Family Economy

Family Economy

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Writer_smallerFamily Economy

I got Agricola over Christmas, but haven’t had the opportunity to play it yet. Not for the usual reasons, though – the usual reasons in our case being not enough time to play board games. The reason we haven’t got Agricola to the table is too many other board games. Two sides of the same coin, perhaps.

Anyway, new games piled up a little over Christmas, and that was on top of an already substantial shelf of shame, alongside a few friends new to the hobby with their own growing collection of games to try. All of which are of course amazing things, and as good a reason as you could want to not have played a game. What has been taking up our time is Star Realms, 7 Wonders, Pandemic: The Cure, Skull, Pandemic Legacy, Scythe, Splendor, and Movable Type.

We both work full time as well as making the comic, and are involved in other comic projects, so actual free time is rare. We have been trying for a long time to put aside more time to play games, and so far this year we seem to have been managing our time better, meaning more board games for us. The Kickstarter for Tabletop Cork was a huge success, meaning in the coming months, we should have a local board game cafe. What this means is a social hub for playing board games, and access to even more board games. All told, 2017 is looking like a good year for board games.

Regarding the website, we have long talked about overhauling the website. We haven’t been happy with it for years, and we wanted to completely change it. After more than a year of never finding the time for this, we have started down a different path, which is making small, incremental changes over this year. Tasks we can manage in a small amount of time, which, when added together, should make the site a much more pleasant experience.

We have started by changing our hosting package, so you should now find the site much quicker to load, something we are really happy about. We will be making more back end changes for a while, but hopefully within a few months you will start to see the difference on the front end as well.

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for improvements, please do let us know. All the changes will be geared towards making the site a better experience for our readers, so let us know what you want!

11 Comments on Family Economy
  • Dexter Ó Thuithear

    Oh man, my shelf of shame is horrendous. I think the primary reason is a lot of the games I really want to try, and therefore buy in anticipation of doing so, are games my better half either has no interest in playing (Manhatten Project is chief offender here), are too long for a spontaneous game (Guards! Guards! especially, since it was bought to address the aforementioned issue), or simply require more than two players.
    With the latter issue, the problem isn’t so much having more than just ourselves for a game – friends/family are regularly over and games broken out – but that generally when people are over, we end up falling back on the same core of games for the casual ones (Cards Against Humanity, Pandemic, Tsuro, etc). With the exception of one of my friends (who calls over specifically for X-wing or Armada, despite our constant plans to play things like 1st And Goal instead), everyone else are very much paddling in the shallow end of the board gaming pool. It’s bit rough to ask them to take a high dive off the deep end with a worker placement eurogame about stockpiling nuclear weapons, when you can guarantee their fun with Star Fluxx or Superfight.

    I’ll figure it out eventually. Alhambra has been sitting on the shelf for 4 years now. Never once played. We did say at Christmas that we’d make a point of sitting down together once a week and playing at least one game, even if it was something we played a fair bit anyway, just to get back to the rhythm of it. Of course, that’s yet to happen…

    Nice to see the pick up on Star Realms though! I’ve been preaching about that since trying it first. I’m not usually one for deck builders, but that’s such and quick, clever, and engaging little game.

    • I really like deck builders, and Star Realms might be top of that category for me. So much variety and thought goes into every single game of it, yet it plays so quickly, and it’s so damn cheap. Even with the expansions it comes in well under the cost of almost any other deck builder.
      We are also getting to the point now where our shelf of shame has titles on it for several years, which seems ridiculous, but at times it also seems that the longer something has been on that shelf the harder it is to actually bring ourselves to play it.
      By the way, now I’m watching video reviews of 1st and Goal (which I had never heard of) and I’m really liking the look of it …

      • Dexter Ó Thuithear

        Haha have I accidentally added to the shelf of shame? 1st and Goal is really clever. It’s not so deep that someone not au-fait with American football wouldn’t understand, but at the same time deep enough for fans to be using their formation knowledge to try to outwit their opponents defence. The play selection phase ends up being a bit like a bluff game, in a good way.
        There’s a bunch of expansions for it with teams that have specific strengths represented by custom dice, but I haven’t gotten any of those yet. If I actually played it even semi regularly, I probably would though, because those dice are *hefty*. If you were losing really badly, you could just chuck one at your opponent and knock them out.

        For now, I have to be content with playing Star Realms on my phone to get my fix…

        • You may have, yeah. I do like American Football, as does Aileen, and I think we have enough friends who fall into both board games and football in the hobby Venn diagram to warrant the purchase. I think.
          I find Star Realms a bit small on my phone, and don’t have a tablet. Maybe that’s for the best, though, as I could imagine it sucking a whole lot of my time if I did play it digitally.

          • Dexter Ó Thuithear

            It’s light enough that anyone could play, but people with even a vague interest in the sport seem to be big fans of it. The complexity comes with knowing how plays can trade off against an unexpecting defence. Going for a long pass on 3rd and 2, chancing the run on a 1st and 10, running a corner blitz on your own 20.
            And to add extra realism, the referees make terrible calls sometimes…

  • Brian Whelan

    Got Agricola too. Tried to play it but rules are incredibly difficult to follow. I’ve downloaded an explanation, and will give it another go when I have time. Got carcasonne also. Great to play with the kids and Codenames, need a bigger group for this.

    • Carcasonne is great. We haven’t played that in a while, but just downloaded the app, so hoping to get sneaky games in during the day while we are at our respective workplaces. Codenames is always great as well. It works surprisingly well with even 4 players, though. Better with more, but definitely still works at that number.

  • wr00t

    Increase in loading speed is nice. I have noticed this before that it took a while to load new post 🙂

    • It has been an issue for a while, we are very happy to have it fixed at last.

  • Rose the Hedgehog

    We just caught up on the last 2 months of comics. (Ah, life.) When you pointed out the improvement in speed, I had a “Yeah! It wasn’t so painful this time!!”

    One other improvement you could make is to add an option to zoom in on the comic. I specifically have this website magnified so that I can more easily read the comic and see all the art details on my laptop. (I have it take up almost the entire screen.)

    • Glad it made a difference, and thanks for the zooming suggestion, we will have a look into it.