Sunday, February 23, 2014

On the Road: The Berkshires

From time to time, we are lucky enough to score an invitation from the Commish and Wild Turkey to join their family at his parents' vacation home in the Berkshires, a mountain range in western Massachusetts.  Previous visitors to The Squid may recall that the Commish and Wild Turkey are friends of mine from college, and particularly important ones for the fact that they introduced me to My Wife.  We had not seen them in about a year, I think, so we were glad for the chance to catch up.

Saturday evening's festivities centered around the following:

Our dear friends share our love for games.  We introduced a couple of our new favorites to them this weekend.
via Games by Play Date
Love Letter is a simple card game.  The manufacturer's description:

All of the eligible young men (and many of the not-so-young) seek to woo the princess of Tempest. Unfortunately, she has locked herself in the palace, and you must rely on others to bring your romantic letters to her. Will yours reach her first? Love Letter is a game of risk, deduction, and luck for 2 to 4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette's hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. From a deck with only sixteen cards, each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire. 

The game is easy to learn and fast to play.  Strategy is subtle.  While the game is playable with just two, it's better with more people.  The artwork is satisfying.
via BoardGameGeek
Forbidden Desert is a cooperative game with a constantly shifting board.  Manufacturer's description:

Gear up for a thrilling adventure to recover a legendary flying machine buried deep in the ruins of an ancient desert city. You'll need to coordinate with your teammates and use every available resource if you hope to survive the scorching heat and relentless sandstorm. Find the flying machine and escape before you all become permanent artifacts of the Forbidden Desert.

As with Pandemic (review here), it's not a hold hands and sing "Kumbayah" sort of cooperative game - rather, it's get your act together or everybody dies.  I'd say it's easier than Pandemic but we've also only played the easiest level so far.  This game also has excellent artwork.  It's recommended for ages 10 and up but their seven-year-old daughter got the hang of it pretty quickly.

Overall, it was a fun weekend.  Too much of the vino on Saturday put a bit of a dent in my Sunday, I must confess, but an enjoyable time nonetheless.  Fortunately, we've already made plans to see them again in a few weeks.

16 comments:

  1. A weekend of wine and games? Count me in! Sounds like a lot of fun to me! Now I'm gonna have to check out that Love Letter game...

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    1. That one's a pretty easy one for kids to pick up, too.

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  2. Have I asked you about Munchkin? You should try Munchkin if you haven't.

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    1. We did buy Munchkin recently - good fun. We've only played once so far but I'm sure we'll come back to it soon. We brought it along but didn't have time. The kids enjoyed exploring the cards.

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  3. Sounds like an awesome weekend - nothing like a wine and games fest with good friends. :)

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  4. You had me at wine, but the games sound fun too! Glad you enjoyed yourselves. Friends are treasures.

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    1. They certainly are. My life would be very different without these two in particular.

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  5. Sounds like awesome great fun! I haven't played either one of these games so I'll have to try them...the only people who will play games with us anymore are my brother and sister-in-law, because my brother is just as obnoxious at game-playing as I am, LOL...

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    1. I'm always pleased when I find friends who enjoy games. How do you think you and your brother would do with a cooperative game? If anything, collaboration can be more stressful than competition depending on the people involved.

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  6. I so enjoy games. Lots of card games. I haven't played on many of the newer games like you mentioned but I love games like Tangoes, Yahtzee, Mah-jong.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Of those, the only one I know is Yahtzee and I haven't played in years. Playing Yahtzee as a kid did help me to understand poker later.

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  7. That sounds like a fun evening. I've never heard of the card game, but it sounds perfectfor a wine party.

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    1. It is good for a wine party - your hand consists of one card, then you draw another and play one. The strategy involves figuring out what everyone else has and half the time, it's a guess.

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  8. I never heard of those games. My family is really into games and those look great.

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