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Sunday, August 20, 2006


Kenai Vacation Highlights: Rain, Rain, Rain / Quick Thoughts on Tempus

Secondary Highlights:


They have a Dairy Queen. I should point out it is the only one in Alaska.


Kids had a blast playing on the beach in 55 degree weather, in the drizzly rain with a stiff wind.


Nice little town that caters to cruise ship passengers. The Sea Life Center was pretty cool, and indoors (out of the rain).


There are gamers in Anchorage. Wooooo Hoooooo.

Sean, a fellow I met at Alaska's only game convention, set up a Saturday evening game with a couple fellows I had never met. Cisco, a fellow I met on Boardgamegeek, was able to play also. Paul hosted, and Gene was nice enough to chauffeur Sean and me to and from Paul's house.

All four were stand-up guys and fun to play with. We spent an enjoyable evening playing Railroad Tycoon and Tempus. Well, enjoyable except for Tempus. I was hoping for more. The game worked, all the parts fit together well, but it wasn't fun. Automatic advancement to the next era was an interesting idea to streamline a civilization building game, but much of the tension (all of the tension?) was removed. Although I agonized over a few decisions in the game, I found that the thought involved was mostly wasted, and any choice would have been equally beneficial.

These thoughts could change with more play, but I have a sinking feeling that Tempus will ultimately be no better than 4/10.

Tempus reminds me of New England, the game that was named Game of the Year by Games Magazine a few years back. New England was a well polished game with a clever bidding mechanism, and it caused quite a buzz in the boardgame community. When the curtain was pulled back, New England turned out to be more tedious than shopping with your wife and mother-in-law, but it did have a clever bidding mechanism.

At worst Tempus may be as bad as New England.

We also played two games of Railroad Tycoon. Cisco was familiar with the rules, but I was the only one who had played. The game went over well with the group and a second game was immediately called for. These two games of Railroad Tycoon cemented my opinion that it is a slightly better than average game, but mostly whetted my appetite to play Age of Steam again, and soon.

All in all I had a very good time. I was very pleased to make everyone's acquaintance, and I hope to return to Anchorage in the near future for another game or two.

Thirteen hundred miles in five days with three kids. Between Dairy Queen and meeting three gamers, it was a fine vacation. I wasn't even too irritated that the rain had washed out a bridge between Anchorage and Fairbanks adding 100 miles to the trip home.


Quote of the evening, "I haven't been called me a 'punk' since I captured Kursk and held it... In the wintertime."

Kursk in the winter - that does deserve removing the punk tag. Wisdom, indeed.
Sounds like a neat trip. Only one Dairy Queen in Alaska? That's too bad. We take our grandkids to a DQ to celebrate any special school activities, performances, etc., or sometimes just for fun. There are two of them about equal distance from their house (5 minutes each way). Glad you had a good time and got in some good gaming.
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