Gandalf Never Had to Sort His Cards!

Professor Plum, on Boardwalk with the Patrol Boat! Wait, wait I think I’m confusing things. Let me try again, okay? Here we go: The Serra Angel, in the Ukraine with the Dark Tower? Am I right?

If you haven’t guessed it I’m talking about games. All kinds for all ages! Clue, Monopoly (any of the themes/version), Battleship or maybe you’re thinking Magic: The Gathering, Risk (again any of the themes/version) or a classic like Dark Tower itself. Either way you know what I’m talking about and most likely you’ve played one in your life time. Last night we hosted one of Mad Dog’s Game Night Extravaganzas. It’s an evening of food, friends, conversation and of course games. The evening is open to our friends, their children (yes kids are welcome) and even our friend’s friends if they would like to tag along. Guests are encouraged to bring their favorite game or even a new game they are looking to play with people. When I say games I mean all types from RPGs (Role Playing Games), your traditional board games, video, trivia, strategy and even cards.

We usually order pizzas or if it’s not TOO hot, like it was Friday we make homemade pizzas along with other snacks for the group. Guests are welcome to bring their favorite munchies along with their games to share or to keep for themselves as an extra energy boost for the possible long play. Space is set aside for the kids, allowing them to play a game together or just play with the toys in the house which is what usually happens. We set up a television with DVDs in the bedroom for those little ones that want a break from the noise and running around of the other kids.

The event is all Mad Dog. He is a game lover in the worst way and though I like playing I don’t like playing games one on one. It doesn’t excite me to just play against him at something. These events allow him a chance to play different games with people who are excited about them and want to be introduced to new things. Friday nights guests were a mix of die-hard games to your “I don’t play games” people. The group also represented a mix of people who hadn’t met before. Our Game Night Extravaganza regulars are my brother Kevin and Brother-in-law Brent – they have never missed an evening. Mad Dog’s previous assistant manager Alanna and her boyfriend Jeff, and one of Mad Dog’s new staff, Mike. Game Night even brought out my peeps! My friend and coworker Stacy joined us with her daughter Mary, along with my friend Heather, her husband Jay and son Xavier.

The kids hit the toys while the adults hit the games after a little pizza and snacks (Heather made a great taco dip which hit the spot). Jay was exiled from Lex’s room for not having enough “rent” to stay according to Mary’s 5 year old calculations.  As a group, so everyone could get to know each other a bit we played the DVD Game Scene It?  We broke down into four teams. For a while it looked like a run away game for the all boys team of Kevin, Brent and Mike, but they were stopped by the cunning play of Team Jay! In the end Mad Dog and I won (I try not to mention during such games that I have a film degree – shhh!). The late hour brought an end to the evening for our friends with little ones, plus Heather had to get Jay home for his beauty sleep. With their departure the hardcore geeks broke out their Magic decks and I put the kids to bed.

Magic: The Gathering has become a recent interest of Mad Dog’s, which my brother and brother-in-law encourage to my dismay. They have even recently taught my Mother how to play (insert eye-roll here). I am currently protesting the whole thing by not learning though Mad Dog has been putting on the pressure. The small group of “merry men” and Alanna set to playing.

Magic: The Gathering is a collectible card game created by a mathematics professor. The games website notes that the game has reached over 12 million fans in more than 70 countries since its release in 1993. It’s a strategy game played by two or more players, each of whom has a customized deck of Magic cards assembled.  Each player starts out with a life of 20. Through turn based play each player plays cards, resulting in attacks, cast spells, deadly creatures to appear and of course death. With each turn the player’s starting life of 20 fall and rise based off play. Alliances are made and broken – because in the end the last man standing wins.

The collectible cards have a consistent layout which includes beautifully (some might say “Pretty”) illustrated fantasy styled paintings and the card name. They also include information on the effectiveness of the card and it’s main role in the game. There is a type line, which tells you what the card such as a Creature or an Enchantment. The text box describes the abilities of the card, such as it’s a Flying creature that gets you a +1 on your roll until the end of the turn. Since the cards are collectibles there is an “Collector Number” which tells you what number card it is within a set along with additional game play information on each card.

What did I do while the spells were flying, creatures were awaken and lands were destroyed? Once the kids were in bed, I sat down and chatted with the players, catching up with my brother about stuff. The game ran on to 1ish when Mike took down the remaining players after an earlier game changing play between Mad Dog and Brent.

After that we said good-bye (at least we thought we did) to our remaining guests and thanked them for coming before starting to tidy up. Unfortunately before the evening could end we had some distressing news. Alanna’s rear drivers-side window was shattered. Luckily nothing was taken, but still not a happy ending to the evening. Mad Dog helped out while I cleaned up and stayed with the kids in the house.

We’re looking forward to our next game night. We’ll have to introduce our friends to some new games such as Zombies or Washabi! or maybe we’ll breakout some old classics such as Axis and Allies or Life. Just maybe Mad Dog will convert a few more people to the power of Magic. Who knows, but either way it will be a lot of fun.

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~ by Cute Fan Girl on July 24, 2011.

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