Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Joy of Gaming - Ray's Rate a Shelf #29

At the beginning of this year, my husband started a Twitter feed, posting a different part of our game shelves and rating the games that are on them. I was so impressed by this activity, I thought it would be great to share it on my blog.

Click the Tweet to see the rankings and the games.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Joy of Gaming - Ray's Rate a Shelf #28

At the beginning of this year, my husband started a Twitter feed, posting a different part of our game shelves and rating the games that are on them. I was so impressed by this activity, I thought it would be great to share it on my blog.

Click the Tweet to see the rankings and the games.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Joy of Gaming - IGGPPC Camp: Tabletop Games Photo Scavenger Hunt (2018)

I created this hunt for camp. I wish I had added "show a picture of your game collection," but oh well. As someone who plays games all the time and has a 400+ collection, this was really hard. I did my best, though.

1. Your Favorite Game
Being honest here... this was tough. There are SO many games I love and will always play. Ticket to Ride, though, also allows me bragging rights, because I'm good at it. Give me variations, give me themes... set collecting and completing goals is the most zen gaming experience ever! If you look at my Joy of Gaming series, you'll see there are so many amazing games that I love, but I went old school for this.

2. A game you'd play at camp
I wouldn't be me if I didn't bring CAMP Grizzly to play. A camp setting, a camp theme, and a little bit of spooky. Love, love, love.

3. A game that made you love gaming
I have gateway games that exposed me, but one game that has just never faded for me and really changed my whole perspective was Pandemic. There were other games, like Hero Quest, but Pandemic, I think, really cultivated where I've gown as a gamer.

4. Favorite Game Theme
I love crime/mystery/deduction games. I love the puzzle and the time constraint. I really should have taken that PI test back in the day, but I love solving a good mystery. I've got mad intuition skillz.

5. A Fandom Game
As we looked through our games, there were so many I could give nods to. Star Trek: Five Year Mission, pretty much any zombie game, even Harry Potter. Once I added a game I also just adore? You know I have to go full on MCU with Legendary. I'm not saying there's a large box-shaped bulge under my pillow at night, but I'm also not saying there isn't.

6. Favorite Art in a Game
Art is such an important part of Tabletop Game design. There are so many absolutely gorgeous games. Celestia and Dixit or games with minis such as Shadows of Brimstone and Zombicide. One game, though, besides Dixit, that just dominates my mind is Mysterium. While it uses the Dixit idea of large cards with beautiful art, it also ties in the idea of deduction and mystery through the use of additional cards that you need to help you solve the mystery. Just absolutely gorgeous... every aspect of the game. My picture doesn't do it justice.

7. Favorite Game Title
Oh boy... there are quite a few, but the one that stands out is Fortune and Glory. I mean... Indiana Jones people! Funny Fact: Literally everyday I have a front row seat for pretty much half of our collection and when I am thinking, my eyes are constantly scanning the games across from me. Some of the good names I see right off the bat are Cartagena, Scythe, Elysium, The Battle at Kemble's Cascade, Chaosmos, Galaxy Trucker, Stuffed Fables, and Grimoire, just to name a few. Fortune and Glory, though, is one that I also stare at everyday, and it makes me want to wear a super sweet fedora so someone can tip the rim.

8. Favorite Game Piece
The blue crystal skull from Tzolk'in is awesome! Don't get me started on amazing game pieces, but this was the first to come to mind, even though there are millions. I must commit. (And I feel like a tool for spelling Tzolk'in wrong when I posted this all over the place. I can only partially blame auto-correct, since the title is in the picture. ::hangsheadinshame::)

9. Favorite Game Board
I'm beating a dead horse at this point, because game boards are just another aspect of the artwork that can completely enthrall. Suffice to say, we're in the trenches of Scythe right now, so the board was fresh in my mind.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

IGGPPC Camp: The Great Closet Cosplay Challenge 2018

I have found that I enjoy theming out my clothes. It doesn't mean I want to dress up in full cosplay, but I like giving nods to things. That's Closet Cosplay. It's giving those nods to what you love without going full face paint. IGGPPCamp does a theme each day and I decided to try. Don't laugh. I worked really hard to get to a place where I could do this.

Thursday, August 16, 2018
Total Guardian overload!

Friday, August 17, 2018
My daughter and I did WALL-E and EVE.

Saturday, August 18, 2018
I had to do Fry and Leela! Love it! I know I was excited the wig showed up, but it wasn't for this activity. I felt really bad about it later. I had just intended to be Leela (hello... purple hair).

Sunday, August 19, 2018
I love this shirt and it was all about the troop.

HURRAY! My nerdy clothing challenge is complete. That wasn't too hard. 

The Joy of Gaming: IGGPPCamp Fun Games for Camp

This is a guest article I wrote for the International Geek Girls Pen Pal site for our annual IGGPPCamp! Sadly, due to whatever time issues arose, it was not published during camp. So I'll put it here.

When packing for camp, there’s always that recommendation of bringing something to entertain yourself. At the same time, it’s not like electronics are something you can always have access to. My go-to is always board games, but try fitting Shadows of Brimstone, Zombicide, or Gloomhaven in your camping bag. It ain’t happenin’. And don’t even get me started on those really trendy for-board-game-backpacks. Goodness gracious, why not just strap a mini-fridge to your back.

All those constraints aside, I thought of 5 games that I felt would be rather entertaining to bring to camp that are slightly out of the ordinary and would probably garner you an award for the most unique tabletop board gamer in your cabin, tent, or yurt. At the same time, they aren’t excessively bulky and could probably even replace that inappropriate box of snacks you’re trying to smuggle in.

Campy Creatures (2017)
Players: 2-5          Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes

Revisit your favorite campy horror movies with Campy Creatures. You're a mad scientist who needs humans (mortals) to complete your experiments, so you send out your army of creatures to retrieve what you require. The game uses hand management and set collection to achieve your goals and save the day. Will you collect enough humans? Or will your experiments fail?

The artwork will make you think of the heyday of horror and might even inspire in you and your friends your own campfire stories. Make sure you don't fall into the pit-traps of getting stuck with the fickle engineer, the vengeful hunter, or even the deep sea diver and his unpleasant harpoon gun. Campy Creatures is good for a laugh and lots of fun!

Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger (2018)
Players: 1-100 (Recommend 1-4)          Estimated Time: 60 (depending on how many chapters)

Most of us remember reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. Your grade school teachers might have even had you write your own. Yet while we all treated it like a storytelling device, had we ever really thought about it being a tabletop game? Z-Man games has answered your unasked question in the form of a thrilling cooperative storytelling adventure game.

You and your gamer buddies read through the chapters of House of Danger and follow the options at the end of each card. You gather equipment, face various challenges, and look for clues to help you solve the mysteries. Players take turns reading the story cards and making your decisions, but watch out for a premonition of your own death! They will leave chills running down your spine!

While the box might be a bit large and might be considered heavy for your camping backpack, treat it like packing a book that you can share with your whole cabin! Worth it for the campfire suspense and you could do a chapter a night! Pick up this game and relive all the magic of your favorite adventures by choosing your fate!

Fairy Tale (2004)
Players: 2-5          Average Time: 30 minutes

Fairy Tale is a fantasy themed set-collecting, card drafting game that plays so quickly it’ll make your head spin! Easily transportable in the box or a Ziploc, Fairy Tale is a wonderful game from Japanese designer Satoshi Nakamura, picked up by Z-Man games, that will have you playing round after to round to see who can make the best combos and get the most points for your creatures. The artwork is gorgeous and will leave you with inspiring images as you drift off to dreamland in your bunk.

Kodama: The Tree Spirits (2016)
Players: 2-5           Estimated Time: 40 minutes

Kodama are little tree spirits and they have a goal to help grow the best tree in the forest. As you build a tree off of your trunk base, you are looking for images that match to create sets, but each Kodama also has a goal that you want to achieve. To make matters even more complicated for the poor Kodama, their work is assessed after each season and they have to fulfill that goal as well. Each Kodama, though, has their own view of what success is, but at the end of the four seasons, will you have the most amazing tree?

Kodama can play 2-5 players and is based on set collection and card placement. The images on the tree branches are the sets that you are trying to match up for points and the actual tree limbs are the tile placement portion. It is a wonderful game for players of all ages, but make sure you have a large space in the mess hall so that you can spread out your amazing trees!

Wizards of the Wild (2015)
Players: 1-4          Estimated Time: 30 minutes

If you like magic and you like the wild and cute adorable animals with powers, then you're probably going to fall in love with this game. Players are an animal wizard who has a special player power that will help you to defeat the other wizards you are battling against. Each round you use your dice to gather materials to purchase spells and challenges that will help you pay the Acolytes of the Lost Masters to score and allow you to defeat the other wizards! Hone your own magical skills and attempt to be the ultimate wizard of the wilds.

If you can’t get a hold of these through your favorite tabletop game providers, here are some others that might just fit the bill. All worthy of adding to your collection, while also being accessible enough to teach to others, perfect for a fun time, and easy to slip into your overnight bag.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Animal Upon Animal (2005) - A dexterity game that comes in various sized versions, including a mini-version.
  • Dragon Slayer (2014) - A great dice game.
  • Hanabi (2010)
  • Love Letter (2012) - Many different themes to suit your geeky needs.
  • Noah (2012)
  • Red 7 (2014) - Card game using hand management and set collecting to play the best colors/numbers.
  • Sushi Go! (2013) (Party or Original) - A set collecting, card drafting game themed out with delicious sushi!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

IGGPPC Camp: Troop Guardian Scavenger Hunt

1. Currently Reading

2. Favorite Movie
Marvel Cinematic Universe

3. Spot the Wildlife

4. Show off your campsite
We're in the middle of purging/remodeling, so I didn't really have a campsite. This is the closest I got.

5. Favorite geeky accessory you own
I take her everywhere so I can take my gaming pictures.

6. Favorite Guardian

7. Craft project from camp you made
Steven's Universe Steven Star Troop Garland

8 A meal from the mess hall

9 Canteen (or water bottle)

10. Selfie at camp

Thursday, August 16, 2018

IGGPPC Camp: Thank You Letter

As part of my International Geek Girl Pen Pal Camp 2018 we were asked to write letters each day. Day 1 is a Thank You Letter. While there are so many people in this world I can thank for different reasons, there is one that really deserves it more than everyone.

Dear Ray (AKA Hubbywubs, AKA Ray-B-Doo, AKA - Papa),

Thank you for always being there. I know we have our ups and downs, as all couples do, but 21 years latter, I think we're doing pretty okay. Sometimes we don't sync up with priorities or goals or outlooks, but we don't let that stand in the way. You are my partner in crime. You may not always like cutting out pieces of construction paper to make signs for my school projects or having to run errands when I am too exhausted, but I appreciate it. 

Thank you for being the most amazing father in the world. You do so much for our daughter and, at times, have to pick up the slack of being a mother and a father when I just can't make it happen due to work or other required commitments. You work with her and understand her and she depends on you for so many things and you just put everything aside to help her work through whatever is going on. I can't even list all the ways you are amazing with her, but I know you know because I tell you everyday.

With 21 years of baggage, it's hard to know what to list or go on and on and on about, so I said a few thankful things, not like you don't hear them everyday or at least every-other-day, but I just thought I'd say "thank you" again, because I know you need to hear it. 

I love you so very much.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Joy of Gaming - Ray's Rate a Shelf #27

At the beginning of this year, my husband started a Twitter feed, posting a different part of our game shelves and rating the games that are on them. I was so impressed by this activity, I thought it would be great to share it on my blog.

Click the Tweet to see the rankings and the games.