Help me! My Wife Beats Me All The Time!

Of course, the beating that Gwen gave me this weekend was purely ludographic in nature, but I still felt pretty abused afterwards.

Gwen and I settled in to a few games again this past Saturday night after Samantha relented and fell asleep.  We started with a little card game that I was sent as a review copy, PowerMage 54.  It’s just a 54-card deck (standard suits plus 2 jokers) that also has a little superhero fighting game attached to it.  I’m writing a review of the game right now, so I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say that it didn’t go over well with the wife… even though she beat me.

We then pulled out an old favorite (for us anyway), If Wishes Were Fishes.  I thought I was doing well early on, holding on to several worms and jumping out to a 20-ish-point lead, but in the end she managed to take the majority bonus in the last two markets and the worm bonus to push past me by 10 points or so.  I’ve already said all that I need to about IWWF in my review, but I’ll briefly reiterate that it’s a solid game for any age.

Gwen next smacked me around in a play of Cartagena, again coming from behind.  We debated the luck/skill ratio of the game afterwards, and in the end I came around to her way of thinking.  She was arguing that it’s mostly luck, but I didn’t necessarily think so.  There’s definitely a lot of choices to make, especially in how you set yourself up to draw cards (and don’t set up your opponents), but it does still come down to what cards you draw.  So I think that it’s mainly a luck-based game that makes you feel like you’ve got a lot of control.  To me, however, it’s quick and fun enough that I don’t much care either way.

We ended the evening when I taught her Archaeology: The Card Game.  Our first play was very close, but she pulled away and beat me soundly when she pulled the maps together to open the 7-card vault from the pyramid.  She wanted to give it another try, though, so we tried it again.  This time, I jumped out to a huge lead, getting the first and second set of cards from the pyramid myself and completing the Talisman set and several smaller things for a total of 118 points.  But on the very last turn, Gwen again got the map she needed to open the last pyramid section and take those seven cards.  With that, she completed the Pharaoh’s mask, a broken cup, some coins, and a parchment or two to get a total of 120 points and the win.  And just to put this into a bit more perspective, I drew (at one point) 13 thief cards in a row between the two games (all 8 the first game and then the first 5 of the second), and still I lost! 

In addition to the bad taste that I had in my mouth from losing five games in a row to my lovely bride, I’m also feeling worse and worse about Archaeology:TCG.  Especially in a 2-player game, the pyramid is just ridiculously broken.  If we play again, I may try to come up with a house rule to deal with it in some way, because it takes the game from a point where the luck is pretty tolerable (small bits of it spread out over the whole game with several opportunities to mitigate it) to one where it is the only factor that determines the outcome (one big chunk of luck that you can’t do anything about).  Anyway, I’ll stew about it a bit more, and see if I can come up with something.

That was my gaming weekend, but hopefully I’ll have a little more activity (maybe even some role-playing) next week!     


  1. After our Xmas marathon of Agricola, I reviewed the score sheets between Carol and myself. I wasn’t too surprised to find that in our 2 player games that I only beat Carol in Agricola 33% of the time.
    In 3+ player games of Agricola, Carol doesn’t fare as well, but I usually place 1st or 2nd. Im not quite sure what this says, if anything.

    Carol and I love to record our game plays. It fuels our competition and our love for playing games together.

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