Board Game Anniversary

A Better Anniversary Gift List

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a Geek Version of the Traditional Wedding Anniversary list. The list is from Geek Dad on Wired and here is the link to the Geek Anniversary List so you can enjoy it too. Since then my husband and I have been using this list to determine our gifts for the year. We shake it up some since they don’t always fit. Like last year (5th Anniversary) was smart phones, but we both had good working phones, so we swapped for an earlier year we had missed out on, geeky t-shirts. I will share the shirts we got in another post later.

Board Game Gifts

Zombie Cinema - Story GameSo with this year being our 6th anniversary and us both really enjoying playing board games we went with the scheduled theme for this year. Last month we went to GameStorm (our local Gaming Convection) it made the shopping that much easier. While my husband is generally good at choosing gifts, he also tells me that he prefers me to be direct and not hint about. So when I found that Guardian Games was selling a game I had really enjoyed playing a few years ago at GameStorm I told him that is what I wanted. I also got his game from the dealer’s room as well.

I asked him to get me Zombie Cinema. It is a true Indie game in both feel and content. The game play is virtually all storytelling with a roaming narrator along with some basic dice-offs and a board to make sure the story progresses in true zombie horror style. When I played it at GameStorm we set the patient zero on an airplane at PDX and the trigger as airline food. It was a crazy story that I still have fond memories of several years later, which is the point in any story-telling game after all. And amazingly I made it out of the scenario alive, though barely. Sadly my current gaming group isn’t big into Indie-style storytelling board games so it may be a while before I get to use it. I do have a couple in Wisconsin that it would be fun to play the game with, perhaps life will let me travel to them soon.


For my husband I got him an expansion for one of our new family favorites, Sentinels of The Multiverse (2nd Edition). This game is a great family game as you are all playing together to defeat the bad guy. There is a lot of replay value as their are multiple villains and settings to choose from as well as super hero characters to play. Really it includes something for everyone. Since we have the base set and a friend picked up some expansions for it, I went with a different expansion and am really looking forward to playing it soon. I got him Sentinels of The Multiverse: Shattered Timelines. Which has several new villains, heroes, and settings. I am really looking forward to trying to beat The Dreamer, but I am not sure we will be able to manage that one. Guess I will update you if we ever manage it.

We love embracing our geek when it comes to gift giving. What is the geekiest gift you have ever exchanged with someone else?

Why I Love Guild Wars 2

Buy Guild Wars 2


So, as many of you likely know, Guild Wars 2 will be releasing on Aug 28, 2012.  At our house this is exciting news, as I trust it is at many of yours as well. My husband and I pre-bought the game for both of us as our anniversary present this year back in April when the option became available.  We intend to each dedicate a character slot to our joint play time, kind of a gamer date time when the kids are at their dad’s house.  Any way that works is a good way to keep the spark alive.

I never played the first Guild Wars, and haven’t been very big into the whole multi-mass player online game thing.  Mostly I don’t like to team up with others, partly because as a mom my attention can rarely be devoted fully to the game and partly because I am not super good at them and feel self-conscience around others.

Thankfully Guild Wars 2 has proven to be the game I was waiting for, I just didn’t know it.  A big thank you to my husband for knowing it for me.

When I play rpg style games it is all about the character and the development of the character.  I will choose things based off what the character would choose not always what is the best from a number-crunch perspective.  This often makes my characters ineffective but very real; so far I have had enough choices to implement style without sacrificing ability which is great.  I love how the items have really out there names sometimes which feeds my character personality need quite well.

I also have enjoyed the immersion of the character background into their personal story line.  This allows me to focus on doing things and generally staying away from the tedium of grinding.  Any game that makes me grind will quickly be left behind, I don’t find it engaging to endlessly run areas to kill monsters just to get experience to level to do the next real thing.  With Guild Wars I can collect hearts or way point or views and just go to a whole new area if I need to level for my story line.  It keeps me engaged which means I keep playing.

My family budget loves the idea that I buy the game and then get to play it, no deciding what we are going to give up each month to afford the dues for four of us to play.  Or splitting accounts so that we can all take turns playing just to afford to play at all.  Thank you AreaNet for going “old school” on this and dumping the monthly fees!

All in all I am excited for go-live to get here so I can play, play, play!

 

 

Crossover Board Games

We have found that while we really love our truly gamer geared board games, we are always on the lookout for those games that have great general appeal. In our house this are referred to as cross-over games and they can bring both gamers and non-gamers to the table for some good fun.


One of the easiest types of games to introduce to non-gamers are card games. Here I would recommend introducing the crowd you are playing with to Fluxx 4.0. This great little game has simple rules, that change over time but don’t generally lose a person. Since Flux starts with the simple rule of draw a card, play a card it is easy to teach. If you haven’t played before, it is really fairly simple, and even my kids can mange it quite nicely.


Another easy to play game, that has already hit mainstream in many areas is Apples to Apples Party Box – The Game of Hilarious Comparisons. This game is a card based game that has players placing cards into play based on their belonging to a particular category. The challenge comes from that each player takes turns determining the winning card of each hand. So to win a hand you must be able to judge how the other person will judge the cards. Not everyone has the same definition of gross after all.


If you are looking for a board game to pass away some time at the latest family gathering, I would suggest Gift TRAP Game. There is no gamer knowledge required for this game, of giving and taking of gifts. Each hand of play there are a number of cards representing various gifts that can be given. Each player marks gifts with hidden tokens to represent the level of like or dislike they have towards the gift. As an example I would love to get a trip to Disney World, but would hate to get a skydiving lesson. Then each player gives another a gift, no doubling up, and then points are scored. To win you have to manage to receive enough gifts that you like, as well as give enough gifts that other people like. It is a great way to learn a little more about the family or friends that you are playing with.

Father’s Day for the Geek Dad

So here we are nearly done with the month of May.  Which at my house means two things are quickly coming up, first is my daughter’s Birthday and hot on its heels will be Father’s day.  While my daughter is blessedly easy to shop for, just get it in pink and she will love it – more so if it also has sparkles.

The harder shopping feet in our house is what the kids are going to get their dad and step-dad.  Both are not into the typical gifts so often advertised on sale this time of year.  No ties or bbq aprons will be purchased around here.  When you are shopping for a “gamer guy” it is best to find an appropriately geekish gift that they will actually like.  So I would highly suggest Think Geek, if you have been to their site you know what I mean.  If you haven’t been then you should go check it out.  I know that I am ordering my husband’s present from them.  I would tell you what it is but I don’t want it getting back to him.

If you are a gamer girl looking to make a geek gift for the dad in your life, then I recommend the Star Wars Craft Book. If I could knit I would say make my son the R2-D2 knit cap. Speaking of Star Wars, I was happy to get to watch most of the opening ceremonies for the redone Star Tours at Walt Disney World. I am sad to see a ride that I have always enjoyed change, but I understand that change is a part of life and so will manage. Though with our next vacation to Disney World coming up end of next year, I am excited to see the new version of Star Tours. It has been converted to 3D, of course, and now features a variety of different Star Tours to go on, which will give the ride some exciting variety. Can’t wait to report on what I think of it.

How not to lose your kid in a crowd

Looking for a way to make sure your young, or freaked out, lost child can get back to your caring arms?  I know when we have taken our kids into crowded places like conventions, zoos, or bigger places like Disney World we are always trying to keep an eye on them so they can’t get lost.  But as all parents know some kids are simply slipperier than others, for those that may get separated from you, here is a product I found tonight that can help.

Temp Tattoo for kids

It is a removable tattoo with the means to write your cell phone number on it.  No more need to take a sharpie to their arm when you to the Country Fair to be sure that a concerned adult can call you to claim your lost little one when a separation occurs.

According to the write up on Think Geek, the tattoo is highly durable and can last as long as two weeks.  They also suggest using it for things like medical conditions and food allergies when dropping your kids off in the care of another adult that may not know, like a B-day party.  The only downside I see is that it takes a special pen to go with it, guess you better set it all up in a zip-style baggie so you don’t lose it.

Spiky gloves

So while searching the web for fidget toys for my son to use in class I discovered these great pair of gloves from The Therapy Shoppe.  Obviously they are designed as therapy gloves for people with sensory issues, but I can help but see them as also being potentially cool costume additions.  I must admit I have no idea what costume I would use these with, but they are simply too neat to keep to myself.

Also if you are looking for a quiet fidget toy for the gaming table this website has a pretty good selection.  That way you can manage your ADHD without driving your gaming group bat crazy clicking a pen in and out, or constantly rolling your dice.  I haven’t ordered anything for my boy from them yet, but hope to manage to sit him down soon and make a couple selections to try out.

If you have any ideas of a costume that would go with the gloves let me know.

Thunderstone – The Boardgame

So last weekend I played a new game with the kids called Thunderstone. The game is a card based game that recreates an adventuring group. While the game is plenty of fun it is also easy enough for younger kids to play. I suspect that we may not have been playing with the full on set of rules, but we were close enough to them to get a good feel for the game.

In the game each person starts out with basic supplies for an adventuring party represented in cards. Using the cards you have collected you can either head to the village to purchase supplies or recruit and level up; or you can delve into the dungeon and battle creatures for experience points. The game play is pretty simple once you get it figured out, though I will admit that the setup is a bit on the complicated side to determine from the book. Just be sure to read through the instruction book and it will all come together pretty easily.

Old school dungeon mapping

Old School RPG Shirt
So to kill some time today I was on Cafepress again cruising for new shirts to wear to this year’s Gamestorm Convention. I have already found my shirt for this year (see earlier post), but now I need a new on for my husband and our friend that comes too. It is one of my little traditions around the gaming con each year is to pick up a new shirt. Being that the ratio of men to women is so high, especially when you don’t count LARP land, I get plenty of attention. But having a new cool shirt each year just helps it along. Generally I don’t like that sort of attention, but when it comes to a gaming convention I enjoy it, after all these are my sort of people.

So while there are always plenty of good finds on Cafepress, today’s shirt goes to the old school dungeon mapping shirt. I haven’t seen this one on there before and found it with a very generic “rpg” search. And I think the wording on this shirt describes it well, for if you are not hard core, old school gamer enough to recognize this for what it is, you will be lost, confused and probably bored with the translation. Especially as any of us that do know the answers to this shirt are quite likely to trail off into no less then three different gaming stories as we attempt to explain the various symbols and what they mean.

On another note my tabletop rpg session has been officially approved for this year’s Gamestorm. I will be running my Horror Rules session at 10am on Saturday. Hopefully I get enough players that early, on the upside the players I do get will be more hard core about their roleplaying and desire to play the game or they won’t be functioning that early. Good thing the game doesn’t require being fully awake either, as the rules are simple and character creation is quick. Now I just need to figure out some neat counters to use for tracking points in the game. Guess you know what I will be cruising the web for tomorrow.

Modern Warfare – Cube Style

Machine Gun
I am always on the look-out for gifts that can be classed as “Geek Gifts” as I never know when I will find a must have for my husband or kids, or even myself for that matter. Recently I shared a great shirt that I found online, and will be buying shortly to wear at my next convention. But tonight I found a rubber band gun I only wish I had when I was a kid. Sure I had a nice homemade, one-shot pistol that my dad made me, but this machine gun takes the battle to a whole new level.

With a gun like this one you can really amp up the cube wars, or take those backyard fights to the next level. I am sure if I had one of these as a kid it would have been grand. Since I don’t work in a cube environment I will have to leave this to my more Dilbert type readers to see if the twelve shots in this baby are worth the investment. According to the write up it even comes with a sighting hole for increased accuracy.

Gamer Girls are different

New Game
So the season gears up for the great holiday of love, romance, and everything that simply isn’t me that we call Valentine’s Day. Thankfully we have ditched cable and the radio is now my only source of commercials and there I just change the station. I simply hate hearing one more commercial trying to convince the man in my life that I want diamonds, or jewelry or some such something girly for Valentine’s day.

The fact is that I am a gamer girl. Sure a nice card is good, but that is as girly as I get. If you want to get me a new computer or video game that would be great. Or maybe a new gaming book or that supplement I have been eying. Better yet just watch a movie with me like Tank Girl, haven’t watched that one lately.

Here is how gamer girls work. When the Titanic came out, oh so many years ago, my now ex-husband and I went on a Valentine’s Day date to the movies. I remember very clearly the long line of couples that were there, they were all going to see the Titanic. We went to see The Replacement Killers. While standing in line talking about the movie, the look of envy coming from the poor guys who had been escorted off to see the Titanic was nothing short of memorable. But that is how us gamer girls roll.

I went to see Fifth Element in the theater and then went back four more times. Of course you have to watch it 5 times, it is Fifth Element after all.

And these days I would rather get a new game to play either by myself, or with family and friends then some piece of jewelry I have no interest in wearing let alone maintaining. I always say if you are going to buy me a ring make it one from the quarter machine and attach a trip to Disney World to it, now there is a ring worth having.

So while some girls like fancy jewelry and expensive Coach purses, us serious gamer girls tend to like things a bit different. Just remember to woo based on the girl you got, not the one they talk about in the ads!!