We visited my sister’s to look after Erin (age 13) for the day during half-term. We introduced her to Dungeon Petz, a current favourite of ours. This game has masses of theme but a lot of options and decisions, which we hoped Erin could cope with. No problems there! The first game ended in a tie between me and Erin (51 points each) and Elaine was close behind (49 points). This was probably the closest game we have ever played. We immediately played a second game, which I won fairly comfortably by focussing on single pets and growing them up. This is a great game for younger players; the character of the pets has great appeal and the choices are reasonably balanced. The one aspect of the game I feel I don’t concentrate enough on is tailoring my decisions based on knowledge of the future competitions and customers. I am still dithering about whether to get the expansion for the game; does it need further options?
Next we introduced the game of Blueprints. This is a nice ‘filler’ game that takes only 30 minutes and revolves around dice (which is always a hit with me). Erin quickly picked up both the rules and strategies, but not enough to prevent me from winning the first game. Elaine won the second game, which included my sister, Gillian. Again most players stuck to the blueprints they were dealt, but in the second game I went off-piste by building a 5 storey skyscraper. This could have won me the game if only I managed to get a 5-dice in the penultimate round, but I had to take a 6-dice instead which reduced my scoring.
Finally, we finished the session with a 4 player game of Carcassone. This classic game always delivers, but I do feel players sometimes take too long making tile laying decisions. Farmers proved decisive because the board generated a single, large field supplying multiple cities. Three players managed locate 2 farmers each in the field, so shared the points (I was one tile away for linking up a third farmer). It was getting late, but I think Erin won, narrowly beating her mum (which may be a bad move). We played the basic game with no expansions.
Overall, a very enjoyable day of gaming!