Friday, August 19, 2005

Well, I just got up, what did you expect, brilliance?

I can't think of a single title that I like. If I choose yours I'll give you a Geek Gold, provided you are a BGG user. If you have never heard of BGG, well... you'll get fame and glory from being associated with the premier non-Canadian, non-Korean, boardgame blog.

And the winner is Mary. Her unintentional suggestion just seemed so right.
-----------------------

I took my lead from Tom and Joe at The Dork Dice Tower and asked my wife what her top-10 favorite games are. I thought I knew what she liked, but whenever the group is deciding on a game to play she rarely gives any input. She limits her input to complaining about the game that we chose.

My wife and I have been into the boardgame hobby for 4 or 5 years now, and all that I'm really sure of is the type of game she doesn't like. She doesn't like wargames, and she doesn't like abstract games. I have never felt insightful enough to venture posting a reply to those geeklists and forum entries on Boardgamegeek requesting suggestions for spouse-friendly games.

I wonder how many spouses have ever asked their significant other what their favorite games are? I bet the total is not very high. I would further wager that most of us think we know what the other likes, and that we would be wrong in some surprising ways.

Well, here's what my wife told me.

In true wifely fashion she revised my request. Instead of listing her top-10 games she listed 18 games that she really likes and only ranked the top-7. One of her top-7 includes a whole family of games.

Although I was only stunned with one of her choices, there were a couple surprises. Chief among the surprises was that Chinatown wasn't on the list, Goa was on the list, and Puerto Rico ranked so high. I would have guessed Settlers of Catan or one of the variations would have been her favorite game, and Puerto Rico to fall somewhere behind Traders of Genoa.

Here's her top 7:

7. Ticket to Ride
6. Star Wars: Queen's Gambit
5. El Grande
4. Goa
3. Traders of Genoa
2. Everything related to Settlers of Catan
1. Puerto Rico.

Rounding out the top 16, in alphabetical order: Acquire, Apples to Apples, British Rails, Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, Condottiere, San Marco, Serenissima, Shadow of the Emperor, and Tikal.

And 2 games with caveats: Civilization (not a whole game, "I'll cover for someone during a potty break"), and Game of Thrones ("I think I'd really like it if I played it more").

If there was a stunner it was that "Game of Thrones" was listed. I make it a point to not play that game with her because she reacted in a strong, negative manner on her first outing. It isn't a style of game that she normally likes. Diplomacy? Backstabbing? Combat???? I reminded her of those not-so-minor points and she reiterated that she would like to play the game more often. As for the first time she played it, she reminded me that the rules have a big learning curve, as does the strategy. Now that she has a grasp of the rules and strategy she will enjoy the game more, she assures me. Okay. I'd like to play more, too.

Condottiere was a minor surprise. Although not a bad game I wouldn't have considered it to be in anyone's upper tier of games. Now that I think about it I think I can understand the high rating. Every time we've played she has been able to persuade the other players that I was a big threat, as she walked away with the victory.

As for her number one game, Puerto Rico, she says, "It is challenging every time I play. I never play it the same way twice." How true, how true. Never the same game twice, and we still play it a lot, even after 3 or 4 years.

Now if I could just sell her on Doom: The Boardgame. Hey, it could happen. There isn't even diplomacy, backstabbing, or difficult rule hurdles to overcome.

-------------------------
Others are doing it, here's my current list of my favorite boardgame blogs. My list of favorites constantly changes, mainly due to lack of posting by individual bloggers. My main criteria is that the blog is frequently updated.

In no particular order (and I tried for 15 minutes to get them lined up properly):

Gamefest http://gamefest.com/news/blogs/
Chris Farrell http://homepage.mac.com/c_farrell/iblog/
Mikko Saari/Gameblog http://www.melankolia.net/gameblog/
Jerusulem Strategy Gaming Club http://jergames.blogspot.com/
MR&TLU http://tajmahalfred.blogspot.com/
Shannon A. http://www.livejournal.com/users/shannon_a/
Thinking Out Loud http://ynnen.blogspot.com/
The Tao of Gaming http://gaming.powerblogs.com/
Joe Steadman http://blog.jmsteadman.com/

As Boardgamegeek gets larger, users get more whiny and nasty. Not everyone, to be sure, but many. Many are either out to offend or are offended by the smallest perceived slight. And forget about talking politics, sheeeeeeeeeeeesh. Moderation on BGG is getting more necessary and necessarily more heavy handed. There was a time when I read 80% of the forum entries, now I read closer to 8%. I still really like the 8% I do read and I think BGG is the best website EVAR, but the world-wide-web continues to evolve.

Blogs are where the interesting boardgame conversations are taking place.

The good conversations are spilling over into multiple blogs. Surely that is a good sign.

-----------------------------

Can any of you recommend a good free RSS site for me to cut my teeth on? Preferably one that is worth paying for if I decide that I like it. I've tried Live Journal and I got absolutely no where with their free account. I have long forgotten my password and would prefer to try another service.

Thanks for any advice and good gaming,
Coldfoot

10 comments:

Yehuda said...

Title: Some Other Significance of Significant Others

Mikko got me hooked on www.bloglines.com .

Yehuda

Jeph Stahl said...

Title: The Better Half from the Better Half

Geberus said...

Check out
http://www.northwoodsgames.com/
for another blog about games. Not updated all that often, but Thomas has some good insights into games.

sodaklady said...

Title: A Word From the Lady That Warms My Feet.

Well, I just got up, what did you expect, brilliance?

Steadman said...

The Dork Tower? LOL

sodaklady said...

You're a very strange critter, you know that? :)

Thanks for the GG.

Dame Koldfoot said...

Now, for my two cents. I've nothing against backstabbing (have you ever worked with 20 females PMS-ing at the same time?), diplomacy (have you ever had to tell a client that the judge awarded his hand-raised parrot to the wife??), or combat (have you ever prepared for trial with eight defendants and a Type A personality attorney who sends you 120 emails in one hour???).

I loved the George R.R. Martin books and I like the strong theme in Game of Thrones. I can relate to the characters and each of his or her abilities. My beef is that my first game was the "learning game." Koldie knows I hate it when halfway through a game he says, "Oh, I forgot this rule," or "you can't make that move" (even though I asked him if it was a legal play--this I chalk up to male-female communication differences).

The second time I played, I was filling in for someone on a potty break (or maybe it was a pizza run). Koldie knows also that I really, really dislike learning a new game every week. I need to play it several times to put my backstabbing, diplomacy and combat skills to good use. I'm sure with enough play, Game of Thrones could rise higher in my list of favorites.

Jeff Coon said...

You might try RSS Bandit. It's a free aggregator for Windows written in .NET. I like the 3-pane approach, as it's very similar to an email application.

- Jeff
www.lumbersmiths.com

Jeff Coon said...

It might help if I left the URL for RSS Bandit. :) RSS Bandit

- Jeff
www.lumbersmiths.com

Steadman said...

Learning new games every week is my middle name! Try being in Tom Vasel's gaming group!