First, the acquired new stuff:

Dominion Big Box –

I mentioned Dominion earlier in a previous blog, but I didn’t actually own it then. I took advantage of an Amazon gift card and picked up the big Box, which comes with the basic Dominion game, and the two expansions, Alchemy and Prosperity, and some promotional cards too. However, I haven’t settled this one down to the table yet.

Airlines Europe –

Aside from FlashPoint Fire Rescue, this is the one that I was jazzed about.

We made a quick trip to Black Diamond Games out in Concord (we were heading to Walnut Creek for my annual clothes shopping run). The funny story – I asked the clerk first if he knew of the game… he said “they had it, but not anymore and that I could special order it with them”. I passed on that notion, and about a minute later found a copy of the game high up on one wall next to some Carcassonne stuff, and we all had a good laugh about the clerk’s inventory knowledge of his store.

One of Val’s favorite game rituals is punching out cardboard parts, assembly and card sleeving, so once she was content, four of us settled down to figure out this game.

Now for the game itself, it’s airplanes in Europe with stock trading and it has a Ticket To Ride spatial feeling with a cross of Alhambra in terms of color classification and scoring.
This makes a lot of sense since the designer of the game is Alan R. Moon, the guy that came up with Ticket to Ride in the first place.

Watching the Dice Tower video for the game helped bridge the gap between reading the instructions and making sense of the game spatially.

A finished game looks something like the following:

The cards outside the board represent the stock portfolio’s of each player. Each airline added to a particular color props up that color’s stock price. The higher the stock price, the more points collected by the player with the highest number of shares for that company.


Another game that we have been enjoying with Max is an abstract game called Blokus.

The easiest way to describe Blokus in a few words is “Go Meets Tetris”. You have neon colored block objects of various sizes. You start in one corner of a 20×20 block grid table piece.

Subsequent colored pieces MUST be placed against your color, but ONLY at the corners of the block pieces, never along a side. Whomever has the least number of pieces (or goes out of pieces first) wins the game. Max has actually WON a game or two at this game (and not the “let’s help the kid win” way, the actual “he beat us fair and square” way)…!

Sentinels of the Multiverse

I picked this up from a gaming buddy and this isn’t a game with a theme that Val would go for (superhero co-operative) – so I’m waiting for the right people to play it with.


Agricola —

While I picked up this game earlier – I still have to figure out Agricola – not sure why, but watching the videos online have provided no solace on how to figure out this game. I can tell Val and I would enjoy the theme – I think the hard part is that unlike other games, the abstractness of the resources (i.e. colored cubes representing sheep, cattle, wheat, etc.) makes the inherent intuitive learning curve that other games possess actually vanish in this case.

Some folks have actually made “animal meeples” or animeeples, and surprise surprise – one of my birthday presents was a bag of animeeples! So no more “cubes” for cattle or sheep, I’ll have my animeeples!

However, I think ultimately I’ll keep Agricola in wait for the time being. There’s European Airlines to dominate and kings to fly over their Dominions for this family.

Stuff I’m still hoping to play sooner rather than later:


Settlers of Catan —

I still want to learn Settlers of Catan. A copy of it was present at the party, but for some reason, after a rousing game of Flashpoint Fire Rescue (we won, including a last minute team effort to save one of the players from a wall of fire!) and a couple glasses of wine, Carcassonne seemed more the thing to play in the later hours (which we didn’t finish, but I got the gist of the game into more receptive brains – mwah hah hah!).

Thunderstone –

From my understanding of the Jones effect (i.e. if you have similar games with similar themes and mechanics, you’ll likely only play one more than the other(s) and therefore, should only keep the best one), I’m not 100% sure I’ll pick this up personally since it’s too similar to Dominion. However, I do still want to play it, so we’ll see.

CoC iPad game –

An old Santa Cruz buddy pointed out that there is a Call of Cthulhu RPG for the iPad. How the heck could I not have known about this? I plan to purchase it and will give a review as soon as I log in some time with it. If it has a creative way of resolving sanity losses in the game, it’ll get at least three official daveosuave stars off the bat.

Next up – an actual family non-game post or two. For reals!