Monday, 23 February 2015

Swap Meet in the snow

This past weekend at the Hamilton Road Gaming Group, there was no specific game scheduled. Instead we decided to hold one of our infrequent swap meets. People bring in gaming materials - games, books, figures, whatever - and swap them for what others might have. It makes for an interesting day. I brought some figures and a wooden box that I had unsuccessfully put up for sale at last year's Hot Lead bring-and-buy. Everybody brought something.

In the midst of all the swapping, we played a few board games. Andy, Beth, Bear, and I played one of Andy's games, Kill Dr. Lucky. (Jonathan left early due to commitments and Martin was not feeling well.) Think of it as a reverse Clue where you don't solve the crime ("Colonel Mustard - in the library - with the candlestick."), but you do the crime, provided you are alone in the room with Dr. Lucky and no other player can see you. There's more to it, of course, but I found it to be a simple, fun game with a few twists, like the fact that Dr. Lucky moves on his own in a predictable path, but he can also be moved by a player or by a card drawn on a player's turn. The box art calls it a "family game" about murder. Some families I know would just draw out the terror and torture, but that's another story.

Nothing like murder and mayhem to liven up a family gathering, is there?

The board has a number of rooms and Dr. Lucky wanders around all the time.
No wonder the family is in a murderous mood.

Then we played a game of Ticket to Ride. Andy sat out and helped Bear who had never played the game before and Kevin joined in. This is a favourite game of my family and I always find it fun. You complete routes through-out North America (well, the USA mostly) and gain points by taking the routes and completing your tickets. The longer the routed called for on the ticket, the more points. For example, Montreal to Los Angeles is a big point run, while Dallas to New Orleans is less so. There is a European version of the game, but I found that one to be rather convoluted with special rules about routes across the Black Sea and the Baltic. It's also a bit complicated for an English-with-a-smattering-of German speaker since the cities are all noted in their native language. (London is London, but Moscow is rendered as "Moscova" or something similar. C'est la vie!) I think Kevin won, but Beth was a close second. I came in dead last.

A great game developed in Germany. Ah, those playful Germans!
Actually I don't think you can beat the modern German board games. They are the best I've seen.
Good development and excellent graphics and playing pieces.

So where shall we go this weekend?
Beth and I had to leave to take care of some family business and give Beth a chance to rest up a bit. She'd been stage manager for a local theatre group and it tires her out a bit. As we were getting ready to leave, Andy, Kevin, and Bear were breaking out a game called Guillotine, a game based on that rollicking fun time in France, the Revolution and the associated Terror. In the game, you try to make sure you're at the end of the line for the you-know-what by interposing lesser cards in the que or shoving your opponents to the front.

Cake to eat is extra.
As to the swapping, I picked up a rule book called Traveller: The New Era. I'm playing the a20 version of Traveller now, but I'll use this title as inspiration, pictures, and ideas. In my Traveller universe, the Empire has never fallen. So there. Beth picked up a Star Trek engineering guide to the Next Generation Enterprise, NCC-1701D. She's been collecting these books for a while.

Beth and I brought copies of The Game of Life and Jenga as well as a bunch of small table games, which Kevin picked up after he realised that his daughter was having a sleep-over for a few of her friends and new games would be just the thing! Kevin also took some WWI figures and vehicles. Andy took the big green box and was glad to see that the bottom of the box was magnetised and just the thing for his small WWI ships. He also got some magazines from Kevin. Bear was thinking about making a Teutonic Knights army for Hail, Caesar! and I had some figures that would be very workable. Truth to tell, I'd often rather give some figures to a friend than sell them to a stranger... although the money is nice, too.

Some of my swappables on a library table. Lots of 15mm stuff, some 25mm, and a few 1/72nd scale figures.

Off to Kevin's house! He said the pink box would be as big a hit as the games with his daughter.

Kevin, Bear, and I check our trip tickets for Ticket to Ride. (Beth took the photos.)
Meanwhile Andy does a fourth or fifth review of the box of Kevin's books.

Another reason we felt we had to leave a bit early - 5 to 10cm of new snow.
It's been a rough winter here in Southwestern Ontario.
Our temperature has reached -23ºC with a wind-chill factor of -33ºC at times.
(That's -9ºF and - 27ºF if you prefer Fahrenheit)

Next week should be a fleet action and Andy is secretively setting up the scenario. He's been muttering something about a Kraken or Godzilla, but who knows?

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