Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Board Games After Dinner

After we ate dinner Gabe, Doris and I went over to Justin's place to play board games. Doris has quite a few which is great.

Not wanting to put a lot of brain power to use after eating, we asked Doris if she had any relatively simple ones. The first game she brought out was Deep Sea Adventure.

The concept is pretty simple. Each person is a diver aboard a submarine. The object of the game is to dive beneath the sub and pick up treasure. The trick is to do it and return before all the air in the submarine runs out. If that happens any treasure you may have picked up is dropped and you return empty-handed.

The submarine holds 25-units of air. For each piece of treasure a player picks up (on his way down or up) one unit of air is used before his turn. If four people have one piece of treasure each, four units of air are used up before a player's turn.

You roll a pair of dice (numbered 1 to 3 instead of the traditional 1 to 6) to determine how many spaces below the submarine you travel to pick up treasure. The further you go away from the sub the more valuable the treasure. Though, the further you go down, the further you have to go to return.

Anyway, that's the basic concept. Go down; pick up treasure; make sure you return before the air runs out. If you survive, you get to keep whatever you pick up. After three rounds each person's total is tallied and the person with the most points wins.

We played three games. I won three games. Justin was sad.

The next game Doris brought out was Sheep & Thief. It's a little more complicated than Deep Sea Adventure, but still fairly easy to get the hang of. It's made for 2-4 people with the optimal number of players being four.

Each player is given a 4x4 game board and dealt cards that you have to place on the board. Some cards are for buildings roads and rivers. Others give you sheep, sheep dogs, safe houses or thieves or any combination of them. The object of the game is to get the most points by the end of the game.

You get points by building roads from your starting point at the top-left corner of the game board to towns at any of the other corners. There are 5-points awarded for building a road straight across to the top-right corner or one down to the bottom-left corner. If you manage to build a longer road to the bottom-right corner that's worth 10-points.

Points are also awarded if you manage to connect river cards together - 2-points for each card connected to another. There are also cards with sheep on them - anywhere from one to three. If you play them you get sheep. If you manage to keep your sheep until the end of the game you get 1-point for each.

That's where the thief and sheep dog cards come in. There is a thief symbol on the board. If you play a thief card you can move that thief symbol around to any card that has sheep on them. If the sheep aren't on a card with a safe house on it, the thief can take them for his own.

If you play the sheep dog card it allows you to move all the sheep on one of your cards to another card (hopefully to a safe house card). That's how you try to protect your herd.

The game starts with each player being dealt five cards. He picks one and passes four to the player on his left. From the four cards he receives from the player on his right, he picks one and passes three to his left and so on. This goes until he receives the last card discarded from the player on his right, then play begins.

The first player plays a card on his board and they go around until each players has played four cards. Then they deal out four more cards from the deck and the process starts again. Each player will pick one card. But instead of passing four discarded cards to the left, this time he passes them to the right and so on.

When that's done they continue laying their cards down once again. After four more have been played they deal out four more cards and the passing starts to the left once again.

This is the last round. The last four cards will be played for a total of 13 on everyone's board (3 rounds x 4 cards, plus the starting card on the top-left corner).

After the cards are played, players tally up their scores (which is usually between 20-30 points). The person with the highest total wins.

I won the first game. And then the second. Justin was even more sad.

Both games were decent. I liked Sheep & Thief a bit more. It's a little more involved than Deep Sea Adventure. One problem I had with that game is that you run out of air way too quickly (especially with four players). I think they should have at least 40-50 units of air then. Most of the time there was only enough air to go down and pick up one or two pieces of treasure at most.

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