Yep, yesterday was my 35th freaking birthday. I’m now half-way to 70. It doesn’t really bother me or anything, but it does seem pretty old now that I sit here and think about it. I’m approaching middle-age, I guess, but instead of a new sportscar or a cool Harley or something like that, I’m pretty content to just get a few new boardgames and maybe have the chance to play them.
See, that was my plan for yesterday. Of course, it happened to fall on a Tuesday anyway, so Game Night was a given. But I also had big plans to get together with one or two other gamers for an intense afternoon where we could get a heavier game to the table; something like Twilight Struggle, War of the Ring, or maybe an epic game of two of BattleLore. Alas… it was not to be. Most of the guys were working or tied up with appointments; and Britt, my “go to” gamer buddy (since he’s a teacher and now out for the summer), took off to freaking Walt Disney World on this of all weeks! So I had a tough choice to make.
Of course, one bright spot for the day was the prospect of getting a few new games. As a bit of a surprise, my copy of A Penny for My Thoughts arrived on Monday. Since Gwen has little or no time between Samantha and her ridiculous workload, I was more than content merely to have the go-ahead to pick up a few games of my choosing, so I had Denise at Hypermind get in copies of the For Troll and Country BattleLore expansion (which was the only BattleLore product I was missing), A Castle For All Seasons, and (most importantly) Space Alert.
My day began by taking Samantha to daycare, then driving through the pouring rain to the DMV office to renew my driver’s license. I felt pretty good that it only took 45 minutes. Then I was off to check out the games and books at the freaking ginormous annual Hospice Flea Market (the biggest charity Flea Market in these whole United States!). It was still pouring, and while my friggin’ huge umbrella kept me mostly dry, my feet were soaked by the time I walked into the building. The games were pretty picked over already, although I did pick up fairly decent Parchisi and Backgammon sets with nice wooden pieces for just $3. After getting back to my car, I added “buy dry socks” to my to-do list for the morning.
I then did some shopping for Gwen’s birthday (which is tomorrow) and Father’s day, and changed into my new dry socks. After a wonderful lunch of burro de la roqueta at my favorite Mexican restaurant, I headed over to Hypermind. As soon as I arrived, I paid for my new games, punched them all out, and read the rules. It was only then that I made my big mistake for the day.
I had also thought that it would be cool to actually see a movie in a real theater, and Star Trek was starting at 1:30. I should have gone on over to the theater and watched the movie and been happy, but instead, I set myself up for disappointment by hanging around the store in the vain hope that someone would wander in to play with me. Instead, I ended up watching a gaggle of Yu-gi-oh players while playing the first two games of a solo Agricola series. It wasn’t all that bad, but I think that I would have preferred to see Star Trek.
So anyway, I did pretty well with Agricola. In the first game, I drew both the Seasonal Worker and the Potato Dibber, so I headed straight into a grain/vegetable strategy to feed my family. It worked pretty well, and I scored 54 points, giving me a 2-food headstart in game 2. Obviously, I kept the Seasonal Worker as my carry-over Occupation.
The brokenness that I drew in game 2 included getting both Ceramics and the Clay Deliveryman. While still relying mostly on planting grain and vegetables, I had a lot more freedom in this game to focus both more on livestock and to get extra points from Pottery. The Master Builder also got me a few extra points from expanding to a 6-room house. In the end, I scored 67 points, which is a little ridiculous.
Chris Ingersoll (from the Hypermind BoardGamers) had previously reported on most of a solo series, where he also had the Seasonal Worker from the beginning (and, oddly enough, the Clay Deliveryman in round 2). As he pointed out, this makes the game considerably easier (almost ridiculously so). It’s almost a guaranteed 8 points from grain and veggies, and a sure-fire way of feeding the family. I’ve still had some good luck in the other cards I’ve drawn, and I’ll be interested to see how it pans out as the target scores continues to increase.
I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to play the next game, but I’ll be taking the Seasonal Worker, Clay Deliveryman, and 6 extra food into it!
Oh, and I’ll post the action from later in that evening as soon as I get the chance.