Summer Board Gaming

This is a gallery of pictures from another summer season of board gaming, including: 49, Flamecraft, Plague Inc., Thunder Road: Vendetta, Yedo, Merv, Atlantic Star, Eclipse, Middle Earth Quest, Chinatown, Quacks of Quedlinburg, Dominant Species, Dead by Daylight, Camel Up!, Hegemony, Clank! Catacombs, Evolution: Climate, Cosmic Encounter, Brian Boru: High King of Ireland, Horrified, Heroes of Land, Air & Sea, Burgle Bros 2: The Casino Capers, Game of Thrones, Bus, The Networks, Thunderstone Quest, Campaign Trail and Heat.

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Winter Board Gaming

Pictures from another winter season of board gaming, including Paris, Lost Ruins of Arnak, CloudAge, The Great Wall, Dead Reckoning, Flamme Rouge, Just One, Spirit Island, Quacks of Quedlinburg, Crazy Karts, Star Wars Risk, Bohnanza, Finger Guns at High Noon, The Hunger, Master Labyrinth, Aquatica, Spy Alley, Sushi Go Party, Ready Set Bet, Captain Sonar, Rocketmen, Heat: Pedal to the Metal, Roll Camera, Ark Nova, Quadropolis, Dinosaur Island, Great Western Trail: Argentina, Mountain Goats and CuBirds.

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Even Greater Gobs of Snow

Darlene and I headed back up to Tahoe at the end of February to meet up with Jon, Stan and Bill for our annual weeklong group ski trip. Storm after storm is continuing to dump massive amounts of snow in the Sierra Nevada – 53 feet over the season at Palisades so far.  We were able to come up in a slight break in the back-to-back storms hitting Tahoe (and all of California), but we had to take the long way out because highway 17 (through the low elevation, coastal Santa Cruz mountains) was actually closed due to snow – a very rare occurrence.

There were travel troubles all around with Jon’s flight cancelled and Stan coming up early to try to beat the storm.  We were joined by Resi and Aiden on Saturday before they had to rush back ahead of the next incoming storm.  We spend the day trying to clear some of the snow and ice from the deck, roof and stairs.  So much ice keeps building up on the deck and the stairs below from the ice-melting heat trace on the roof above – it actually was overflowing the threshold of the sliding doors below, freezing them in place and leaking water into the house.

Geof and Jennifer were also able to come up and stay for the week through the storms.  Unfortunately, Geof got seriously ill and ended up quarantined in a room for much of the week.  But then even the resorts had difficulties: closing early Monday, remaining closed Tuesday and only partially open the following day due to the massive amounts of new snow in such a short period. We did still manage to get multiple days of skiing in over our stay.

4.5 minute video montage of our week of Tahoe skiing

I joined Troy at Homewood on Sunday and then Jon, Stan and Bill at Northstar on Monday (until they closed early).  The resorts remained closed Tuesday and were still trying to dig out on Wednesday when I joined Troy again for the one lift that Homewood was able to get running.  Darlene joined me, Jon, Stan and Bill at Alpine and Palisades for much of Thursday and Friday, while Geof and Jennifer hit up the same resorts separately and Kat joined us for board gaming Friday night.  Darlene and I returned to Palisades and Northstar the following Monday and Tuesday before we had to make our way home again ahead of the next wave of storms – this time bringing warm temps and rain.

A drone flyover of the house to survey the current snow load as of early March.

There’s something like over 10 feet of ice and compacted snow on the roof right now.  Hopefully it will sustain the load and the incoming heavy snow and rain until our roof is scheduled to get at least partially cleared of snow late next week!

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Snow in Tahoe Again

We’re off to a strong snow season in the Sierra this year with over 200% of average already and some big 24-hour dumps like 35 inches just over New Year’s Eve!  (That storm we actually missed as we went home to Santa Cruz for the weekend.)  Darlene and I spent a few weeks in Tahoe starting in mid-December and then I came back for more through early January as she went to visit her family.  We hit up Palisades, Northstar, Heavenly and Homewood and were joined at times by Resi, Troy and Aiden over the past month.

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More Gaming, Costumes + SHUX’22

Lots more board gaming with friends from May through October of this year, including at SHUX 2022 in Vancouver, Canada – the annual gaming convention organized by the gang at Shut Up and Sit Down.  This was our third SHUX attendance and this time Darlene and I were joined by Richard, Adriana and Nacho.

Oath, Rocketmen, Streets, Chrono Corsairs, Wyatt Earp, Ark Nova, In Front of the Elevators, Modern Art, Canvas, Sleeping Gods, Camel Up, Gloom, Obsession, Switch & Signal, Anno 1800, SHASN, Trickerion: Legends of Illusion, Twilight Imperium (4th edition), Tiny Epic Zombies, Atelier, Aquatica, Who Goes There?, Dive, PitchCar, Brian Boru: High King of Ireland, Dungeon Lords, Last Will, Mind Mgmt, Polynesia, Super Motherload, Root, Tumblin’ Dice, CuBirds, Chinatown, 3000 Scoundrels, Villagers, Pipeline, Sorcerer’s Stone, Picture Perfect, So Clover!, Don’t Get Got!, ScandalOh!, Diamant, Conspiracy: The Solomon Gambit, Nemesis, Forgotten Waters, The Night Cage

Plus a Halloween costume gaming day at the end of October w/Nacho, Luno, Adriana, Troy, Darlene, Laurie and Richard:

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Tahoe Ski Week

Darlene and I joined Bill, Stan and Jon for our yearly ski vacation week, this time in Tahoe in early March.  We hit up Northstar and Palisades Tahoe during the week, with lots of board gaming in between of course.  On Saturday, Stan and Jon joined us at Homewood with Troy and Aiden to enjoy a bit of new snow.

(3.3 minute video montage of our ski week)

And a little VR demo-ing:

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Gamers Gone Skiing

A four-minute video montage of our skiing days.

We got our gaming group together in Tahoe in early February for a few days of skiing and board gaming. Geof and Nacho joined me on the slopes at Tahoe Palisades while Jennifer, Adriana, Laurie and Richard checked out the lake and old town Truckee – and Laurie got in an afternoon at Northstar.

We had exploding potions in Quacks of Quedlinburg, color confusion in Hues and Cues, pushed our luck in Diamant, placed our bets in Wits & Wagers, rolled for the top in Mountain Goats, intercepted secret codes in Decrypto, managed our tricks in both The Crew and Instinct, swam with sharks in Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, built up a map of cities and roads in Carcassonne, dodged avalanches in Slide 5, and laid out our “stained glass” dice windows in Sagrada.

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Let The Games Continue

Starting with the wonderfully imposing monolith from Return to Dark Tower:

…and continuing with clan conflict in Inis, a jungle race in The Quest for El Dorado, city planning in Suburbia, back-stabbing cooperation in Cutthroat Caverns, murderous philosophy in Trial by Trolley, breeding pea plants in Genotype, holding back the inevitable dike failure in Lowlands, interstellar warfare in Cosmic Encounter, rail building in Iberian Gauge and feeding your friends to sharks and sea monsters in Survive: Escape from Atlantis!

More gaming in early February at the Tahoe house: Gamers Gone Skiing.

March update: Surviving an alien infestation in Nemesis, wheeling and dealing in Chinatown real estate, running around an Istanbul market, building power plants in Power Grid, working the financial markets in Speculation, evolving your sea creatures in Oceans, getting your pirates out in Cartagena, reaching the dramatic end to our months-long campaign in the The King’s Dilemma, arranging a group photo in Picture Perfect, betting and cheating on horses in Long Shot: The Dice Game, surviving in the paleolithic in Paleo, fighting foes in Return to Dark Tower, pulling off a difficult heist in Burgle Bros and racing crazed camels in Camel Up.

Also lots of game sessions without pictures: horse racing bets and cheats in Long Shot: The Dice Game, maneuvering a Parade of Alice in Wonderland characters, deducing the murderer and motive in Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, serving up beer in Taverns of Tiefenthal, shooting it out with Finger Guns at High Noon, more clan conflict in Inis, and a bunch of sessions with The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine and The Crew: Mission Deep Sea.

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Gaming (and Costumes)

More pictures from our gaming sessions, including in costume for Halloween and for our ongoing King’s Dilemma council meetings:


Some of the many titles we’ve played recently: Cascadia, Burgle Bros (1 and 2), Chinatown, Pan Am, Cosmic Encounter, The Bloody Inn, Wiz-War, Mountain Goats, Plague Inc., The Search for Planet X, Maglev Metro, Near and Far, Gùgōng, Decyrpto, King’s Dilemma, Pandemic Legacy: Season 0, Bargain Quest, Nemesis, Obsession, Inis, Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, Barrage, Evolution: Climate and Flamme Rouge.

Update (11/29/2021): Added pictures from some more gaming sessions in November: Villainous, Unicorn Fever and Chinatown.  I forgot to take pictures during our very long but surprisingly truly funny game of Forgotten Waters.  D’oh!

Update (12/17/2021): Clay joined us in December on a visit: Die of the Dead, Power Grid, Flamme Rouge and Settlers of Catan — it was Darlene and Adriana’s first time to play Catan!  We also got together later in the month at Nacho’s for Bargain Quest and For-Ex.

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Visiting w/Martha & Dave

In early August, I met up with Darlene on her way back from Wisconsin and we spent a few days hanging out (and playing games) with Dave and Martha at their home in Conifer, Colorado. We then headed out in the camper van to wander around exploring a bit of Colorado for most of a month.  On our return, Darlene kidnapped Martha and brought her back to California to stay with us for a few days.

Giving Dave & Martha a taste of VR (virtual reality)

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Painting my Nemesis Figures

I decided to try a relatively quick and simple wash painting of the miniatures from my Nemesis board game, focusing on giving the creatures (or “intruders”) a nice scary look.  They came out great!


It took just a few steps but still most of a day.  I coated the originally gray plastic figures with a black spray-on primer (Rust-oleum Flat Black) and then, after that dried, I sprayed white primer from above (Rust-oleum Flat White) to create a sort of highlight/shadow effect over which to apply a wash.  (A wash is a very diluted mix of paint that you brush all over a figure – it tends to collect on edges and pool in crevices bringing out detail and definition, depending on how you brush it.)

I used three color washes from this Citadel Shade Paint Set. The primary shade was blue (Drakenhof Nightshade) and then I blended a bit of red and green washes here and there (Carroburg Crimson and Biel-tan Green) to give it a more interesting look.  I did a little bit of detail painting in the fleshy parts around the creatures’ open mouths and then painted in the floors and bits of equipment on some of the stands.  To keep the project short and simple, I just applied several coats of different solid color washes to each hero character corresponding to the player colors rather than painting all the little details realistically.

Last step was a spray-on, matte clear coat (Krylon Matte Finish) to protect the painted figures from handling while playing the game.

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Gaming In Person Again

With everyone fully vaccinated, starting in mid-June we were able to get together for in-person board gaming again – and so much more fun than the entirely virtual meetups during the past year.

Some of the titles we’ve been playing recently: The Crew, Now Boarding, Near and Far, Burgle Bros., Sagrada, Azul, Nidavellir, Viticulture and Viticulture: Tuscany, Mechs vs. Minions, Covert, Cartographers, Acquire, Cloudage, Captain Sonar, Railroad Ink, Pret-a-Porter, Bang!, Smartphone Inc., Crazy Karts, Kanban EV, Sidereal Confluence, Between Two Castles, Vindication and Brass: Birmingham.

Update: We got together again on the last day of the month for Shikoku, Steampunk Rally, Cosmic Encounter, Feierabend, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Master Word and Villagers.

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Gaming Continues

Despite the upheaval that is 2020, the gaming continues with Near and Far, Elfenland/Elfenroads, Ecos: The First ContinentCryptid, Galaxy Trucker, Streetcar, Memoir’44, Covert, Now Boarding, Great Western Trail, and a few Clank! expansions: Sunken Treasures, Temple of the Ape Lords, and The Mummy’s Curse.  Then there’s our new favorite trick-taking game, The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine.

We also played a number of titles from the Exit: The Game series, but I don’t recommend them – they’re often a rather mixed bag and sometimes annoying in their puzzle designs.


Painted Tzolk’in Gears

After painting my Middle Earth Quest miniatures, I turned to my Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar gears. People have done all sorts of very cool, detailed painting with these, but I was just intending to give them a simple wash to make them look a bit like weathered, stone Mayan calendar dials (like these).

Unfortunately, two coats of the wash spoiled the effect so I just added a little bronzing over the stain and called it a day.  (I got the 3d-printed center discs to replace the original stickers from here.) I was most worried about replicating the tiny food day icons/symbols with a painting brush but those turned out great!