November 28, 2020Board Gaming Thoughts
Thoughts on Gaming: Heaven & Ale with Young Kids
Recently my wife and I have been trying some different methods to get in more board games together. With our province effectively shut down socially, there hasn't been a much in the way of gaming session opportunities. However, despite Elissa being on Maternity leave, and me working from home, it can be difficult to get a game in with three little kids under 5 vying for our attention as well.
As an experiment, we've started playing Heaven & Ale over the course of a couple days, with turns taken one at a time whenever we individually have a moment to come back to it. It works fairly well, I think in part because Heaven & Ale tends to be fairly tactical. You have long term strategies, but turn to turn you are restricted to a fairly limited decision. Which tile do you take next, and where do you put it? This method probably wouldn't work as well with games that were you have to keep your long term strategy firmly in mind at all times.
So far we've managed to play 1.5 games in this way (mid-way through our second play) and so far the kids haven't messed it up for us either. (Which is a bit surprising.) Our first game we actually did pretty well, with both us getting all our resources onto the track.
Have you ever played Heaven and Ale? I really like it personally. I like the artwork, and enjoy the puzzle-y gameplay. I feel like every decision has weight and consequences, and you rarely can achieve the 'perfect combo'. This in some ways is a strength. While a perfect combo is really satisfying, it also makes you lock into analysis-paralysis as you stare into the void and try to calculate the most excellent outcome. I feel that Heaven and Ale avoids that be forcing you instead to realize that, while you could get a better result later, this usually means you will lose out in the long run.
Any suggestions for other games that would work in for two players over a series of days? We'd love ideas!