On November 2nd several of us got together for one of my favorite gaming events, Extra Life. Gamers get together and play games, while hopefully raising money for Children’s Hospitals. I don’t typically manage to get many donations, although this year I went over my goal for the first time and sold several games in our silent auction that helped us earn even more.
So first off, I hadn’t been feeling well Thursday & Friday, so while I intended to stay at least 20 hours, I only made it to about 3 am, which put me in at 18 1/2. I just never got my after midnight second wind.The surprising thing was how many people were still going strong, by that time we usually don’t have very many people, but I bet there was 10-15 people still there when I left.
The other really amazing thing is that we raised over $2000 (We’ll gladly accept more donations here.), $700+ of that being from our silent auction, which was something we kind of just tossed in there as a experiment, and it went really well. Hopefully we can do that with similar success in the future, although I did buy too many games that way. I picked up My Little Scythe to play with Aleksia, and a couple of games I didn’t know very well, but had pretty good BGG ratings, Tournay & Imhotep.
We also kept our tradition of going out for one of the meals to one of the local restaurants. This year we walked to Iron Rail Brewing and had some good beer and food. I think only Drew had never been there, and he enjoyed the food quite a bit. I’ve heard folks don’t always get the best service there, but the food is really good, and our service was great this time.
Ok, so onto my actual gaming for the day:
Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale- Wow, this might be my favorite roll & write. I love the making a map, and it works in player interaction in a clever way. I solo’d it the night before, and it seemed like everyone enjoyed it quite a bit.
No Thanks!- Still one of the great small filler games. I haven’t played this in years, but it’s always a blast. We played twice, and I actually won one of them.
Hadara- Wow, 3 games and I haven’t played a new game yet. I don’t dislike this one, but I’m not sure I think as highly of it as others either. It’s interesting, and I’m a fan of card drafting, but I am terrible at this game. It plays quickly though, so that’s a plus, it doesn’t outlast its welcome.
Lords of Vegas- Read Drew’s comments last week to see how I feel. All right, that’s not a perfect representation of my thoughts, but I think we both feel very similarly, it’s ok, but I don’t think I’d play it without my friends. They make it more bearable. Although it’s also a style of game that I am terrible at, plus luck can screw you at just the wrong time, like when I had finally made a good aggressive move, only to lose everything because the very next person drew the only card that would undo it. That didn’t happen often, but when you were doing badly anyway, and pulled off a big move, it sucked. I’ve played it twice now, and had no memory of the first one, even though it was only a couple years ago. That’s not a good sign. I suspect it’s just not my thing.
Marvel Champions- My friends abandoned me to play something else (it was only a 4 player game, and there were 5 of us. Drew forgot to list it, and I can’t remember what it was.), so Joe and I played this. It’s really as good as the hype. We’ve played several games and have had a blast every times. This time we didn’t just play the opening scenario, although we still used Rhino & Bomb Scare. He used She-Hulk with Aggression and I used Captain Marvel with Leadership, both their suggested starter decks in the learn to play guide, and we beat up Rhino pretty badly.
Tsuro: Phoenix Rising- First new game of the day! Drew literally punched this so we could play it, and since Dina was hanging out for a while, I appreciated it. Tsuro is one of her favorite games. This added some interesting twists to the original game, but it also added play time. You have a little more control, but I think having 3-5 players, maybe only 3 or 4 to be honest, would work best.
The Quacks of Quedlinberg- I had seen this played, but hadn’t gotten a chance to try it myself. We used the expansion so we could play 5 of us. This is a really neat game. I enjoy push your luck games, and this is a good use of that mechanic. It’s light and a little silly, and I need to get a copy for my family.
Samarkand: Routes to Riches- I was luke warm on this one, but we did play it pretty wrong, so maybe the additional choices we’d need to make would make me like it better.
Clank! In! Space!- Clank is a fun deck-builder, and Clank in Space is a sci-fi version. Fun, silly, and a bit of push your luck too, I managed to get the highest score, although I barely made it to the module I had to get to to not automatically lose. Nobody made it to the escape pods, and both Drew & Joe died in the non-losing module, making my last couple turns a mad dash to the back of the ship. It was really tense. We all escaped, but I was the best thief.
Undaunted: Normandy- An interesting deck-building war game. Very light for a war game, probably not my thing though. I did think it was a very cool design though.
That’s it. Four new games, and several good ones. I always have fun playing games with my friends & family, and we haven’t been able to do it often enough this year, so this was great. I’ll be looking forward to our Extra Life events next year too.
Did you participate in any Extra Life events? Do you do some other charity based event like this? Heck, are there any games you’ve been playing lately that you are excited about? Please mention it in the comments.