Sunday Afternoon Family Gaming

Sunday afternoon, once my Texas offspring recuperated from the long drive and boundless energy of the eighteen month old grandson, Derek suggested we play a game. He had brought several with him from home, a few with short play times (as little as five or ten minutes) and more complex board games that require more setup and explanation. I’d previously played Camel Up and Parade, neither of which I was in the mood for. 5-minute Dungeon I want to try before he heads back to Texas.

Derek suggested we play Pandemic, which I’ve been wanting to try for several years. While the grandson ran Royna ragged, Derek, Rachelle and I played two games of Pandemic. Kudos to my offspring for suffering through the first game and my steep learning curve.

For the second game, we stayed with four epidemics (which to be honest is the easiest level) but randomized our character selection. My son seems to contradict himself because on one hand he says you should be able to play and ‘win’ Pandemic without the benefit of character special actions but he also doesn’t like to select characters at random. I selected for the first game the Operations Expert and completely forgot about my second special action, which might have saved us from our spectacular triple outbreak crash and burn. For the second game, I randomly selected Medic, Rachelle drew Quarantine Expert and my son reprised my role, to much greater effect, as the Operations Expert.

Fortune favored us as we were able to cure and eradicate red within the first round or two. Yellow and blue were cured but not eradicated over the course of a few more rounds. While we were strategizing how to get the various black city cards to Derek, I drew three black cards and already had two in my hand. I was within two moves of a research center so we cured all four diseases. For that second game, we only drew one epidemic and I don’t think we had an outbreak. Compared to the first game, where we drew all four epidemics and had multiple outbreaks.

Today, Christmas Eve, we’ll play something else, perhaps Camel Up or 5-minute Dungeon. We’ve already done our annual traditional re-watching of A Muppet Christmas Carol which I splurged and purchased an HD edition through Google Play Movies. The only thing that surprised us was the cutting of one song, between Belle and Ebenezer at the end of the Ghost of Christmas Past act. I need to research why this edition decided to remove that song. Granted, I often fast forwarded through that song, but still, as my daughter related, without it the ending montage doesn’t make sense lyrically.

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