Saturday, June 14, 2014

July 2014 Game Day

Date: Sunday, July 6th
Time: 9:30am to 9:30pm
Place: Naniwa Kumin Center
Fee: 300 yen


In July we'll be in two smaller rooms separated from each other (rooms 6 and 9), so the space available to play will be smaller than usual.  To make sure that everyone has a table to play at, the theme is games that you can play with at least 5 players.  Ten-player party games?  Six-player war games?  Five-player Euros?  Sure!  Anything with a large number of players is welcome.  The more the merrier.  If possible, please avoid bringing two player games.  That way, everyone will have table space to play at.

See you there!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Golden Week Convention 2014
Date: May 3rd (Saturday), May 4th (Sunday), May 5th (Monday)
Time: 9:30am to 9:30pm
Place: Naniwa Kumin Center
Map: Map here.
Fee: 500 yen

It's time to mark the Golden Week Convention on your calendar! Three days of non-stop gaming.

May 3rd Theme: Old Favorites
Bring your favorite games to play. Especially those that you may not have played in a while.

May 4th Theme: Games with Maps
It can be any kind of map--city, country, space, building or whatever. 

May 5th Theme: Narrative Games
Bring your games that have a strong theme or story. 

If you want to play something that doesn't match the theme, that's OK too. We're open to any kind of gaming.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 looking ahead looking back

Happy New Year everyone! Any big resolutions for the New Year? I aim to play through all my current games before adding much more, lets be real...I'm definitely going to buy at least one game before completing this goal, to my collection. Also, I  signed up for a 10 games/10 plays challenge on BoardGameGeek. The idea is to pick 10 games and play each one 10 times. I think it's a great way to focus on a handful of games and explore their depth. I saw Eric and Paul, over in Nagoya, joined the same challenge. Anyone else interested? For January, I am going to try and focus on getting 10 plays of Ginkgopolis  in. Feel free to help me reach my goal.

For me 2013 was a great year for gaming. I began attending more JIGG events, met wonderful folks, made good friends and my game collection exploded. Fortunately the only casualty was my wallet. On the "Work in Progress" side of things, I need to improve my ability to explain rules as well as be more patient.

Shortly before the new year I was having a games and dinner night with friends. Most of them haven't played many game but they are interested in learning. I took along Dixit, which they all have played and enjoy, and few lighter games such as Incan Gold and Mow. I was a bit surprised when folks said the rules were difficult. My teeth gnashed and consternation swelled in my breast and I mentioned that it wasn't hard. But it was. For them. Partly it was new and partly my explanations need improvement but the experience was difficult. It's easy to forget how new things take time to assimilate. I should have thought about that after my experience learning Ginkgopolis. After reading the rules and playing once on-line it was still confusing to sit down and play. Fortunately my friends have more patience than I do. We chuckled, ate good food and closed the night out with a couple of great games of Dixit. They've expressed interest in JIGG and I'm hoping they can attend a JIGG event in 2014.

Here's to a great year folks!

Takatsuki Game Day: The Sun sets on 2013

Saturday, December 28th marked the last official JIGG Kansai game day for 2013. After some initial confusion as to the location, thank you Google maps, I arrived on site with Paul, Cat and their boys. Even with our combined brain power it still took us 2 attempts to find the right building. It was like we were stand ins for Ricochet Robots.

Things that make you go hmmmm....'ey Ben.

Speaking of Vlaada Ben. My first game was Bunny, Bunny, Moose, Moose. A silly yet complicated game, players compete to gain points by using their hands to imitate the ears or a rabbit or the antlers of a moose. Personally it was frustrating because I didn't have all the correct hand positions down but learning by doing is always a bit rough. I can see the appeal of the game though and would like to play it a bit more. So Kohei what do you think of this game day so far?

Need some time to think about it do you....okay!

 Meanwhile as we were playing funny reindeer games there was a serious quest to conquer the world via Age of Empires III

Rob and I ducked out to grab a bite to eat so I'm not sure who won that one. Probably Cat...when we got back Rob managed to set up, without farting, Firefly.
Keith, Manny and Cat avoided any fragrant, flatulence fouls but I was a bit too busy getting beat in Olympus to notice who won.

All hail King George and Ben Chvatil. Chris was so perturbed that he packed up and left. Meanwhile in another quadrant in space, a tight game of Cosmic Encounter was happening.

And after all that backstabbing was finished it rolled over into...MORE backstabbing via several games of Resistance.

Sheesh, what an unruly lot this is. Shady bunch of characters aren't they Kohei?

Need to contemplate Hive huh....well all-right then. Speaking of contemplating...
Kavita, Pablo and Ben have some serious brain burn going on in Mage Knight. There has to be something less thinky than that available...

Uhhh....yeah Kohei...after 5 games of Cubulus I'm finished. I've had enough thinking for the day. Maybe it's time to take a short trip somewhere for a break.

Travel round the world with Travel Blog or jump into the Wayback machine and...huh, what's that're the Ghetto Queen...

oh... Yedo Queen, my bad. Must be getting sleepy. What other type of light fare do we have to sample?

Awesome, Fairy Tale with some sweet art. That makes me think of Robin Goodfellow:

“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”

JIGG Tokai

This is late but I was busy...ok really it was due to laziness. But better late than never.

The last of games day for the good folks in JIGG Tokai was on December 15th. I jumped on the early local out of Yamashina at 5:54am and began my journey. Made it to Nagoya sans delays full of coffee and rules. Eric picked me up and away we went to the international school. Let me just mention that the school is a great venue to have a games day at. Plenty of space, tables, chairs and windows. I'm glad Eric has access to such a site and grateful to the school for letting us game there.

Eric and I started a game of The Agents but as is usual he had to go out to pick up some folks. Luckily we had 2 people show up just then, Chris and Amy, and they subbed in. After explaining the rules we settled into the game. I took advantage of their newbness and racked up 50 points for the win and it would be my only win for the day. By then more people had arrived and Eric was finished shuttling people to the school so a group of us decided to play Coup.

Coup is a new game funded through Kickstarter. Set in the Resistance universe Coup is a bluffing/role assignment game where players try to eliminate 2 factions, characters, of their opponents and the last person standing wins. It has similarities to Love Letter in that the cards/characters can affect each other. It plays fast too. Quite a bit of fun to be had out of such a small game. After the stress of Coup Eric, Cat, Paul and myself relaxed with a game of Hawaii.

I find Hawaii to be a nice medium weight victory point game that is gorgeous and well themed. In Hawaii you take on the role of an island chief tasked with improving the lifestyle of the people on their island. The game takes place over 5 rounds and the player with the most points at the end wins. Cat leapt out to a large lead early and never looked back. This was the first of many victories for the feisty lady.

Next came a game of Forum Romanum.

Forum Romanum is a bit like Tic-Tac-Toe mashed-up with victory points. Players place their pieces in rows, columns and buildings. The player who gains the majority of pieces in an area scores points and the player with the least, including 0, loses points. It gets very chippy and requires a bit of planning. I think Cat won with 40+ points. That lady was on a streak!

Next came Cheaty Mages.
In Cheaty Mages the players take on the role of Mages betting on the outcome of a gladiator match. Of course being mages with money on the line they feel the need to "influence" the outcome. It's a fast and light card game with some poke-in-the-eye moments. It was a nice breezey game and I liked the theme. Again, the game went to Cat. Hmm....maybe the wins are coming from more than just skill....

Gluck Auf or Coal Barons was one of the last games I played.

In Coal Barons, the players compete to mine coal and fill orders. It was a good worker placement game. The player board has a recessed slot fitted for an elevator tile which adds a neat functionality to the game. Unfortunately, I don't remember much about the game or the mechanics. I do remember Cat winning though. Sheesh, she was on a streak.

Finished out with a couple of games of Coup. One of which Cat won...C'mon!!

 By the time we packed up it was to late to catch my train so I ended up crashing at Eric and Monique's. Thanks again for letting me stay you two! I had blast on Sunday and hope to get up to Nagoya again for a games day. Always a pleasure gaming with everyone up there.

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Takatsuki Game Day: December 28th, 2013

We'd like to invite you to join us for our year-end Takatsuki Game Day on December 28th, 2013, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  Takatsuki is located conveniently between Kyoto and Osaka on either the JR line or the Hankyu line.  The theme for this game day is to play any of the board games or card games in your collection that you haven't gotten around to playing this year.  Whether it's a game that you've just bought that you haven't gotten to the table, or an old favorite that hasn't had its chance at the table this year, you're welcome to bring it.  There will be a small fee of 400 yen to cover the cost of renting the room.

After the game day finishes, we're going to out out for a year-end dinner at a local Thai restaurant.  If you'd like to join the Thai dinner, please leave a message here by the end of Saturday the 21st.  That way, we'll be sure to get a reservation at this busy time of year.

When:  December 28th, 2013, 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Where:  Takatsuki, Osaka  (closest stations:  Hankyu Takatsukishi and JR Takatsuki)
Location:  Gendai Gekijo, Room 203 (map here)
Fee:  400 yen

For more information, please click here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas came early in Osaka

The first Sunday of the December has passed which means the JIGG December Games Day is finished. The theme for this month was to try something new. For example, maybe you only play card games so try a board-game this time or perhaps you always play with the same group so this time branch out and play with different people. I was unfortunate enough to have to work that Sunday so my new experience was to arrive later than usually and only play for about half the day. It was a bit sad really as some games I really wanted to try were played in the early part of the day. But on the positive side, I was able to attend 9 out of 12 JIGG Kansai events in Osaka this year! It's been awesome. I've made many new friends and had a blast playing a bunch of games.

I arrived late and was tired from work so playing heavy or long games didn't appeal to me at all. Stylistically, card games were the rule of the day. I started with Resistance, a co-op vet the traitor card game, and ended with, my favorite game of the day, The Agents.  Eric "Sizzlelean Lincoln" had supported it on Kickstarter and brought it along after receiving it earlier in the week.

In The Agents, players form factions of disbanded intelligence agents to run missions, kill other operatives and gather intelligence. Players gain points for meeting mission conditions, "free agent" cards and aligning cards a certain way. The first player to 40 points wins. Points also serve as currency to buy more agents or missions. Players need to balance creating a useful hand of cards and their score. The starting hand consists of 3 agent cards and a mission. During a players turn they may do 2 of the following: place an agent, remove an agent, move an agent from one faction to another or buy agents or missions. Agent cards have 2 characteristics: a command, ex: kill an agent, or an arrow. Players decide how to place the card, if the command side faces them they may use its ability but their opponent gets points and vice versa. "Free agent" cards have either a special command, ex: take a bonus action, or point value as characteristics and are discarded after being played.

Since this was the first time for any of us to play it took 2 games to work out the rules and get the hang of it. The first game involved 3 people and saw 2 players quickly outscore the 3rd. The 2nd game was between Eric and myself saw Eric race ahead in points and quickly win. In the 3rd game, between Eric and I, we both started using the cards in more interesting ways so the options and depth of the game finally started to show through. I mentioned balancing your hand and score but you also need to balance giving yourself agent commands/points vs. giving them to your opponent. Our 3rd game ended in a tie and the tie breaker was based on who had the most forgettable face (which is a great tie breaker for a spy game) so we asked some fellow gamers to choose and I was picked. We made several mistakes but I enjoyed the theme, components, art and rules. Looking forward to exploring it some more.