenloft

I have always loved the Castle Ravenloft series / story line. I was excited to see the new Castle Ravenloft board game at GenCon, then disappointed. I was disappointed that the miniatures were unpainted, and it felt like a D&D re theme of Betrayal at House on the Hill. However, the gaming reviews began to filter in on several podcasts, and my interest grew. So far, I have enjoyed this game very much. I got in two plays this week including a 2 player & 5 player. Both games were tight. Ian loves the D&D theme, and this is a great entry level for D&D for him. Our goal is to play through each scenario this fall, before moving on a more RPG experience for him. Count Strahd and his evil minions will surely fall!

A big thanks goes out to John, who taught Kevin and I how to play "A World Without End" Saturday night. It is a hand management/resource production game that is based on the novel by Ken Follett. Kevin and I enjoyed it so much, that we got a second play in tonight. John shared with us that just when you think that you have figured out a winning formula, the game shifts. Ryan won easily tonight without building any houses in the Leper colony. He developed the medical technology, and cured several houses during the third and fourth chapters. During my first game, the winner came from behind, using the production from rent of his homes in the Leper colony. The game has four chapters, and each chapter has 6 rounds. The game has re-playability as each chapter has 11 cards that you select 6 to use. As the game ends, additional production of wood and stone provides 1 victory point each while coins = 1/2 point per coin. I made up some ground (15 points) at the end of the game, but only managed 4th place.

Tonight marks my 30th blog post. This week in gaming was very productive including acquiring Castle Ravenloft, learning a new game, and continuing Project X. Overall, this week was a 8+ in gaming.

Achievement Unlocked!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Give, expecting nothing thereof!

Is there such a thing as gaming karma? I would like to believe so. However, I am a firm believer in giving to others without expecting in return. It is a nice meld between my personal view of the world and my professional social worker view. In addition, it ties in nicely to my practice of the “golden rule.” For seven years I donated an hour each week to run a support group at Truman High school in Independence, Missouri for students whose family was facing a divorcee. It was not uncommon to meet a student who had never heard of the “golden rule.” My wife has insisted that our sons practice the “golden rule plus.”

This has been a wonderful week in gaming. I finished painting my Malifaux figures I purchased at GenCon. For the first time, I’m sad that I finished painting rather than just be glad it was finally over. During a recent episode on the D6 Generation podcast, one of the hosts suggested to his co-host that if you just get started painting something you like, the painting mojo will build, and you will get into a rhythm. I might describe it has the high runners can get. Before they realize it, they have just ran their miles, and have lost track of the time. I feel so energized that I began to paint several models this afternoon that I don’t have a game for, but bought because they looked neat. I can hear my dad saying, “practice makes perfect.”

At my wife’s request, we played 10 Days in Asia this afternoon, and I got in two new games tonight at Pulp Fiction’s open gaming night. We played Samarkand: Routes to Riches twice, and Hornet once. Hornet is a an area control game / sting your neighbor in the back game. The production value is very good. It includes Hornet meeples, and the board art displays Hornets wearing Luchador masks. However, I could not let go of the fact that Hornets don’t make honey??? Dawson shared he thought it was a translation error. Throughout most of the game, I felt powerless. It is published by Z-Man games, and designed by brothers Jani & Tero Moliis.

However, Samarkand: Routes to Riches was a very fun game where I controled 90% + of my game play. The rules were very easy to learn, and the game play can be very quick. We played the second game is just over a half hour. The game consists of marrying into a trading family, developing camel caravans, and merging trade agreements. In the end of the game, your goods, your routes, your relationships, and all of your money equate to victory points. It is a very solid game. It was published this year by Queen games, and designed by David Peters and Harry Wu.

Project X had a good week as well. On a scale of 1-10 (best,) this week was a 9.5 !!!!!!

"Give, expecting nothing thereof." (St. Thomas Aquinas, based on Luke 6:35: "do good and lend expecting nothing in return, for your reward will be great")

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Project X

Just before going to GenCon, I began putting together a business plan for project X, and it has kicked off into full speed this week. As it builds momentum, I will post updates. My goal is to work on project X at least one hour a day, Monday – Friday. Right now, all I can say is that I am very excited!!

The week in games was wonderful. I began to paint my Malifaux models that I purchased at GenCon. So far, my paint jobs have been some of my best attempts at painting a miniature thus far. I shared with Pat and Paul that it has been very relaxing. In the past, it was more of an exercise in frustration. I have stumbled on several color combinations that have given my models a blended effect that I have never achieved before. In addition, Ian began to learn how to assemble and paint miniatures this week. It has been fun sharing this part of the hobby with him.

I introduced my family to a new travel game this weekend called 10 Days in Asia. The goal of the game is to link a 10 day trip through Asia while walking, flying, boating, or using a train. Ian won the third game! Tonight we played Nile, Zombie Dice, and Innovations. Innovation’s was a hit for me. The card mechanics and combos are limitlessness. The theme is civilization building using innovations and technology. Paul won the first play of this game. While early, the first play earned it a solid 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Aside from model building, project X, playing games, I listened to several GenCon podcasts including the D6Generation, the Dice Tower, The Spiel, and Game On. It has been a very fun, rewarding week for me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Post GenCon Blues

It hard to believe GenCon has come and gone. We played three new Gencon snags this past Sunday including Nile, Settlers Across America, and Hunger Games. While unpacking my swag, and finding room to store all of my new purchases, I began to get the itch to paint miniatures. So, I assembled my new Malifauix faction, and began to put on a base coat. The figs in the catalog, are standing on bamboo. However, Wyrd has not released a bamboo base so I had to make them. I used tooth pics, cut to fit on the 30 mm bases. I sprayed them black, and painted layers of brown, & yellow to give the bamboo appearance. So far, they are beginning to look good.

I wish I was a better painter. I have borrowed an painting DVD from Pat, and will burn it to my laptop.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunday August 8,Day Four, The Last Day

On a whim, I decided to play in the Highlander Call of Cthulhu tournament. The Highlander format is that there can only be one; one copy of any card in your deck. I placed fourth. Tom Capor, the 2009 & 2010 World Champion took first. Jim Black, 2007 Champ made sure to give me a special domain card set. Both guys were very nice to Pat and myself. It was real treat to be able to play with such gentlemen.

I had put off my yearly quest to seek autographs until Sunday, so the next hour or so, was the pursuit of several game designers. I met Martin Wallace who signed several game boards for me, James Ernest who signed my copy of Enemy Chocolatier, and Mike Selinker who developed Betrayal at House on the Hill. My last meeting was with James Lowder who has written many books and articles including the Hobby Games and Family Games 100 Best. We visited about an idea that I have, and he was very encouraging.

As GenCon 2010 was closing, I snagged the demo copy of Guardians of Graxia from Petroglyph games. Overall, GenCon 2010 was a perfect 10 including seeing my friends, making new friends, playing games, and collecting the SWAG.

Saturday August 7,Day Three, The Third Day

The day began with a killer breakfast. For the second year, I attended Tracy & Laura Hickman’s killer breakfast. It is a live event, where the New York Times bestselling author tells a story that includes audience participation. This year’s story was about a group of adventurers that were having breakfast in a local dinner when a ghost ship crashes into the establishment, and ghosts of former Chicago Cubs begin to haunt the surviving adventurers. (FYI) There were no survivors with the exception of Santa Claus who pops in to tell Tracy Hickman that he has made the “naughty” list. The event includes videos, songs, and games. It was great fun. Later in the day I met with Tracy, and had him sign a couple of his books for me.

I spent several hours in the auction room on Saturday. While purchasing a game from my want list, “Clue: The Great Museum Caper” (1991,) I considered bidding on one of two copies of “Conquest of the Empire” (1984) but sat idle as they both went for $40-60 each. While I was beating myself up for not bidding, I reminded myself that I would really have preferred a copy of “Shogun” (1986.) Both games are part of Milton Bradley's Gamemaster series. The game was later changed to “Samurai Swords” due to a name conflict with James Clavell's Shogun. While eating my lunch, a plastic tub that contained three complete copies of “Shogun” came up for bid. I eagerly raised my bid card, and won the auction. The final price was $30. While the boxes were missing, the tub contained an additional 5 sets of complete miniatures. Overall, I felt that I got a good deal. While it is not a collectors copy, it is a very playable copy. It is interesting to note as I write this blog, there are multiple used copies for sale on Ebay $150 plus.

Saturday concluded with a game of Shifting Sands. It is a card driven WWII board game focused on the conflict in North Africa. A card driven can be described as a game where the cards may have multiple actions including operations, events, and outcomes. In shifting sands, the cards can be used for re-enforcements, the stated events based on a real WWII event in North Africa, or operations. An operation is the numbers choices you can make on your turn such as attacking, or moving divisions. The game is difficult to set up, but once game play begins, it can be an intense tug of war. Kudos to Bob for inviting me to the game.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday August 6,Day Two, The Second Day

GenCon was busy today, and it was not unusual to get bumped while standing in a booth. There is only so much room for 30,000 gamers in the convention center. I got in several gaming demonstrations including Guardians of Graxia, and Panzer General Russian Assault at the Petroglyph booth. I met briefly with the author Jeff Tidball this morning.

I visited with the general manager of Soda Pop miniatures. He was excited to announce a new game for their Soda Pop miniatures called Relic Knights; Darkspace Calamity. The game is planned for a 2011 release. It will feature skirmish level battles and a card driven battle mechanic.

I purchased two prints, and art book, and an original piece of art from Lydia Burris. A piece of hers is unveiling tonight in downtown Indianapolis. It is 29 feet long and is on the side of a light box. Her work is amazing, and this year’s pieces feature bright colors.

I attended two podcasts today including “This Just in from Gencon,” and the “D 6 Generation.” During the D 6 G podcast, they ran a game by mob. I ended up getting a Warhammer Black library book, and visited with Nicole Wakelan.

After dinner, I taught Pit Fighter to Kathleen and Mark from Minnesota. Jennifer of Cheese Weasel showed me a prototype of a game called “Red Shirts.” The is centered around the red shirts that were commonly killed in Star Trek episodes. Jennifer shared with me that it is a parody that is intended to play as a spoof. The final game of the day was a demonstration of Dust Tactics. It is a squad based combat game with Mechanized troops.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday August 5 GenCon Day One, The First Day

Well day one is coming to a close. It was a wonderful day. As we attended the trade day on Wednesday, we were able to enter the dealer hall an hour early today. I used that extra hour to purchase City of Thieves from Fantasy Flight games. It is a new board game that debuted today.

My main goal today was to learn to play Malifaux. It is a squad level miniatures games that uses cards rather than dice. I enjoyed the push your luck factor that uses a deck of cards called the fate deck.

Afterwards, Pat and I registered for the Call of Cthulhu league play. After a refresher game, I played last year’s world champion, Tom Capor. I managed a win as I “decked” Tom (he ran out of cards.) Cthulhu is a game theme based on the horror fiction of H.P. Lovecraft.

While browsing through the exhibit hall, I met Tom Vasel who is a game review and podcast host of the Dice Tower.

Later in the day I came across Settlers of Catan being played on a new touch screen game table. The interaction and game play was amazing. The evening ended with two games of Are You a Werewolf? It is a deduction game that is based on social interaction. During the second game, I was eaten by the werewolf.

On a family note, I am so very proud of my oldest son, Ryan. He found out today that he passed the exam to quiz out of Spanish 3. Ryan taught himself Spanish 3 this past month. Congratulations!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Top Ten Most Memorable Gaming Experiences

As I prepare for GenCon, I thought I would share some meaningful gaming experiences. These are in no particular order, just the top ten I can remember. As I post this list, I am attending a lecture on using Pop Culture in the Classroom.

GenCon 2010 has truly started.

1. As my gaming interests grew, I was introduced to Risk while visiting a new boy who had moved into my school in 8th grade, Jim. I remember during a snow day, my mother drove me over to Jim’s house, where we played Risk for hours. He had a wonderful game collection that included Axis & Allies, and Broadsides. Eventually, I got my own copy of Risk, and I spent even more hours adding additional territories and expansion.

2. While playing cards and dominoes was a regular part of the Endres family tradition, each summer I would spent several weeks with my grandmother Endres in Wichita. During that visit, I would beg and plead to spend the night with my great uncle Walter. After dinner, he would set up the dominoes on his kitchen table. While playing, he would tune in a radio station on his world band radio. While I don’t remember many of the games outcomes, it was always a wonderful time.

3. My dad was the original card shark. He loved all types of card games. He kept a deck of cards on the first floor, his bedroom, and in all of his suit cases. During quiet times, I can still hear him shuffling the cards and dealing a hand of solitaire. Eventually, he taught me how to play Kings on the Corner. He was notorious for hold cards that he could play, or that would benefit me in any way.

4. My dad was a very hard worker, and my mother and I spent many evening waiting for him to come home. When my mother’s chores/tasks were finished, she loved to play Scrabble. My mother was a very smart individual. Before marrying, she was an artist with Hallmark Cards. She insisted that we play without using the dictionary. It was her opinion that if you could not spell or think of a word, using a dictionary was cheating. I still have our scoring sheets in my childhood copy of Scrabble. A great treasure indeed!

5. I have taken all three of my sons to GenCon. Granted, when they go, it is a very different experience than when I go with just my buddies. I purposely pick games that I think they will enjoy. The requirements are that they must be easy to learn and teach. During Ryan (10) and Hunter’s (8) first GenCon, I convinced my wife to let me take Ryan to a late night game of Zombies by Twilight Creations. Ryan is so bright, that within a few turns, it was clear that he just might beat a table full of adult men. Subsequently, a few opponents also realized this, and began to plot against Ryan. As they cornered him (cutting off his path to win the game) I drew a card which allowed me to switch player token positions. I switched my token with Ryan’s, thus allowing him a clear path to victory. Several of the other players were annoyed with me as I “kingmade” Ryan. Ryan had no idea as he was proudly sporting a new Zombie t-shirt.

6. Usually my personal gaming rule is to not play in any competitive tournament (after all its just a game; isn’t it?) During GenCon 2007, I played in a Warmachine/Hordes combination tournament. I ended up placing first in my faction, the Cryx. Despite feeling an incredible level of satisfaction, I recommitted myself to my personal gaming rule; avoid mindless events that attract poor sports.

7. A truly break through game appeared in 1993 at the Origins Fair called Magic the Gathering. I was captivated (my wife would say addicted.) Eventually I stopped buying and playing the cards as it became overwhelming to keep up with the onslaught of new cards, game mechanics, and evolving rules. While I no longer follow Magic, I kept a dozen or so very playable decks. My very dear friend, Rob was introduced to Magic much later, and it became a bond between us. Several times a year, we have gotten together and found time to play game after game. We have played in restaurants, on-line, in an airport, and at our homes. His rats have attacked my slivers who attacked his goblins who were being attacked by my elves. While I am not nor plan to renew my addiction to MtG, I hope to play endless games in the future with Rob. I hate rats.

8. While preparing to attend GenCon in 2004, a truly imaginative game was hitting the shelves; Pirates of the Spanish Main (POSM.) GenCon hosted a unique tournament that required you to buy in using POSM coins. I was crazy out of my mind trying to find POSM so I could attain the coins that would allow me to buy into the event. The tournament was great fun, and I returned from GenCon eager to find someone to play POSM with. While reading the gaming forums, I found a post by Kansas Bob whose email was linked to a social service agency. My first thought was he is a gamer who worked in social services, which lived in Kansas who liked POSM. Eventually, I met Kansas Bob, and he lived in Missouri. We met at a new gaming store called Pulp Fiction. We were both hesitant as some gamers can give gaming a bad name. Subsequently, we have become great friends which evolved into a weekly Sunday evening gaming group. Because of POSM and Kansas Bob, I game with a great group including Andy, Paul, Dawson, Dustin, Brady, Amy, Jason, Kevin, Mike, and Brian.

9. My first Euro game was Wallenstein. Gaming on a week night is difficult for me as my son’s schedule, and my work keep me very busy. However, I did manage to attend a Thursday game night at Table Top where I was introduced to Wallenstein and Big City. As I was leaving, a fellow gamer suggested I check out a web site called Board Game Geek. It opened the world of gaming to, and introducd me to the Euro gaming movement. The typical euro game is a game that minimizes random play, and gives the player an equal chance to win up until the end game mechanism. Rather than who has the most money as in Monopoly, the euro game often rewards bold play with victory points. While both games were amazing to me that night, I do not own Wallenstein, and eventually purchased Big City on Ebay.

10. While coming home from GenCon in 2005, Paul, Andy, Ryan and myself decided to host a winter gaming party (that celebrates mine and Pat’s birthdays.) Thus White Dragon Con was born. While not a huge event, we have had 20 or so gamers attend the past several years. The gaming swag is a pair of specially designed dice. During White Dragon in 2007, my father joined us and was enthralled with a dexterity game call Crokinole. It was my father’s last White Dragon Con.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

This past week in gaming was very quiet. Instead of playing games tonight, myself and several others volunteered to assist Pulp Fiction Comic and Games install shelves.

Most of my gaming focus this week has been in getting ready for GenCon. We leave Tuesday afternoon for 5 days of gaming goodness. I am looking forward several new games that will ship this fall including the Malifaux expansion, Alhambra card game, Innovations, Railways of the World card game, Age of Industry, Tomb of Iuchiban, the Invasion from Outer Space; The Martian Game, City of Thieves, and Heroes of Graxia.

If I play all of these games, I will be exhausted!! The real fun, is seeing old friends and making new ones. I will be blogging Wednesday through and Saturday. Stay tuned..............

Friday, July 30, 2010

Are Games an Art Form?

While listening to the most recent D6 Generation podcast, episode 60, total fan girl, Nicole Wakelin, explored the question. Are board games an art form? In my mind I was quick to answer, yes! I was pleased to be greeted by a package when I got home from work. My copy of "Beyond Tic Tac Toe" (1975) by Sid Sackson had arrived. In his forward he writes, "games mean many thing to many people; to me they are an art form of great potential beauty. Just as a composer's creation is brought to life by the performing musicians, a game inventor's creation is brought to life by the players of the game. When the creation is inspired and the players are talented, a true work of art results."

This past year I had the pleasure to be guest lecturer at DeSoto high school's honors art class. I attempted to address this same question, but I lacked the finesse of Mr. Sackson. "Yes" I stated to the students. Every card, board, component, box, concept, and set of rules are a piece of art.

I am routinely asked why I collect games. "You collect games.... like Monopoly and Candy Land?" No, I collect "art!" I think Mr. Sackson would agree. Mr. Sackson designed hundreds of games, and is well known for his classic, Acquire.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Perfect 10

Really, my week in gaming was a perfect 10. On Monday, I found a copy of Broadsides and Boarding Parties, Thursday I found a copy of Dark Tower, and on Friday I found 3 games from the 1950's. B&B and Dark Tower are very valuable, hard to find vintage board games. I gave Dark Tower to my gaming buddy Paul as it is a grail for him. The game was so very complete, it still had the packing materials for the electronic tower. After some work, Paul got the tower to play.

On Saturday night Tammy and I played Mate. It is a card game that was published in Hanover, Germany in 1915 in a booklet entitled"Zwei neue Kriegspiele!" It is a game of complete skill, and is considered a "perfect information game." The game uses 20 poker cards (10 per person) including the Ace, King, Queen, 10, & 7 of each suit. The card order is Ace, 10, King, Queen & 7 while the suit order is Club, Spade, Heart, and Diamond. When you lead a card, the other player must play a card from the same suit, or same rank. If not you win that hand. Score is the round # (10 is most) times the value of the card. The Ace is 11, ten is 10, King is 4, Queen is 3, and the seven is 7. After the hand is finsihed, you switch sides and play the opponents hand. We played to 200 pts and Tammy beat me by 50 pts. I came accross this game in a book called "A Gamult of Games" by Sid Sackson 1969.

Game night was at my house this week. I invited Pat his son Phillip, and Paul with his sons Piper & Payton, so that they could play a game of Dark Tower with Ian. However, the Tower thought otherwise as the sound stopped working. So the boys played Small World and Hey Thats My Fish. While the dads played Irondale and Domination. The night was capped off with Brownies!!! Pat won Domination while Paul won Irondale.
Gencon is just 10 days away. My event tickets are purchased. I hope to have dinner Thursday even with the artist, Lydia Burris. Her work is amazing. I hope to get in a game of Shifting Sands afterwards with a fellow BGG member. It is a card driven World War II game that I have not played in almost 2 years.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

17 Days Until GenCon

As I write this blog, it is 17 days until GenCon. I am really looking forward to the "Best 4 Days of Gaming" this year. Several game designers will be present that I have not yet met including Martin Wallace. I enjoy meeting and visiting with the game designers. Mr. Wallace has been on my list for many years.

While I have not gamed much in the past two weeks, I did make several gaming achievements this week. While vacationing in Branson, I found a wonderful copy of Can't Stop. It is a push your luck dice game. During a recent session, my son Ryan ran the 9's in two turns, and it appeared if he was going to run away with the game. Then he could not stop, and busted. Before long, Hunter, Ian and I were in the game.

On this past Thursday, I facilitated a game night with the boys at Gillis and the Gillis board members. I provided 14 games, and 10 volunteers who taught and moderated each game for the players. It was a huge success. A special thanks go out to Ryan Johnson for designing the event handout. Some of the games included; Tier auf Tier, Pitch Car, Go Nuts, Can't Stop, Penguin Rescue, Tiki Topple, and Sorry Sliders.
Tonight's gaming was almost a no-go, but a big thanks to Paul for saving the evening. We played Forbidden Bridge. It is such a silly fun game. As your adventurer tries to cross a damaged bridge, the Tiki shakes, while trying to knock off your token/adventurer. Plus a fun game of Survive which is also known as Escape from Atlantis. Paul's children took great delight in eating my swimmers and or capsizing my boats. Overall, it was a good two weeks, 8.0 out of 10.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Betrayal at House on the Hill: A Grail

While I have not posted in several weeks, the gaming has been wonderful. I thrifted a copy of my Grail; Betrayal at House on the Hill, then I was given a copy as a gift. I could not wait to get this to the table, so after a guys night at the movies, Paul - sons Piper & Payton, Kevin, my son Ian and myself played BHoH. Paul became the traitor, and we quickly died as we searched for evil Voodoo dolls. Ian had so much fun, that he talked all the way home about the game, and what we should have done differently. Afterwards, we played a quick game of Tsuro; the way of the path. It was so quick, that I was out after only playing one turn. Paul enjoyed that very much.
Last Sunday Paul, Kevin, and Mike Flynn came over for a game night. We played Irondale, Rheinlander, Hollywood Blockbuster, and Loco. Irondale is a card game by Small Box games. It was my favorite of the night as it offers many options. Hollywood Blockbuster was my least favorite. In Irondale, you are building a city as each card represents a different building. As you play a building, you score based on where you built while triggering various card effects.

In all, June was a 9 out of a scale of 1 - 10. July will only get better as GenCon approaches. On a side note, I made additional player cards for BHoH using Clue figures so I can add a 7th or 8th player.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

King Oil

Paul and I got King Oil to the table tonight. We decided to play for about an hour with Paul winning easily. The game would play 3 or 4 easily but was fun with two. In the end, a fire took out several of my wells, and ongoing digging struck out while Paul was earning $40,000 + in royalities several turns in a row. I will post pics later. Ian then joined us for a fun game of Powerpuff Girls; Villians at Large. It is a card game of back stabing, bluffing, and capturing villians. Ian won the final game. Overall, a great night of gaming after having a few weeks off. I have made several successful trades and finds over the past couple of weeks. I am looking forward to acquiring a copy of 3M Mr. President. While it won't get played often, it looks like an interesting game. I almost forgot, Ian had a sleep over, and We played a 6 player game of Tier Auf Tier. Ian's good buddy, Nate, won the final game as he rolled a croc, and made a easy placement of his final animal.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baltimore was a blast

Aside from attending my God son's high school graduation, I got to thrift (hunt) for games. My best find was a copy of Bootleggers for $1. I played 8 games of Magic the Gathering with my buddy Rob, and we went 4 & 4. We some how have a knack of playing similar decks against each other. Tongith, I stayed home, and played games with the family including a Tier auf Tier & Jurassic Park III Escape from the island. Overall this was another good week of gaming. I found good games, played good games, and made 3 game trades. Over the course of the next week, I will get Domination, Ploy, Business Decision, and KING OIL in the mail. On a scale of 1-10 (10 is good,) this weeks achievements in gaming was an 8.66 !! Bonus .66 for finding games in Baltimore via my Google phone

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Priceless !!!!

Today was the last day of school for Ryan (17,) Hunter (16,) and Ian (8.) So I picked Ian up early today so that we could thrift for games, buy an end of the school year gift, and play a board game at home. Ian picked out Apples to Apples Jr. for his gift. While thrifting, we found 2 3M games; Stocks & Bonds & Facts in Five. Upon getting home, we played two games of The Lost World Jurassic Park game. Ian managed to get three humans to the chopper and win while my dinos ate 9 humans! Playing with Ian while he giggled - PRICELESS. After dinner tonight we played two 4 player games of Apples to Apples.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

This Week in Gaming

This week in gaming got off to a slow start, but ended with a bang. Given my son Hunter's Eagle Scout ceremony, I did not think that this week would offer much in the way of gaming. Thrifting was pretty thin. I did pick up the 1989 & 2004 copies of Trump. Buying & Selling in order to rule the world! I did manage to make a wonderful trade for a beautiful copy of Feudal, a 1960's copy 3M book case game. Game night was Saturday at my home. We played Boarderlands, Aquire, Tobago, and Jaipur. Boarderlands is a cross between Small World, Diplomacy, and Settlers of Catan. It is considered by some to be the grandfather of Settlers. Paul won hands down while Ian (8 yr old) made a strong showing. Ian had two territories that produced gold.

Aquire was victory #3 in 5 games. I made more than 60,000 dollars, and most every merger was on my terms. Tabago is a beautiful game with wonderful bits and board art. Overall, the week was a 6 on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the best.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Padawan; A Thrifting Apprentice

Week three of thrifting was a solid week for me. A few weeks ago, I purchased a game from a local Ebay dealer, and I gave him my contact information in case he found any interesting games. To my surprise, he contacted me this week, and I had a private showing. He had some 40 games for me to look at. I ended up getting 10 games including Masterpiece, Skirmish, Titanic the board game, Summit, and Goosebumps. In addition, I found another 3M title. The quest continues.... We played 5 games this Sunday at game night including Executive Decision. A 3M title of buying and selling goods. After miscalculating early on, I did manage to finish the game with more $$ than I began with. Paul had read the rules and was off to a huge start, but Pat played a gamble on the 6th turn, and won by more than $100. We played Enemy Chocolatier, that I decked out with Monopoly Jr. hotels. While I thought my stratey was sound, Andy ran away with the game by completing his candy recipe. The final game was a Can't Stop. It is a Sid Sackson game from 1980. I tied for first or came in second!!!!! Over all a good week in gaming. I am blessed with good friend and good times. By the way, it was decided that we are going to Gencon Tuesday evening for the special Wed. program & a early pass on Thursday. On a scale of 1-10, it was another 7.5!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Acquire; 3 weeks in a row

This week in gaming has ended on a very fun note. Pat, Paul, Tim, and Kevin, met at my house Sunday night for a gaming session. We played Pandemic. It is a cooperative game where you work together to prevent an epidemic/outbreak across the globe. We lost by running out of destination cards, but had turned in 4/5 cures. So close.............. Afterwards, we played a third game of Acquire (3 in 3 weeks!) We played my 1968 copy that Paul traded to me. It was missing a blue hotel piece, but I hope to have found one via a game part trade on Board Game Geek. I came in 4th place out of 5. My game suffered from pulling the wrong tiles. This week I painted Monopoly hotels to match the hotel merger tiles; pink, red, light blue, royal blue, green, brown, and yellow. It was a fun project that ended in me clean/sorting/ & arranging my painting/hobby supplies. While thrifting this week, I found copies of 3m classic; Jumpin and other misc. titles. A fun week of hunts for games, but no holy grails. I finished the most recent episode of the Dice Tower, and have some thoughts about making my own copy of Tactics; with 1 inch discs. Overall, the week was 7.5 out of 10 for gaming. Achievment Unlocked!