Saturday, 24 September 2016

boardgaming in photos: family time

28 Aug 2016. Chen Rui (9) requested to play Confetti. This is a real-time game. Within one minute, you need to pick 6 cards (9 in Round 3) from among many spread out all over the table. Each card has three different shapes in three different sizes. After time runs out, you examine your cards and score 1pt for every set of small, medium and large shapes of the same type, e.g. a set of small, medium and large circles. That means in the best case you earn 6pts. However it's not that easy to find cards that complement one another so perfectly. A game round only lasts 1 minute, but the scoring can take much longer than that. Look at how the children were scratching their heads.

It was impossible to take photos of the game during play, since I was too busy searching for and claiming cards. During play, the whole table was a mess of cards all spread out, not tidy like this photo. We were doing scoring in this photo.

My wife's hobby is reading e-books. My children read physical books, watch Youtube, and play on the iPads. They all have their own preferred pastimes, and are not boardgamers like I am. Once in a while we do sit down as a family to play games, and I am grateful for that. It is my version of an ideal family weekend activity.

This is Ingenious, a Reiner Knizia game from 2004. I remember I bought it on impulse when I was on a business trip. At the time I greatly enjoyed visiting game stores, and when I did so, I always had the urge to buy something. Sometimes I regretted such impulse purchases, but not so for Ingenious. Playing it again made me happy. It is such a simple yet clever game. It is very easy to teach, yet it has some strategic depth.

The tiles gradually forming a landscape is beautiful to behold.

The children like to push individual colours to the 18pts max, which allows them to take an extra turn. I guess they feel this is a fun achievement. I tend to be more conservative and try to concentrate on scoring all my colours evenly. At the end of the game, your score is that of your colour with the lowest score. However going for the max is not a poor strategy at all. Towards game end, an extra turn can be crucial.

31 Aug 2016. I have played a lot of Machi Koro with the children. This was the first time for Michelle. I had been complaining that mixing in both the expansions was a bad idea, but I hadn't got around to doing anything about it. This time I finally put my foot down and spent some time sorting out the cards. I separated the cards into three sets - base game and the two expansions - and used a marker pen to mark the expansion cards. Don't cringe.

This time we played with just the base game plus the first expansion. It was indeed better than having the second expansion also mixed in. We were able to make better combos because it was easier to collect repeat copies of cards. The card deck was less diluted.

The children still like the fishing boats. Shee Yun (11) plays with strategy in mind. She won this particular game. Chen Rui (9) still plays on a whim. She buys what she likes. Sometimes we can't resist reminding her to buy this or not to buy that. If we don't, she would probably fall even further behind.

Maybe next time I should try playing with just base game plus second expansion.

Although it was Michelle's first game, she did well. She and Shee Yun were jostling for first place. I did poorly. At one point I purchased a furniture factory without having any mine yet. Shee Yun questioned my decision, but I brushed her off saying I knew what I was doing. I wanted to buy the furniture factory first before someone else beat me to it. I would buy the mines later. However, the mines were swept up by others before I could afford to buy them. I was left with a completely useless furniture factory. Having spent money on a useless building meant an opportunity cost. It affected my tempo and I never managed to catch up. I should have listened to my daughter.

One thing funny when playing with the children is whenever a die is rolled resulting in one or more players robbing another, the robbers immediately and gleefully extend their hands to the victim asking for money. It's childish, this kind of back-and-forth robbing, but it's a simple and pure joy.

Those little dots at the lower right corners are the marks I made on the expansion cards.

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