The Games We Play – Summer Rollin’

So, after going for a couple months with barely playing any games, I've been rollin' in games the last couple weeks.

No Thanks - This is a pretty simple card game. There are numbered cards ranging from 3 to 35.  Nine are randomly taken out of the deck.  The rest are placed face down.  Everyone gets 11 tokens.  From the face down deck, one card is laid face up.  The starting player decides whether they want to take the card, or say "no thanks" and put a token into the pot.  The goal is to end up with the least points. Tokens work as negative points.  Eventually, there are enough tokens in the center to make it worth taking the card, or someone runs out of tokens and HAS to take the card.  It's a fun, simple quick game.

Dread Pirate - Now, I know the name sounds great for this game, but it's painfully dull.  It's a roll-n-move game, where the goal is to get the most loot from four different ports and a center island called Dread Island.  There's not a whole lot of depth to this, but the components were awesome.  It had a cloth map as the player board, and heavy pewter ships to sail around on it.

Love Letter - quick short game that sounds girlier than it is.  Goal is to end up with the highest numbered card.  Each card has some text to determine what you do.  Pretty quick and fun.  Excited to try out the Batman version someday.

Trajan - This has been by far the heaviest game I've played lately.  By designer Stefan Feld (his games have somewhat of a cult following).  This game uses a mancala mechanism to determine what action you take on your turn.  There are six different action types, and the way you weave them all together can get you points in a variety of ways.  This has really climbed up my favorites list.  I bought it used on BoardGameGeek, but I also play it on

Agricola - I recently got this game used, and I've gotten it to the table 4 times in the last month.  I've heard that you either love this game or hate this game.  It's a worker placement game where the goal is to build the best farm.  You can build up your home, build pastures, plow and sow fields and grow crops.  There are also occupation cards and minor improvement cards, but I haven't gotten around to introducing those to the kids yet.  I also play this occasionally on

La Isla - I got this game for Christmas.  On Father's Day, I finally got enough pull to get this to the table.  It's another Feld (like Trajan), but the theme and mechanics are a mismatch.  The theme is very light - it's all about capturing long extinct animals on a mysterious island - appeals very well to kids.  The mechanics are complicated enough that kids either don't get it, or it just isn't fun.


I'm starting to get into a groove.  It feels good.  I just found another game group that meets on Fridays.  They do mostly D&D type stuff, but the last Friday is always board games.  I'm anxious to try it out next week.  I've also been hitting a Wed lunchtime group at work that plays mainly 7 Wonders, but is open to other games as well.

In the meantime, when I can't get to the table I also tend to play a lot of games online. - Quite a variety of games.  The ones I play most often are Castles of Burgundy, Trajan, Alhambra, and Agricola.  It has a ton of other games too. - Similar to boite, this one has quite a few games, some of them simple abstract type games, but there are a couple bigger, weighier games on it.  My favorites are Russian Railroads, Castles of Burgundy (I play on both sites), Can't Stop, Way of the Dragon, Stone Age, and Just For Fun

My username on both sites is "joepunman" in case anyone is interested in starting a game with me.  Both sites are primarily correspondence type sites, where you make a couple moves a day, and just take your turn when you get a chance.  You can play live, but I rarely do.

So, if you get bored watching the Twins or got voted out of Survivor, come try  your hand at an online board game.  Or let me know what else you've been playing lately!

31 thoughts on “The Games We Play – Summer Rollin’”

  1. Addendum: I played Minecraft with my son for the first time this weekend. I've discovered that I was not made for Minecraft.

  2. I played Limbo. Great beginning, then got overly puzzly, hurting the atmosphere. That effing spider, though.

    1. I played through all of Limbo fairly quickly. I guess I didn't have a ton of trouble with the puzzles, but then, I play games of that type pretty often.

  3. I bought a copy of Paperback to take on vacation. It's a deck building game where you buy letters and spell words. The art is inspired by old pulpy paperbacks. It's a ton of fun. The same designer just successfully Kickstarted Burgle Bros. which I'm incredibly excited to play.

    As far as video games go, I can not get enough Splatoon. It's the most fun I've had playing a game in some time. I love the world/character design, the art is all fantastic, it has killer music, and it is just incredibly satisfying and addictive. I generally loathe arena shooters, but the combination of 3 minute matches, not having to listen to CoolDude69 shout racial epithets in my ear, and the game's brilliant mechanics means I've stayed up far too late on many occasions playing "just one more match." I also think the slow drip of content to ensure the game stays fresh is a really smart design choice. It's not a surprise that a lot of the team who made this game worked on Animal Crossing: New Leaf which had a similar content drip to keep the game fresh for almost an entire year. Can't wait to go home and play it some more tonight.

    Nintendo recently had brand new DSi consoles for sale on their store for $60 and I bought one to have at work. The Nintendo DS has one of the greatest lineups of any console ever, so I felt like it was worthwhile to buy a brand new DSi as it's probably the best form factor. I just got Tetris DS and Picross DS in the mail and I'm looking forward to playing them at lunch.

  4. I've played Agricola twice. I want to play it many, many more times. I guess I fall into the "love it" category. It really needs the right atmosphere for playing though. When we don't get to games until late at night, that's just a fatal blow usually.

    1. I've really been enjoying this game. And we haven't even delved into the occupation and Minor improvement cards yet.
      If you're ever interested in playing online, there's always just sayin'....

      1. I've never found online versions of IRL games to live up. I might give it a shot sometime though. About how long does an online game run?

        1. Depends on if you play it live or correspondence style (couple moves a day).
          Live can take about the same amount of time as a regular game.
          Correspondence can occur over weeks, but you play it at your own leisure (this is my preference). For some games, it can be tough to remember your overall strategy, but usually I can just take a minute to see what moves are available, and what I've done previously to know what my plan is and was.

          You're right in that it's not nearly as good as playing the actual board game, but in my obsession over the hobby, I've found this to be a good way to get a little bit of quick gaming in. Especially for some of those games that are harder to play with children.

          1. I might try to get in on a correspondence game before long then. Is there a good way to coordinate and get in a game with you?

            1. yeah, on boite, there's a way to invite specific players. You can either let me know your username, or you can invite me (joepunman)

                    1. Supposedly you'll get an email. You should also look at the list of joinable games, and you should be able to see it there.
                      If not, maybe I screwed something up.

                    2. Now try it. Genius that I am, I spelled your name with a "ph" instead of an f

        2. On this topic, if there was a simple-ish game a number of people could play with a similar set-up (i.e. quick check-ins, not ridiculous time investments), that could be kind of fun to do around here.

              1. I might consider doing a game like Shadow Hunters. It supports a large number of people, has hidden info (like Werewolf) and could be fun to do around here.

                  1. If you come help me move on Saturday, we can play one! (Not really, we have help aplenty on Saturday. Come stain my deck instead.)

            1. Yeah, that site hasn't been updated in a while. It's like the guy who runs it is busy or something.

            2. Those were a lot of fun. I would be willing to run a game every couple of months if others were willing to do the same. Spooky's given us a lot, I can give some back.

          1. It really depends on what game y'all want to play. Both sites I mentioned above have TONS of games. I find it's easier if everyone is familiar with the game before trying to play it online. So if there's a game on one of those sites that you know and are familiar with, I'd be glad to try it out.

            After seeing the cribbage tournament, I was kinda hoping that we could potentially someday do that with some of these board games.

  5. I've been playing some Smash Brothers on the 3DS when I can. It's pretty fun, though as with any fighting game, I need to find a few characters I like (Meta Knight & Charizard are front runners) and then learn some movesets. I really like it so far, though.

  6. My brother's bachelor party was all of us in the wedding party drinking beer and playing board games. We played:

    Formula D - We've played this before, and my usual tactic is to ignore the damage points because with only 2 or 3 other cars on the track, you don't accrue enough damage for it to matter. So I drive like I stole it. But with a full track of 9 cars, there was a lot more bumping and I barely limped over the line. One bad (or worse) roll anywhere in the game and I was done for.
    Pit - A card trading game where you try to make sets, very similar to Spoons. I stuck one of the other groomsmen with a -20pt hand in a sorta underhanded way. The other 8 of us thought it was hilarious.
    Tomorrow - This was the last game we played, and we were all a little lubed up at this point. My brother tends to see the rule book as "this is what you're allowed to do" whereas I tend to see board game rules as "If it's not specifically banned, then it's cool". Thus, my brother's six least favorite words are "Hey Boog, pass the rule book." In this semi-cooperative game, I decided that I was going to create a black market for my biological weapons. Hey, rogue nations definitely do that in real life and the rules didn't say I couldn't. Boog could only shake his head.

    And one more, which I can't remember at the moment.

  7. Also, someone in our building was moving out and left a bunch of free stuff in the basement with an invitation to help yourself. I found this gem of a game:

    I cannot wait to play it once, then get rid of it.

    The backstory of the game and its creator was pretty interesting too.

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