On Sunday, Sean and I visited our friends Brian and Leigh, who are staying at a condo on Lake Whatcom while they wait for their brand-new Airstream trailer to be ready next month. Then they will set off to live life on the road! They blog about their adventures and post gorgeous photos at Aluminarium
Leigh with her camera at Whatcom Falls
We will miss having Brian and Leigh living nearby! They have been fun gaming buddies over the past few years. We have had fun playing games with them, including Pandemic, Carcassonne, Alhambra, Time’s Up! Title Recall!, Ticket to Ride, Guillotine, Incan Gold, Dixit, Dominion, and so many more! They are always up for learning a new game. We managed to squeeze in a couple of final games on Sunday.
Brian, Lily, and Sean
Sean and Leigh on the bridge at Whatcom Falls
First, though, they took us and Lily on a beautiful walk through Whatcom Falls park to see Whatcom Falls. We also checked out the Steelhead trout fish hatchery.
There was a bridge made of materials from an old building, and a chute of rushing water that looked like it would make an awesome water slide if not for the big barrier at the bottom.
Cool water chute that looked like a water slide
Sean at Whatcom Falls
After the walk, they fed us some yummy wine and cheese while we played a couple of games. First, Sean and Brian teamed up against Leigh and me in a game of Hive.
Hive game as the challenge increases
Hive is a hot game for me lately–I’ve already done a post
featuring it just in the last few weeks!
Leigh makes a move
The boys won by just one move! We thought Brian and Leigh would like Hive because it’s a good compact game for playing in a trailer or outdoors, and they did like it! How can you not fall in love with that adorable travel bag, I ask you.
Hive portable bag
White wins--black queen is surrounded
Then we played For Sale, a real estate auction and selling card game. This is one of my fairly recent purchases. I had played it just once before with coworkers, so Sean, Brian, and Leigh were all playing for the first time. The rulebook is very short and easy to understand, and it was very easy to explain the game to them. Everybody got the hang of it right away and started bidding on properties up for auction.
The For Sale game box
In the first phase of the game, each player got $14,000 to spend over 7 rounds of auctioning. There were 30 properties available, with varying values from 1 to 30. The lower valued properties include a cardboard box, an outhouse, a dog house, etc. Then they get a little more valuable when you move into tents, RVs, and shacks. Eventually they become fancy houses, apartment buildings, and castles. The lowest valued property, a cardboard box, is valued at 1, while the highest is 30–a space station.
Examples of the real estate property cards in For Sale
Each round, four properties were up for auction, and we each chose to bid or pass. Passing meant taking the lowest valued property up for auction and paying nothing or else half of whatever $ you bid earlier (if you made a bid earlier). There is definitely some element of intimidating one another and seeing how far others will go in the auction, because whoever bids the highest amount without being outbid must pay full price and take the highest valued property. Everyone else gets to pay half of whatever they bid and take the corresponding property for that bid.
What you get in the For Sale box--two decks of cards and money tokens
Eventually, we each had a collection of real estate with varying values. I had some very nice houses along with some total crap, including a dog house. In the second phase, we went through the process of selling off those properties for cash. There were rounds of selling until all properties were sold. Each round, there were four checks visible. Each of us secretly selected a property from our collection and put it face down in front of us. Then we flipped them over simultaneously and took the checks we deserved. The person who played the highest valued property that round took whatever the highest check available was, and the lowest property got the lowest, and so on. That meant that in a round where all the checks were pretty decent, you had the chance to get some good money even for a total dump. But some of us also were unfortunate enough to get $0 checks for nice houses!
Four checks available for selling properties
In the end, Sean came out ahead with his impressive real estate portfolio and ability to sell at the right moments! But we all had a good time. For Sale is a nice quick and compact card game. It’s too bad that it requires 4-6 people to be worth playing. But it’s a great choice for a simple, quick, and yet strategic card game experience. It’s very interactive and can be pretty exciting.