226 – Christmas with The Family Gamers – The Family Gamers Podcast
Christmas time is here… and now past. We talk about the board game gifts we gave and received, as well as traditions we have and tactics we employ to keep Christmas morning from feeling too crazy.
Fun 226 Fact! The Culinary Union Local 226 is the biggest union on all of Nevada and has over 60k members!
First Move Financial sponsors this podcast. To schedule a time to talk to First Move about things you might be able to do to help your bank account, head over to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers to set up an initial 15 minute call.
What We’ve Been Playing
Castles of Caladale (Renegade Game Studios) – Andrew’s first time playing. It’s unusual to have a spatial puzzle that expects you to constantly re-evaluate how your pieces fit together.
Mariposas (AEG) – in red, green, and white, of course. The more we play this, the better it flows.
Fleet: The Dice Game (Eagle-Gryphon Games) – not actually played yet, but Andrew is excited!
Roll Through The Ages: The Bronze Age (Eagle-Gryphon Games) – also not actually played yet.
— news on Andrew’s planned “purge 30 games by the end of the year” – we are really close!
Silver & Gold (Pandasaurus Games) – a nice compact flip-and-write game. Anitra was really interested because you use dry-erase markers on the cards themselves. Might be our next date-game (when we can actually go on dates out of the house again).
Meduris (HABA) – we put off playing this game for far too long. Far more “thinky” than most HABA games, but the mechanics are simple (as we’d expect).
Sprawlopolis (Button Shy) – never gets old as a solo game.
Go Cuckoo (HABA) – a lot of dexterity skill while also being very silly. (our review)
Deblockle (Project Genius) – simple, but Anitra is terrible at it. Thankfully she enjoys playing it anyway. (our review)
Cloud City (Blue Orange) – review out today!
Christmas Lights: The Card Game (25th Century Games) – keep listening for our review…
SNAP Review – Christmas Lights: The Card Game
Can you untangle your string of lights, even if you can’t see the cards in your hand? Listen to our review of Christmas Lights from 25th Century Games.
For more pictures and a full transcript, see the SNAP review page.
Christmas with The Family Gamers
We are the Family Gamers, of course we gave board games on Christmas!
We already mentioned Roll Through the Ages, Silver & Gold, and Fleet: The Dice Game.
Beasts of Balance: Battle Edition is one that our kids started playing right away. They’ve wanted it for years. In this augmented-reality game, you stack plastic beasts & other pieces on a plinth, either cooperatively or competitively.
Tactic: We look for good sales all year long and stash “possible gifts” away in a big box in our closet. That’s how we got Beasts of Balance (in a trade) earlier this year.
Century Golem Edition: Eastern Mountains was another exciting gift. Our middle child loves Century: Golem edition, which is a reskin of Century: Spice Road (our review). We figured that this re-skin of the second game in the series would be a perfect way to add to what he already likes.
Unmatched: Legends Volume One – We’ve really been enjoying Unmatched (our review of the Cobble & Fog set) and this was the last one we were missing… until “Little Red & Beowulf” came out.
Smallworld of Warcraft for Andrew’s mom.
Keyflower – given to Andrew by his sister. A city/tableau building game, with auction mechanics.
Last but not least, the Tiny Trees micro-expansion to Tiny Towns. Acorns that sprout into trees! What’s not to love?
Christmas Traditions & Tactics to Keep Our Sanity
1. We tell our kids they are not allowed to wake us up (until a set time – 7am this year). They can wake each other up! But no presents until mom & dad are up.
2. We give the kids PJs (not matching) on Christmas Eve.
3. We hide a pickle ornament on the tree. Whichever kid finds it gets to be the first to open presents.
4. Tactic: We slow the present frenzy, for two reasons:
- Nobody gets overwhelmed (especially parents)
- Each giver gets to see their presents get opened!
- (Bonus: mom & dad have time to write down info for thank you notes.)
So one person opens a present at a time. Opener rotates after each gift so no one gets too bored and everyone has some time to appreciate what they’ve opened.
5. Tactic: We took several breaks to clean up trash and have kids put new stuff away. We encourage the kids to play with their new toys – this is how Andrew & Anitra got to play Silver & Gold uninterrupted! It also stretched the present-opening experience over several hours, which was especially good this year.
(We had a small issue when we realized the gift piles were wildly uneven, and found out it was because one kid was opening presents while everyone else was distracted. Consequence? They had nothing left to open when there was still plenty to go around for everyone else.)
6. Our traditional Christmas dinner is Chinese takeout. That didn’t have to change this year! Everyone gets what they want to eat, and mom (Anitra) doesn’t have to cook or worry that food won’t get eaten.
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