2014 In Review For Nerdy Life Of Mine

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

TableTop Night!

So this a mix of a few different nights. With the holidays and everything I’ve stated to fall behind a little.  The first set is the ever classic 7 Wonders.
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Then had small break and played Lord of the Rings Monopoly.
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Then picked it back up with Ticket to Ride.
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This last one was playing with the Hobbits the other day. A fun little kid’s game call Disney Trivia.  Well its fun for them.
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Random TableTop Night

So we had a random little TableTop night at my girlfriend”s parent’s place. Started off with Small World, I picked Wealthy Halfings and made a nice little corner for myself on the map. So after 3 rounds flipped them and took Dragon Master Barbarians and took out the Amazons and a few Leprechauns (just because they’re magically delicious!). So once I couldn’t do anymore damage with the Barbarians, I picked up the Commando Pygmies… Yes I said Commando Pygmies… This was the last round of the game figured go out with a bang haha. For those who don’t know what Small World is: “inhabited by a zany cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs, and even humans, who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth. Picking the right combination from the 14 different fantasy races and 20 unique special powers, players rush to expand their empires – often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory!” -Description from Game’s website http://www.daysofwonder.com/smallworld, check it out sometime!

Then after Small World we played a round of Seven Wonders and then a around of Ticket To Ride. Not a bad little night of gaming!

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On a side note: I also got Ticket To Ride off the Google Play Store. It runs great on my Nexus 7, it’s smooth no lag of any kind. I’ve played Ticket To Ride on iPad before playing on Android and I like them both. I really can’t tell the differences between the two, aside from one being on 9.7″ display and the other being 7″ display. The cost for the app on Google Play was $6.99, something with the App Store. I know in some cases the iPad came with Ticket To Ride for free, so bonus for those who got it!!

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Finally Broke My “Wil Wheaton Curse”

So the other night we (me & my wonderful nerdy girlfriend) had a small TableTop night. We played five different rounds of games and might I add I won 3 of them! Started off with Ticket to Ride: India witch a super fun map. All tho we didn’t play with the rule of occupying only one track when there are doubles. Never played India before so we wanted to get a feel for it.

So after my lovely win (I’m green by the way) we started up Ticket to Ride: US. Seeing how my girlfriend was a little mad that she lost and thinking I never win at the US map. What could go wrong? Me winning the US map……  Played again, she won this time. So at this point we’re tied and we played one more time on the US map and I won…… Yeah OOPS. So I pulled Alhambra out because I NEVER win at this game.. NEVER. As much as I love it, I never win.  To make a long story sort, she won! Made her feel better at least haha..

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The following day my little Hobbits wanted to play a boardgame. Well they wanted to play Ticket to Ride, but I think it might be a little hard for them at this point in time. SO Alhambra it is!! I must say I’m rather shocked on how good they are at this game. Sadly I had a massive headache while playing this game. But I pushed through it because the Hobbits we having fun and didn’t want to stop them. In the end I lost, and Jax came in 3rd, Lilly 2nd and my girlfriend won.

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Some More TableTop: Ticket To Ride To A Forbidden Island

Oh Ticket to Ride…. So much fun and yet (like Monopoly) it’s a cause for quick tempers and small fights haha. Played the classic Ticket to Ride America and found myself losing at that… Yeah….  Then we tried out Ticket to Ride Switzerland again with only two players. Might I add I won Switzerland with 154 points :)!! I like the board lay out, but I can see how it would be easy to screw over people with 3 or more players. Here is a description for the from the publisher’s website: “The Ticket to Ride: Switzerland map and rules first appeared as an exclusive map for the Ticket to Ride computer game. In addition to being specifically designed for a smaller numbers of players the map has several new features. Locomotive cards are used exclusively for tunnels (which work as they do in Ticket to Ride: Europe). Some destination cards have an end point inside Switzerland and other possible ends in adjacent countries (the value of the completed card is based on the farthest possible connection completed). There are also destination cards for connections between adjacent countries.”

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So after Ticket to Ride, we picked up Forbidden Island and that’s when things went south… As you can see in the pictures Fool’s Landing is at the top of the “map”. Not really a good way to start off the game.. Well to make a long story sort, we lost the game  when the water level went up to 4. The tiles were already flooding and so what was the first card I pulled from the top? FOOL’S LANDING……. For those who don’t know much about Forbidden Island the setting is this: You have a team of adventurers(Engineer, Explore,  Messenger, Navigator, Pilot) to capture four treasures from the ruins of this island on a “do-or-die” mission. You work together to capture the lost treasures, as the island is sinking with every turn. You have to collect all the treasures and make an escape back to Fool’s Landing before the island pulls you under the watery abyss.

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After that disappointing defeat, the next day I thought it would be fun/funny to teach the hobbits how to play Forbidden Island. Being a co-op game it should be easy to do haha.  I must say it was fun watching Lilly put things together and work with us to win the game. She got two treasures by herself and helped keep Fools’s Landing from going under a few times HAHA. I believe she played as the Messenger.

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More Castles You Can Shake Dice At, Plus A Mad Train Ride Through Africa To Play With Some Magical Buildings

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So last Saturday was the first time playing Castle Dice. I must say it was rather fun and yet there was enough of the “cut throat” element within the game to make you keep playing. We played with 4 players and it ran about 40 minutes or so.   Here is a small description from makers page:

“Castle Dice is a light worker-placement, dice-drafting game in which the players have been ordered by the king to build castles along the borders of the kingdom. The player who can create the greatest castle will become the new heir to the throne. Players will explore the land by rolling the dice, and then take turns gathering resources from them. These resources are then used to hire workers and improve castles. Players must gather and spend wisely as the Barbarians from the neighboring lands will attack players and steal their resources throughout the game. At the end of seven turns, the player who has built the greatest castle (earned the most victory points) wins the game!”

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In one of my older TableTop posts I said I came in right in the middle of a “stressful” game of Ticket to Ride: Heart of Africa, sadly I wasn’t able to play that time. BUT! This go around I finally got a chance to play. I enjoyed it, aside from people getting mad haha. The only time I got mad at the game, was when I realized I just screwed myself on completing on my last route. ONE TRAIN SHORT!!! I almost pulled a Anne Wheaton at the table too.

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Game description from the publisher:

“Set in the vast wilderness of Africa at the height of its exploration by intrepid explorers, missionaries and adventurers, Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 3 – The Heart of Africa, a single-sided expansion map for Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe, focuses on the central and southern “heart” of the continent displayed in a vertical format.

This expansion introduces 45 new terrain cards, divided into three different terrain types. Each type is associated with different route colors: Desert/Savanna cards for yellow, orange and red routes; Jungle/Forest cards for green, blue and purple routes; and Mountain/Cliff cards for black, white and grey routes. Players can draw terrain cards just like train cards and they may use these to double the value of the routes they claim, under certain conditions.”

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So after everyone cooled down from Ticket to Ride. We picked up Citadels. A rather enjoyably game and fast, I think the game it’s self only took about 30ish. Easy to learn and really easy to screw other players over hahaha (joking.. kinda)

Here is a small description from makers page:

“In Citadels, players take on new roles each round to represent characters they hire in order to help them acquire gold and erect buildings. The game ends at the close of a round in which a player erects her eighth building. Players then tally their points, and the player with the highest score wins.

Players start with a number of building cards in their hand; buildings come in five colors, with the purple buildings typically having a special ability and the other colored buildings providing a benefit when you play particular characters. At the start of each round, the player who was king the previous round discards one of the eight character cards at random, chooses one, then passes the cards to the next player, etc. until each player has secretly chosen a character. Each character has a special ability, and the usefulness of any character depends upon your situation, and that of your opponents. The characters then carry out their actions in numerical order: the assassin eliminating another character for the round, the thief stealing all gold from another character, the wizard swapping building cards with another player, the warlord optionally destroys a building in play, and so on.

On a turn, a player earns two or more gold (or draws two building cards then discards one), then optionally constructs one building (or up to three if playing the architect this round). Buildings cost gold equal to the number of symbols on them, and each building is worth a certain number of points. In addition to points from buildings, at the end of the game a player scores bonus points for having eight buildings or buildings of all five colors.”

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The following day we played Alhambra with the The Magical Buildings expansion. Vary cool!! Even tho it was a small add on with only six titles, it added a whole to twist to the game. One that can make you or break you.  The game we played only lasted about an hour and a half, not to bad seeings how we had one last over FOUR hours. Here is a small description from makers page:

“Alhambra: The Magical Buildings, a promotional item from Queen Games for Spiel 2011, consists of six new tiles – one in each of the six colors of buildings – that are placed in the bag with the other tiles at the start of the game.

When drawn, they are placed for sale as with any other building. What’s different about these buildings is that no direction is up, so when added to a player’s Alhambra, the tile can be turned and placed in any legal position based on all the building rules except orientation. During scoring, these magical buildings count as a building of the appropriate color when determining majorities.”

Sadly I have the “Wil Wheaton cure” when it comes to this game. I own it, I love it…. BUT I NEVER WIN AT IT… I have never won one game haha. Oh well, one day…… Right?

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Table Top Night: A Double Agent stuck on a Forbidden Island looking for the 7 Wonders

Start the Night off with 7 Wonders!! There was just two of us playing, so we double up on the boards. That was a little crazy-some. But fun indeed!

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You are the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World. Gather resources, develop commercial routes and affirm your military supremacy. Build your city and erect an architectural wonder which will transcend future times.

From the publisher’s website: “7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player, as in Fairy Tale or a Magic: the Gathering booster draft. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or interacting with other players in various ways. (Players have individual boards with special powers on which to organize their cards, and the boards are double-sided as in Bauza’s Ghost Stories.) Each player then chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three ages, the game ends.

In essence 7 Wonders is a card development game along the lines of Race for the Galaxy or Dominion. Some cards have immediate effects, while others provide bonuses or upgrades later in the game. Some cards provide discounts on future purchases. Some provide military strength to overpower your neighbors and others give nothing but victory points. Unlike Magic or Fairy Tale, however, each card is played immediately after being drafted, so you’ll know which cards your neighbor is receiving and how his choices might affect what you’ve already built up. Cards are passed left-right-left over the three ages, so you need to keep an eye on the neighbors in both directions.”

Though the box of earlier editions is listed as being for 3-7 players, there is an official 2-player variant included in the instructions.

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Round ONE: Forbidden Island (first time playing)

From the publisher’s website:

“Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pounding maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!”

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Round TWO: Forbidden Island

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This is where we started getting our butts kick by the island haha!

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New game for the night was Double Agent: I wasn’t to bad of a game. It was what I like to call a “filler” game. A game to be played between much LONGER games.

From the author’s homepage:

“Double Agents is published as an insert in the french boardgame magazine “Des Jeux sur un Plateau”, in the October 2005 issue (#20). In this card game, each player is trying to manipulate five double agents with ambiguous loyalty, and to guess which ones are working for him and which one for his opponent. Hidden information, face down cards… it’s a two player game, but it’s also a classical Ludo or Bruno game, where you don’t know what is sophisticated bluffing and what it just global chaos.

From an earlier description on Bruno Faidutti’s website:
Double Agent is based on a simple idea : each player knows each agent’s loyalty to him, but doesn’t know his loyalty to his opponent. In such an ambiguous situation, it’s hard to decide who you can trust with your precious top-secret documents, which must not end in enemy hands. Each player plays cards face down on his side of the gameboard. It is therefore a bluffing game, but it is also, as one can expect from a collaboration between Ludovic and me, a deliberately chaotic and often uncontrollable game.”

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If you find you’re self with some time, go and check out boardgamegeek.com and JINX.com

Tabletop Night: Alhambra

So I started teaching my little hobbits Alhambra. Now keep in mind Lilly is 5 years of age and Jackson is only 3. For their first time they did REAL WELL. Lilly figured it out rather quickly, Jax took a few turns to put it all together.
But in the end it was Jackson winning with a 142 points with the second longest wall of 18. Both me and Lilly tied with 141 points, Lilly had the shortest wall with 9 and mine came in at 20. It was nice to have a REAL tabletop night with them. Something that wasn’t Clue or Sorry…. Monopoly jr………..

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For those who don’t know. In Alhambra, players are acquiring buildings to be placed within their Alhambra complex.

On a player’s turn, a player may take money from the open money market, purchase a building from the building market, or engage in construction and re-construction projects with buildings that have been placed in the player’s reserve. The game rewards efficiency, as when a player purchases a building from the market for the exact amount of money, the player may take another turn.

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Players with the most buildings in each of the six building types score in each of the scoring phases, and points are awarded for players’ longest external “wall” section within their complex. The game ends when the building market can no longer be replenished from the building tile supply, and there is a final scoring, whereupon the player with the highest score wins.

By Jason Bucky Roberts