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Monday, March 28, 2005



Played a few more games of Hammer of the Scots, a block-wargame depicting the British/Scottish conflict during the "Brave Heart" era. My initial impression was that it was an alright game. Wow. When you play by the correct rules it gets even better.

We had missed the rule that units had to stop "immediately" upon crossing a red border. We knew that there were limits to the number of units that could cross the red and black borders, respectively, but it took a friend of ours who was familiar with Liberty to set us straight on the stopping rule. There was some other minor rule we had been misplaying, but the red border rule was the main one. It really improved the game. I will have to explore HotS some more, but I like it.

YINSH and GIPF have been hitting the table frequently, also. I had thought about buying the games in the GIPF series and other abstract games years ago, but didn't. At the time the only person I had to play 2-player abstracts with was Dame Koldfoot, and she hates them. I, myself, was cool to them, but I was interested in the GIPF games because of all the good comments they have recieved. I have since come around to liking quick 2-player abstracts (under an hour), and these fit the bill.

My local game store owner is trying to get DVONN and ZERTZ in to stock. These are the two other games in the GIPF series that are still in print. I will have to pick them up when he does. Yes, I know I can get them on line, but after I get done paying for shipping to Alaska, I find it preferable to just support the local guy. There is only one game store for 350 miles. Saving a couple bucks by bypassing him would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. I appreciate having a relatively well-stocked game store in my town.

Played some more Advanced Squad Leader. The rules summary "cheat sheet" is double sided and written in very fine print. It is longer than the rules for many advanced games. I feel like I just move units around a little bit, roll the dice, and wait for some unexpected consequences from the dice roll.

"Ahhh, you rolled and eleven. That is bad. That means that not only do you miss, but your machine gun blows up, every counter in the stack needs to roll for a moral check, they are all automatically pinned, and you've activated my sniper."

See this tiny "3" on the machine gun chit? Right there. Here use my magnifying glass. That means that movement by any friendly unit within 3 hexes is halved if the gun blows up. And that's just off the top of my head. Let me check the rules, I think it is worse because the red die is the "6", and it happened on the second story of a stone building which is surrounded by woods, with an 8 leader that you had to CX to get there."

"I was wondering why you used that machine gun, if you had used this other machine gun you would have won on any roll but a "2"."

Little by little I am getting it, though. Might be able to take off the training wheels by next March.

Played Knizia's Lord of the Rings with the kids at the Boys and Girls club. I still think it is a lousy game, but it never ceases to amaze me how much kids like it. I will never play the game with adults again, it just bores me to tears. But kids... now that is another story. They really get into it. They get excited and get into arguments as they calculate the best move for the group. They really seem to like it.

I need to keep a tight rein on them to keep the game progressing in proper order. They always want to play out of turn, or play cards before drawing tiles. Their enthusiasm is quite contagious. As much as I want to loathe the game I find it to be fun with the right group of kids.

Gotta go. Today is "Seward's Day". It is an Alaska state holiday. Having some people over for games this afternoon, got to get ready.

Good gaming,

Yes, the red border rule is very important. Without it, the English would be able to stomp through the Scottish highlands with impunity once the King comes a-calling. HotS is sweet for a wargame, I need to play it once in a while.

Aren't you glad Jay finally found a way to get Tamsk reprinted? I might eventually end up getting YINSH and TAMSK.
Of course I lost when I played the English with the wrong rules, too. (Insert blush smilie here).

I understand that the TAMSK reprint suffers from the publishing conundrum of quality timers vs. reasonable price. I'm all over it when it is reprinted also.
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