Getting Dicey

This post is taking the place of Pixel Perfect Memories.  Because I want to incorporate board games into this feature, I want to come up with a better name.  So far, "Getting Dicey" is all I got.  If anyone has a suggestion, please share.

I plan on using this feature to share about new board games I've played and heard of, and to speak about the board game hobby in general.  Video games are still welcome, though I will probably not share much in that department

There's a gaming group that gets together here in Bloomington Normal every Wednesday.  I'm lucky to get there about once a month (because I'm busy with kid's activities).  This Wednesday, kids' activities were cancelled, so I took advantage.

First game was played was Russian Railroads.  Despite the name, this is nothing like Ticket to Ride or Railways of the World or other such train type games.  It's a medium-heavy Euro worker-placement game.  You start with 5-6 workers and place them on areas of the main board in order to advance your own board, which represents your personal railways.  You have three rails you are trying to develop, along with an industry track.  Each one can produce points in different ways, and it's up to you to maximize the value among the tracks.  It's somewhat difficult to explain, and the themeing is not intuitive, but I love this game.  I've been playing this for a while online, and I really want to get the home version, but unfortunately I don't see myself getting this to the table very often.

Second game we played was Betrayal at House on the Hill.  In this game, you're a character in a B-type horror movie, checking out an old abandoned house... on a hill.  The twist is that halfway through the game, the "haunt" is revealed, and one of your characters turns into the villain.  From then on, it's the traitor vs. the rest of the players in a battle of good vs. supernatural evil.  The game has several different scenarios, which gives it great replayability.

Finally, we played Formula De which has since been redone as Formula D.  In this game, you play a race car driver, pretty simple.  It's a fairly straight forward roll-and-move game, but each turn, you have the choice to shift up or down, which changes what die you roll, and with it, how far you can go.  There are turns which you'll have to stop with one of your die rolls, or suffer consequences.  We played a much simpler rule set, and I would like to play it again with the real rules.

Next time, I'm going to preview my trip to Geekway to the West in St. Louis May 14-17.

What have you been playing?

66 thoughts on “Getting Dicey”

  1. Along with any name suggestion, we definitely need a category name. Something that can encompass board and video games would be great.

      1. Board Silly
        Board Out of Our Minds
        Rattle Them Bones
        Daddy's New Pair of Shoes
        Boardwalk Umpire

  2. Does anyone have suggestions for board games for young children? Many of the board games available seemed to be at least 8+ if not older. We recently picked up Scramble and Monopoly (80th anniversary edition!) and I spent a while looking over Target's sparse collection trying to find something that might work. It would be nice if it wasn't just for young children and would work when they got a bit older.

    1. My mom really likes games that are noncompetitive--you know, everyone wins! How on earth she ended up with such a competitive daughter (ahem) I'll never know, but here are a couple games she likes for young children.

      What's On My Head?
      Move and Groove

      Note, neither of these are actually board games. We do have a one at home, but I'm blanking on the name. I'll report back this evening.

    2. How young we talking? My 6 year old loves Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert. They're both cooperative games and require very little reading.

      1. 19 months. No, we aren't planning on anything right now but were curious about the options between about 3 and the usual minimum of 8 or 10.

            1. More seriously, Trouble. Can't go wrong with popping the popper to bounce the dice. But you can go insane.

              1. That generally just devolves into pressing the popper ad naseum, which (if my 5-year old self is to be believed) is awesome.

            2. Both games the trinket struggles with following the rules.... (which seems to be a recurring theme with her, to be honest.)

            1. How have you been able to keep your Roll and Play cards from being bent every way possible and the dice from only being used as a basketball?

              I almost forgot about Hi Ho! Cherry-O. That is one game the trinket does pay attention to and plays within the rules. It helps that she likes to count.

              1. Re: Roll & Play - we haven't exactly...not sure you can. We're pretty diligent about making her pick up the cards and put them away, be gentle with them during use and whatnot, but there's only so much you can do. As for the basketball part, I don't know. She doesn't really throw or kick stuff (except gravel/pebbles on the playground ... go figure).

              1. Yeah - she doesn't do paper or cardstock in the mouth, but every other toy she has ends up in there. Disgusting.

    3. Games our kids (5 and 3) have enjoyed (repeats here):

      Don't Break The Ice
      Hungry Hungry Hippos
      Hi Ho Cherry-o
      Sequence Jr. (or somesuch... they use animal pictures instead of playing cards)
      Go Fish

        1. My five-year-old reminded me that he also enjoys TransEuropa (he doesn't quite play it right, but close enough), and Mancala (his strategy is low, but improving).

    4. We got the World of Disney Eye Found It game for one of the kid's birthdays, and both the 5 year old and the 3 year old love it. Basically, it's a massive board with tons of scenes from Disney shows. The cards indicate what you should look for, and there's a timer to dictate how long you have to look. There's also a spinner to move, but my girls prefer to just look for different things repeatedly.

  3. I hope there will be articles on sports board games (Strat-o-Matic, APBA, etc.) at some point.

    1. Sports dice games (both with real dice or computer dice) might be my favorite thing in the whole world that isn't a person

    2. Most certainly. Some friends at work tried to start a SOM league, but it didn't really take off.

    3. I got spinner baseball for Christmas one year and my brother and I played whole leagues of that, too. We got bored with the original cards (1988, only a couple of dozen cards), so I made a couple hundred more using my baseball cards to determine rates of hits, home runs, strikeouts, and the like.

  4. I played Flux a few weekends ago at the curling club. I thought it was a pretty good time. It helped that I joined in a game that was already well under way and, once it came to be my turn, immediately won the game. I should have stopped there on a Costanza note, but I did have fun in the second game I played.

      1. I didn't know there were multiple version, but yeah, looks like the original version.

  5. Sweeping more to the video game side, I just finished Borderlands 2 over the weekend. That was a blast the whole way through. I combined my favorite elements from Diablo with a dark, twisted sense of humor (Handsome Jack is on my short list for "favorite recent video game villain"), and while a lot of the quests can be summed up as "go here and shoot this guy", it never really feels like that.

    I also beat the main quest in Pokemon Omega Ruby over the weekend, but I'm not all that close "finished" with it. Still gotta catch 'em all, you know. The 3D was okay, but at times, I had to turn it off (usually in the dungeons, where they're really trying to make things "pop"). Otherwise, it's just more of the same, and I'm perfectly okay with that.

    I'm going to start Walking Dead: Season 2 on the PS3, I think. I'll probably start up something light like Smash Brothers on the 3DS.

    1. One of these days I'll finish Borderlands 2. I'm most of the way through it as a Siren, which has been a blast.

      I just have episode 5 to go on the Walking Dead: Season 2. Its still solid, but not quite as impactful as season 1, which left me having troubles getting to sleep on occasion. It has its moments, though.

      1. Yeah, the first season, even if the choices were on the rails, left me dumbfounded and shaken at times. No other games has ever come close to getting that reaction.

        How far are you in Borderlands?

        If I had one gripe about the game...

        'Not REALLY a spoiler, but still...' SelectShow

        All in all, I'd like to play it again, but I think I'd rather play through it with someone this time.

        1. I'm pretty far along, I think just about to do the final mission. Its been a fairly long time since I've played, though.

          'Spoiler' SelectShow
          1. 'Spoiler' SelectShow

            But then you get some of those crazy grenades which bounce, home in on enemies, create a singularity, then hit everything for massive electrical damage, and everything is all better.

          1. 'Spoiler' SelectShow
    2. I also beat the main quest in Pokemon Omega Ruby over the weekend, but I'm not all that close "finished" with it. Still gotta catch 'em all, you know. The 3D was okay, but at times, I had to turn it off (usually in the dungeons, where they're really trying to make things "pop"). Otherwise, it's just more of the same, and I'm perfectly okay with that.

      About 14 years ago I got Pokemon Gold for Christmas. I never got very far but kept it all this time. I dusted it off a few months ago and started playing again cracked it open to replace the battery and then started playing again. It was perfect for playing in short periods of time. Sadly, I decided to take a break because the short periods were becoming not so short and I haven't picked it back up again.

      1. It was perfect for playing in short periods of time.

        This is exactly why it's perfect for me. I get to play ten to fifteen minutes and be done. I can even just flip the 3DS shut and open it again to pop back to the exact spot I left off.

        So far as the "getting to be not so short" comment is concerned... I know what that's all about, too.

    1. Was tethered to that for a while at one point. Once I broke the addiction, I've had no desire to go back. You can do it!

        1. I'm ready to ditch a few neighbors for graffiti -- let me know if you want to move in next to each other.

          currently saving my donuts for:
          1) Otto Mann and the school bus
          2) Channel 6 news van (for the 4 hr job for the TV studio)
          3) Aztec Theater (for the 4 hr job for Squeeky Voice Kid)
          4) Cracker Factory (and Millhouse's mom, plus Fleet a Pita)

          1. After the major update for android, my game got wiped. I almost gave up the game then, but then I found a reddit forum where they could hack the game, so I asked to have my account set up with everything I lost. They did, and added several thousand donuts, so my Springfield was pretty decked out, up to the last time I played.

            I haven't played it on my new phone yet (since I haven't played in something like a year), but I'll download it and see if I can play just a little bit. If so, I'd love to be your neighbor.

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