Ah, Father's Day. The day you're supposed to force feed Dad bacon, give him a tie/golf clubs/power tools, and wait in line at a chain restaurant to feed steak... wrapped in bacon.
I'm not that conventional type of guy. For starters, I have the fortune of my wife needing to work the last five of the holidays, so I get to play single Dad with the girls.
Every year, I try to keep our own traditions alive. First breakfast down the road at the gas station/convenience store/ice cream shop/diner (I'm more of a scrapple guy anyway). Then we break out our "normal" tea party with the good china and a menu of grape juice, Herr's Barbecue Chips, and Tastycakes. After that I banish them to the family room for a half hour of TV while I set up the annual game.
Three modifications this year. After breakfast, we hit the FLGS and I got... an iced tea, and the girls got random Heroclix. We also added cranberry juice to the menu (my six-year old, Maja's, new favorite) Finally, we're fostering six-week old puppies for a few more weeks, so I sent the kids to play with and feed them while I set up.
This year's game reflects a change from the big, quirky, and exciting games of yore. The girls seemed to be interested in smaller games with fewer figures, so a skirmish game was in order. Maja is also big into everything about Ancient Egypt that she can get her hands on (She watched the entire BBC Egypt mini-series with the same excitement someone her age should have for new My Little Ponies... or Ninja Turtles. It's great! )
The game would be an amalgam of ideas I've stolen from everywhere, predominantly the gnomish treasure hunt game I played this past Cold Wars, the ever-evolving kids house rules I call TIARA, and my first attempt at using Savage Showdown mechanics, but not the playing cards.
Background: Three groups of treasure seekers are scouring the backwater for ruins of what a partial translation calls the "Shrine of Tu'lip," and a structure built in the *mumblemumblecoughcough* Dynasty of Egypt.
- Millie the Archaeologist (Gnomish Sidekick/Sedan). Run by Millie. A very resourceful, yet stubborn woman
- Lego Mi Eggolas the Elf (Gnomish Sidekick/Truck) Run by Me. Fame seeking Italian elf explorer.
- A German/Irish adventurer by the name of Fritz O'Lay, "The Mexican" (Gnomish Federale Sidekick/Truck) Run by Maja.
Using a streamlined version of the con rules, on the table were eight possible treasure area, labelled"T1" through "T8." There were eight additional markers, face down on the table with a corresponding number. Teams needed to race over to those markers, claim them, and then they could travel to the spot and dig up the treasure.
Once one person got hit four treasure spots, or the group hit six combined, it would be a race back to the bar and the end of the game. First person back would win an additional treasure.
Everyone had fun, Maja got to play with the Egypt stuff she painted/helped paint, and we have a great set-up for the next game, as the treasure hunters (Millie and the Mexican) drink, pack their things, and get the heck out of Dodge, before something comes over the hill.
|More hints than Blues Clues, More Treasure than Jack and the Neverland Pirates|
The first two turns were rough, but it was The Mexican who got the first hint/treasure combo. Treasures were on a random d8 roll, and only treasures 1-4 were unguarded.
|Maja: "Put in on my Mexican's back. He can carry anything."|
Millie narrowly missed me in a deliberate game of chicken, but my elf sent his gnome sidekick out to recover treasure #2
|"This picture will look great in The Times"|
Millie drove her car like a drunken cat, but uncovered the big prize, a sarcophagus with a mummy inside!
|"But it's Fathers Day, not Mummies Day?"|
Maja and I weaved around each other like Friday night traffic in New Jersey, until she took a good angle and rammed me from behind. Each car took damage, but I got the chance to drive off and away from the crazed Mexican.
Millie tried to cross the stream, but got stuck, so she jumped out of the driver's side and headed for the two clue at the far corner of the table. The sidekick manged to jump into the seat, get the car out of the water and into a decent postion.
|Run, Millie, Run!|
The Mexican reached another treasure, but this time a giant scorpion was inside!
|I killed it!|
Fear not, faithful readers, all The Mexican needed to do to stop the ongoing poison was reach the truck and spend an action the following turn using the Giant Scorpion anti-venom in the glove box. Maja did, however, get another treasure out of the deal.
Millie hoarded the two hits from the far side of the board, so I dove after the two left around me.
Fate was not pleasant that day, as I rolled an unfortunate 8 for treasure.
Gnome, reading Hieroglyphics "Wait, these don't stand for Tu'lips. This is the Shrine of Two Lips... of DEATH!!!"
(Cue skeleton horde and high priest/necromancer)
|I'm in a tight spot!|
The sidekicks weren't as powerful as heroes, but all were statistically superior to the skeletons. My guy even got to fight them one-on-one, despite being surrounded. Even though I got two, sheer numbers persevered and the sidekick fell.
I went dead last the next round, so I assumed Lego the Elf stalled the engine of the truck and couldn't get it restarted before the skeleton horde pulled him out of the truck and dispatched him.
|A zombie game with less rotting flesh!|
With Millie distracted by what distracts four-year-olds, it was up to Maja to race back to the bar with her spoils. She narrowly dodged two poorly cast spells from the necromancer and made it to the safe confines of the bar, and a drink of choice.
|Senor, what is that coming over the hill|