Lent, pt. 26

I broke out a new game tonight. Everdell.

Here is a picture of a game setup for three players.

everdell

It is a beautiful game. This is actually the collector’s edition. I traded an unwanted game for this one.

And then I started playing. Against myself.

Yep, you read that correctly. I played a three player game by myself.

Me, myself, and I. This is how I learn how to play a game.

And no, this is not the first time I have done this.

Although I enjoy playing games against myself, it was not meant to be played alone.

That is not how board games work. They are designed to be a shared experience.

So is church.

I love going to church. It helps me live the life God has created for me.

During Lent, try going to church a few times.

Who knows, maybe you will meet God in a new way.

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What’s in the box?

One of my favorite things to do is to open a new board game. Just taking the lid off the box is fun! All the pieces, bits, dice, cards, tiles, etc. are just so cool! This unveiling does not happen a whole lot but when I can, I thoroughly enjoy it.

game-shelf

P.S. That is not my game library! =-(

Dive in with me now as I unbox Divine Transfusion. Click here to read the full post.


Recap:

In the Old Testament, the high priest could only enter the Holy of Holies once a year. To do so, he had to sacrifice an animal and sprinkle the blood before him. He would die without the blood.

Jesus, as we read in Hebrews, used his own blood and entered the Holy of Holies. He was both high priest and sacrifice. This he did once and never has it been needed to be done again. See Hebrews 4-10.

As I have asked myself and also in my blogs…

So what? What does this mean for me, right now, in 2016?

To answer that all-encompassing question, we need to open the box.

I will begin by citing a verse from Matthew 27. Verse 51 reads,

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split.” NIV

The context is that Jesus has been crucified. He is hanging on a cross just outside Jerusalem. It is about 3:00 in the afternoon. After some final words, he finally dies. Matthew records that at that same time, the curtain was torn. I add the King James Version just because I like the language better for this verse.

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” KJV

Behold! The curtain was ripped, torn, rent so we could now see God.

So we could now see God. Yep, the box has been opened.

I don’t really know what it looked like but who cares because now we can see God. Yes, God has opened the way for us. Notice how the veil was rent from top to bottom?

God did it because we could not. All this is possible because of the blood. No, not animal blood but the Blood of Jesus.

We now have access to God. Don’t bother with second best. Go directly to God with your life. All your problems and issues can be covered in the blood. You life won’t instantly turn perfect and peachy but you won’t walk alone. This is a greatly encouraging fact.

One more verse to rock your world. Hebrews again. Hebrews is a fantastic book.

Chapter 4, verses 14-16:

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Underline is mine.

So be bold today and go directly to God. No worries, he will welcome you with open arms.

And that box is better than any board game I will ever play.

board-game-box

Power Grid

Keeping the lights on! This is the main theme for Power Grid. From the opening auction to the end-game scramble, Power Grid is a suspenseful and exciting game for 2-6 players. Players will fight for control of the least expensive routes between cities. In the auction phase, bidding on more productive power plants can be frustrating. In the meantime, one must keep a balance of finances, strong enough power plants, and building the right amount of cities. Although I tend not to win very often, this game is very fulfilling if you can end up winning at the end by… keeping your lights on! =-)

power grid box

Last July was when I posted my first game review. If you are interested, click here to go back and read that post. It might give you better understanding of my rating system. As with Settlers of Catan, I do not want to explain how the game works or get into all of the rules and strategies. You will just get a small sample. =-)

My purpose here is to simply rate and review Power Grid.


 

Here is my rating system:

There are 10 points distributed in 5 categories.

Learning – Can players teach/learn in a short amount of time? Is the rule book clear and concise?

Components – Are the pieces good quality? Do they make the game better or are they distracting?

Interaction – Do players need to work together? Is there actions that can be spiteful or helpful?

Complexity – How deep is this game? Are there lots of ways to earn points and win?

Replayability – Will this game get boring? Is it the same for every play?

Each category will earn 0, 1, or 2 points.

Score of 0 – game does a poor job or does not display any beneficial or useable substance

Score of 1 – passable quality and fair mechanics but will still lack superior form

Score of 2 – excellent craftsmanship and function, brings enhancement to overall game play


And Power Grid earns…

Rate – 8 out of 10 

Learning – This game can be tough to learn. The gameplay is somewhat confusing because each turn, the order changes. Score of 1

Components – The wooden pieces are typical. The paper money is a hassle so we just use pen/paper to keep track of our money. Score of 1

Interaction – Players must auction every turn. Players can also block other players for better routes. Lots of interaction here. Score of 2

Complexity – The only luck factor is which power plants come out. You must adapt to the game every time to win. Score of 2

Replayability – There are power plants that change every game. With turn order changing constantly, you won’t play the same game twice. Score of 2

power-grid game

If I continue to rate these games, I feel as if I will never get a 10 out of 10. Power Grid is certainly in my top ten list of favorite games. Perhaps even my top 5. I really love playing all kinds of board games but this one just gets me. So don’t let the 8 of 10 score fool you. Playing this game can be electrifying!

 

One last item. Would you take the poll? I plan on a Rate and Review every 3-4 months. Thanks!

Settlers of Catan

One small island full of various resources but not enough room for settlers. You are one of those settlers. To be victorious, you must utilize these resources to build roads, settlements, and cities. Gathering and managing resource cards, trading with other players, and trusting the luck of the dice roll could possibly lead to victory in Settlers of Catan! This link will lead to the manufacturer’s website.

catan title

Settlers of Catan has been around since 1995. It makes a great gate-way game in that new gamers can learn it quickly but the variety and unknown factors can make even seasoned gamers enjoy a round.

As this is not a tutorial, I won’t delve into the details on gameplay. I will simply rate and review the game.


 

Here is my rating system:

There are 10 points distributed in 5 categories.

Learning – Can players teach/learn in a short amount of time? Is the rule book clear and concise?

Components – Are the pieces good quality? Do they make the game better or are they distracting?

Interaction – Do players need to work together? Is there actions that can be spiteful or helpful?

Complexity – How deep is this game? Are there lots of ways to earn points and win?

Replayability – Will this game get boring? Is it the same for every play?

Each category will earn 0, 1, or 2 points.

Score of 0 – game does a poor job or does not display any beneficial or useable substance

Score of 1 – passable quality and fair mechanics but will still lack superior form 

Score of 2 – excellent craftsmanship and function, brings enhancement to overall game play

I said I would rate and review. Here are my thoughts on Settlers of Catan.

Rate – 7 out of 10 

Learning – This game is good to learn or teach because it is fairly easy to grasp. The gameplay is not confusing either. Score of 1

Components – The wooden pieces are sturdy as well as the tiles. It’s easy to distinguish different cards/colors. I like the art work as well. Score of 2

Interaction – Players can trade with others but this is not absolutely vital for a well-balanced player. Players can also block other players. Score of 1

Complexity – Once you learn Catan, there are only a couple of ways to win. The luck of the dice keep this game from being too complex. Score of 1

Replayability – There are dice and tiles that change every game. These two reasons give it a feel each time you play. Score of 2

catan pic

 

There you have it. Even though I scored this a 7, it still deserves to be in your collection. Did I mention the fact that there are about a dozen expansions for the base game?!?! This will drive my score up. Things get more complex. Player interaction increases…and so does the tension! And it is that tension that drives any gamer to want to win. It’s fun to play board games!

If you are not a gamer, this would be a great place to start. Settlers of Catan is a classic in my book and will always have a place on my shelf.

 

 

Board Games: Welcome to my world.

One of my favorite things to do is to play board games. It all started with many Monopoly nights with my sisters. As a family, we would play Compulsion or Acquire. As a junior high kid, I remember my cousins teaching me how to play poker the summers I spent in North Dakota. My kids (ages 7 and 10) like to play games as well. We will play Memory or other simple games and enjoy doing so. Just so you know, the picture of all the games is not my collection. Can’t say that I wouldn’t mind it though. =-)

games on a shelf

But my favorites are more in-depth than Memory, Checkers, or Monopoly. Here are some titles in my collection:

Settlers of Catan

Power Grid

Istanbul

Dungeon Lords

7 Wonders


In these posts, I am going to give you my thoughts about particular games. My reviews will not necessarily teach you how to play the game but it will give you an idea of the overall mechanics and why I like/don’t like it. I am just exposing you to this whole world of tabletop gaming.

If you enjoy games, then I hope this will give more understanding to some games that are unknown to you. Maybe you dislike board games. That is okay. They are not for everyone.

Now that I have your given you a glimpse into my geekiness, I am done writing for now. Coming soon will be my first review. This game is a gateway game. I will explain more next time. Here is a picture of it, can you guess which game?

catan pic