Category Archives: 30 in 45

30 in 45 – Games amid the quest for the ring

While we were playing the Lord of the Rings card game, we did take some breaks and play other games, especially on nights when the kids got to be late or we had other things going on.

October 4 – Way of the Dragon
A: 5
J: 7 -> WIN!

This is a fun, take-along dice game that we explain is “Chinese Yathzee.” You move your pieces along a track in conjunction with the number of that symbol. It’s fun and can be pretty strategic as far as dice games go.Untitled

Adam started out strong with this game rolling one of every symbol on the very first try which got all his pieces on the board in a hurry. He actually rolled that 4 or 5 times during the game, but it wasn’t nearly as beneficial as the first one.

I just played my game, and managed to roll all of one symbol (which we hadn’t done yet). I ended up just getting all my pieces into the score rows before Adam could get more than a couple in the scoring zone. So, I won out.

October 11th – Dungeon Lords
A: 20 <–WIN
J: 8

Adam was the more fearful Dungeon Lord by a LONG shot this game. While Jessica was the Lord of Dark Deeds (was the highest in the evil-meter), Adam claimed more single titles than her making him the be winner. He had a room in his dungeon that increased the number of points he got for single titles.

Jessica played a respectable game. She let her evil level go unchecked early in the game and attracted the attention of the first year Paladin. While she defeated the Paladin and two other adventurers, one scrapped away with his life barely intact. And it left her dungeon with a few too many conquered tiles and made for a rough second year.

October 12th – Elder Sign
Investigators: WIN!
A: Jenny Barnes
Je: Amanda Sharp
Ju: Ashcan Pete
Ja: Bob Jenkins

Elder Sign is a dice rolling game that is set in our favorite universe of Arkham. Our investigators are in a museum trying to collect enough elder signs to prevent an ancient one from awaking and taking over the world. You roll dice and use the results to complete adventures and gain items and elder signs.

We were fortunate enough to be able to play this when we were having game night with our friends Justin and Jaidi.

We really had this game easily in hand the whole time. The doom track only had 3 or 4 tokens on it. We all seemed to have really hot dice this game and just cranked it out. So, we decided to plan another game too.

October 12th – Tobago
A: Yellow ATV: 17
Je: Blue ATV: 25
Ju: Red ATV: 23
Ja: Green ATV: 26

We all played a really good game tonight. This victory came down to the very last treasure that Adam and Justin had absolutely NO part in. Jaidi knew there were 2 treasures with 6 points each in the pool and she had 2 shots at time. So, she waited and passed on a 5 point treasure that Jessica got. It was a very good thing too since she won by 1 point. 🙂

So the days in between these games were actually game free. We had a lot of life and other things needing our attention that we couldn’t find time to play. So our end is a little anti-climatic, but we did finish. It feels a little forced though, but fun.

October 18th – Can’t Stop -iOS (2 rounds)

Round 1
Adam WON!

Round 2
Jessica WON!

This is a new iPad game we got that is based on the board game Can’t Stop. It’s a dice rolling, press your luck kind of game. The goal is to get 3 of your pieces from one side of the board to the other. You move your pieces based on the way you roll and pair the dice. Some of the rows in the board are smaller since getting those results are a lot less likely. It’s a great game for parties since it is easy to pick up and plays quickly. Since it is a game of almost total luck, it’s easy to lose and fun to win.

October 20th – Ticket To Ride iOS
Adam: 153 Jessica: 85

Adam totally knocked it out of the park. He got a bunch of routes that were crazy high scoring. When he laid down the train that marked the final round, he left Jessica in the cold needing one more purple car that would have completed 2 of her high scoring routes, which would have been a MUCH closer final score.

October 21st – Forbidden Island iOS
Results: WIN!

I honestly don’t remember much about this game in particular. But I do remember that we did find all the treasure, and we escaped from the island as it feel apart around us feeling a little bit like Indiana Jones. I also remember us saying the world should thank us for recovering these priceless artifacts from being lost forever.

October 21 – Elder Sign iOS
Results: Win

We won this one, but at a cost. We battled with Cthulhu and this is the first time we have one it. The way Cthulhu plays is a little different than other ancient ones. After obtaining a certain number (I don’t remember what it was), we traveled by boat around the sea until we had enough investigation icons to raise Cthulhu and battle him. We got it done, but Adam lost his life in the process. I was able to pull it out in the end thanks to Jenny Barnes awesome ability to get both bonus dice when using items instead of just one.

Again, we felt like the world should thank us for saving it from the unspeakable horrors. World, you’re welcome. 😀

Days Left: 0 Games Played: 30


30 in 45 – We’re all tied up

It seems that Adam and I are all tied up with our win -loss records.  Quite an accomplishment for me since I seem to lose a lot, but apparently that’s not entirely true anymore.  I am getting better at some of the strategy games, and since Adam and my brains work very differently, he has a hard time figuring out what I’m going to do next.  I have the same problem, but always have so it doesn’t play as much to my disadvantage.  🙂

September 17th – Small World

Jessica: 80
Adam: 93

Since we learned we had been playing this incorrectly for a while now, we were excited to play it correctly.  It turned out to be a little more balanced.  Well, that is until yon Dragon Master Trolls came and squished everybody in their path and left behind a trail of fortresses that spelled utter DOOM to anyone trying to conquer them.

I hope that conveyed the despair that Jessica felt after I played my trolls because I don’t think she was very happy with me.  I gave her permission to weep.  Still, her Wealthy Wizards bolstered her end-game scoring to a respectable scoring gap.  Ah, yes, it’s good to be a troll.

Thursday, September 20th – Forbidden Island iOS version
A & J –> Lost

Report: Our goal here is to get all the treasures and get off the Island before it all washes into the sea.  We can prevent some of this by shoring up flooded areas, but if a flooded area is flooded again, it washes away.  We thought we were doing really well.  We had gotten two of the treasures we sought, and were almost set to claim another when we drew a waters rise card.  It reshuffled an already flooded Fool’s Landing (our way in and out of the Island) into the flood deck.  The first card that came up in the flood phase was Fool’s Landing.  Thus washing it away and leaving us stranded on the Island as it sunk all around us.

Thursday, September 20th – Ingenious iOS version
A: Lose

Report: The goal of this game is to match colored tiles in such a way that you gain points.  You have 5 colors you are managing.  You want each on to be as high as possible.  The person who has the least amount (in any color) is the one who loses in the end.  You really have to play it to understand, but it’s fun.  This is Jessica’s game that she can usually count on for a win.  She plays it in her spare time while watching TV.  So, she’s pretty good at it.  This round of the game was no exception.

Monday, September 24th – Tobago
A: 61 – Win
J: 51

Report: Adam here.  Wow, 4 days since our last play.  We are going to need to ramp up the pace.  Ok, so you say Tobago, I say Tobago.  I guess that works better out loud.  This is a game of treasure hunting and movement optimization with a little set theory thrown in.  Since at least one of those things is incredibly interesting to me, I love this game.  It was a little slow starting because we had sort of forgotten the rules. When familiar, it would play quickly.  I think I found the first treasure and we swapped back and forth after that with an exclusionary treasure for each of us.  Jessica got cursed once and lost some serious points.  That and a little luck bumped me to the top, and Mr. Red Jeep won the day!

Lord of the Rings – The Card Game (9/25, 27, 28, 10/1, 2 thus far)
We are playing a lot of this game. Look for the LOTR Edition coming up

September 30th – Unity

Adam -Orange –
Jessica- Purple – WIN!

The point of UNITY is the get all the pieces you have on the board in a collection together by strategically picking up and moving pieces around the board. Jessica was still grasping the concepts of this game. It had been frustrating to her in the past, but it seems that she’s got it figured out. It was a rather handy win for her. It did help that when Adam set up the board he let Jessica chose the color she wanted to play, and she chose the group that already had the most unified group to start with. So, it was easier to deal with the rest.

September 30th – Issac

Adam: 52
Jessica: 77

Man alive was Jessica on a winning streak tonight! Issac is a game about strategically laying down varying lengths (and point valued) sticks, and picking up said sticks in such a fashion that gains you the most points. Personally, I think I just got lucky and made some excellent blocks and pick ups that really put Adam in a position to gain fewer points. In the end, I got to pick up at least 3 or 4 more sticks, which resulted in a larger victory. After that win though, Adam didn’t want to play anymore games with me that night. 🙂

Days Left: 19   Games Played: 18

30 in 45 – We’re at it again!

We were recently re-reading our old blog post from our last adventure into the 30 in 45, and thought we were incredibly entertaining and wanted to do it again. We started into it on September 6th. We are due to finish on Sunday, October 21st.

The challenge I see us having this time is there are more things we are wanting to do at night rather than just watch TV. I am currently indexing about 20 names a night and trying to exercise at least 4 nights a week. (For more information on what indexing is click HERE) and Adam has some new computer games that are vying for his attention as well. We’ve already missed some nights, but here’s what we have so far.

September 6th – Dungeon Lords
Session Results:
Jessica: 6
Adam: 4

We were testing out this game again. We hadn’t played it for a while, and someone had offered to trade Adam for another game. He wanted to make sure we didn’t like it anymore by playing it a few times in quick succession (for the record, we like it.) We started playing a little late since the boys got to bad a little late, and Matthew was having a little bit of a rough night.

We only played the first year of our dungeon building. And I can’t really remember much about it after that. In the end, I was able to dig more tunnels and get more imps which gave me more unshared titles than Adam, and I was able to win by a couple. The lesson we walked away with: Always be able to pay your taxes! It will get you in the end if you don’t.

September 7th – Dungeon Lords
Jessica: 24
Adam: 16

We got it set up and playing a lot faster. We went through the first year a lot faster than the night before. Jessica dug a lot of tunnels and had a lot more rooms working for her than Adam. When the adventurers braved our dungeons, they were able to conquer all of Adam’s 3 tunnels and one room before one escaped by the skin of his teeth. Jessica’s dungeon faired better, and she had 1 tunnel conquered and no adventurers ever saw the light of another day.

The second year, we realized why the game was going so easily for us, and why we were getting more monsters than we remembered. Apparently, you’re supposed to pay the monster upon hiring them, NOT just on pay day. This really cut down on our hiring of monsters and made us use our resources a little better.

When the adventurers made it in, Adam’s dungeon faired MUCH better than the year before and better than Jessica’s this year. He was able to defeat all the adventurers quickly. Jessica took a couple more rounds, but was able to defeat them all too. In the end, it was that first year that really took it’s toll on Adam’s score, and Jessica pulled out the win.

Adam’s notes:  Jessica really knows how to be an evil dungeon lord!  I don’t know how she does it, but every time I turned around she was one-upping me.  This game seems to be growing on us.  I nearly traded it away, but right now I’m glad I did not.

September 8th – Thurn and Taxis
Jessica: 7
Adam: 31 <-Win

This was not Jessica’s night. Adam put together an absolutely BEAUTIFUL route of 10 cities that got him into nearly every province very early in the game. Jessica lost a route since she took a gamble and it bit her in the keister. Adam got a lot more of the bonuses and got rid of all his houses before Jessica was even close. As a result, she lost about half her points.  Adam’s notes: This always seems to be a game I can do really well at.  I think it is just because you don’t have much to keep track of, but either way, I find it a joy to play.

September 9th – Small World
Jessica: 77
Adam: 92

With this game, Adam observed some trends that seem to happen quite frequently. The berserker race power isn’t as cool as you initially think it will be, and it ends up with trolls a lot more often than not. The biggest realization we had was that we’d been playing it wrong for quite some time.

Apparently, when one of your areas is conquered, you don’t lose all your pieces. You only lose ONE of the pieces that was defending your area. We’d been losing all our pieces, and as a result Adam COMPLETELY pummeled Jessica’s trolls and drove them to decline after one turn!! It was kind of a turning point for the game, but it was still fun.

September 12th – Pandemic
A & J: WIN!
Disease: conquered

When we started, the set up looked pretty good. Only one of the four diseases was really going rampant, things didn’t look so good for Asia. We kept trying to get things under control, and just as we would get close the city we were almost ready to treat would come up again and we’d have a major out break on our hands. That happened about 6 or 7 times, and just before the world was about to succumb to disease and explode, we were able to cure all the diseases. Thus, we saved the world last night. You’re welcome world! 🙂

September 14th – Race for the Galaxy
J: 58 <– Win
A: 48

Report from Adam:
This was a really lucky game of drawing for Jessica. She pursed the alien technologies, and she drew card after card of alien cards. In the end, she was able to draw a 6 cost development that SERIOUSLY capitalized all her alien cards, and she pulled out a pretty handy win.

I was pretty frustrated with her win since the last time we played Jessica won with fewer points than I lost by this time.  She did seem pretty pleased with herself as she did a victory dance.  I  even got some great synergy going, but Jessica managed to play the right cards.

September 16th – Endeavor
J: 67
A: 69

This game is an interesting game. You can’t ever really know how you’re doing (unless you’re THAT obsessive about keeping track of points in your head) until the very end. Although Adam won, Jessica was not that far behind. She was bumming about halfway through the game when she saw that Adam was REALLY working up his point tracks.

In wise move of drawing buildings, she grabbed a card that allowed her to draw 2 cards on her turn. So, she drew cards that really upped her point tracks and put her in a position to win. But alas, Adam had managed to pull out the win.

The strange thing about this game, we didn’t put ourselves in a position to attack the other or the neutral player ever. We also had every space on the board occupied. We’ve never done that before either. All around, we had a great game.

Days Left: 35   Games Played: 7

30in45 – Adam’s Final Thoughts


How I Learned to Enjoy the Game and Stop Obsessing Over Winning

Dr. Reiner Knizia, designer of many, many classic boardgames, once said “When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning”. So true. I thought I understood this before, but I didn’t. To me, this quote isn’t just about being a good winner/loser; it also encompasses enjoying the journey.

Several times thoughout this challenge I would tell myself before we started a game that I wasn’t going to over analyze my moves to the point of absurdity because I needed to enjoy the experience. Inevitably, I would find myself doing the calculations in my head of the benefits/costs of each possible move such that I hardly even noticed that my opponent was even in the room. I could have been playing against a computer for all the attention I was giving to the social experience.

The social experience, for me, is the most rewarding thing about game playing, but it was too easy to focus on being the winner. Everyone needs to play to win, or it isn’t fun. That’s why games with lopsided rules or unbalanced game play are no fun because both opponents can’t really play to win. My focus was often playing to be the winner; this subtle distinction made for a huge difference in my enjoyment. Once I learned how to actually “play” with others, it became much more enjoyable!

Unfortunately, some games are just bound to fail with specific groups. We found one such game (Call of Cthtulhu) that just doesn’t work with us. We become overly hostile while playing it, and it never ends well. We have learned that games with such overt conflict, where every move is about tearing the other person’s position down, do not work with us. Games are all about gaining the edge, but building up my own settlement/economy engine/zombie horde in comparison to how my opponent is doing is vastly different than simply bringing theirs down to the ground consistently.

It actually relates really well to life. We compete at EVERYTHING. You’ll notice that good things often come about when the “competitors” are building upon/creating their own stuff; in contrast, when we compete by tearing down others to look better ourselves, no one wins. War. Smear campaigns. I-told-you-so matches. We need to make sure that we are enriching ourselves and the world around us.

Anyway, I could probably write on many other things that I’ve noticed as we’ve played so much. It’s really amazing. We have slowed down quite a bit since it has stopped. I’m really grateful to Jessica for doing this with me, and I’m sure she is as well.

30in45 – Jessica’s Final Thoughts

This experience was an interesting one for me. I started this a little on the hesitant side. In months prior to this, Adam would ask me if I wanted to play a game, and I really would rather have done something else. If he were to ask me now, I’m a lot more likely to say yes (generally, I’ll usually say yes now).

I agreed to the 30in45, so I could spend more time with Adam. I felt like we just weren’t doing enough together, since I think sitting on the couch and watching TV doesn’t count as doing stuff together. We learned new things about each other, and it’s been a really good experience for us as a couple. I think we enjoy one another’s company more like we did when we were newly married.

It also found us a couple new game friends to play with. 🙂 It’s always fun to play games with other people, and now we have more people we can play with.

All in all, it’s been a great thing for us to do together. Thanks for suggesting it, Adam!

30in45 – The Last of the Games

We finished! We played 30 games in 45 days. We had a lot of fun doing it, but you’ll hear more about that in a follow up post. 🙂

For now, our last 3 games.

Friday, April 8th – Last Night on Earth
Adam (zombies) –> WIN
Jessica (Heroes) –> not so much…

Session Report:
We played defend the manor house, and it was a fight to the very last.

The zombies had only hours until the heroes won, but luckily for them, they had already picked off 3 of the 4 heroes. With the a last ditch effort to keep the zombies out of the manor house, the Father Joseph lured 5 zombies outside the house. He already had 2 wounds and was sadly killed in battle. It was a pretty exciting end.

Saturday, April 9th — Arkham Horror
Adam-Dexter Drake: Incomplete
Jessica- Mandy Thompson: Incomplete
Jaidi-Kate Winthrop: Incomplete
Justin- Leo Vincent: Incomplete

Session Report:
We got the game all set up, we were gearin’ up to go. We got through two rounds, and then our kid got sick. And had to call it a night, which is too bad. It was shaping up to be a good game too.

We have rescheduled for later this month to try again.

Monday, April 11 – Race for the Galaxy
Adam: 38 –>WIN
Jessica: 32

Session Report:
I played an incredible strategic game, but Adam appeared to play a better one. FRUSTRATION!! I really do try to beat him. It just seems like whenever I’m doing REALLY well, he seems to do even better. I will get him. Mark my words, I will get him. When I do, you’d better believe you’ll hear about it. 🙂

30in45 – The Final Push

Monday, March 28th -Arkham Horror
Adam (Mark Harrigan/Leo Anderson)- WIN
Jessica (Mandy Thompson/Jacqueline Fine) – WIN

Session Review:
We were battling Yig. Our monster situation always stayed under control, but our gates were opening all over the place.

We were SURE we were goners, because Yig was up to 9 Doom tokens (out of 10). In a fortunate stroke of luck we were able to get six gates sealed before Yig awoke from his slumber.

Friday, April 1st – Arkham Horror
Adam (Dexter Drake/Wilson Richards)- WIN
Jessica (Diana Stanley/ Marie Lambeau)- WIN

Session Review:
We battled Cuthulu, and we WON. We started out with gates opening left and right, but with the right spells and weather cards we were able to send all our investigators into Gates and close all of them before we had a 5th one open.

It was a very lucky few turns for us, but still that’s all part of the fun.

Sunday, April 3rd – Carcassone
Adam <–WIN
Jessica – not so much…

Session Review:
Played this on the iPad during Conference. I don't remember the score, but it was just a quick game.

Monday, April 4th – Small World
Small World
Adam – 98 – WIN
Jessica – 93 – not so much…

Session Review:
It was a quick, high-scoring game. Adam played Giants for 4 turns, and Elves for a full 6 turns! Jessica played Orcs, Ratmen, Trolls, and finished with Halflings. It was close, and neither one of us was sure who would take it in the end.

Wednesday, April 6th – Arkham Horror
Adam (Marie Lambeau)- Lost
Jessica (Michael McGlenn)- Lost

Session Review:
Separated out the Dunwich expansion,and played with the base set. We were prepping for a game with a couple of our friends this Saturday. We don’t want to overwhelm with too many extra rules from an expansion.

We thought we were getting pretty good at Arkham, and we were pretty sure this would be a fast and quick game. BOY were we wrong! Arkham Horror had not been so horrifying to us in a long time.

This game beat us up one side and down the other. If it wasn’t gates opening all over the place or monsters being released willy nilly into the streets.

In the end, when we FINALLY got our game back on track, the last gate opened up and we battled with Ithaqua. We nearly won, but alas we were ONE success short of taking him out. Dash it all!!

In the end, we decided that the addition of the Madness and Injury cards that were introduced with the Dunwich expansion will be left in for our next game. Going insane and losing your stamina was really hard to kept the flow going and motivation up. We thought it was great (at times), but it would be difficult to newcomers.