Author Archives: themazman

Thanksgiving Break

This is just m wanting to put to “paper” what all we did over 4 days.

I recall Wednesday I watched some shows in hopes to clean up the DVR, including a comedy special of Paul F. Tompkins stand-up routine that was quite good.

I stayed up late enough that on Thanksgiving I did not rise until Katy and family showed up!  I came down in my sleep clothes to say hi, but then went up to take my shower, grumbling the whole time as to why Julie didn’t tell me what time they were coming.

Started early with the games, but it was video games.  With appetizers already out, we played Just Dance on the Wii U, which Katy brought over.  Just about everyone gave it a try.  I was quite terrible.  After 2 or 3 tries, I didn’t go back to it.  Instead, I joined Julie, Teddy, and George in throwing some model airplanes outside.  Apparently these had been in Roman’s closet and he never put them together.  They looked cooler than they actually were, as they didn’t fly that well at all.

I was in charge of marking the terducken, which really wasn’t a big deal.  It even cut pretty easily.  We ate outside since it was so darn nice out.  In fact, the whole four day break was great.  Another constant was Max had his girlfriend over most of the break, as she stopped by in the evening and we all tried Strike a Pose, one of the free games I got from R&R.  Pretty fun game.  I closed out the evening with Mike coming back and we started a game of Empire Builder but we have yet to finish it.

Speaking of games, Friday turned out to be an unplanned but big game day.  Once again I rolled out of bed late, but allowed it to warm up so I could go out and blow leaves and water the backyard.  When I came in, Max had Evan and Drew over and out came the games.  We were playing games until about 6pm, and at that time I ordered a pizza.  I don’t believe we played anymore, and they took over to do their thing. I got some time in with Julie to watch some Fargo, which we are still about 3 episodes behind in.

Saturday I likely woke up late again and I know we went out to walk a trail around 2pm, but I can’t remind what I did before that time.  Katy and family came over again for dinner and after they were gone, Julie and I went shopping at Old Navy.  It’s pretty much the only holiday shopping we did.  And that night we actually watched a movie!  It was Maze Runner, which was one of the many movies I taped since we had free premium channels all weekend.  Now I need to see the sequel currently at the dollar theater.

I returned to the park Julie and I took our hike on Saturday, but this time with Biscuit and Grace.  I brought Biscuit into their dog park, which was bland and boring compared to the one near Lassiter High School.  There were about 6 dogs total and no trees or shrubs.  I decided to try taking Biscuit on the trail and we walked about three-quarters of a mile.  He handled it well, but was pretty tired the rest of the day.  After dropping off Grace, I went and got the car washed.  did laundry, and then we all ate at Panera.  That was Roman’s idea, of course.  The weekend ended on a thud though as I watched the Patriots blow a 14-point lead in Denver and lose in OT, thus ending any hopes of the perfect season.  Super Bowl win will be just fine, if they can ever get healthy. There was a scare and it looked like Gronk might be out for the season, but he just has a bruise and will be back soon.






The Week in Games

Fairly busy week of gaming, though ironically I did not play any during the last two days of the break.  I guess I had some things to catch up on after all I did during the week.

I went to Jason’s Deli once again, continuing a nice little streak.  We kicked the night off with a six-player game of Parade, finally giving me the opportunity to play it for the first time.  I did not win, but I think I liked it more than the others, getting comments like “seems pretty random”.  However, aren’t most card games like that?  Luck of the draw.  And to be honest, I felt this one had a bit more to it and does take some strategy, especially at the end when you have to plan which cards to keep and which to discard.  This ensures that everyone will take some points.   Afterwards, we played Medieval Academy, which Jennifer wanted to play again.  This was the first time for Joe, but Adam apparently had played before and didn’t like it this time either.  So we played his game next, which was Abyss.  I really enjoyed Abyss, but could it be because I won?  Hmmmm.

Mitchell had Luan over on Tuesday night and we played a couple games of King of Tokyo before I had to call it a night.  We did not use the power ups since it was Luan’s first time playing, and he won on his first game.  Roman joined the 3 of us for the 2nd game and Roman won.  Naturally, Mitchell blamed me for Roman’s win.  It’s always my fault.

I started the Thanksgiving break off by sitting down with my brand new copy of Bottom of the 9th and decided to play the solo variant.  Mistake.  I didn’t find it very enjoyable at all as it was very complicated.  It would have greatly helped had I played the two-player version first.  Still need to do that.  I can’t even remember if I won.

On Thanksgiving, we played a bunch of video games like Katy’s “Just Dance” for the Wii and I played some solo Mario Kart 8, which I hadn’t played in a long time.  But I also broke open the first of the R&R party games I received: Strike a Pose.  A pretty fun game overall, but the cards that come with it don’t seem very durable at all.  I probably need to sleeve them.

Mike, Mitchell, and I also played Parade.  Mitchell once again didn’t like my strategy.  After that, Mike and I finally got to playing his Empire Builder game.  Unfortunately, we did not finish and never got to return to it over the break, which is disappointing.  Simplistic in its play, but will take a while to finish.  Overall, I really like it.

Friday turned out to be a heavy game-playing day.   I wasn’t really planning on it, but Max had Evan and Drew over and they brought out Simply Suspects, which I don’t care for as much as I used to but the kids still love it.  I was the first one out of the game, and I wasn’t even Jake the Snake!   We also played King of Tokyo (with powerups this time), The Resistance, Parade, the 2nd R&R party game Pluckin’ Pairs.  Pluckin’ Pairs turned out to be a really fun experience for all as people wanted to continue playing it.  I am guessing we played at least 7 games , with several people coming in throughout.  At the peak we had 8 of us.

I still haven’t gotten to play Steam Works, and there are still 3 other R&R party games.  Plus, I found out the IELLO shipment arrived today!  Overwhelming!

The Week in Games….and More

Before I get in to what was played, let me start by saying something very odd happened in the last two weeks.  On Friday the 13th (which unfortunately was the day of the terrorist attacks), I won a free game simply by tweeting from Miniature Market, which ironically I had placed an order through two days before for Parade and some Baseball Highlights cards.  They are certainly my go to place for games now, even over Amazon.  Then this past Thursday, I won a FIVE game giveaway from R&R games.  All of them appear to be party games, but their ratings are not bad.  They are to arrive today.  Also, I received Bottom of the 9th the same day I received the free game from MM – Steam Works.  I have yet to read the rules all the way through for either.

Last week I went to both the Monday game night briefly and then our ATC game night.  I played something almost every day last week except for Friday and yesterday.

On Monday, I arrived at an awkward time and watched some folks play Biblios.  I am now excited to receive that, which was one of my IELLO picks.  Afterwards, I taught 3 newbies how to play Loop, Inc.  At this point, almost everyone will be new to Loop, Inc.  I did MUCH better this time than my first time around, which was not so good.  But at least no one has been eliminated from too many tears.

On Tuesday night Roman wanted to play something and I broke out Carcassonne: South Seas.  I forgot how great a game Carcassonne can be and it plays quickly.  We had to refresh on a few of the rules, but once we got going, all was good.  I won by one lousy point.

Wednesday was ATC Game Night, and I started with a few games of Timeline: Historical Events.  I need to bone up on some history!  Afterwards, I taught Loop, Inc. once again.  This time around, the teaching wasn’t as smooth and the gameplay was even less smooth.  I did poorly.  I need a break from that game (didn’t bring it tonight) but I want to try the solo variant very soon.

Thursday’s throwdown was just Karthik, Aerial, and I, so I broke out Carcassonne: South Seas again.  Karthik won, but he also took very long turns.

On Saturday night I finally played a full game of Steam Torpedo with Mike.  I did downright awful.  And I had to refresh too much, but I think I may finally have it down.  It’s not a bad game at all as long as you arrange your tiles correctly.  I did not do a good job of that.


The Week(s) in Games…..and More

Halloween was a mess of a day.  While i was at a fencing meet nearly 45 minutes from home, Julie was on her way to Charlotte to pick up art work.  Around 11:30 I got a call from her and figured she knew it was not a good idea to call since I can’t answer while being a ref.  But the message she left was incoherent….just a bunch of talking to someone else.  When I finally was able to get a hold of her, I found out that the car had broken down and she was waiting for a tow truck.  Not good.  I was on and off the phone with her all afternoon and she wound up having to rent a car because the car place was not going to be open long enough to get it fixed.  And it wasn’t going to be a quick fix.  As it turns out, it was a quick fix….but that’s another story.

So with Grace at a friend’s house for trick or treating, that left Roman and I, even though Max and Mitchell were in town.  Roman wanted to go to a friend’s house, but we couldn’t work it out with the friend, who wanted me to drop him off DURING trick or treating, and I planned to pass out candy.  But then Max called and said he and some friends were interested in coming over for games and I was up for that.  I ordered pizza and we played some Simply Suspects as warmup and then I introduced a lot of them to Colt Express, which is always a good time.  At 9pm, they headed out and trick or treating was over.

On Monday I went to game night and played Medieval Academy yet again, this time a 5-person game.  Once again it was a crowd-pleaser.  We then played some Red 7 and capped out the evening with a new one that I really enjoyed: Eggs and Empires.  I think that’s one I am going to have to buy.

On Saturday night, Mike came over and we finally got to play Black Fleet!  This was after Julie and I spent the day driving to Charlotte, having lunch, going to the modern art museum, and then stopping by Athens to drop the car off with Max.  Roman played with us but he was coughing the whole time as he had just gotten sick.  He’s STILL coughing this weekend.  Anyway, Black Fleet is a blast.  It takes up a bit of room with such a big board, but I would like to get it out at Game Night.

So on my second Monday game night, I started by playing Friday the 13th because a girl I never met (but apparently other people new) wanted to play it.  It’s still a solid game and I am glad we got it out.  But when I was asked to teach Loop, Inc., I was disappointed to have to say I still had not played it. But low and behold another gamer walked in with a copy and we played it with him, as he had already played it a few times.  What a tough, mind-bending game.  I really want to try it again and see if I can figure out the strategy.  Never played anything quite like it.  And there’s also a solo variant.  This gamer, Zach, also had Gold West and I had been intrigued by that one.  But he had never played it before, so it took awhile to get going.  It turned out to be a rather meaty game in the vein of something like Terra Mystica or Snowdonia.  It’s better than both of those, but wasn’t something i was counting on and took us until closing time.  Still glad I got to play it.

Vacation – Part II

Nothing fancy in Orlando – just an inexpensive stay at a Best Western.  The next morning we got up and headed for Magic Kingdom and got to the gate right at 9am after taking the ferry.  The problem is that on Thursday the resort guests were allowed to go in early so it was a relatively busy day for Magic Kingdom.

We headed right for Haunted Mansion, my favorite ride, and only had about a 5 minute wait.  Then it was over to Splash Mountain, and listening to Grace worry about “the drop”.  Again, fairly short wait, but things were getting busy.  I decided to do a Fast Pass on Great Thunder Mountain Railroad and it packaged it with two other rides and said come back at 8pm!  Wow.

As we walked from Splash Mountain, I noticed Roman playing games on his phone.  He was literally walking among a huge crowd and playing games!  I kept telling him to put it away but it didn’t work. Lines were going full throttle when we got to Jungle Cruise, and after that we were pretty much wandering from section to section.  The biggest misstep was actually waiting 70 minutes for Peter Pan.  NOT worth it.

Between listening to Grace complain about her legs being tired, Roman playing games, and rides just lacking the appeal they used to have, it was the least magical time I had at Disney.  We didn’t even stay the whole time which made me sad.  I did like the new games they added to the line at Space Mountain, but Space Mountain actually made me feel sick.  I also had a pretty fun time on the Buzz Lightyear ride, which was one of the last we went on using the Fast Pass.  We never did go to Great Thunder Mountain Railroad.  I also bought a new hat there that I really like.  Would I go back?  Well, it WAS very expensive.  I guess if money was no object, then sure.   But I believe the fact that we only had 2 of the 4 kids in tow may have had something to do with it.  And of the two we had, one acted as if he was too old for it.  Oh well.  Grandkids?

After dinner at Denny’s, we reached my parent’s place around 11pm.  Grace was wanting to sleep with Julie in the big bed, but luckily she stopped that talk.  On Friday we went to see the movie “Everest” in 3-D.  I quite enjoyed the movie though it flew under the radar.  Very realistic.  That night Julie and I went to dinner at Catches.  Over the weekend we also played bocce ball (Roman’s favorite) and got to see what their new beach area looked like, but there wasn’t a ton of activity.  We didn’t even play many games.  We played Five Crowns (of course) and I showed my dad Homestretch, but Wyatt Earp didn’t quite make sense to them.  I don’t expect a ton when I visit my parents; it’s just good to see them.

Driving back went fine from my memory.  Usually we hit a massive backup just south of Atlanta but that did not happen.  It may not be someone’s idea of a dream vacation, but it was out little trip and it was just fine.

The Week(s) in Games

I haven’t played much since my last post about games, but that’s because I was working the IELLO both at Come Out and Play for two evenings so I skipped the Monday meeting and missed the monthly Game Night at work.  I got in just a little bit of full gaming at COAP – Nyet and Sapiens.  I was mainly talking about the games at the booth.

This past Monday I went to Jason’s Deli and got in a couple games, both of which I won!  The first was Verflixxt.  I enjoyed it.  It’s a much more complex version of Deep Sea Adventure that takes a lot of thinking.  It was described as a short game, but it took us quite awhile to finish.  Afterwards, one of the group got into my bin and wanted to play Dogs of War.  This was a good thing as I planned to teach it at work the next day.  I found when we were done that I had forgotten a rule.  Turns out we had to cancel the teaching session on Tuesday, but we did it today and it went just fine.  Ready to play it again!