Recent Games

I’ve been involved in a number of game-related activities recently.  It’s been a curious blend of private and public gaming activities.  In addition to playing games I’ve put considerable energy into creating 2 walk-through game tutorials for Twilight Imperium III.  The tutorials took about 100 hours of my spare time, so that’s a big part of the past 30 days.

Game playing has been either with my family or some close friends.  Here’s a quick survey of games played in the past 30 days.  All of these were face-to-face board game plays.

Chess (11 plays)

Nicholas and I play this game a lot.  He’s still pretty inexperienced but I lose every once in a while and the games are engaging.  I always play Black and always without my Queen.  I’ve learned that playing without the Queen really changes my opening moves.

Twilight Imperium III (8 plays)

Nicholas and I play this game using the 2-player variant once a weekend.  Recently we introduced my wife Melissa to the game.  I’ve been telling her she would really love it once she tried it.  But she rightfully understood there’s a lot to learn and that it might take 2 games before she understood it well.  Here’s the interesting twist.  I’ve now played 5 times with her in a game and she has won 4 of those games.  She even won the first game she played.  And as predicted, she really likes playing TI-3.

Hive (4 plays)

This is another 2-player game that I often play with Nicholas.  There was one game this past month where I played with someone from work at lunch time.  Nicholas and I love to take this game along with us if we are going to a fast-food restaurant for dinner or a Saturday lunch.  We grab a booth and play Hive while we eat lunch.

Shadows Over Camelot (3 plays)

This game is fun every time.  In the past month I’ve played a 3-person game and twice as a 4-person game.  We had a “Traitor” in one of the 4 player games.  The first time Melissa and I played this game with Blaine and his wife Michelle, they immediately wanted to play it again.  So we did.

Lost Cities (2 plays)

This is one of my favorite 2 player games.  Sometimes I play this at work during lunch and sometime late in the evening with my wife.

The remaining games were played once each this past month.

Memoir ’44

Days of Wonder made a great 2-player tactical war game with Memoir ’44.  Nicholas and I play this one once in a while.  We usually play the basic initial scenario.  Nicholas likes to play the Allies because they have some pretty strong advantages in the beginning scenario.

Railroad Tycoon

We don’t play this one at home as often as we used to.  Mostly because Melissa has had problems playing the game well and so she tended not to “vote” for this game when the family wanted to play a game together.  For one of the games we played with Blaine and Michelle, I decided to bring Railroad Tycoon mostly because at that time Blaine was working for one of the big railroad companies and I knew he and his wife would like it.  Here’s another interesting twist.  When we played with Blaine and Michelle, Melissa really enjoyed the game.  She also won, which might be what changed her opinion about the game.


This is an old family favorite.  Melissa and I used to play this game almost every night.  Since we discovered “Euro” games (beginning with Ticket to Ride”) we pretty much dropped playing Scrabble and only bring it out once in a while.  Here’s an interesting observation about something that happened the last time we played Scrabble as a 3 person family game.  Melissa announced during the game that it felt boring and that we should quit and play a game of Twilight Imperium III.  We went ahead and finished the Scrabble game but immediately started a TI-3 game afterwards.

Starfarers of Catan

Starfarers is a family favorite.  We bought extra ships which were painted for more player colors and we purchased the little alien figurines — adding thematic flavor.  This game still gets played fairly often in our household.  In fact it’s the number 5 most played game in our home.  And the top 5 list includes short 2-player games like Lost Cities and Chess.

Ticket to Ride

I can’t say enough good things about Ticket to Ride.  It’s a family favorite.  We recently added the “1910” expansion for Ticket to Ride.  It replaces the original worn out cards and adds many new ones.  I recommend this expansion if you love this game.

Warrior Knights

This game is deep and usually takes between 2 and 3 hours to play.  And our family loves it.  We introduced this game to Blaine and Michelle and everyone enjoyed the game.