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Two Of My Favorite Board Games

I was first introduced to the board game Ticket to Ride a couple years ago. We invited some good friends over for dinner. We have since come to know them for their love of serious games. The first things I noticed about this game, was how big the game board is, and how elaborate the design of the game is. It is interesting to me how big of a difference the design can make. The concept of the game is pretty basic. Starting at the beginning of the game, you receive a couple cards that indicate certain train routes on the game board.

Your task is to collect he right colored cards that enable you to connect all of your train routes. Additional route cards can be selected as well in addition to those chosen in the beginning. The game ends when a player has less than three of his original forty five trains left. Points are added up for several things; the completion of train routes, length of train segments, and ten points for the person with the longest train.

The game Power Grid is another great one. I will admit that I have only played it once, but have been very anxious to purchase it for several months. This game is also played on a map, but has a different feel. It is based around the concept that there are many ways we can power a city. You can have a coal burning power plant, a nuclear power plant, a solar panel plant, a wind mill farm, and a hydro power plant. You need money to purchase cities, as well as money to build these types of power plants. You then need to purchase coal or nuclear fuel, etc. in order to power some of the plants.

The production of power gives you more money each turn. The object of the game is simple; to be the first one to have acquired a certain number of cities, and made a producer of power. One strategy comes in learning that, the person who has the most cities on a particular turn, is the last one to decide which power plant to buy. It sounds simple enough, but it was not until the end when I really understood how much strategy was involved. I thought I was winning, but my friend who was teaching me this game, came from behind and whooped on me.


Understanding The Components Of Mah Jongg Sets

The game of mah jongg has been played in China for thousands of years. It is such a simple, yet fun game that it has managed to spread to every corner of the planet. Mah jongg came to the United States with the immigration of Chinese residents to the US in the second half of the 19th century. The game was introduced to other ethnic groups, especially Jews, and by the 1920s mah jongg sets could be purchased in most large cities in the country.

A mah jongg set is composed of 136 or 144 tiles divided into two main groups. The first group of mah jongg tiles is the simples. The simples are three groups of suited tiles. Each suit contains nine tiles. The first of these three suits is bamboos, sometimes called sticks. Each tile has pictures of bamboo strings holding coins, except for the first bamboo tile, which has a bird perched on a bamboo stalk.

The second suit of simple tiles is characters, or numbers. Each one of these tiles has the Chinese character for the number 10,000. Each also has one of the Chinese characters for the numbers from one to nine. The final simple suit is circles, also called stones. Each of these tiles has from one to nine circles on it.

The next set of tiles in mah jongg sets is the honor tiles. There are two groups of honor tiles, the winds and the dragons. There are four different wind tiles, each of which represents a different direction of the wind. The three dragon tiles are represented by the colors green, red and blue.

Bonus tiles make up the final set of mah jongg tiles. There are two groups of bonus tiles, the flowers and the seasons. There is a different season tile for every season of the year, making a total of four tiles. Four is also the number of flower tiles in a mah jongg set, bamboo, chrysanthemum, orchid and plum.

The game of mah jongg has many different variations, including three-player, four-player, heads-up and solitaire. The most popular of these versions by far is the four-person version. It is the most popular table game in China, Korea and Japan. It is also played throughout the world.

Four-player mah jongg begins with four players seated around a table. Each player has a wall of mah jongg tiles in front of them, made of 34 tiles laid face down in two levels of 17 tiles apiece. Each player competes against the others to see who can get a hand containing four sets of tiles and a pair. The first player to do this wins the hand.

The sets are made by matching identical tiles or creating consecutively numbered, suited runs of tiles. Most sets are made from three tiles, which is called a pung if they are a matched set and a chow if the tiles are consecutive numbers of the same suit. Sometimes players get a set of four identical tiles, which is called a kong.

Mah jongg is much like gin rummy, but it seems to be more exciting. Maybe that is because most players gamble on the outcomes, which always adds an element of excitement. The game is easy to learn, but players should be warned that it is also very addictive to play.


Five Games To Play During Weekend Nights With Your Kids

Are you looking to start a family game night? This article will give you some tips on what games to play where you and your children will love.

Sometimes, parents can become busy attending to business or work during weekdays. They leave the kids with the nannies or babysitters. This is something that you cannot avoid if you and your spouse are both working. Well, there is always a weekend to make up for your busy schedule during weekdays.

It is best to spend the whole day and night with your kids. You should come up with some activities and games to make this bonding time more memorable and fun. To help you out in this goal, here are five examples of games that you can play during weekends with your kids.

1. Bean bag toss or washer toss game - This game is known with various names such as Corn hole game, Beanbag toss or Soft Horseshoes, depending on the material that you will use, but nevertheless this game is a real winner for any family trips or weekend nights bonding moment. You can play this outdoors or indoors and the best thing is that even little children ages 5 and up can play this game. Just instruct them to aim at the beanbag or corn hole and start pitching.

2. Pictionary - Who does not love Pictionary? No matter if you are creative or not, you will surely enjoy playing Pictionary. The family members will each take turn to draw and let others guess what the drawing is. You can come up with various categories like movies, music, people, thing or TV shows to make the game more exciting.

3. Charades - Just like Pictionary, charades is a kind of game that will never grow old. You loved it as a kid and you will surely love it until you are an adult with kids and even with grandkids. The best thing about this game is that you can play this anywhere and you no longer need any props, boards or materials to use. You can just write down words from different categories in a piece of paper and let the participants guess. This can also be a team game or an individual game.

4. Jenga - Each family member will take turn in pulling out a block from the tower. As long as the tower is standing still, the game is on. Whoever makes the tower falls loses the game. This is one exciting game and the great part is that only one loses and the rest are all winners.

5. Video games - Even little kids can play well with video games nowadays so for sure this is going to be a fun activity for the whole family. You can play racing, action games or even some sports games like tennis in Wii.

Playing these games with your family is indeed fun. You will surely share many happy memories every time you play any of these games, whether you are at home or in an out-of-town trip. Do not forget to prepare your cameras too to capture the best moments.


Basics In Toys And Games Selection For Kids And Teens

Holiday vacation is fast approaching and for sure everybody is excited of the upcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year Celebration. What would be the best activities for children and teenagers during their vacation.

Apart from attending different type of get-together events along with friends, relatives and colleagues, they need to have productive hobbies and past times as well. Since play and games are already part of children's lives, it is your responsibility as parents to guide them and to choose the best games and toys for them while on vacation. If your children love to play online games, then be observant of the things they do online due to the prevalence of pornography and violence on the Internet. If you want your children to learn something while playing online games, then guide them in selecting the right Internet games for them. Actually, there are myriad online games to choose from, it is just a matter of determination and resourcefulness to find the right online games for them.

For sure you are aware of the negative effects of online games to children and teens, right? If so, then exercise your authority and guide your children in the process of online games selection. More so, become an observant parent by becoming aware of the type of games they are playing. Remember that prevention is the most effective cure to any problem. If you do not want your child to be addicted to some violent games, they guide them and make them understand of the risk associated with them.

Like toys sold in stores, you can also find educational online games which can boost your children's creative, cognitive, learning and emotional skills. All you need to do is to do some legwork in researching which suitable games rightfully fit your child's personality, needs and requirements.

Below are suitable online games for kids of different levels.

1. Toddlers - You can let your toddlers observe and play with interactive games that let them learn shapes, colors, letters and animals. These types of games enhance their hand-eye coordination and keep them interested with learning new things.

2. Preschool - You can let preschoolers watch and cartoon figures or active animation which lets them play. There are interactive games which are suitable for this age group. You can let them play puzzles, pick and match, math games and crafts.

3. School children - It is suitable to give this age group online puzzle games for math, language, spelling, vocabulary and reading comprehension. With these types of games, your children will not only learn new skills, but they will learn things which are correlated with the lessons they have in schools.

4. Teens - Since teens are adventurous and love challenge, you can let them play number games, Sudoku, complicated puzzle games, language games and reasoning games. These types of games not only arouse their interests, but it also enhances their problem solving skills and boosts their inquisitive minds.

With these suggestions at hand, you are guided on the right online games for your children and teens.


Five Housewarming Party Games

Housewarming is definitely one special occasion that you would want lots of people - friends, families and neighbors to join you. You would like them to share with you the joy of having a new home. However, housewarming could be boring too so one way to make it more fun and interactive for your guests is prepare games for everyone. With the help of coming up with games, you could let everyone participate and interact with one another. This is also a great opportunity for them to be familiar with your house. So here are some examples of housewarming games that you could prepare:

1. Scavenger Hunt - this is definitely a fun game both for kids and adults. You should hide some important tools in the house and people will find for it based on the clue that you will place in different areas of the house. You could divide your guests into two groups so each group could work together. They will be able to have perfect bonding with each other plus they will be more familiar with different rooms and corners of your house. This game is totally a hit for housewarming occasions. You should try to be creative in giving out clues so guests will really have to think and solve each clue that they will find. Of course, it would be best if you will prepare nice prizes for the winner to make the game more exciting.

2. Dining World wide - this is not really a game but it is fun to set up different rooms in the house with specific theme and prepare foods that will be connected to the theme. For example, you could set up the dining room as little China then prepare various Chinese foods in the area. You can think of other themes and maybe you would want to be creative enough to excite the guests. This way, your guests will be able to explore the house to taste different delicacies that you prepared,

3. New Town Trivia game - if you are just new in the city or perhaps state then a New Town Trivia game is perfect for your housewarming. Make sure to prepare interesting questions so everyone could learn something new and also have fun with everyone.

4. Bring me - this game is definitely an ice breaker in every party. However, to make the game more fun. Make sure to prepare interesting items to ask among your guests. Also, come up with nice prizes to encourage everyone to join.

5. Music chairs - who said music chairs is just for kids? Well you can try to bring out the kids in your adults guests by allowing them to play some music chairs. For sure, this is going to be fun and the room will be filled with laughter of both kids and adults.

Coming up with these kinds of activities will make the occasion more fun and enjoyable for everyone. This is particularly advisable to get to know your neighbors more and of course to build good relationship with them. Being new in the neighborhood could be a bit awkward in the beginning but as you get to know people in the neighborhood, everything will be easier for you. You will have new friends and people whom you can depend on in terms of maintaining order in your village or place.


Baseball As A Board Game

Often, board games will take a fantastical situation and allow people to experience it through the use of a board, some tokens, and potentially dice or cards. Other games will simply take an idea and allow two people to have a battle of wits using the materials that the game provides. Most people stop right here and don't even consider all of the other possibilities that board games can present.

No one thinks that board games can be based around other games, which already exist, just not in a board game format. The world of sports is ripe for the picking when it comes to making an innovative, fun board game. The game of baseball, in particular, offers players a range of opportunity when it comes to enjoying a fun, thrilling game, perfect for those rainy days when you are stuck inside with nothing to do.

Baseball and board games actually have a long history throughout America, with both growing into popularity around the beginning of the 20th Century. There have been many different baseball games manufactured over the last 100 years, yet many people never seem to realize this fact. Baseball greats throughout history have actually made endorsements of many of these games, with Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, and Roger Maris all having baseball board games with their names attached.

One recent board game, which offers a strong entry into the category of baseball board games, is the game Triple Threat Baseball. It offers players with two different options when beginning a game. One can either play in the Rookie League or the Big League, each providing players with a different level of strategy to encounter.

Rookie League is, as the name suggests, easier and more geared for children and beginners to the game. The Big League game, however, is more complex, offering players the chance to have to make decisions around the many different layers of events happening in a professional baseball game.

The game doesn't provide for statistics for individual players, which can be both a blessing and a curse. The lack of statistics will allow the game to flow much more smoothly, granting players the opportunity to get into the flow of the game. It can also be a point of disappointment for any players who want to pretend that they are managing real players in their team, as everyone will be on the same footing.

Great Play is another creative baseball board game, one that works well without the necessity for either dice or spinners. This game works between two players, one playing the offense and one playing the defense.

The entire game works on the strategy used when playing tokens in the outfield. Cards are drawn by the offense, determining how well their batter hit the ball and specifically where it landed. Based on how well the tokens in the outfield are placed, it is determined whether the hit was a run or an out. The player who scores more runs in the end wins the game, just as in baseball. The game offers players a great opportunity to think about the strategy in baseball, giving the second best thing to playing the actual game.


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