Board Gaming

I have played various board games during the past month (mostly with my son), and thought that I would just do one big post about them instead of trying to break them up.

I forgot to take pictures of the games, which probably would have been nice.

7 Wonders

I had a chance to play a couple games of 7 Wonders (reviewed here). It has been a while since I have last played it and it reminded my how much I enjoy it. There is minimal setup and when people know what they are doing, it only takes 30-45 minutes to finish a game. Since both games contained a new player, we used the “Basic” (Side A) of the Wonder boards.

Game #1 (3 Players)

The first game was played by my brother, my son (7 years old) and me. My brother has played once before, but it has been quite a while. My son has played a couple of times. So, I went in to this game with a clear advantage of how the mechanics work. I have found that it generally requires one play-through for people to really grasp all of the mechanics of the game. In this game, I focused on picking up the Science (green) cards to great effect. My son went all out on the Civil (blue) card and my brother had a little bit of everything (kind of typical of a first time player).

7 Wonders - 3 Players

Game #2 (4 Players)

In this game, my nephew (8 years old) joined in. This was his first time playing, so he had a quick explanation of the rules. He seemed to pick up on it quickly, though. The 4th player put a little different spin on the game, since there is one player that you are not neighboring, so some of the resources might not be available and you don’t have to worry about their military. Clockwise around the table, it went: Me, Son, Nephew, Brother. My son and nephew focused quite a bit on Military, so my brother and I skipped out on it (especially since we were next to each other). I opted to focus on Civilian cards and my Wonder this game.

7 Wonders - 4 Players

Monopoly: Lord of the Rings

My son had been asking to play Monopoly, and the only version that I own is the Lord of the Rings version. I’m not a huge Monopoly fan, but this version is a little bit better than the ‘vanilla’ version. The main improvement being that one of the 1 pips is replaced with the Eye of Sauron. Every time that the Eye is rolled, the Ring advances around the board (only landing on spaces that can be improved). If you land on a space with the Ring, you either get it for free (if unowned), or pay the owner double. It seems to take my son and I about an hour to roll enough Eyes to get the ring to Mount Doom (Boardwalk).

My son seems to have the same “problem” that my wife does when playing this game. They will never trade with you to let you complete a block, even if you trade them something to complete their block or make an outrageous offer. This could make the game last forever, but the Ring comes to save the day.

My son beat me the first 2 games that we played, but I was able to pull off a victory in the 3rd one. I have yet to make a successful property deal with my son…

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is one of the games that we have had for a while, and my son and I have played it a lot. It had been quite a while since we had last played, but we fit two games of it in just recently. Somehow, we managed to get my wife to play a game with us, too (no small feat in itself).

Game #1 (3 Players)

This game was pretty close. My son was leading for most of the game, but I wasn’t too far behind. My wife took the Longest Road from him, which gave me a chance. He managed to take it back and get his 1oth victory point the turn before I would have won. I was sitting on 8 Victory Points and would have grabbed the Largest Army card to bring me to 10, but he beat me by the closest of margins. Well done.

Game #2 (2 Players)

This game was just my son and me. He started out strongly with the resources pouring in, but eventually we stopped rolling his numbers and he couldn’t any resources. When his luck stopped, mine picked up and I was able to pull off the victory quite handily. Sometimes the dice in Catan seem to get a bit “streaky” and this game was a perfect example of it.

Leonardo da Vinci

Yet another game that we fit in over this time span. Once again, this was just my son and I playing. The game was fairly close, but around turn 4 or 5, I used the council to look at the top 4 inventions in the deck. This helped me set up for the final turns on the game. I knew what inventions were coming, so I could pick up the resources that I needed and plan out my turns. I managed to created 6 inventions, while my son completed 4 (he received a reduced reward for one since I built it first). At the end, I had around 45 florins and my son had around 36.

Merchants & Marauders

My son and I also fit in a game of Merchants & Marauders. It has been a while since we have played. I ended up as a Marauder and my son was a Merchant. I had a fairly quick start with picking up Glory points and managed to sink his ship, which set him back a little bit. After the game, I tried to talk with him about merchant strategies, because he hasn’t been doing himself any favors in his trading strategies. Hopefully, those will sink in a bit.


  • 1 – Completed Mission
  • 3 – Merchant Raid of 12+ Gold
  • 1 – Defeated Player
  • 5 – Gold Stash (50 gold)

My son:

  • 1 – Trade 3+ In Demand goods
  • 1 – Bought a Galleon

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