Reunited & It Feels So Good

Reunited & It Feels So Good

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.