Showing posts with label games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label games. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Axis & Allies 2022


The annual Black Friday Axis & Allies WW2 game was a success yesterday. This is something the family does annually and each year we find new strategies as we change countries. This year I was responsible for Japan. 

Japan is in a tough position in the game in that it has to keep the U.S. out of the Pacific and put pressure on Russia to help the Axis ally, Germany. I successfully sent the U.S. and British carrier battle groups to the bottom of the ocean on three major occasions and was beginning to pressure Russia by clearing China. We ended the game so we could watch the USA vs England World Cup match. My ally, who was managing both Germany and Italy was doing a great job as well. 

When we ended the game, we determined that the game was still even with advantage to the Axis.

Actually, in thinking back, the World Cup match ended much the same way--even with advantage U.S.

-- Bob Doan, Odenton, MD

Saturday, November 27, 2021

History was Validated

Axis and Allies 1942 Edition
Odenton, MD
November 26, 2021

 The annual family Axis and Allies game was conducted yesterday complete with adult beverages and Thanksgiving Day leftovers. We gathered to validate or change history with respect to the outcome of World War II.

History was validated. The Allies overcame serious coordinated Axis campaign that saw the Italians conquer Africa, the Japanese achieve naval superiority, for a while, in the Pacific, and the Germans pay a bloody price for the same real estate on multiple occasions both on the Eastern and Western Fronts. In the end the Allies economic power overcame the Axis campaign and the world was saved from authoritarian and repressive rule once again.  

There were some hard lessons learned. The Japanese Alaska Campaign was an abysmal failure. It separated the fleet and ultimately cost Japan its superiority in the Pacific while also slowing the Japanese Siberian Campaign to defeat the Soviet Union and save Germany. Leaving China to China was a good approach, but I didn't commit to it early enough. And transports, transports, transports are the key to victory along with a destroyer or two.

The highlight of the game this year was participation by all of the grandsons, at least for a while. But when the game averages one hour per round--it gets a bit long.

Our holiday would not be complete without the recreating World War II--and so, after 8 hours of play when the final surrender occurred, everyone knew that it had been a very close game and the Axis had probably come too close to winning.

We will try again next year!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 24, 2018

From the Battle Room

It was a long Black Friday as WW2 was reenacted beginning during the Spring of 1942. We have a number of different versions of Axis & Allies and it is always a surprise which version we are going to play.

The Axis definitely had the advantage with Russia on the ropes and the US struggling to get into the fight.

The Board When We Broke to Watch the Golf Match
But with each passing round the Allies began to gain ground and when the game was paused so that we could watch Tiger and Phil, the situation on the ground was beginning to turn in favor of the Allies. The US was about to eradicate the Japanese navy and Russia was clinging to the faint hope of rescue by the UK.

It was a classic Black Friday game. This year, for the first time, Ethan joined and wound up playing Japan. I was saddled again with Russia--a tough way to start since Russia is in the middle of the action. The Caucuses and Karelia saw most of the action on the Eastern Front.

The winner?

Well the game isn't over. It will have to be continued later. We stopped after about 6 hours of solid play. We took pictures of the board so that we could set everything up and finish the struggle.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pick Up Stix

I remember playing a game, during my youth, called Pick up Stix

Yes, the name was intriguingly misspelled! 

I remember that, although I wasn't sure until I found the image on the internet to confirm it. 

I remember the cardboard tube that held the sticks used in the game and how the challenge was finding and retrieving sticks that had been put down in a bundle without moving any other stick.

It was a simple game in theory, but hard to complete.

Spaghetti on the Floor
Last evening, I had the opportunity to play the game for real. Chris and I were making a new dish with pasta and I was in charge of cooking the spaghetti. I had no problem getting the water boiling, but during the intervening time before adding the spaghetti I was helping Chris prepare the remainder of the dish. 

I forgot that the box of spaghetti was already open and picked up the closed end to open it, whereupon all of the spaghetti fell out and onto the floor.

The scene was funny in its simplicity and mess on the floor. 

Chris was not amused, but, hey, it happens. Fortunately we had an unopened box of spaghetti in the pantry and so there was no need for an emergency run to the store for more.

I find it is almost more fun to laugh at myself than to laugh with someone else. 

And I was immediately reminded of the game Pick up Stix. 

In the end, the pasta dish was awesome, even after the short delay to clean the kitchen floor.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Axis & Allies 2016

Axis & Allies Being Played
The family tradition was revived again yesterday. While the women of the family braved the crowds of the Black Friday shopping melee, the guys gathered around a dining room table and replayed World War II using one of the versions of the game Axis & Allies. 

There are a different versions of the game and we own and have played most of them. Black Friday is our once per year "guy day" spent trying to recreate history. 

This year we had a new player which was exciting because it reminded all of us how complex the game was the first time we played. Although we played for 8 hours, the game was called a draw because evening activities were about to begin. I fully believe that the Allies would be the eventual winners.

It is a Black Friday tradition! It brings the guys in the family together while the women face the crowds and the stores. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pokemon-Go Rocks

I am hooked on this game.

I have been able to kill a lot of dead time by chasing and capturing Pokemon. 

It was fun to play in the airports while on vacation. It was fun to play in a restaurant last evening while waiting for the other couple to join us. 

The game has brought my family closer together because so many of us are playing it. We even went out as a group the other day looking for Pokemon and conquering two gyms. 

Even while the evening thunderstorms were crashing around us and the television went out, we played the game.

It is a great diversion. It has provided something to do other than watching the Orioles lose, listen to the political pundits, or even watching the Olympics.

Tonight, I leveled up to level 13!

I caught four new creatures (Pokemon) and generally had a great time.

Keep the Pokemon coming!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Attack of the Drones

One of my favorite toys from this Christmas is my drone.

I have been learning how to fly it while also checking out the legalities of flying a drone in my area. Since my drone weighs in at only 4.2 ounces, it is exempt from the new federal registration requirements which apply if it weighed more than 9 ounces (or 255 grams). 

I have been learning how to fly it and I found it works better outside where small gyrations in the flight do not seem to be as evident as in the house cashing into the Christmas Tree or someone.

Look Who is Flying!
I am impressed with its resilience. It has taken a beating and come through the learning to fly process pretty well. 

I have managed to leave it hanging in more than one tree, sadly, but I have some long painting poles and a ladder so it has been rescued each time.

Around the Yard
The drone has an easy but sophisticated flight control system primarily because it also has a camera on it. I finally felt comfortable enough with the drone yesterday that I snapped a few images with it around the yard.

I need to work on stabilizing my flight a bit more when I take images--but it is a lot of fun to think that I am controlling my own reconnaissance platform. It also can take video. I will work on some of that today. I really need a larger SD card for that, however, as it fills up quickly.

I guess I will just continue to drone along.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Joy of Saturdays

When asked, I often say that Saturday is my favorite day of the week.

I enjoy the ability to plan my own day and accomplish anything, or nothing, as choose. It is freeing.

Until yesterday--it was the Saturday with too much to do!

Mike and Jim and some of the Pirates before the parade
It began innocuously enough with my morning interface with my computer to write my blog. It was fun taking the image of the deer in the yard and relaxing with my coffee for a few minutes.

And then the day really began.

The was the opening day parade for the Jax's baseball team, the Pirates, which began at 8:30. Depart the house at 8:30 so as not to be late. 

That ended about 9:30 and then it was back to the house to get some of the springtime chores accomplished. I did get my first lawn mowing of the season accomplished! 
Ethan after LAX

But wait! There is always more to do. By 12:45, I was back on the sports fields watching Ethan and the GORC Wildcats play lacrosse. It was quite a match which GORC won 8-5. Ethan nearly had his first score of the season as an attacker--which was pretty exciting. 

Then it was back to the house--remember it is about 20-25 minutes each way from Odenton, where the games are played, to the house. 

I had time to accomplish more projects and to relax a bit. But, I had to be on the baseball field at 5PM for the Pirates opening day game! Although the Pirates lost, it was a lot of fun seeing how the boys had advanced and how they are coming together as a team. Jax made some great plays in the field and there are a lot of positives that we are going to be building upon.

By the time Chris and I got back to the house, for the third time of the day, it was time to relax--for the evening. Dinner, some TV, and early to bed because we were both exhausted!

What a Saturday!

Let's do it again, next week!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Axis and Allies: WWI 1914 - Review

Wow. Axis and Allies WWI 1914 is a fantastic and complex game that captures the essence of World War I.

Three of us traveled 100 years into the past to recreate the situation in Europe at the beginning of 1914 and play out the Great War, or the War to end all wars. This is what we do while the women in our lives face the crushing Black Friday crowds.

Thankfully, the game was simplified from the actual history of the time. The instructions indicate that the game averages 8 hour to play. We played for 10 hours and still none of the national capitals had been captured. The game played out much like history records WWI--slow and plodding. But, each turn was important and critical to the overall outcome.
The Board for Axis and Allies WWI 1914

We played with three players and I have to admit, I was the central powers and the game requires constant attention. The first round through the 8 countries took us 3 hours--but much of that time was learning the rules and the differences between the classic Axis and Allies versions and this one.

After the first round, the game picked up in pace, but our efforts to achieve a decisive victory on the field of conflict were just as inept as that of the countries involved in the war. No country or alliance could gain the advantage and the game quickly descended into a war of attrition which the allies gradually began to win especially as the U.S. was allowed to entry the conflict on turn 4 and in this case the French developed into an effective fighting force.

The game is complex. Eight countries are represented. On the allies side there are the French Alliance, the British Empire, the Russian Empire, Italy, and the United States arrayed against Germany, the Ottoman Empire, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

My mistakes? As Germany, I thought that I could quickly take Moscow and before the French and British could organize and then I would be able to hold the lines while the Austrian-
hungarian armies pushed through Italy and then onto Paris. I didn't pay enough attention to the India connection of the British Empire and my Ottoman Empire forces were neutralized and I was in a defensive posture for the bulk of the game.

After 10 hours of play, Moscow was under attack and Constantinople and Berlin were under siege. The Austro-Hungarian Empire forces were finally making their way through the Alps to pressure the French and the Italians, but Ottomans and Germans were effectively neutralized. The Central Powers navies had been neutralized and the allies had unopposed command of the sea lines of communication. I conceded the game.

RECOMMENDATION: It was a great game and another fantastic Black Friday event! If you enjoy this type of historical simulation--this game is for you.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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