Meeple Musings: Win, Lose, or Just Have a Good Time?

It’s curious.  I love high conflict in board games.  Yet, I can still have a good time after a night of losing very game. These were games I know and really enjoy.  I’ve even blogged about them.  Secret Hitler, Battlecon, and Onitama.

I started my Tuesday night [toggle Gaming], talking about joining a new D&D 5th edition campaign.  Then, as conversations do when I am around, the talking pivoted from “Maybe I’ll try a half-orc barbarian that heroically looks out for the good oddballs” to “Holey crap!  Can you believe Donald Trump this morning after the debate”.  From fantasy brainstorms to showboating politics in about half an hour.  Of course, I enjoy that, so I it was a good start to the night.

Then, I got the request to join the highly political and social game of Secret Hitler. Not only did I lose as a liberal at Secret Hitler though, I lost while supporting the Hitler character (unbeknownst to me). Not only did I lose at Onitama, but I lost one game in just a few moves.  How did I not see that?!  To be fair, I my loss at Battlecon was nearly a win. I was only a one action away from winning, against the best player I know at 1am.

One thing I love about games though is that players can learn so much about themselves and their friends when they lose.  Personally, I often learn practical as well as psychological elements when I lose or watch others lose.

For example, last night, losing at Secret Hitler as a liberal, taught me that I am very poor at reading bluffs.  It also means that the fascist players that beat us  have gotten much better at lying since they started playing this game so frequently.  Apparently, with practice, even in a bad liar can get convincing results.  Do I want to improve on that?  Well, certainly I would like to play more to learn how to spot a bluff better.

Then, losing like I did at Onitama in at least one game, meant purely that I wasn’t paying much attention as I also tried to handle a conversation on the side. Riiiight, so my multi-tasking skills are a myth.  Really this is true for most people but it is so easy to forget.  Most of us claim we can multi-task but that generally means we can do two things poorly at once. I need to focus to play well, like 95% of everybody else.

As for Battlecon, I learned that even against better, more experienced players, I’m really good in games using game theory (aka rock / paper / scissors type mechanics).  I can still trust my intuition even when my focus is split.  That whole, “your first answer is the right answer on multiple choice” really works for me.

Finally, at the end of the night, I realized that although I love to win high conflict strategic and tactical games, I love learning about people and myself even more.  I enjoyed myself immensely, so did I really lose after all?


Happy Gaming,

Meeple Dad

Meeple Adventures: Hand Cannons and a Zombie Roadtrip

Or, can my swashbuckler embarrass the rabble in a barfight while I swig a couple drinks of my own?  Then, will my meeple family survive a roadtrip full of zombie infested stops and possibly even thrive? 

First, in a fight for reputation, my swashbuckler picked up a chair to throw it as others moved around a crowded fantasy tavern. Ironically, I was then hit by a thrown chair myself.  Next, I charged my barbarian opponent but missed by inches.  Luckily, my charge prevented a retaliatory charge attack from the barbarian. 

So, a few rug yanks later, the paladin and rogues fell down.  Then, blinding radiance by the paladin between a few ice rays from the mage and cleric swings with her hammer, and shot from my hand cannon, and the game was almost over.  Then, the mage’s cat pushed a barrel, knocking over the rogue and humiliating him. Finally, a last swing from the chandelier by the paladin which knocked the mage on her ass, a few extra minor moves and the fight was over.  

In the end, the mage had beaten us all down for a big win. My swashbuckler managed a distant second with his sneaky rung yanking, table pushing, and whatnot. With this ended the chaotic, push your luck game of The Dragon and Flagon for 2 – 6 players.  
Next, came Hit Z Road.  This is a roadtrip game travelling on Route 66 west from Chicago….during a Zombie apocalypse!   

That’s right!  It doesn’t get more kitschy than this. The bits look like all the things a kid might have on a road trip.  The backs of the cards look like playing card decks, a different style for each stage. The play order cards look like name tags and travel discount cards.  The theme is in everything. 

This game mechanically isn’t that original but the bidding for the best travel location changes everything!  Bid too high and your meeple family will be short on resources.  Bid too low and you will be stuck fighting zombies and skipping over both resources and points.

The trick is after a few turns of bidding, late in the second or early in the third stage, resources become slim for everyone.  Low bids become the norm and the previous first player has a good chance too get the first pick of location again.

Then, it happens… the first meeple family dies (the first losing player). Before anyone can weep over dead meeples, another player dies. This time it was my turn to lose my meeple family. Player elimination isn’t a tiresome mechanic here though.  Within 5 – 20 minutes of the first player dropping out, the last player will either die as well or make it to California. In this game, player elimination is a short punishment and a thematic must!

My swashbuckler did not embarrass the rabble.  My meeple family was then killed by zombies and radiation. On the other hand losing a barfight and death by zombies has rarely been more satisfying.

Meeple Adventures: XCom

Can 4 newbs save the world from alien invasion on a Wed. night?  

In other words, can a mostly inexperienced team win the cooperative XCom board game and have a good time? 

At another great Wed. meetup of [toggle Gaming] hosted at Durty Nellie’s bar with plenty of space for  this unique game.

This board game is a port of the XCom was an excellent one player 2K video game where players are in the role of a commander of an elite military team.  XCom the board game allows for 1 – 4 players with the help of a phone app.  Setup was a breeze since the game was put away with each player role’s pieces bagged together.

Now, the first interesting thing about this game is that with 4 players, each of us got a different role to play.

Central Officer – works to take out UFOs in orbit with satellites and determines turn order and alien invasion

Chief Scientist – works to research different tech that will help a player or the team in some way.

Commander – Adds any extra $ to the budget and sends jets over continents to take out UFOs.

Squad Leader – Sends soldiers into the latest mission and protect the military base from military invasions.

So, how does that work then?  Well, mechanically, it’s a light worker placement with dice combat for each role. Plus, a free app tells the Central Officer where to place new alien units.  So, by the end of the first turn, each player understood his role.  So, we all understood we were working together, when we needed to spend money, and what each role did.  Certainly, a good start.

Then, the free app also makes it possible to randomly determine turn order.  Which feels…

…a little weird at first.  But, why?

Well, when is the last time you played a game with a random player order?  That’s right…never!  We also played the first round without the timed phase.  What’s the timed phase?  It’s the worker placement phase plus figuring out the player.  So, half a game round is a simple worker placement game BUT each player needs to make sure they leave enough money for the next player AND balance the budget before time runs out.  An unbalanced budget leaves continents in panic, which is how the team loses.

So…ok..those are both weird…but why this randomness and timing anyway?  Well, this way you can’t be sure that your will have the money or get the tech or resources you need.  This is especially true if you have a teammate that wants to do everything they can.  In addition, the worker placement part of the game is forced to move quickly.  Which is….


Why?  This is what gives Xcom:  The Board game the video game feel and tension it needs. Then, you fight the aliens counting each symbol on black dice as a success, destroying an alien.  Meanwhile, a symbol on the red die represents a loss of a resource (an exhausted scientist, destroyed aircraft, killed soldiers, or destroyed satellite).  As long as a player has another resource, they can roll again, but their risk of a loss is higher.  Meanwhile, a player can also use the tech from the Scientist to revive soldiers, give them armor, or gain other useful advantages.

In other words the game pretty easy to understand, except for possibly when to use the app. Xcom is also uniquely dynamic and is fun due to the light tension between players and the tension of the combat.  The gameplay also has the right amount of player friction with players often discussion their case to spend more resources  to keep cooperative play interesting.  The time limit keeps increases the tension and limits the amount of arguing at the same time .


With a few of the continents nearing panic, as Squad Leader, I set my soldiers up for the final mission.  Fortunately, we had agreed to investing in tech heavily during the early game rounds.  This allowed our Commander to bomb ahead of my planned assault on the aliens.  With the first aliens blown up, my soldiers sauntered to the second round of alien combat in the mission.

Then, I rolled terribly!  This could have meant the end for us but I had armor for my men which gave me a re-roll.  I rolled terribly again!  My soldiers were again saved by tech, this time from our Central Officer.  Finally, an acceptable roll, moved us onto a final combat. There were no re-rolls left though…and I rolled a success and alien damage which would kill my troops.  Then, our Commander used tech to send my guys home before they were killed during the mission.  We had won the day!

It wasn’t my favorite game and it wasn’t very strategic, but it certainly had enough tension building up to be fun.  As a bonus, it felt like a real team effort with a theme that was central to the game.  It turned out to be a fun win and an enjoyable time of killing dangerous space aliens, saving the world, and keeping both my squad and bar tabs down.


Happy Gaming,

Meeple Dad

Featured picture copied from Fantasy Flight Games: Xcom-the-board-game


Meeple Musings: Divorce and Gaming

I apologize to my readers for missing the last two weeks.  It felt even longer to me.

In the meantime, my divorce was finalized Aug.31.  This event was officially 15 months  in the making.  For me, this was a significant and positive step forward in my life.  To those readers that listened and helped me through this stage, I will never forget your kindnesses.
Immediately following the divorce, I felt like a toddler picked up at the end of the day from daycare, overwhelmed with stress.  I worked myself up into a head cold.  While feeling  sick, I only wanted to focus on the essentials to get through my days.  I began to realize while sick though, that the cliché, divorce means different things to different people, really is true.

What’s more is that I may have stumbled upon the universal meaning of divorce.  Anyone that has completed a divorce survived a major milestone.  What’s different though, is that the breakup of the relationship is always in a different place when this milestone is reached.

You are probably thinking, that’s fine and all but where does gaming come in then?

Well, here it is.  For some, divorce is the end of the early game phase.  For others, it’s the end of the mid-game phase.  Then, for others, divorce is the final turn of a game.

The first set of divorcing people did not plan for the divorce and they still live together. They have not considered how difficult the future will be.  The world and game board is just getting crowded and players are aggressive with high conflict moves. This is the end of the Bronze Age in Advanced Civilization, or Day 1 of Gettysburg, or Game of Thrones when all of the empty victory point spots have been taken.

The old life has been replaced by something new but also a fog of war of sorts.  No one in this phase has any knowledge of future calamities.  Everyone still has something to lose and the hope that they will come out on top.

When these divorces are finished, they are just beginning to deal with co-parenting, the loneliness of separation, reduced finances, and the extra rules that will impact the Iron Age, or Act 2, or Day 2 of their breakup.

Then, there are those like me that complete their divorce with a spouse and kids after a long separation and many months of conflict.  I realized only after it happened that for me divorce was not the end goal I had been publicly announcing it would be, but the completion of a major task. Or, the end of a stage of my life, instead of the end of a relationship.  I had made it to the Iron Age in Advanced Civilization without being held back.  I made it to the end day  of day 2 in Gettysburg as the Northern Army but haven’t won the war.

Despite the planning and healing, there are still calamities ahead to overcome and battles to be won.  Like the summer season of Keyflower, there are just not enough resources to do everything I want to do in this phase.

I keep thinking, if only life after divorce could be more like a Euro, maybe Euphoria or T’zolken, rather than Monopoly, then I would have had a nice resource engine started by now rather than looking at bankruptcy in a few more times around the board. But, that’s just escapism. I still need to plan my endgame tactics.

Finally, there are the divorced that planned heavily, maybe for years. They don’t have kids. They don’t have child support or spousal maintenance concerns.  They long ago separated emotionally and physically from their ex.  This is their finish, their resolution, their win or loss.  It is time for them to count their victory points and see how they did.  Then, it will be time for them to move on to a whole different game.  Maybe a game of Pursuit of Happiness.

The point is that divorce is a final step, but only in whatever phase of life the individual is working through. In divorce, just like in many other parts of life,  it is possible through board games to learn a fair amount of what is needed to get by.  Here are some gaming tips I learned to apply towards surviving my divorce.  Maybe they will help you or someone you know:

I) For any of you just starting into a divorce, be sure to work out what stage of the breakup you are in ahead of completing your divorce, or you may get everything asked for and nothing you want.

II) Create a strategy from the beginning. Along with your strategy, you also need to be flexible and adjust your plans based around your adversaries.  (Make no mistake!  Like a game of Bang, your ex, the court, and all of the attorneys, and in-laws can and probably will become your adversaries, whether they are revealed or not already.)

III) Don’t start your end game too early.  If you do, you will show your adversary your strategy too early and exhaust your resources before the end game really starts.

If you are going through divorce now, whatever the situation, you have my sympathy.  Your road is hard and I wish you a quick and bearable resolution.

Now, before I press my luck too far like too many rolls of dice in Can’t Stop, I’ll finish this gaming metaphor.  Hopefully, I can win over some readers with it.

In any case, dear readers, I wish you all happy gaming!

Thank you for reading!

Meeple Dad


Meeple Aventures: Paradox

This week on Meeple Adventures…  Can a cadre of strategy gamers save planets for 12 rounds from a time and space anomaly called the Quake before the train home arrives?

Or, in other words, could the four newbie players finish a new game of Paradox including setup in three hours?

First, a thank you to Tokens&Tankerds for providing a midway location to play this game on a Sunday.  We were all comfortable with a variety of drinks, food available, and plenty of space to spread out.

Then, we had to deal with setup.  Beyond punching out several boards of chits, the game requires a different setup depending on the number off players.  I did this wrong the first time….and second.  Really pay attention to the setup rules to this game you will really waste a lot of time or significantly impact gameplay!   Now that I know how to setup, it can still take a significant amount of time to setup, unless you bag each of the colored tokens up separately.  In that way, it is a little like a deckbuilder game.  If the game is all sorted, setup is easy.  If not, you will have to plan on spending a while sorting pieces out.

Now we were all setup.  I had read the rules and another player had played months ago.  The turn actions are easy to understand and can go quickly.  Unfortunately, none of us understood how these actions interacted.

Ok, so we all picked a card (basically at random) because we knew we needed these cards but we didn’t really know what they represented.  Then, matching 4 or 5 tokens on our turns like a phone game is somewhat intuitive but the mechanism for matching isn’t matching a matching color token over by one.  So, we had to look that up.  Then, what do you do with the token you win?  Can you keep it for another turn?   Do you buy a card with it?  What happens if you have no cards left on your board to resolve for the round?  How do we resolve a nexus?  The answers are:

1) You spend the earned token to resolve the cards you currently have on your board.

2) No, unless you buy an alliance with it

3) No, you can only play the token on cards on your board.

4) No cards left?  Then, try to match a white or black to flip one of the worlds you have won a card for back to a non-disrupted world.

5) Put a shield on your token grid in the place the nexus shows.  Once you resolve a 4 or 5 in a row with this token in it, you have resolved a nexus problem and earned the card.

For all of these questions and more, we had to go back to the game book.  It’s not that the game is complicated.  It’s not.  It’s really that the mechanics  are so unusual that there are no assumptions that can be made without possibly wrecking the game.  You really need to know exactly how to play so that there are no errors in the endgame.  At this point player frustration was getting a bit high.  Not with the game but with our mediocre understanding of the game and conflict between personalities of gamers that had been there a more hours with another game.  There was even a heated moment where a player had to walk away from the game.  He came back a few minutes later though as a bit of a favor to me as he knew I was itching to finish a play through of this game.

Finally, we got a bit of momentum.  The only tricks at this point were working out how to be efficient in our strategies and remembering the order of how to replace tokens on the our grids.  Don’t put your row of 3 discarded tokens back until you grab the replacements!  This is easy to forget and messes with the odds on both your grid and the next player’s grid.

Now, we finally got to full speed.  And, the game is really dynamic and fun!  The gameplay has the right amount of player interaction with taking planet past, present, future, or nexus cards that another player may really want.  Players can also interact slightly on the token grids by taking pieces from the center of the board or resolving the same colors on their grid to avoid the next player from getting a better variety of pieces.

At this point, we all began working strategies, moving turns along quicker.  We saw the interactions between players more clearly.  It turned quickly into an interesting game.  Then, we saw the clock. Two rounds left with 20 minutes to go and suddenly my points dropped from a likely first place to a likely last place due to the surprise disruption of a planet!  Luckily, my token grid was setup to solve this problem so I was quickly back near the top. On the other hand, I had to sacrifice my planned move which meant I might no longer win.

One round left with 10 minutes to go.  The last round moved very quickly though as most of us could not find major points with the available cards.  Game done, 5 minutes to go!  The player that needed to hop on the train quickly counted up his points and got to the train while the rest of us were still counting beyond his points.  In the end, I won by a single point!

The endgame is really exciting and the gameplay once understood is really fun and quick. I will be playing this game again soon.  But, this time everything will be organized and I will really understand how to fix the galaxy in Paradox!


Happy Gaming,

Meeple Dad






Modern Meeple Musings:

Why boardgames or card games anyway? 

Why not video games or just plain conversation instead?  Here is my personal list:

  1. Video games even at their best only bring a couple of people together face to face regularly to play them or talk about them.  In general, I find that hobby, though sometimes extremely engrossing, usually pushes me to be less social.  I’m not a kid any more.  I don’t get to spend whole weekends with friends often.  So, I never want to be the guy that turns down time with a friend to spend a day at any video game.  Especially as I get a bit addicted with the most satisfying games. [br]
  2. You can learn more about most new people playing a 30 minute game than you ever could playing a video game or even chatting. Are they quick learners, do they like the game theme, do they enjoy arguing, are they bad liars, are they sore losers, can they keep a secret?  In fact, it should be standard practice to include a short boardgame in job interviews so that employers could really see how the candidate will react with a little pressure. [br]
  3. As cool as video games get nowaways, there is far less variety, interaction, and originality when compared to boardgames.
  4. We are in the new Golden Age of Boardgames.
    • As boardgames are increasingly becoming digitized, the boardgame version is actually selling even better as more digitized versions are available.
    • There are more totally unique boardgames created and sold each week than ever in history
    •  Geek chic is currently a thing!  Seriously, if you are a hardcore videogamer, comic book fan, or odd hobbyist (there are videogame, beer brewing, and even deck / porch building themed games now) boardgaming has created something for you!

But, don’t just take my word from it, check out this post regarding why boardgamers love the hobby and why you should think about getting into it NOW!

It’s Official, Everyone: Board Games Are Cool Now

Happy Gaming,


Meeple Adventures: ToggleTop Day

Over a recent weekend, the [toggle Gaming] meetup I enjoy hosted a rare and special Saturday event.  As usual, the [toggle Gaming] library (consisting of over 300 games / expansions) was available to borrow and play and tables were available through the majority of the bar.  This event was special though because the Saturday timing meant that people that could not make it on the usual Tuesday night were out in force and many people brought their significant others.  I had decided to bring my girlfriend to this event and meet friends from the group for the first time. She was decidedly not aware of geek culture of virtually any kind before I met her months ago.  We had enjoyed a half a dozen different boardgames together and in a group of friends before but this was going to be a large dose of gaming culture all at once.  Would I enjoy a large scale, all day gaming event with her?  More importantly, would she enjoy it?

The event included several drawings to win games.  Every participant to this free event received a free drawing ticket and could purchase additional tickets for other games.  In addition, the normally empty side room of the bar hosted a visiting game store (The Gaming Goat), where over $55,000 worth of games were being sold for great prices. Additionally, there was a couple of tournaments of shorter games being hosted.

When we showed up, the event had people assigned to explain the drawings, introduce how the gaming library would work during the day, and most importantly to welcome us into the event.  This was a very welcome touch, even for a regular like me.  I instantly felt that if any store had staff as friendly and happy to be there as this event, they would not want for customers.  My girlfriend felt the same way.

I had planned on showing my date a very good gateway game to set collection (collecting items like gems or cards which represent resources) to show her a nice introduction to this type of game.

Then, randomly, I friend walked up to me and asked if I would like to try a second play of a game called Viticulture.  I loved my first play of this game so I agreed immediately.  Together, he and his wife were kind enough to explain the game but this is not some simple gateway game.  This is a full length medium depth worker placement game deeply enriched with the theme of wine-making.  I cannot overemphasize how much I enjoy this game and how much the theme works into each game action.  As an added twist, I ordered me and my date a glass of wine before we started.  I jumped right into my second game without hesitation.  This game has a very standard and intuitive worker placement mechanic and almost all questions can be answered by the response to “What would be logically next if you were really making wine?”

Still, my date was thrown by the heavy thinking and short turns of this worker placement game.  It took her more than a few game years / rounds to really understand what placing a worker represented and why she couldn’t do more one each turn.

She was not to be underestimated though.  Remember, she had NEVER played a worker placement game before, and I had seen this mechanic since 2005.  She is extremely intuitive. Perhaps more importantly from a gamer perspective, she loves learning new things and how things work.  Which, if you read my post yesterday, is one of the reasons I love boardgames.  It is also the reason that as soon as she understood what she should be doing from a strategy viewpoint, she quickly relaxed and enjoyed the game.  This is despite her understanding at that moment that she was pretty far behind me and the leader.  Two or three rounds later, my buddy’s wife played out her slow starting strategy to crush me as well. Then, we all went off to take a break and play more games.

After that game, I realized that we were both going to really enjoy the day after all.

Thanks for reading and Happy Gaming!


Meeple Musings: Which game?

How do you decide which games you should buy?

The first thing many people do after they decide they want to start into boardgaming is buy a bunch of very popular boardgames only to be somewhat disappointed by an unfortunate number of these games.  This is even worse when you buy these games for a significant other or kids only to find that they are disappointed by them.  After all new boardgames can be expensive!  DO NOT just go out and buy Twilight Struggle or Caverna and call it a day. So, how do you avoid this problem?

  • Step 1:  Figure out what kind of attention span and game intensity your gamer enjoys. Many players enjoy 30 minutes games with tons of replay possibilities where as Twilight Struggle, a top rated game last about 5- 6 hours.  If you buy the world’s greatest 30 minute game for a fan of epic games, they will be disappointed.
  • Step 2:  Figure out why the gamer enjoys board games. Is it the Social, Strategic, Fantasy / Escape, or Competitive / Conflict aspects that drive the love of games?  For example, a fan of Chess  (max strategy & Conflict) may well hate any version of Pandemic (high Social aspect, moderate strategy, slight escapism, low conflict) and vice versa. How do you determine this?  Well, you could take this survey at Gamer profile survey.

For example,  here are my Gaming type results are today’s featured image at the top of this blog.

What does this mean for my favorites? Obviously, I love games with conflict. I still enjoy cooperative games as long as the game is tough enough. This is probably due to cooperative games also having a social aspect. For me then, conflict isn’t just direct conflict.  It’s also the tension of winning or losing. In addition to the obvious, also be sure to check out the subcategory details as well. Even more than I enjoy strategy depth in a game, I love learning how things work.  In this case, I LOVE learning new game mechanics.  The imagination required to create a new successful game mechanic simply amazes me and most players that love new games.

My favorite games include Puerto Rico, Arimaa, Sons of Anarchy, Bobby Lee, Power Grid, Tigres & Euphrates, Advanced Civilization, and Alien Frontiers.  This is an eclectic mix for certain but mostly because I just need some strategy, tension, and player interaction to enjoy a game.  This also means I can’t stand popular games like standard Dominion (virtually no conflict) or Munchkin (virtually no strategy) or Dead of Winter (not enough conflict).

You can generally assume the following as well:

  • If a player hates conflict and social games, they will hate social deduction games where you accuse players of being “bad guys”.
  • If a player hates fantasy, they won’t care for games with heavy themes unless they make up for it with great strategy and gameplay.
  • If a player hates strategy, don’t play with them! Just kidding! It just means they like games of luck (e.g. Can’t Stop, Win Place or Draw, Blackbeard).  These games will include many card draws, dice, and light rules.
  • If a player generally hates social games regardless of conflict, then games that can be played solitaire are perfect (e.g Merchants of Venus)
  • If a player hates conflict, they won’t like games where they get shorted out of supplies (Puerto Rico), war games (e.g. Terra Mystica, Game of Thrones), or beat up on the leader type games (e.g. Munchkin, Game of Thrones).

⦁ Step 3: Go to a board game search tool like: Boardgamegeek advanced search

If the gamer know at least one game mechanic that is preferred, this kind of search can be really invaluable

⦁ Step 4: Make sure you do not get too many games with identical mechanics!  A player may love that mechanic but really, do they want a 4th pick up and deliver train game?  Do you? Every player in history has made this mistake and is trying to unload their 4th favorite game with their favorite mechanic.  No one plays the fourth favorite enough to bother with owning it

⦁ Step 5: Try to  get a game the player will be able to get to the table.  It may be their favorite game EVER, but if they only play it once every few years, their second favorite game will give more enjoyment than the one that a player never plays.  The exception for this is any player that is VERY low on the Social aspect of gaming.  That player will find a way to enjoy this game regardless of available players.

Anyway, I hope this post has been helpful and has provided tools to find favorite games for you and your friends.

Happy gaming,

Modern Meeple Dad


Meeple Adventures: [toggle Gaming]

Hello Readers!

On Tuesday this week, I had a good time playing a game and dinner with my kids.  I talked my 7 year old son into a quick game of Onitama. He decided to it would be more fair to play best out of three. Excellent!  Meanwhile, I had already misplaced one of the pieces…dropped in my car after GenCon most likely.  In any case, I replaced the missing piece and an additional piece with bunny finger puppets I was going to give away sometime.  So, with smiles already, we were ready to go!  My intimidating forces are featured in the picture!

Through out the game, I said things like “My rabbit money style has defeated your ox style” and “Oh no!  Your dragon style destroyed my bunny!” and “Hah, hah, hah, you have just fallen for my snake style trap!”  in badly dubbed kung-fu movie style.  My son played well for his age but I beat him in two games.  I am at least a mediocre Chess player after all.  As for gaming, I never just let my kids win.  Playing against real competition builds character.  In the real world, competition is everywhere!  I don’t work real hard to crush them either though. That would just discourage them out of my hobbies I love!

After the games, I walked him through the moves that beat him each time. Then, we shook hands and I told him “Good game!  You played well.”  After all, he did very well for a 7 year old!  Then, we all sat down for a pleasant dinner.  Not long after that, I wistfully dropped them off at their mom’s place.

Not to fear though!  I had my [toggle Gaming] meetup group to drive out to see at Durty Nellie’s bar. As soon as I got there, there were friends to glad-hand and a cold Citizen’s cider for refreshment.  By the time, I got my drink, I was already invited into a wild game of Happy Salmon!   I even got video of the game this time.  Now you can see for yourself what I mean when I tell you this game is exciting for all ages.

Following this was my first game of Keyflower.  This is a VERY popular worker placement and bidding game.  Worker placement just means that you place a worker somewhere to gain the advantage for that space.  The trick with this game though is that if you bid too much you don’t have the workers you need to get what you need to earn points. On the other hand, if you bid too low, you will be restricted in what you can do and in your number of workers later.  There are only four rounds so it is easy to play in about an hour.  It was extremely interesting but I got crushed even though it was new for everyone I played against.  I love when I get to combine a night with a deep game and a light game.

In other words, between dinner and games with the kids and toggle games, it was a very good night!

Happy gaming,





Meeple Adventures

First Blog entry!

Hi all,

I am a single dad that loves all kinds of gaming and sharing the gamer culture.  I joined up with a gaming meetup group called [toggle Gaming] a year ago. Since then, I have been trying new games and teaching my amazing kids and girlfriend.  I will be sharing my experiences.  I hope you enjoy!

Thank you for giving me a look!