Feb 06

Last Week in Games: 1/27/14-2/2/14




It was a fairly light week as far as playing games went, but there is a ton of gaming on the horizon!  Much of this week’s activity revolved around making plans for future gaming with imminent return of the IGS and getting ready for a Valentine’s Weekend game fest.  However, even with all of this planning taking place I still found time for a game of Qwirkle with the lovely Mrs. Life in Games AKA Heather the Wife.  Enough with the setup, here we go!

The Return of the IGS:

As those of you who have been reading this blog for some time know (especially those of you who are IGS members) I belong to a local gaming league of friends known as the IGS, or Indy Game Series.  The IGS is currently on break after last season ended with the tragic victory of the IGS High Chancellor, Steve Jones.  I will not go into all of the messy details about how the Fuhrer secured his victory, but he is the champion. Yay…  However, a new season approaches, and once again there is hope for all mankind that the power of the enemy can be cast out and goodness can return to the world!

The first step in overthrowing Tyrant Steve, is to establish what games will be played during the next season.  The only games assured a spot on the schedule are those that are in the IGS Top 10.  All games played in the IGS, are rated by members who have played them and then those ratings are averaged.  These are the 10 highest rated games to ever be played in the IGS:

  1. Imperial/Imperial 2030
  2. Agricola
  3. Caylus
  4. Dominant Species
  5. Die Macher
  6. Mage Knight: The Board Game
  7. Through the Ages:  A Story of Civilization
  8. Le Havre
  9. 7 Wonders
  10. Dominion

As you can see, we like the light and fluffy stuff!  The only one of the Top 10 that I have not played is Mage Knight, but both Steve and Rich seemed to really like it.

The next 10 games were determined by a, fourth place to first place finish in the playoffs, system.  Fourth place selects one game from the library of games currently a part of the IGS, third picks two, second picks three, and the winner gets to pick four.  There are a few other protocols involved, but there is no need to go into all of that.  The additions were as follows:

  1. Steve selected:  Goa, Tikal, Advanced Civilization, and Manhattan.
  2. Rich selected:  Settlers of Catan, Twilight Imperium, and Amun-Re
  3. I selected:  Princes of Florence and Shogun
  4. Nate Selected:  Wyatt Earp

These 20 games will be a part of the coming season.

  1. Imperial/Imperial 2030
  2. Agricola
  3. Caylus
  4. Dominant Species
  5. Die Macher
  6. Le Havre
  7. 7 Wonders
  8. Dominion
  9. Through the Ages:  A Story of Civilization
  10. Dungeon Lords
  11. Goa
  12. Tikal
  13. Advanced Civilization
  14. Manhattan
  15. Settlers of Catan
  16. Twilight Imperium
  17. Amun-Re
  18. Shogun
  19. Princes of Florence
  20. Wyatt Earp

*  Although Mage Knight the Board Game is in the Top 10, it has only been played as a two player game.  This meant it still had to be voted in for this season and it was not.  Dungeon Lords is the 11th rated game and therefore takes the tenth guaranteed spot

We will vote in six new games to the series, which will finalize the roster for this season.  The votes are being counted as I write this, but the results will be in next week’s entry.  Stay tuned for the latest news about the IGS and follow all of its biggest stars for this season right here at Life in Games!

Valentine’s Game Fest

My wife is giving me that very special Valentine’s Day gift that every husband wishes for…she is leaving town!  I’m kidding. I’m kidding.  Well sort of… My wife is in fact leaving town for the weekend.  She is going to be support staff to our friend Sheena who will be participating in a Spartan Race in Florida over the weekend.  The kidding part is that we would get Valentine’s presents at all.  When we got together I told her that she could receive love, gifts, and affection once a year on a day chosen by Hallmark, or I would show her all of the above and surprise her throughout the year with flowers and whatnot.  Being the gamer that she is, it did not take her long to say goodbye to Hallmark and go with the card advantage!  With her away for the weekend the house will be filled by gamers with like-minded wives/girlfriends or the hardcore bachelor squad.  It should be a great time to get in tons of gaming!

Saturday of that weekend is the next game designer meetup here in Indy and I am anxiously looking forward to attending!  I am hoping to try out some more sweet games and would love to get some more people to test Legacy Wars.  In addition to the playtesting, the designers of Heroes Wanted, Nick Little and Travis Chance, will be demoing the game that day!  We have tentative plans for at least Travis to come back to the house and run a game or two of Heroes Wanted with the crew.  I have no doubt it will be a hit with any of the guys who show up.


The one game I managed to get in this past week was a game of Qwirkle with Heather.  It had been too long since she I played any games together and when she brought it up I eagerly told her yes!  Now I like Qwirkle, and I think that it is a good game with plenty of skill, but there is certainly a fair amount of luck.  This particular play saw both on full display.

I got off to a fast start!  Good tiles mixed with good play had me feeling unstoppable!  Heather on the other hand was struggling.  She was doing the best she could with what she had, but it was rough going as she continued to draw more and more bad tiles.  It looked like I would be cruising to an easy victory, when all of a sudden there was a complete reversal in the tiles!  I kept drawing the worst possible tiles and my point production declined rapidly.  Meanwhile, Heather’s fortunes had reversed as well, and she started dropping Qwirkles from the sky!  There was still some hope and a number of possible Qwirkles that I could draw to by dumping tiles!  I decided to roll the bones in search of Qwirkle outs and try to turn this brewing catastrophe around!  The process played out something like this:

Chris:  Dump four tiles to nine Qwirkle outs and 35 remaining tiles.  Nothing.

Heather:  Qwirkle + two additional points.

Chris:  Dump four tiles to eight Qwirkle outs and 32 remaining tiles. Nothing.

Heather:  Plays three tiles and scores 14.

Chris:  Dump four tiles with 10 Qwirkle outs and 29 remaining tiles.  Nothing.

Heather:  Qwirkle plus two more points.

Chris:  Sigh…

Understand, she played great and deserved to win.  I know that by the time you start fishing for Qwirkles you are generally in trouble, but  the odds that I carried into all of those draws were pretty strong and to come up blank on all of them was ridiculous!  Still all credit to the wife for hanging in there and pulling off not just a great comeback, but what eventually amounted to a huge win.  This round to you nemesis!

The board at the end of our game.

The board at the end of our game.

In Conclusion

It was a slow week, but big things are coming!  I can’t wait for the IGS to start back up and I am looking forward to Valentines weekend for the first time in my life!


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    • heather on February 7, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    Why don’t you tell your lovely readers what the final score was, dear?

    • Voice In the Wilderness on February 7, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    I might be interested in playing Shogun if it is the old board game I’m thinking of that came out in the 1980s (I think) or similar to it. This game was similar to Risk except that it added 3 army groups per player and, of course, it only included a map of Japan. Each army group could be made up of Swordsmen, Spearmen and Archers. Ronins were for hire… etc., etc.

    Is this what we’re talking about?

    Are there any long-term and serious gamers out there that are interested in games like Axis Allies?
    Anyone out there remember the old Squad Leader games and gamettes? (I have those.)
    I also have Empire Builder (rail building game) and Eurorail? Anyone?

    My problem is that too many games that come out today are card playing games that are heavily dependent upon luck of the draw.
    I prefer the strategic games that involve a bit of planning… and even the more challenging that involve a bit of calculating strategies.
    But most of all I’m more interested in historical settings than I am in futuristic or superheros.

  1. Tread carefully little one. Tread carefully… >:-)

  2. Thanks for commenting Voice in the Wilderness!

    It is not the same game. I had the game called Shogun from the 80’s to which you are referring. It was put out by the same people who made Axis and Allies and Fortress America. It went out of print some time back and was re-released under the new name, Samurai Swords. To the best of my knowledge it was exactly the same game.

    The Shogun that I am referring to in the list above is based on the same time period in Japanese history, but is a significantly different game. It is designed by Dirk Henn and in addition to being a fine strategy game, it has one of the most unusual components of any game that I have ever seen, the cube tower. If you type Shogun into the search option on this site it will take you to my review of it and there is a picture of the cube tower in the article.

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