Game Night with my Son

Before college started, I spent an evening playing games with Aidan, my son. We first ate dinner, then worked through some college planning.

A Few Games of Swords & Strongholds

Aidan contemplating how he will yet again crush me.

First we played a few games of Mouseguard: Swords & StrongholdsThe rules are simple, but the strategy fails me. I have played 6 or 7 games against my son, and never won. This evening was no different.

Our last game was a rather protracted game as we each jockeyed for position. Even when I had what I thought to an advantage (see the above picture) things collapsed and Aidan won.

After losing, we pulled out another of our standards – Wyatt Earp; We’ve played this game together since 2005 or so. I’d wager that I have a 80+% winning streak versus Aidan. And my luck held. Two tense games, and I knocked another two victories in the proverbial belt.

It was our only evening together throughout the summer. And I cherished each moment…in agonizing defeat and glorious victory. We laughed as we talked through college stuff, gaming, how his first year of college went, and general life things.

It is very rewarding listening to Aidan’s thoughtful consideration as he works through the complexities of college decisions. I can’t help but smile and beam with pride when he calls up and asks for help and advice.

W is for Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp, designed by Mike Fitzgerald and Richard Borg, is a Rummy-type game.  Each player is trying to collect the bounty on one of seven outlaws, and the reward grows the greater the outlaws infamy.

This is a game that I have been playing with Aidan, my son, for many years.  Both of us enjoy the tension of whether we will capture the outlaw; Either through playing cards to help our cause, or playing cards to hinder the other player’s cause.

The tension in the game is most evident when “Sheriff” cards are played.  When the typical Sheriff card is played, you need to immediately reveal the top card of the deck to see if the Sheriff card takes effect.  Does the gamble pay off?  And if it does, to the victory goes the gloating right!

The game plays rather quickly, typically 2 to 3 hands at 10-15 minutes per hand.  What this means is that Aidan and I can typically enjoy a game in the time it would take to watch a television episode.  With the Sheriff mechanic there is tension, and resulting trash talk.  All told, a great means of bonding with my son.

The game plays best with 3-players, so the times that Savannah has joined us, we’ve seen a more interesting cadence.  Alliances form and dissolve quickly as fortunes ebb and flow.

All told, Wyatt Earp is a great game.  Not to complicated, plenty of tension and luck, but with rewards for strategy and patience.