Birthday party

I had a birthday party last Sunday. Last time I had one was some time after I moved to Tampere, so I was probably 21. I invited, what, four friends and that’s it. Now I’m 30 and I decided — eventually, after a lot of to and fro — to have a proper party. In my case that’s about 15 invites out and eventually ten guests. A major party!

Of course, as I’m me and I simply don’t have any friends who aren’t gamers (which is pretty much why I don’t play party games or casual games a lot) and I’ve even got my video gamer brother join our board game club, the theme of the party was food and board games. Food was provided by a local bar/restaurant (which used to be our summer haunt two years ago, plenty of good board games played there) and for the games I got a big box of stuff that can be played in 30 minutes or less — that’s the theme of the party.

Well, the other part of our party didn’t quite follow the theme, as they ended up playing a rather long game of Space Hulk: Death Angel (I gave my copy to my brother who has since played it quite a bit; I’m always glad when I can give a game to someone who can use it better — another case is when I sold Container to Petri who has played it a lot). Apparently they had a good time, so who am I to judge.

Die Dolmengötter coverWe did have a good time with the games, too. I’m still the king of the druids, as I won Die Dolmengötter (I don’t care about the others, but beating Hannu is significant). Here’s a clever stratagem: make sure you hide a crucial druid behind the pile of dolmens. Hannu missed one of my druids, slapped his 4 on top of the pile and left, leaving me free to add two more stones to get my 4 on top of the pile. That seals the deal, as you just can’t win against competitive players (like me) if you waste your big one. Die Dolmengötter clicks with me the right way, it just works.

Samarkand: Routes to Riches boxWe also played another one of my favourites, Samarkand. This is hands down game of the year for me, an amazing game. Light, plays fast, yet lots to think about. This was another game I won, though this time with some luck, I admit. Stefu ended the game just before I could do my whopping ten-point move (collect a good for 1 point, score it for 4 points, connect two families I was involved with for 6 points; I think it would’ve been something like this, with just one move), but I was fortunately in the lead by just two points at that moment.

Bunte Runde is still fun. We played with the scoring variant (count your score and your left-hand opponent’s score), which made the game more interesting.

We tried Sturgeon — it didn’t seem like much, but it was a review copy and I needed to play it at least once. It’s a small card game, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite work. I’ll write a review soon with more details, but for now let’s just say nobody wanted to play the game through, so we quit before we were finished. Yeah, that bad. Well, Sturgeon’s law.

I got pretty cool gifts. Just one game, Back to the Future: The Card Game, which seems interesting. Of the other gifts, I must mention The World’s Greatest Railways, which is a gorgeous book chock full of trains. Oh, and a hand-bound game notebook, with 18xx tiles pictured on the cover… All sorts of cool stuff, that is. Like I said, I think I need to hold another birthday party next year. I’ve got a working concept here.

So, thanks to everybody who attended!

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