An Advent of Christmas Gaming

Christmas Advent Gaming Challenge

It’s so easy during the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, decorating, and so forth to forget what’s it’s all for: spending precious time with our loved ones in celebration. I’ve never had an Advent calendar or anything like it, but when I ran across the Advent of Christmas Gaming Challenge on Board Game Geek I was immediately intrigued and decided it was just the thing to get me focused on love and laughter amidst all the hustle and bustle of the season.

So, each day of Advent, I plan to play a game or two or three. To make it even more fun, Santa has provided a list of daily challenges. To track my progress, I’ll be posting here and on Board Game Geek.

You can join in on the fun, too! Just copy or print out this list or make up your own, then take a break from the hustle and bustle every day and play a game. Do it every day until Christmas. And of course, you must play on Christmas, too!

To help everyone get into the holiday spirit, Santa has provided this list of daily challenges:

Success!Day 1: Play one of your favorite games. Let’s get this challenge going with a smile!
Game(s) Played: Castles of Burgundy. Close game with my husband, Tim. I won 196 to 191. We played the 4th expansion Monastery boards as well as the 2nd exp and 5th Pleasure Gardens. Really quick game with only 2 players. 

Success!Day 2: Play a game that has at least one die (that would be the singular of dice not one player dying!)
Game(s) Played: Qwixx x2 with Chris, Roz and Tim. x2 (Has 6 dice.) 

Success!Day 3: Play a game that has an animal in it…
Game(s) Played: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small with Tim. He creamed me: stole the farm expansion right out from under me. Animals in game: horses, cattle, pigs and sheep.

Success!Day 4: Play a game you have not played before.
Game(s) Played: Dice City with Roz and Dirk.

Success!Day 5: Post the name of the game that you most want from Santa (he is listening).
Santa, I’d really love to receive Castles of Mad King Ludwig and the Secrets Expansion for Christmas.
Game(s) Played: Castles of Burgundy

Success!Day 6: Play the oldest game in your collection (Santa loves old school).
Game(s) Played:  Probe
I went with “the game in my collection the longest” interpretation of today’s challenge. Probe is essentially Hangman with fancy letter cards and racks. This and Scrabble are the only games I own from my childhood, not that we had very many. We always had several decks of cards and played a lot of card games, though. I found some old scoresheets in the box. It was fun to review the scores of games I played with my family and friends years ago, sort of a time capsule. I put our scores in the box and dated it for future viewing. Tim’s word was “regulation”, mine was “adventuring”.
Senet
We decided to cover both interpretations! I think Senet may even predate Go and Chess. It was a lot more fun than Probe. We had an exciting race from start to finish!

Success!Day 7: Play Christmas music while you game.
Game(s) Played:  On the Underground
Love this game! Hardly ever get to play it, though. It was a close game all the way with me mostly leading, then Tim pulled ahead right at then end and beat me by 5 points. When we were moving the passenger across red and green one turn, I remembered the Christmas music. It then accompanied the rest of our play.

Success!Day 8: Drink your favorite holiday beverage while you play.
Game(s) Played: Everquest
Tim and I did the Holiday Quest to save Santog who was under the Grinnich’s awful spell. Turned out Grinnich just wanted a present: a bright and shiny red sled. We SAVED CHRISTMAS! When Santog gets back, we’re supposed to visit him and he’ll make our Christmas stockings bigger. Our holiday drink was Hot Cocoa – our characters drank it, too. We were going to do Hot Buttered Rum, but lacked a few ingredients: vanilla ice cream and butter.

Success!Day 9: Play a game of dots and boxes, winner chooses first game played.
Game(s) Played: Pagoda
This was our first play and we played 2 games. Both games Tim beat me by 1 point! We leap frogged on the score track the whole game. I love it when the scores are that close. I could not remember how to play dots and boxes, so we did not complete that part of the challenge.

Success!Day 10: Play a dexterity game…three penny hockey is an option if you don’t own one.
Game(s) Played:  Tier auf Tier
John, Tim and me.

Success!Day 11: Post a picture of you and the game you play tonight.
Game(s) Played:  Age of Empires III
Chris, Tim, me.

Success!Day 12: Filler day – play your favorite filler(s).
Game(s) Played:  Red7
Jason, Tim and I played 2 games: 1 regular, and 1 with the scoring option. Earlier in the day I taught Dice City to Chris, John and Matt. Fun day.

Success!Day 13: Play a game you received for Christmas last year.
Game(s) Played:  Can’t Stop
A game I gave Tim for Christmas last year. We played thrice. I wanted to play again… it’s the nature of the game, but we had chores to do.

Success!Day 14: Open a door for someone today.
Game(s) Played:   Stone Age
Tim and I. Just finished. Some friends took us out to dinner to celebrate the completion of a project. I opened doors for Mary Ann. 🙂 Beat the guys to it.

Success!Day 15: Give someone a hug today.
Game(s) Played:  Colorpop x2 and Can’t Stop x4
Tim and I. Too bad today wasn’t filler game day. 🙂 Pink rules today in Colorpop!!!

Success!Day 16: Share holiday treats with your gaming guests while you game.
Game(s) Played:  Hanabi
No guests to share holiday treats with. Stayed home sick. Tim and I got a last-minute game of Hanabi in, though, on Board Game Arena.

Success!Day 17: Share your favorite pastime on the list (not including gaming).
My favorite pastimes besides gaming are: reading, watching movies and the occasional craft project.
Game(s) Played: Hanabi x3, Can’t Stop x3 and Stone Age.
Tim was doing Christmas quests on Everquest, so I went online on Board Game Arena, made some new friends and played a few games.

Success!Day 18: The person with the best Star Wars impersonation goes first all night long. (Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens at theaters!)
Game(s) Played:  Jaipur
Tonight we had Book Club, then came home, and wrapped packages: Tim orders to mail tomorrow, me Christmas presents. We just managed to fit in a game of Jaipur, which turned into 3 games. We each won one, so had to play a rubber. Tim won. Now to bed! I’m beat and have to work tomorrow. I’ll be teaching Dice City in the afternoon, so I best dress appropriately to meet the challenge.

Success!Day 19: Wear something Christmasy while gaming.

Tina in Christmas Attire

Tina in Christmas Attire

Game(s) Played:  Dice City (partial), Letters to Santa and Pandemic
Taught Dice City and played a few rounds, then gave up my seat so another player could try it out and my husband could play a whole game. Then got to play the super cute Letters to Santa. Loved it. For some reason, I enjoyed it more than Love Letter. Later taught Pandemic. Close game, we almost pulled it off despite a really rough start with an Epidemic in the first turn that resulted in a double outbreak!

I totally met the Christmasy attire challenge: red pants, white shirt, red scarf, snowman pin, and red reindeer antlers with bells on them! My friend took a picture which I’ll post along with the earlier post challenge picture as soon as I figure how to get it off my phone and onto BGG. All in all a really fun day – at work!

Success!Day 20: Roll a D6… result 1 = Play a Euro, 2 = Play a thematic game, 3 = Play a dice game, 4 = Play a card game, 5 = Play a kid’s cooperative game, 6 = Play a dexterity game .
Roll: 4, Game Played: Tichu x3
Roll: 5, Game Played: Yggdrasil
Roll: 1, Game Played: Murano
We don’t have any kid’s games at home, so we swapped that option for a co-op game. Nice afternoon, evening and night of gaming after we got presents wrapped and other stuff done.

Success!Day 21: Start player wears a Santa hat.
Game(s) Played:  Everquest
Tim and I decided to do some Christmas quests. We donned our Santa hats and got to work.

Success!Day 22: Count and post how many different games you have played during this challenge.
Number of games played during the 2015 Advent Challenge: 40 (counting today)
Game(s) Played: Xactika
Played with Tim and Chris. Finally got an “X” game play and have now completed my Hardcore Challenge #3 for the Play 100 Different Games in 2015 Challenge. Only need to play 3 more different games to have played 200.

Success!Day 23: Play a game that you have not yet played in December.
Game(s) Played: Ingenious (1st play this year), Why First? (1st play ever), Hanabi.
Chris and John dropped by the store, so we had a nice afternoon of gaming.

Success!Day 24: Wish your family a Merry Christmas and congrats on making it this far!
Game(s) Played: Letters to Santa
My sister arrived today. After dinner we each opened one present (Christmas Eve tradition in our family). I received Letter to Santa! So we played a few games.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Note: I did successfully complete my challenge. However, I totally failed to report my progress here, though I did keep the Board Game Geek Challenge List up-to-date. In case anyone is interested, I’m updating the list above to match my report on BGG.