5th Annual BOGA Retreat

This is the 3rd weekend in a row I’m away from home.  It’s kinda exhausting!  Right now I’m at a scrapbooking retreat…more on that later.

For TableTop Day I’d like to talk about what I did last weekend: the 5th annual retreat of the Board Gamers of Greater Akron, which takes place at Camp Carl in Ravenna.  We got to start on Thursday evening this year, and went until 3pm on Sunday.

Here are some of the games I played:

  • 7 Wonders (Cities and Leaders expansion)–My first time playing with expansions!  I got to play the Catan board, too.  7 Wonders is a great game for 7 players that doesn’t take forever.  And it’s sometimes hard to tell who’s winning until the end, which I think is fun.
  • Star Trek Deck Building Game (Explorations scenario)–My first time playing the non-coop version, and I crashed and burned.  I played my husband to 400 points: he had 400, I had 0.  I hope there’s a learning curve!
  • One Night Ultimate Werewolf–I hate social deduction games, but this is definitely an improvement on the classic Werewolf game.  It’s only one round, has lots of different character roles, and you can run it with an app that takes the place of the moderator (it also has a timer-we did 10 min).  I was a Mason 3 out of the 4 times we played, so luckily I didn’t have to lie at all!
  • The Builders: Middle Ages–A quick, simple game for a few players.  It’s quite new, just released in English in late February.  I enjoyed it, but I was also pretty tired when I played it.

One of the great things about BOGA is that it has its own subgroup of game developers, called the Design and Prototype Committee, so BOGA players are frequently trying out new games.  A big group of us enjoyed World Series of Russian Roulette, a kind of press-your-luck game whose pieces consisted of a standard card deck, 6-sided dice, and some slips of paper with special abilities written on them.

There were nearly 100 people at the retreat this year…after a while I retreated to a corner with a book and let B play Battlestar Galactica, etc.  Sometimes introverts just gotta recharge. 🙂  Gamers are such nice people in general, though, that it really is always a fun time.  We had a potluck dinner on Thursday, and everyone brought the most delicious, healthy food!

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The family that games together…

She's been wearing this ugly robe for a year and a half.
Sortisi Sed’jarak, Twi’lek Sage

Last weekend’s Double XP promotion in SWTOR was a great excuse to get back to playing an old character, Sortisi (I first mentioned her 2 years ago here).  She’s actually the first character I created, based on the character I played in the beta, but she languished at level 17 as I got caught up in my bounty hunter, and then moved on to other characters.

When I went back to playing her (which involved rearranging my whole UI to avoid misclicking), I truly remembered why: my husband had also created a Jedi Consular (Meileili) so that we could play those characters together.

Yeah, cuz that totally happened.

B and I play TOR several times a week, typically at the same time in the same room.  But I cannot remember the last time we played “together,” with our characters in the same place, on the same quests, grouped.  

We simply have different styles of play: I play on a PVE server, and he plays on a PVP server with his guild of real-life friends.  He enjoys end game content, like Huttball and ops, while I tried Galactic Starfighter once three months ago and just didn’t get it.

Of course, no couple’s gaming interests are going to sync perfectly.  In board games, he likes Die Macher and Battlestar Galactica and I prefer Ticket to Ride and Catan.  But there’s still plenty of overlap: we just got 7 Wonders and Dominion for Christmas, because they were both on both of our wish lists.  I’ve even played the Star Trek deck building game with him…more than once.

We’ve never played any console games together fully, except the LEGO series.  And that’s only because I bought him LEGO Star Wars one Christmas, and after he tried to act grateful, I informed him there was co-op mode and I bought it so we could play together.  He was still dubious at first, but I think he’s enjoyed most of the LEGO games so far, and it’s very easy to have players drop in and out of these games, so we can switch back and forth between single player and co-op as needed.

Going back to TOR: it’s my first MMO, so I think B really wanted me to enjoy it when I started, and he thought that playing together would help me ease into it.  Therefore, he created a toon of my same class on my PVE server; that way, we could run all the quests together.

Obviously that isn’t exactly how it played out, but playing Sortisi with Meileili is actually still beneficial in another way: Sortisi is my first healer, so learning how to play that role with a more experienced player on DPS sitting next to me is great for feedback.  He was able to give me some gentle hints about who I should be healing and when.  Hopefully this will help build my confidence (and competence) so I can heal for pick-up groups on heroic missions, etc.

I guess it’s all about finding a balance between your gaming needs and your relationship needs.  For us, playing different games at the same time seems to be a good default.  That way, B never has to yell “2 is jump!!

Although I’m sure he will forever remind me of the time we played Mario Kart, and I sat on a “?” cube just to get blue shells to throw at him.  It’s a legitimate strategy?

Other Geekiness

A few other geek notes on this Star Wars weekend:

We saw Iron Man 3 at the drive-in Friday night–perfect weather!  We had a really great time.  The movie was fun, but definitely not up to the standards set by the first Iron Man and The Avengers.  For an action movie, it had great characterization and acting (Ben Kingsley KILLED IT).  The plot was fine, and the action great, but I don’t think it’s a movie I’m going to want to watch again and again.  And the Christmas setting threw me off; I know it’s the director’s “thing,” but it really had no meaningful impact on the story.  The credits were actually really cool, and the after-credit scene was worth staying for, as always.  So overall, I’d recommend this movie for geeks, but if you’re not a Marvel fan, you may want to just skip it.

Also, I just discovered that shirt.woot.com now has a catalog of ALL their past shirts that you can buy from.  I mean, from which you can buy.  Whatever.  Basically, any shirt that you missed previously is now available for $18.  WOOT!  Here is one shirt I’m buying right away–I tried to get it before, but got the wrong size.  Cats + Catan = the perfect shirt for me.  I already have the “Making Bread” cat shirt from the same designer.  Here are some other shirts that I have bought from shirt.woot previously:

in Just-spring

Tulips2

The little lame balloon man is whistling…winter finally broke today.  My tulips have managed to withstand the late snows and are still making progress in popping up.

Last weekend was great!  My husband and I had a lot of fun playing games and drinking hot chocolate all weekend.  Some of the games I played:

  • Star Trek Deck Building game (TNG) –The co-op mode is pretty fun, but the rules are super vague and unhelpful.  At the end of the game we decided that: you cannot use Sensor Scan before exploring, and all players pool their stats to beat Locutus.
  • Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game–We zombies won pretty easily.
  • Carcassonne–Can’t beat a classic
  • Telestrations–Awesome party game
  • Dominion–Another classic.  And I won!
  • Pandemic: On the Brink–My first time playing with the mutation, very fun!  This expansion is awesome because it has petri dishes to put the cubes in, and you can label what the diseases are.  But I change my mind about that all the time.  Sometimes I think of yellow as AIDS, and sometimes as malaria.  Red could be bird flu, or SARS.
  • Eminent Domain –Love the scifi theme, but I’ll have to play this a lot more before I fell more confident about strategy.

I had a pretty rough week at work, so I’m looking forward to the holiday weekend.  I’m catching up on all the TV shows I’ve DVRed this week.  My favorite so far: the 100th episode of Psych!  It’s a cute take-off on the hilarious movie Clue.  And there were also a couple of references to another great murder-comedy, Murder by Death: the screaming doorbell, and the moose on the wall.  MbD is a classic: great cast, hilarious spoofs of famous fictional detectives, twist endings.  And thanks to this movie (as well as the new Pride and Prejudice), my husband knows that he can’t sit next to me at a formal dinner.

Gaming Weekend

I’m here at the annual BOGA retreat for the weekend, ready to play!  BOGA is the Boardgamers of Greater Akron, a local group that hosts board gaming meet-ups at Underhills in Cuyahoga Falls.  Every spring they have a retreat at Camp Carl in Ravenna, and it’s a great time.  Of course, lots of board games are played, but there are also video games, sports, and even a little bit of zombie LARP action (assuming the weather is good).  The accommodations are plain but comfortable, and the woods are nice for walking.  (And there is some WiFi, as evidenced by this post.)

This will be my fourth year at the retreat, and this is the biggest group yet!  We have pretty much taken over the whole camp.  It’s a very diverse atmosphere; there are several families here, and lots of couples, too–people of all ages.  I’m not a BOGA member (my husband is), but I find the group to be very welcoming and fun.

The retreat is always a great time to just relax, so I also brought some books and cross stitch with me for when I need to indulge my introvert nature.  I also brought my laptop (again, as evidenced by this post), so I can do blogging or scrapbooking as well.

Tsor'onin Sed'jarek
Tsor’onin Sed’jarek

I’ll also be playing some SWTOR, so it’s really great that the game is having double XP weekends right now (until April 8) in anticipation of the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion.  I just started a new Jedi character, so double XP is great for helping get me off Tython and Coruscant as fast as possible.  Now that I have a Chiss global unlock from getting my bounty hunter Sind’onin to lvl 50, I thought it would be cool to have a Chiss Jedi…so I created the bounty hunter’s son, Tsor’onin.  He’s a Knight, and (a lot like his mom) he’s very physical and is always looking for a challenge.  He’s not always tactful but does have respect for those he considers his equals (or betters).

He’s married to my other Jedi character, the Twi’lek Sortisi.  Obviously they met at the Jedi Academy on Tython, and they probably had some adventures together also.  Her level-headedness and kind compassion keep him on the light side.  He also respects her intelligence.

I think Sind’onin gave her kid to the Jedi to train (instead of the Sith) because she really has no allegiance to either government, and she simply thought he would get the best training with the Jedi.

Also, you’ll notice from the picture that I play on the PvE Shadowlands server.  Stop by and say hi!