Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Faith Story

It has been forever since I've wrote a blog over here. I thought this would be a good one to share. A couple weeks ago Krista and I spoke in the Faith Stories class at Faith Church where we attend. Below is draft we spoke from, though it doesn't have absolutely everything we said, I think will get the idea.

Adam’s Life Up to Krista

My story isn’t one of drugs or alcohol or other stereotypical stories of living for the wrong things for which I’m grateful. It’s still a story though of redemption and God’s plan, because I am still a sinner and need Jesus. I grew up in central Indiana in Mooresville & Shelbyville. I’m the oldest of five siblings. I love to fish, hunt, play board games, collect things, read, write, watch TV and movies, and watch and play sports. Krista and I have been attending Faith Church for over 8 years. Now that you know the quick overview, let’s get on to the details.

I first gave my life to Christ on November 4, 1987. You see, I know that because I grew up in a Baptist church, and that date is important it seems in that denomination. I still remember it. I was learning verses for AWANA and after memorizing more and more of them, I asked my mom to tell me how to be a Christian and follow Jesus. Because of that experience, I am really supportive of the AWANA program and very grateful that my kids now have a chance to be a part of it. Now as a 4-year old, I think it is easy enough for me to understand Heaven & Hell, that I am a sinner, and that Jesus who was perfect came to save me. Sounds like a winning situation to me! As the years went on though, I came to realize it meant more than simply going to heaven.

I was homeschooled my whole life. When going into the 9th grade, my parents asked if I’d like to attend the local public school instead, but because the coach on my homeschool basketball team had asked me to come back I declined. Turns out the coach didn’t come back himself, but more on basketball later. Anyways through high school, thanks to my parents upbringing, my good friend Ryan’s influence, and the Lord I did pretty well. I stayed out of trouble, learned what it meant to work hard, to win, and through some experiences what it meant to truly not only trust Christ as my savior, but to know him as my friend. There were three events during my Junior & Senior years that brought these lessons around.

The summer of 1999 was a very tough summer on my family. As I mentioned earlier, I like to hunt and fish, which I got from my dad. He and my Uncle Greg always hung out together, bow hunting, fishing, cooking out, whatever it may be and as a young man I loved my Uncle Greg. He was a big man and strong man and I wanted to be like him. I remember him joking with me, when he was in his early 40s, how he was sad he could only bench 325 lbs. When I looked at him quizzically, he then said, yeah only can do it 9 times now. Well, in the summer of 1999 Uncle Greg died of liver failure in his apartment in Iowa, I remember crying with my dad and brother while we sat in the grass of a company we were mowing on Smith Valley Road in Greenwood. Uncle Greg died May or so, a few months later my mom was expecting to deliver my little sister Lydia. However, God had other plans, and Lydia’s life was cut short at birth when the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. That was a really tough summer for my family and for a 16 year old boy, but God used it to teach me that it doesn’t matter if you are a huge and strong man who can lift just about anything or a small baby just trying to take her first breath that life is a precious thing. He also showed me, through the way our local church cared for my family, that he is with me no matter what.

The next year though really drove his love home into my life. I had the opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip to Ukraine. A team of about 10 or so people, from across a few churches in Shelbyville, visited a small village in Ukraine where we put on a vacation bible school. The thing I learned from this trip is that Christians have a hope that others just don’t have. Seeing this post-Soviet world, I could immediately tell who had Jesus in their life, because of their smiles, their joy, and their knowledge that there is more to this life than just trying to get water at their local well with a bucket. That trip to Ukraine solidified my resolve to live my life for Christ, whether I was a plumber, preacher, or as it turns out a Human Resources Specialist.

After graduating high school, the college decision was coming, where looking back I again see God working in my life. As I mentioned earlier, I played basketball for a homeschool team called the Golden Eagles in high school and was a decent player. Well, when a coach from a very small Bible college in Iowa called Vennard called me and wanted me to play for him, after he had heard about me playing at a tournament in Frankfort, I prayed about it and decided to do so. I could’ve likely gone and been on the team at an Anderson or Cedarville (I’d been talking to them as well), but I wouldn’t have played and at Vennard I knew I’d get PT right away. That was the best I ever made in my life, as that is where I met my beautiful and gracious wife Krista.

During college is where my faith really became my own. It is then that I had to wrestle with why I believed what I believed, understand what the scripture said about it, and decide if I was going to live the way the Lord wanted me to live. I grew up a lot then, as do most people, and came to love the support in my daily walk that I got from both my professors and my friends who really were my “church” while I was at school. Once it was all said and done, I graduated with a B.A. in Business Management and also Bible. Now, I’ll let Krista tell her part of the story up until we get married and start our life together.

Krista’s Life Up Until Adam

I am also a firstborn. I have one brother named Michael and he and his wife Rachel live in Missouri. My parents are pastors at a Nazarene Church in Florida. Adam and I have been married for 10 years and we have 3 beautiful girls that keep us busy. Kaylee is 6, Elanor is 4, and Charlotte will be 2 in November. My own interests include: Reading, scrapbooking, sewing, blogging, photography, playing board games, watching movies, binge watching shows on netflix, geocaching, visiting with friends and family, and traveling.

Like Adam, I grew up in a Christian family. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 2 years old. Up until I was 5, my dad was in the military and after that it seemed that moving was in my parent’s blood. We moved all over, never really having roots until we moved to Georgia. While we lived in Georgia, we moved multiple times to different communities, but for the most part stayed within one body of believers at an Evangelical Methodist Church, quickly making Georgia my first real home. While living there, an older couple adopted my brother and me as their grandkids and has continued to be adoptive grandparents to us our whole lives.  It was here that I started to understand the importance of having a church body to love and support you.

Moving became a part of life. Something that happened often and couldn’t be helped. The moving itself was fun. Going to new places. Meeting new people. But how it has affected me has not been fun. It’s affected how I view relationships and how much I let people in. I know how to share and still be guarded and I also know when to just break ties. Moving taught me that even though people have good intentions, they won’t keep in touch. So, to find a place that I truly considered home was a very big deal.

When I was in high school, I made some poor decisions that led me to a place where I felt trapped by Satan’s justifying and deceiving schemes. It was in that moment when I felt extremely stuck with no way out that I sought God for guidance and deliverance. He not only heard my cry, but answered it in a tangible way. That summer, my parents decided to send me to a Salvation Army camp where my aunt and uncle lived, to work and to reconnect with God without distractions. During this time, God prepared my heart and mind for another move that would be taking my family from my home in Georgia. He also started preparing me for my college decision as during my time working at camp, a camp team from Vennard came to share about their school and to be camp counselors.  (I had known about Vennard my whole life as both my parents and grandparents went there. However, it was not on my radar of college options since it was in “middle of nowhere” Iowa. ) When I returned home from working at camp, my parents started to seriously consider a youth pastor position with the Salvation Army in Nebraska and during my senior year of high school they accepted the position and we moved north. That next summer, I went back to camp and once again met a team from Vennard. But choosing to avoid Iowa, I went to a community college for a semester even though I really felt God leading me to Vennard.  After a full semester of wrestling God, I finally said, “ok, I will go” and headed to Vennard in January of 2003.

Vennard quickly became my second home. The faculty, staff, and students quickly became my family.  Vennard became a place where I could be myself and really question my beliefs while also seeing what the Bible really said about subjects that I had never thought about for myself before.  It’s also the place where I made my first lifelong friends and also where I met my wonderful husband Adam.

Life Together 

Krista: When I met Adam, I didn’t picture us together. In fact, I pictured him with other people. After some time, some persistence on his part, and much prayer we finally started dating. God had richly blessed me in the most unlikely way.

Adam: Once Krista and I got engaged, we had a decision to make about our churches. Krista was going to the Nazarene church and I was attending a non-denominational church. However, we wanted to find a church where we could both worship and be known as the Daultons, rather than Krista and her fiancĂ© or Adam and his fiancĂ©. I talked with my basketball coach and he suggested his church which was Liberty Evangelical Free Church in Pella, Iowa. We really connected with the youth pastor there, who ended up doing our pre-marital counseling. We also got involved in the junior high youth group, teaching some lessons, helping out where we could, Krista did her internship there. After I graduated college, I got a job at a local furniture store selling furniture and waited on Krista to finish her degree in youth ministries. In December of 2006 she finished her degree, after not really having a specific place to go, we decided that Indiana would be it since Krista’s family are nomads and mine aren’t. So we came back here to Indiana, both got jobs in Carmel, and began looking for churches.

Krista: How does a millennial look for a church in a new city? The internet of course! We googled E Free churches in Indianapolis and visited both Grace and Faith and a couple of other non-denominational churches that we had heard about. After visiting four or five churches, we knew that Faith was the place that God wanted us. I was really drawn to Jake’s music and Adam specifically remembers that Tom was preaching about Romans and called Sin what it is. We had just visited another church that was speaking from Romans as well and never used the word sin, just “mistakes” or “problems”. So we jumped right in as quickly as we could in the Faith Community.

Adam: We quickly got involved in the “20 Something’s” group, started teaching in the Wednesday night 1st &2nd grade class, and worked at our jobs. This first year in Indianapolis was a really difficult year. We both hated our jobs and not knowing anyone was also tough. God taught us then, which he is continuously teaching us, to be content where he has us. Not sure this is the way he meant for us to be content, but each day driving back and forth to work, we’d see the young guy out front of Quiznos waving their sign in the sweltering heat and we’d think, “Well, at least I don’t have that job.” Having each other, our faith in the Lord, and Faith Church specifically the 20 Something’s group was very important for us. Turns out I had played basketball against family members of several people in the group and we immediately bonded around that.

Soon after this in late 2007, while floating on the river with Javier Contreras, I mentioned I was in HR and looking for a job. Before I knew it, thanks to him, I’d an interview with DFAS and have been there ever since. We’ve also been very involved in Faith Student Ministry since 2008, where I think we were challenged in our spiritual lives as much as we were able to challenge the students. There are many trips and memories from all those kids who are now graduating college, getting married, and in turn investing in the youth group.

Krista: One of the biggest decisions where we needed God’s direction was when Village Life was being planted. As many of you know, the call went out, and we like many of you prayed about whether to go or to stay. The more we asked God the more we realized we were supposed to stay. This was a really tough decision for us as everyone that we regularly hung out with from the 20 Something’s went with Village Life. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Through prayer, God had truly given us a peace about staying. That summer we got to know Jonathan Baker a little better, since he was on Adam’s softball team and we decided to start a community group with him and his family which has been very impactful in our life.

Especially in 2012 when we saw them and other believers come along side us as we grieved the loss of our 3rd baby due to miscarriage. Over the course of the last few years, I struggled with anger and frustration towards God. I didn’t understand how my very Big God could give me such a beautiful gift, only to take it away. But during that time, He provided people from our community group as well as people in the body to not only provide meals, books, and gifts, but also to help us walk through our grief while pointing us towards Christ.

God has used our community group to fill in that space that was left by our Village Life friends. But even more than that, has given us a group to really live life with. We have seen our kids grow up together, worked through difficulties of life together, and challenged each other towards more Christ-like living. This group has probably been the place where we’ve been able to connect with other believers on the most personal and honest level.

Adam: Looking back on our lives, we’ve been able to see God has had a plan in our lives, a plan that involves community with his children. This is something I love to think about and makes me realize we’re right where we are supposed to be and encourages me to continue to trust God when making decisions. If I’d never played home school basketball Coach Olson would not have heard about me, which meant I would not have gone to Vennard, never met Krista, never gone to Liberty E Free, never looked up Faith Church in Indianapolis, never met Javier and got my job and thus hopefully had a witness in that building, never had our three beautiful girls and try to input in them a love for Christ, and never have been able to live in this community of believers, which makes us even more grateful that Jesus gave up himself, even to death on the cross, for us even though we aren't perfect and are flawed people.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Name of the Wind

It's been awhile! I've started a gaming only blog called the Semi-Amateur Gamer over on Board Game Geek, so I've been writing over there. However, I still want to keep this blog up, so I thought I'd write a book review. That is right, a good old fashioned book review. Not sure I've ever done that. So what's the book? It is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

First off, I listened to this on my drive out to Kansas and back, which was 20 hours in 2 days. That still left 7 hours worth of audio, which I finished throughout the week. This was the first time that I've ever listened to a whole audio book, I'm an avid podcast listener as you know, but books not so much. Unless I'm making such a long drive again, I don't think I'll ever do this again. It was great while driving, but I kept falling asleep if I just sat in bed and listened. Also, it felt weird.

Okay, now to the actual review. Kvothe is the main character from the story, first you meet him as an innkeeper in some no name town, then you hear as he tells his story. In fact, most of the book is him telling of his childhood, with the occasional pop back to present day. I really liked this format. In general, I like explanations of how someone got somewhere (super hero origin stories are the best!). He tells you about his parents, his hard times, his happy times, and his sad times. I think Rothfuss does a good job with analogies, really descriptive of how Kvothe feels, so the reader understands where he is coming from.

To be honest, some parts of the story were rather drug out, with an almost are we going to get there feeling. There are a whole lot of characters come in and out of Kvothe's life, but they are introduced slowly, so they don't really confuse you as in some books where 20 generic characters are thrown at you in the first chapter. The world that is built is one of fantasy, but really one where magic is more like science. 

*Side Note* How come in these fantasy worlds, yes even LotR, thousands of years go by and there about zero scientific advancements? It is like they are stuck in the middle ages for millenia. Is it because of the crutch of magic?*Side Note Over*

Anyways, Kvothe adventures throughout his childhood, making enemies, friends, learning, and having a few adventures. The book is the first in the Kingkiller Chronicle, so it doesn't get all the way back to the present, which is to be expected. Overall though, I'm excited about this series, perhaps more excited about a book series than I've been since Cornwell's Saxon Series.

Fantasy Fans - I think this is a good choice. It isn't extreme fantasy and almost feels a bit more like a book about Leonardo da Vinci with fantasy thrown in, but I'm still hooked.

Completists -  I made the mistake of starting this before the last book is out. The last time I did this was the Inheritence Cycle. I told myself then I'd never do that again, but now I've done it. I hate myself. Don't you hate yourself.

Light Readers - Stay away from this. I think 27 hours audio tranlates to nearly 700 pages, but these pages are not Harry Potter level reading, rather much deeper and more intricate.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Reading Through the Bible

The first time I read through the Bible was when I was 18 years old. I the second time sometime in my early 20s. This time I'm attempting it again in my early 30s. It can be an intimidating endeavor. I almost typed task there instead of endeavor and that is exactly what I don't want it to be...a task. I've used that excuse before though, you know the one, if I do this it'll be a task and not really from the heart, but a lot of times that is just an excuse. Many times things in life that are worth doing take effort and dedication and doing when it is inconvenient or not your first choice to be doing the doing.

I'm reading through the Bible this year because I want to be reminded of the God I serve. Right now I'm in Exodus, I'm actually 3 days behind, and reading about he curtains of the tabernacle and the clothes that Aaron the High Priest should wear. What he has done in history with real people and for real reasons. I know I won't understand it all or for that matter read every so-in-so begat so-in-so word for word, but it will help remind me on a daily basis why the God of the Universe did what he did. It's that Never Giving Up Never Stopping Always and Forever Love that I've talked about here before just layed out in curtains of a tabernacle and clothes of an old priest that I read about today.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Now I'm Podcasting

Well it had to happen eventually. I've started a podcast with my good pal Jeremy. I've always thought it would be fun to podcast, but never really wanted to do it for board games, because I felt like if I did I'd constantly have to be playing new games and never would get a chance to really focus on a older games. Enter Android: Netrunner. It is a Living Card Game (fancy words Fantasy Flight Games made up) which means it is constantly getting small expansions that change the dynamics of the game. So I'm able to play one game over and over again, but have it always be different. A perfect subject for a podcast!

I help organize a league of Netrunner every other Monday night. Jeremy and I play this usually at least once ever other week as well once the kids go to bed. We talk about it a lot, the strategies, the cards, fun things that happened in a given game. So we decided to record our talks on purpose and have a good time with it. We started with a free account on podbean.com, but that didn't last long, as we quickly ran out of bandwith (which is awesome!) and so paid to bump up to the next level.

I built a really simple website for us, Jeremy is working on designing a logo, and now we're calling ourselves local media personalities. We record in my bedroom, which is the quietest place in the house as it is the furthest spot from the furnace. Of course we got to wait until the kids are in bed, nobody is walking around, and not to sit on a squeeky chair. Currently we're recording just into the iPad microphone, using BossJock an app I downloaded, but I'd like to pick up an inexpensive microphone to improve our quality.

There are several good Netrunner podcasts out there like Corp Draw or SanSan South, so we're trying to do something that is different than they do. We want people that enjoy the game to listen and here about a real group of players who discuss what they are actually playing and seeing in their local meta rather than focus on reviews of all the latest cards or news about the game.

Well, that is the next step I've taken into this hobby called gaming. If you're a Netrunner player or just curious give a listen. I've installed a digital listen counter in the back of my hand, like a real hacker would do, so I can always know how many of you care.

Here is the latest episode if you are interested: http://indynetrunners.podbean.com/e/episode-3-over-achieving/

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Best Games of 2014

Every year I keep track of the "New to Me" games for the year and then make the Top 10 List of the year. So here is that list. I think this might be my favorite blog to write each year. I played 71 new to me games this year, so all these games I'm going to list are good games and it is usually tough to narrow it down to just 10. I actually rate all of these games 8/10, so the difference between number 1 and number 10 is really small. Honorable mentions include: Copy Cat, King of New York, Caverna, Gonzaga, Nothing Personal, Rampage, Snow Tails, Five Tribes, BraveRats, and Voluspa. Thanks to everyone who has played games with me all year!

10. Diamonds
I like trick taking games. Diamonds is exactly that. What is so great about it though is that every hand is a good hand. It is all just how you play it. Each time you win a trick, you get a special action, however you get a special action each time you throw off too. So throw off or win the trick, but be sure to protect your diamonds. This has been really successful game with family and friends (even my mom liked it and she isn't a huge fan of the games I bring). I'd love to do a trick taking game day and pull this out with The Bottle Imp, Tichu, Haggis, Clubs, and Euchre.

9. The Castles of Mad King Ludwig
This is was a tough call for me to put on the list. I only played it once, in the dealer hall at GenCon, where it was loud and tight, but I liked it a lot. Players are building castles for the king. Simple boring theme.  I love the free form building of the castles, the I cut you choose of the master builder, and the room combinations that can occur. It seemed different enough from Suburbia that I think if I'd played this more it would be higher on my list, but with just the one play will remain at number 9.

8. 1775: Rebellion
An American Revolution game for 2 or 4 players. The board is amazingly awesome in this game. There are four groups of armies that have unique dice. The theme oozed out of the game. My one experience with the game actually was a poor one due to another player, but depsite that the game really really shined. This is one I've picked up several times to buy, but just haven't yet, but it is on my wish list for a future purchase.

7. Felix, Cat in the Sack
This one really surprised me. It is an auction game where you start bidding on a small amount of information and as more people drop out more information becomes available. It can be pretty punishing, but it is really fun. It also brought about the only time this year in gaming that I was laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face.

6. Arctic Scavengers
A math trade acquisition I've been very happy with. The year is 2097 and a new ice age has destroyed 99% of the worlds population. You are scavenging the left overs, building your deck in order to add members to your tribe, fight against other tribes, and win the game. This is a unique deckbuilder, that when played with the expansions included in the box, really gives you a different feel than say Dominion or Ascension. The theme is really cool as well. The instert in the box though is possible the worst one ever.

5. The Battle of Five Armies
The prequel to my favorite game of all time, very difficult for it not to make this list. It is tough to know where this will actually end up though, since it is very similar in thought to War of the Ring. However, I'm looking forward to many more plays of this one. The very unique damage mechanism really makes the game shine. All the various player powers, fast moving units, in general I'm very happy with this game and glad it is in my collection. It seems more wide open than War of the Ring, though that also makes it less large scale, just like the Hobbit.

4. One Night Ultimate Werewolf
I've always loved Werewolf (or Mafia as I've always called it), but I've realized there are some problems with player elimination and sitting around while a 20 person game concludes. One Night fixes that! You get enough information to make logical arguments and excuses, you vote to lynch someone, then you find out who one. Really fun and really quick. I'll still play Mafia on long bus rides, but this is a great filler game in the vein of the Resistance.

3. Heroes Wanted
Players are crazy super heroes trying to get a spot on a second rate Justice League or Avengers type team. I really enjoy this game for its tactical card play, the fun combos of heroes and villians and the light hearted theme. As you play, you try to make the best move for that turn, but set yourself up for future turns to take advantage of where the villian will be or maybe give a cheap shot to another hero. The scenarios are great as well. Who doesn't like preventing bootleg DVD production? I do not like the quirks in the game, but simply don't play with them.

2. Sheriff of Nottingham
As soon as I read the description of this game I knew I'd like it. I bought it and I did really like it. Basically it is a bluffing game where you try to convince the sheriff not to look in your bag of goods and thus make the most money. It makes for some really fun situations where you try to read your opponents or bait your opponents. A great game for all kinds of people.

1. A Study in Emerald
This game is expensive. It was nearly $100 with shipping when it was Kickstarted and so I didn't back it. Now people on Amazon are trying to sell it for $260. However, a friend of mine owns it and I was able to play it twice this year and loved it! The board is beautiful, the game play isn't just like any other game ever. The deckbuilding is a large part of the game, but in no ways all of the game. I love how when you attempt to collect a card you have to have the most influence on it at the start of your turn, which means you always have to wait a full turn to collect a card for your deck. Players are on teams (randomly determined and secret) either fighting to destroy monsters (think HP Lovecraft) that have ruled the world for hundreds of years or fighting to keep those monsters in power. The best part of the game is the winning conditions. There is only one winner, however if a player that is on your team finishes in last place, then your whole team loses, and so you cannot win. That adds some great tension to the game. I know this one isn't for everyone, but for me it hit all the right spots.

Dust Award: The worst game of the year for me goes to CV. I really wanted to like this game. I love the life theme, after all I'm in human resources and think CVs or resumes is a good thing, since they essentially are my job. This game was horrible though. Somehow they figured out how to shove 20 minutes of fun into 2 hours. They made a role and move game without dice. This game was just not good at all and to make it worst I had such high hopes for it. Blah!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Every 100 Games Series - The Legend of Landlock

My 5,700th game played was one with my oldest daughter who is 5 years old. We pulled out The Legend of Landlock, a game that was given to us by a friend whose kids had out grown it. So read on to see how this game stacks up from my point of view and from a kids point of view.

Game Play
This is said to be a 2-4 player game, but it really is just a two player tile laying game where players are creating a grid. On the tiles are roads and rivers. One player is playing as water and one player as land, trying to make long routs, form islands, and generally manipulate their land type on the map. After the whole grid is complete, players score points based upon how long and many their particular terrain type is and a winner is declared. The game we played took about 15 minutes to play.

The components are there. The game was originally made in 1988 and you can tell a bit. The art is unassuming, the tiles while they work aren't exactly the thick quality you'd find in Carcassonne or Forbidden Island. However, there isn't anything wrong with them either. There are not any other components in the game.

Strategy & Tactics
There is actually quite a bit of strategy and tactics in this game. More than I expected. Drawing a single tile a turn though can limit how much you plan, but not any more than other tile laying games. This is a very abstract game of push and shove, setting up what you need to happen and preventing your opponent from doing exactly what they want.

I was pleasantly surprised by this game. I think it is a game that for the most part the best player will win everytime and feels more like a classic game of Othello or Checkers rather than a small kids game as it is packaged. However, kids can enjoy the game, all the tiles match up and so make for easy placement. My daughter enjoyed our play of it, but has yet to ask for it again. So I guess this one was a solid game for me, just not one that has been overwhelming us. There are other kids games that we prefer and also other abstract games that we prefer.

Carcassonne Players - This isn't as fun as Carc. It is a bit shorter and only two player. It is much more simpler though, so perhaps a good gateway for a kid into Carcassonne.

Non-Parents - If you don't have any kids, I don't think I'd get this game. There are many better abstract 2 player games out there to enjoy before this one.

Kids Who Love Theme - This is also a non-recommendation for me. For instance Candyland, as horrible as it is, is much more thematic of a game. The Evening in the Stable another simple roll and move type game is much more thematic. If you kid isn't playing to play a game, but is instead playing to enjoy a story, then Landlock isn't the game for him or her.

*Every 100 Games Series - Back in March of 2006 I began tracking each session of the various board and card games I play. I soon got the idea to write a review on every 100th game I played, one because I like writing reviews, and two because it is interesting to see what game I review next. You can find a list of all of them here: Every 100 Games Series Reviews. All images are from BGG and if you follow their URL you can find them there.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Every 100 Games Series - Felix: The Cat in the Sack

Felix: The Cat in the Sack was my 5,600th game played. I got it in a math trade earlier this year and have played it at least 10 times since then many times with my family. This is what I think about this small card game.

Game Play
Felix is a simple auction game that can be quite punishing. Players place down cats, dogs, and rabbits to bid "mice" on. The trick is that at the beginning of the auction only one of these animals (and their corresponding point value) are face up. As players drop from the auction they get paid money by the bank, with more money being paid the longer you stay in, with the last player then paying the bank their final bid for the whole lot. Some of the animals are worth positive points, others are negative, and others discard the positive and negative point ones. The person who has the most points from auctions they've won plus leftover money wins the game after 8 rounds!

There aren't a whole lot of components to this game. 45 tarot sized cards with different colored backs and 9 unique pieces of art on the front of cute and cuddly cats, dogs, and a pink rabbit. Then for the mice (money) they give you green and black plastic discs which are horrible. I always use my poker chips if not travelling with the game. Then finally a chunky wooden sack to indicate who is the first player each round. There really isn't a whole lot to the game when it comes to components, but the cards are nice and big and the art is really cute and light as it should be.

Strategy & Tactics
This game rewards bluffing and knowing your opponents willingness to bid high. You've got to be extremely careful not to get stuck and bid all your money in an early round, thus forcing you to drop out of the auction. Realizing when to play your big positive and negative cards, especially when you are further down in the auction and so can lead players on, is key to the game.

I really like this game. It is right up there with other filler level games that have some fun mechanics that make them extra special. I've been able to play it with my 8 year old niece and it has been a hit at family gatherings and also has gone over well with gamers. I've laughed until I've cried playing this game on those occasions where someone has just been absolutely screwed by overbidding and getting a slew of negative cards (I've been on the receiving end of that too). Felix will be in my collection for a long time for sure!

Filler Lovers - Get this game. If you are a fan of High Society, No Thanks, For Sale, Money, and other such fillers then you'll love this game.

Auction Haters - Move on. This is an auction game and one that might make you hate auctions even more, since you are bidding most of the time on blind information.

Grinches - If you can't laugh at your plight, then you won't like this one. However, if you enjoy laughing at your plight, realizing it'll be over in 20 minutes, then this one will be for you. Sometimes you just get burned in this game and sometimes you don't. It is light fun, so feel free to laugh it off.

Cat Lovers - Just for the art, you should get this game and stare lovingly at the cuddle critters.

*Every 100 Games Series - Back in March of 2006 I began tracking each session of the various board and card games I play. I soon got the idea to write a review on every 100th game I played, one because I like writing reviews, and two because it is interesting to see what game I review next. You can find a list of all of them here: Every 100 Games Series Reviews. All images are from BGG and if you follow their URL you can find them there.