On Friday, I had dinner with Camilla and Debbie's at Debbie's house and after eating she pulled out a board game called Blokus that I had never heard of. It's fairly new, as games go, having been released in 2000 by a French company. It won lots of awards and Mattel bought it in 2009 so I assume it must be available in the States now. It's a strategy/puzzle game where you need to add pieces to a board and the objective is to use all your pieces before you can no longer play them. It's for 4 players and I can imagine that it must be MUCH harder when there are 4 people playing. We played with three and it was a lot easier to win. I like games like that.
Halfway through the first game, I made a comment about the strategy, saying that it was interesting how you could play strategically to both use/protect your part of the board or deliberately try to block your opponents. Both my friends looked at me like I had two heads. Debbie said she'd never even thought of trying to block other people, since she was usually too busy concentrating on how to use and place her OWN pieces. I just laughed and said my family would eat hers alive if that was the way her family played. Then I got called mean every time I placed a piece that blocked one of them. Ha!
On Monday, I attended an AWC Game Night at a pub in Lund. One of the other board members organized it and it was on a Monday because that's when the pub hosts game nights to try and drum up business on an otherwise slow evening. They had two big stacks of games on the bar, but one of the other women had brought her own game and that's what we ended up playing. There were 7 of us and we played in teams since the game, Carcassone, was for 2-5 players. Jessika said her colleague had told her the game was basically like Settlers of Cataan but funnier, and I had to agree. I've played Settlers a couple of times and although I know it has a massive fanbase and a lot of people like it, I think it's kind of ho-hum. I bought it for Martin some years ago, thinking he'd like it, but it's sat unopened on the shelf since.
Carcassone is also strategic since you use pieces to build a landscape made up of farms, cities, roads and monasteries and then you people them to gain points. It was really fun and my team won, although sort of by sheer luck, since we were behind for most of the game and had no really well-thought-out strategy. Carcassone is also relatively new, also released in 2000, though by a German company, and has also won awards. Corrie, on my team, had actually BEEN to Carcassone (the real town, in France) and showed us a picture of her and her daughter walking through the city streets.
Both games are available to play online and in the app store, but I think it was much more fun to sit down at a table with a bunch of game-playing adults and have an excellent evening playing them together with lots of jokes and laughter and fun.
It turns out that the husband of the woman who organized the evening is a game developer and he told us that next time he's going to bring a game called RoboRally, which sounds REALLY fun. I can't wait! More games are needed in my life, I think. It's one of the things I miss most about not having my first family nearby.