I am back from abroad and only mildly suffering from what can only be giardia or “beaver fever”. As fitting my station, I thought I would update you on the games we snuck in while enjoying some very drinkable red wines.
Essaouira / Summoner Wars
Julie and I arrived in Essaouria on my second full day of travel—and we arrived after a seven hour bus ride and in the middle of the night. After scouring the medina for our hostel and finding it unresponsive, we found respite in a very fancy hotel (although the 5am call to prayer did sound like it was literally originating in our room.) Anyway, I made Julie play Summoner Wars with me after we got settled. She was largely unconscious.
Summoner Wars #1
Joe as Tundra Orcs def Julie as Phoenix Elves - Julie was, as I said, semi-conscious although she did manage to play the rules correctly. She missed some basic positioning opportunities and summoned too many commons. I was delighted she agreed to play.
(We did play a lot of Gin and 31 on our trip [with some very small and charming playing cards: “Keep on Smiling!”] and even some Dots & Boxes, but I will spare you those session reports)
The next day, after seeing the medina in the sunlight and drinking our first glasses of many of mint tea and eating our first dishes of many of tagine, we played a pair of games of Summoner Wars for our siesta.
Summoner Wars #2
Joe as Vanguards def Julie as Phoenix Elves - Very close match. I pushed hard and basically had two champions killed before they could do anything worthwhile. Turns out Julie is a formidable opponent when she is conscious (must be all that Magic she played) but she still summons too many commons.
Summoner Wars #3
Julie as Jungle Elves def Joe as The Filth - Of course Julie would play well with the deck that has cats in it. I tried to keep Abua Shi occupied so he couldn’t chant of growth too much but I was overwhlemed. I hate to blame the dice but I was rolling very poorly this round—that isn’t to take anything away from a well played match by Julie. I was also a bottle of Moroccan red in at this point.
Our final full day in Essaouira saw more consumption of tagine, some exploration and some fantastic lounge renditions of various John Mayer songs with an Arabic accent. It also saw three more games of Summoner Wars.
Summoner Wars #4 #5 & #6 - I achieved an asterisk laden win over Julie’s Fallen Kingdom with the Swamp Orcs (I forgot to roll for my savager to leave vine walls), I used the Benders to beat the Sand Goblins (her Sandstorm seemed to fail her with uncanny regularity), and ended our Summoner Wars engagement with a Deep Dwarves win over her Jungle Elves. Julie liked the game enough to play it six times so I think this was a huge win.
After all this Summoning, we spent a morning on the beach and then a bus ride to Marrakesh.
Marrakesh / A Game of Thrones: The Card Game
We survived many attempts of vehicular manslaughter in the medina of Marrakesh (and the concomitant methane inhalation) to lounge on a rooftop and play a pair of games of A Game of Thrones.
Marrakesh was a much different experience than Essaouira—the aforementioned death risk every time we left the riad, the lack of cafés on every street corner, the higher presence of teeth sellers… We did, however, continue to end our nights with games…of thrones.
Two games of a Baratheon vs Targaryen matchup, the stags winning both times. While Summoner Wars and Essaouira were slower paced and easy to navigate, Game of Thrones and Marrakesh were large, unwieldy beasts. The theme was enough for me to totally dig it, though, but jeeps it was overwhelming.
Julie did say that the game was basically Magic: The Gathering, and from what I can remember from ages ago that’s probably true. The blessing and curse of this game is that every card breaks the rules in a tricky way—managing the interactions of these rule breaks can be fun and satisfying but it can also be information overload for a new player. Certainly looking forward to trying this out with 3 or 4.
Fès or Fez was so great we forgot to play board games. Here are some pictures instead:
Spent a lot of time in these ol’ hammocks.
More Fes. Loved it, just sad we visited Cafe Clock only on our last night. The food there was amazing and they, thankfully, didn’t have tagine on the menu. I think I’m probably good on tagine and couscous indefinitely.
Ok, that’s enough of that. Hopefully I’ll have more board game correspondence in abundance this coming week as Jake has promised an afternoon (or four) of gaming on his school holiday. Until next time.