5 May 2013. Playing The Settlers of Catan with the children.
11 May 2013. Playing Villa Paletti with Shee Yun (8). I never quite remember the rules properly. We just play with the general idea of whoever causes the tower to topple loses.
19 May 2013. Chen Rui (6) likes Dixit and almost always requests for it when we visit Meeples Cafe. To her it's basically a guessing game. When Michelle and I play with the children we keep the clues simple - usually single words - and don't use any deep strategies or complex logic.
This was the first time I tried Tobago with Michelle and the children. It was too difficult for Chen Rui - the the elimination process to determine the possible locations of treasures was overwhelming. She gave up and Michelle took over playing for her.
26 May 2013. Shee Yun watched me play San Juan and Puerto Rico on the iPad, and wanted to learn too. After she had played them a few times, she wanted to play the physical copies. So we played. I'm glad she is interested in strategy games. I have hopes that when she grows up she will continue to play these with me. I guess this is true for every boardgamer parent.
I guided her and gave her tips when we played, explaining to her the strategies.
My player board. This time I diversified my production. With the help of the Factory I earned $5 (which is a lot) every time there was goods production.
Shee Yun's island. She knew it was a good idea to get the markets. I reminded her too. She bought both big and small markets. She even managed to earn enough money to buy two large buildings, which I thought was praise-worthy.
2 Jun 2013. Playing Allen's copy of Battle Line. I have self-made a copy using normal playing cards before, and I have played Ben's copy before, but this was the first time I played using the tactics cards variant. Those two cards on the right are tactics cards. Previously I had thought tactics cards would be gimmicky and would not be necessary, but it turned out they are quite interesting and they are a worthwhile variant. Not absolutely necessary, but they are nice. Tactics cards are usually powerful, although some are more situational than others. When you use this variant, you can play or draw a tactics card instead of a regular card any time. The only restriction is if you have played more tactics cards than your opponent, you are temporarily forbidden to play another. You need to wait till your opponent plays at least one more tactics card. This means if you are first to play a tactics card in a game, you will be anxiously waiting for how your opponent will play one on you (or even one after another in two consecutive turns) before you can respond in kind. This variant is an interesting twist and the tactics cards' abilities feel just right - strong, but not overpowered.
15 Jun 2013. Taluva by Marcel-André Casasola Merkle has always been one of my favourite games. It's open-information (although there is a little luck). It's abstract, despite the wonderful artwork and components. I rarely dig abstract games, but somehow Taluva just clicks.
Your basic objective is to use up two of your three types of buildings. Building houses are easy, but you need to meet specific requirements to build temples and towers. On your turn you must draw a tile, add it to the play area, and then build something. Sometimes you can stack tiles, or even destroy others' houses. You need to visualise how the board situation can change, and how you can make use of the possibilities. Managing your houses is an intricate balance. You can't just rush to build all quickly, because if you run out, and then you get a turn where you are unable to build a temple or a tower, you lose immediately. Taluva is a clever and very spatial game (and special too).