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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.

 




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