Christmas has now come and gone, and for the most part, both Santa and the holiday in general were pretty good for my gaming life. Let me start with my “haul” of new games, which included Hansa Teutonica and Coloretto from my BGG Secret Santa, 7 Wonders from Gwen, Code 777 from one of Gwen’s cousins, Run Wild from my wife’s Grandmother, Yikerz from a Dirty Santa exchance, and Battles of Westeros, which I picked up this week partially using a gift certificate from another of Gwen’s cousins.
My overall number of new games was a little low compared to the last couple of years, but that was mainly because Gwen and I asked our immediate family for money/gift cards to help us in upgrading our camera situation to a really cool Nikon D3100.
In addition, though, Samantha wanted some games for Christmas as well. We’ve already played with most of the games, but the one that is most appropriate for her developmental level is definitely the Candy Land Castle game, which has a neat little castle thingy that shoots out colored plastic pieces on your turn which you want to match to the four different spots on your gingerbread man. It’s completely random and luck-based, but the gadget is fun to play with and Samantha totally gets how to play, so we’ve had fun with it so far.
My young gamer’s budding collection grows…
Christmas parties are always fun, and they’re a good excuse to introduce people at work or in your family to some new games. At my work party, I ran games of both Eat Poop You Cat and Wits & Wagers. For both, I found or came up with some Christmas-themed content. I found some Christmas questions at BGG for W&W and also wrote a few myself, so I only moderated the game rather than actually playing it. And for EPYC, I made out a couple dozen seeds that people could use, because I was afraid that people would just use titles of Christmas songs or movies that would be a little too easy to translate (since the game is no fun if the message doesn’t change). You can check out below some of the results from our EPYC sessions:
There was a big drift from the Island of Misfit Toys to a tree farm, but then the message didn’t change much except for my introduction of a catapult into the mix…
A piss-poor initial drawing (which are always the best kind, of course) led to one big drift, but then the excellent drawings from that point kept the message consistent.
This seed (being a quotation from Lucy on A Charlie Brown Christmas, of course) was one of the longest that I wrote, and I thought it was pretty hilarious how it ended up as only one word.
I played a couple of Dirty Santa gift exchanges this year, but they weren’t really much of anything special this time around. Between the mix of gifts and having to split my attention between the “game” and making sure that my 2-year-old isn’t either killing herself or causing major property damage, I found it a little hard to concentrate well enough to really have a great time.
In regards to the ongoing gift-wrap war between my brother-in-law Kevin and his cousin Rebecca, she definitely got the best of him this year. His gift (as usual) was an Amazon gift certificate. But this time, she ran it through a paper shredder and mixed it in a box with a pile of other shreded paper. So he had to comb through the paper looking for strips with writing on them, and then piece it back together to find the gift code. It was pretty cool.
And finally, I’ll leave you with some images of what it looked like around my house on the day after Christmas. We had 4+ inches of snow fall overnight and into the morning, so it was a veritable winter wonderland. Unfortunately, soon after taking these pictures, I fell ill with a stomach thingy, so the rest of the day was spent either in bed or hunched over a toilet. But I got better…
This was the view out my back door
And these two were looking out the front, first towards my brother’s house to the left (above) and then to the right towards my other neighbor (hidden behind some trees) and the road (below)