Monday, 21 April 2014

Sole Trader

I am hoping for a bumper crop of blog posts about everyone’s gaming escapades over the holiday break, describing our attempts at converting family and friends to the joys of gaming until we get over-confident, mistakenly suggest Caylus or Hansa Teutonica, and they never speak to us again.

Before that happens, I thought I’d write about my holiday gaming. The last time I looked after Finn while Sam was away, I tried a one-player version of Macao that I’d seen on BGG. I found it a tedious experience, far too rule-heavy for no good reason.

Mine! All mine!

This time, I tried again, but I played the usual game of Macao, treating it like a puzzle where you have to get the highest score possible.There’s no wall, naturally, and some of the cards refer to being in first or last – simply discard those and draw another. But with those minor tweaks, it was much more enjoyable, and it works well. With no opponent to take the card you want, you can really plan ahead.

My choice of cards at the start of game three.
Pity I couldn't take all of them.

In my first game, I scored 84. I was fun, but I had no idea if it was good or bad. I played two more games and scored 75 and 81. Turns out I had a bit of beginner’s luck: in game one I built the Abbot, which means any unbuilt cards didn’t count against me. That card alone was worth twelve points.

But it was nice and quick (half an hour) and it definitely scratched a gaming itch.


  1. Oh I thought as much! When we got back to the house today I could smell games in the air.

    Well they're perhaps not worthy of a post but Stanley, (little) Joe and I introduced their Granddad to Raj whilst in London (he won), and knocked out a couple of games of Timeline and Astronauts (simple but educational, remove spiteful cards for young players).

    We also played a few games of Dinosaur Top Trumps. There's one very odd card which illustrates what the makers of Top Trumps believe a particular dinosaur would have evolved into if not wiped out by comet/meteor/iceage/actofGod etc. Looks like how David Icke sees Tony Blair. Joe found it very baffling.

    Despite being in London I didn't make it to Orc's Nest or anywhere game-related - I have various body ailments that meant I spent the weekend limping around looking for the nearest bench.

  2. Well I was down in Eastbourne all weekend for London on Board's twice-yearly gaming get-away so I played... 49 games!

    My favourite new one was Port Royal, a quick card game that combines push-your-luck with engine-building. A copy will be winging its way to me later this week so I'll hope to introduce it to you guys soon.

  3. I had several games of Guess Who and a couple of Trivial Pursuit where I answer the regular questions and the kids take on tailored questions that I devise. It's worth noting that I lost Guess Who.....and I was trying to win :(