Another fantastic three day weekend is shortly coming to a close. The past three days have been a blast. We continued exploring around our neighborhood, trying new restaurants, and going on our now weekly hikes. You can check out all the great sights from this weekends adventure through Kamakura at Judy’s blog Adventurous Abroad. She takes some really great pictures.
But my favorite part of the weekend was our newly rekindled gaming. Judy and I used to play a lot of boardgames. We even have a modest little collection. Our friends in Southern California used to get together every weekend, drink beer, and roll dice.
Unfortunately, life got in the way. We moved further and further away. Schedules became harder to manage and work drained our available leisure time. Boardgaming kind of fell to the wayside.
Recently I have been getting the itch to game. An itch that just cannot be satisfied by my PS4. So I ordered Sekigahara. I thought it was appropriate thematically due to us living in Japan. Also, our favorite game is Twilight Struggle
, made by the same company so I wanted to continue that experience.
Making everything cooler, Judy the genius that she is, pointed out the fact that we can actually ask other humans to play with us. So, we got ourselves invited to our friends, Kelsey and Johns, house for beer and board gaming.
On Saturday Judy and I battled for Japan in GMT’s two player Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan.
The battle of Sekigahara fought in 1600 unified Japan under the Tokugawa family bringing peace and prosperity for over two hundred years. In the game, each player takes a side in the 7-week battle, one representing Ishida Mitsunari and the other Tokugawa Ieyasu.
The game is fantastic. Nail-bitingly tense, and beyond exciting. It uses blocks for units that hide your strength from your opponent creating a fantastic fog-of-war effect. Units attack using loyalty cards, a mechanic used to simulate warfare based on ever-shifting alliances. You can have situations where a small but loyal army smashes a larger force due to shifting loyalties and betrayal.
The mechanics lead to a tension-filled game where you constantly have to adjust and overcome in order to succeed.
We played two games and had a blast going 1 – 1 for wins. Judy won the first game, smashing me in Kyoto in an epic battle. The second game I got lucky, winning by capturing Tokugawa alone when she unwisely separated him from a siege.
Overall great game, and a fantastic return to gaming for us.
Sunday we did our first board game night, with John and Kelsey. Judy and I both had a blast and we both look forward to doing it again.
For the game of choice, we decided on bringing Lords of Waterdeep. LoW is actually the first Eurostyle game we ever played. It’s a great introduction to worker placement games and more complex Eurogames in general. It super easy to teach and super easy to play. Most of all it has a great theme and really high-quality art and design. I am also partial to the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms theme.
So the four of us spent the night as shadowy masked manipulators pulling the strings in the shadows of The City of Splendors. We sent wizards, warriors, clerics, and rogues on dangerous missions. Judy embraced her role as a fantasy slum lord, the Donald Trump of fantasy real estate, by developing many buildings throughout the city.
The game was a blast and we ended up playing twice back to back. The first game was a tie between me and Judy(I’m sure there is a tiebreaker mechanic) and the second went to John.
Lords of Waterdeep is a great introductory game. It was a blast to play again after so many years. It’s really simple that you can drink a few beers playing it yet has enough depth of choice and action to keep you occupied the whole time.
Another great weekend spent exploring a fantastic country with my amazing wife and great friends. Life is wonderful.