I’ve just purchased my tickets for the UK Games Expo set for the end of July. This time a little voice chirped up and asked to come too, and that put a great big smile on my face!
Yes, Yasmin is accompanying me this year, all being well. Things will very much depend on the COVID situation, but so far things are looking pretty positive. I’ve had both my vaccinations and we will both have to be tested within 24hours of attending at an official centre. There are also plenty of measures in place to keep everyone as safe as possible bearing in mind the kind of environment you get at these things – wider aisles, limited tickets, hospital grade filters fitted to the Air Con, etc. So, fingers crossed it will all go ahead and be safe.
It’s been great to see how Yasmin has developed as a gamer. Over the last 12months she’s become more open to trying new games, developed a liking for miniatures games, and become pretty adept at playing them all.
There are a few games that she has become particularly good at and I have to really focus to make it an even game. Suburbia is one such game. The last time we played she buried me and broke my high score to boot😩. I know her strategies, but so far haven’t worked out how to counter them… that and she keeps getting lucky (I tell myself that repeatedly to make me feel better!).
She also plays a mean game of Ticket to Ride, winning the last game. Here though, she has stolen her game plan from me, building a hand of cards and not playing any trains until you can bang them down, turn after turn. This gives the other players no clue to where you’ll be heading until you’re sure of making the route and makes blocking more difficult. However, and this was my downfall in the last game, it comes down to timing. I had it all worked out, right down to my last few trains, or so I thought… She broke first and started playing trains, taking lines randomly along her route to make it harder for me to figure out what she was trying to link up. I played my first right after her and it became a tactical race to get down to a few remaining trains and spark the final round.
I have to admit, I thought I’d won by a grand margin, right until I realised that I would be one turn short – yep, she timed it just right, initiating the final turn before I could get all my routes made, and it left me with a glaring gap; I failed to make my long route – I always plan to join all my routes together so I can also get the longest route award. This gave me some big minuses to my score and she won by nearly a hundred points😖.
Many years ago, well not too many as she’s only 15, I taught her Battleships. After the likes of Frustration it was one of the first games I taught her to play. I now refuse to play it with her. Other than maybe the first game or two, I’ve never been able to beat her, nobody who has played her has. I can’t get anywhere close. I’ve tried set patterns of fire to pick up on every other square. I’ve tried to guess how she would lay out her ships (or mostly aircraft in the modern version – Battleplanes anyone!), and I’ve tried randomly plumbing the oceans depths to get a few hits, all to no avail. I just don’t know how she does it, she even pummels the computer… I reckon there’s something a little shifty going on, anyway, I won’t play her again unless bribed💷.
She has become quite a good Euro gamer too, but they aren’t the kind of games that really interest her. She’s a fast processor (part of her dyslexia) and she often gets bored waiting for others to take their turn, then she starts fidgeting or tapping, or some other annoying habit. She did well in her only game of Great Western Trail, but found it too slow and boring😴. The same went for Nusfjord, but she may be tempted into that one again. No, she much prefers thematic games or fast paced games, and now, miniatures games.
Marvel: Crisis Protocol has grabbed her on both the thematic level and on the strategic level. She’s enjoying building her roster and seeing what the individual characters can bring to the table. She also asked to play Shadespire Underworlds and had a good enough time with it that I’m considering expanding my collection. Next up is going to be Star Wars Legion, which we hope to get to the table in the summer holidays – she’s also expressed an interest in Star Wars Armada, so I’ll be looking into that at the Expo.
Her most recent foray into gaming, though, is one I hold close to my heart. Yes, she’s started to play games on her own… Solo🕺🏻.
She’ll happily sit there for three or four hours playing Mansions of Madness, and after gleefully recite how she did so much better without me😒. Recently, she’s sorted through her Magic cards, constructing new decks and then playing them against herself to see how well they work – great lengths are taken to beat dad!
And what do I find her doing now, whilst we all sit down in the evening to watch TV? Well, there’s the rattle of dice, the flipping of pages, and the odd question like, ‘Should I go North or South?’ Yes, she’s taken to playing the Fighting Fantasy books that started me on the road to all things gaming 🤗.
And so we both look forward to this years Expo and just like dad she’s started making a list of things to look out for. From the likes of M:CP characters like Thor and Daredevil, to expansions for Mansions, Arkham, and Eldritch, she’s developing a long and interesting list, not too dissimilar to mine, It’s nice to see she’s turned out to be a chip off the old block!