Tag Archives: board gaming

Rachel in Virtual Reality

Rachel and Vishal get a taste of virtual reality (VR):

And a bit of Quacks of Quedlinburg:

(See more VR demos here)

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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.

  

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Gaming through the Pandemic

The board gaming continues through the pandemic – albeit just me and Darlene (and Pan, of course) in person and strictly via online platforms with other friends.

Here’s some pictures from March through July – click through for the full gallery:

 

     

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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!

 

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Painting Middle Earth

I snagged an old copy of Middle Earth Quest sometime last year and knew I’d want to eventually paint the plain, dark gray plastic miniatures to bring them to life – before actually playing the game of course!  Well, I finally got around to painting them over the past week or two.  This is my first time painting miniatures but with tips across the web on everything from priming and base-coating to layering, washing and dry brushing, they came out pretty well.

Okay, so now we can have some adventures in Middle Earth.

Yeah, these things are pretty small.

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Next up, painting the Mayan calendar gears from Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar.

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Winter Gaming

Well, the global pandemic has certainly put a stop to our frequent gaming meetups, and I don’t mean Pandemic Legacy: Season Two – although Darlene and I have continued to play through the campaign while the real world pandemic develops outside.  (And, so far, in the real world, Darlene hasn’t been called in to help at Stanford Hospital yet.)

Since hosting a gaming day for New Year’s Day and before the directive to “shelter in place” was declared in mid-March, I got in a couple of games of Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated and my first adventure in Gloomhaven with Nacho, Luno and Lynette.  I picked up and introduced folks to managing the Taverns of Tiefenthal and manipulating empires in A War of Whispers.  I also got copies of both the original VivaJava: The Coffee Game (very popular with everyone) and the simpler dice version.  I got to try the intriguing but weird Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents and finally try Race for the Galaxy, which really is just “Terra Mystica in Space”. Other misc games with my local gaming group were of Saboteur,  DiamantPower Grid (with the newer power plant cards), Space Base (still not into it) and likely others I’m forgetting and didn’t take pictures of.  Looks like we’ll be getting together virtually for awhile, with online tabletop game simulations and video chat.

Switching to virtual play and videoconferencing during the pandemic

I also finally got my newer rendition of Merchant of Venus to the table with Darlene – I used to play the original version a lot with Clay, Patty, Dave and Kathie back in the 90’s.  This second edition includes “classic” versions of the board, rules and components to play essentially the original game but also an updated version with some new mechanics and changes to gameplay that I really like.  Oh and Darlene and I tried the “Legendary Asia” map for Ticket to Ride for the first time.

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Colorado Ski Week

This year, Jon, Bill, Kat, Jim, Stan and I hit up Beaver Creek and Vail in Colorado for our annual week of skiing and board gaming. We started off the week with the remnants of a heavy snow storm (as in heavy, wet snow) for a rough first day full of new and old moguls.  It was also pretty cold with highs in the teens.   As the following day promised to be much colder, we all sheltered indoors for a day of gaming including Sushi Go Party, Chinatown, Bang!, King of New York, Instinct, Cheaty Mages, For Sale, and the card game version of Shadows over Camelot.  The following days turned warmer and even sunny and blue skies at times so we were happy to venture out and explore the slopes again.

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New Years Day Gaming

We gathered fifteen gamers for a full day of gaming this New Years Day!

I joined Greg and Erin and GregToo! as we drank and caroused until just Erin was left standing at the Red Dragon Inn, and then Dan and Luno joined with us to just barely vanquish evil in a desperate game of Shadows Over Camelot.  Troy, Roland and Nacho fought over the solar system in The Expanse; Darlene, Lynette, Jacobi, Molly and John worked to defeat the monsters in Horrified and then later collected birds and bird eggs in Wingspan.  Nacho, Troy and Roland then competed to build up their cities in Machi Koro.  Nacho, John, and Dan joined me for more endeavors in the industrial eras of Brass: Birmingham while Darlene, Greg and Luno explored the worlds of Above and Below and Roland, Jacobi, Molly and Lynette weaved histories of civilizations in Tapestry.  After dark Roland, Greg, Luno, Lynette and Elizabeth gathered gems in Century: Golem Edition and then we all finished off the night in a six-way, cobblestone-filled bike race of Flamme Rouge.

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Christmas in Tahoe

Christmas in Tahoe… fresh snow, skiing, snowshoeing, hanging a ceiling fan, playing new board games (Covert and Pandemic Legacy: Season 2).

 

But then… uh oh, my cat broke:

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