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Myles Nye

The Nerf war was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. Big thanks to Play Folk lifetime member Doug T. who did a great job captaining this amuse-bouche.

Tombstone Billy once again lived up to his nickname, bringing a formidable arsenal of Nerf toys and darts. Billy and his son Trey are crack shots with Nerf weaponry.

Also of note regarding Tombstone Billy: Elan Lee was in attendance, and Elan's game Tombstone Hold Em is where Billy got his nickname. I don't think we made that connection until after and didn't make the introduction. Elan brought 2 friends, Scott and Juls, and John Greg Gomez also attended, along with Dice and Dash back fresh from playing Ministry of Silence and Maclen, back from his trip to Israel.

Pan Pacific Park was a great place to stage both the games we played. The trees, hills, rocks, and stone pillars gave both games a distinct quality. Also the weather, while warm, was perfect and beautiful.

Round 1 of Nerf War was simply a last man standing. I hid behind a tree (hey, look, my shirt isn't the only thing that's yellow), but the last two standing were Doug and his wife Jackie. Doug won. He's good at Joust too.

For the second game, we split into teams, offense and defense. Offense had 4 minutes to get as many Nerf darts as possible into a bin. Defense would fight us off. Then we'd switch.

Being the second team on offense was a huge advantage, because we had a mark to beat and had an idea of how the game would play out. This was a lot of fun, and everyone was good sports.

Then we split into two teams to play Field Tower Defense. For the first few rounds, we had 7-8 people on each team, but the teams dwindled somewhat with each run. Still, the decisions about which ability to level up to made for some fun decisions. However, this time the star was really the course, which included 2 large rocks, a tree, and the usual twists and turns, culminating in the very same dolphin-sigil castle that we used last year. Strategies about how to block off the runners, and how to outrun the blockers, made for fun physical gamesmanship. The game was lopsided in favor of the Stallers, but then tipped heavily to Red Alert.

There's some videos I'll post soon via a link in the comments. This was a really fun summertime game. The only thing missing was, when we played last year, we ended with a spontaneous guacamole party at my place afterward and that didn't happen this time. Still, we got that castle real good.

Thanks again to Pete Vigeant for teaching us how to play this game.

(Photo taken last year)

(Photo taken last year)


Myles Nye

This was a great game day. In many ways a high water mark for the club. It's bittersweet of course because the first time we played this game it was to wish our friend Lily a happy sendoff to London, where she remains. We miss you Lily.

Here's an annotated list of the ingredients that made this event a success.

  • The destination. The Last Bookstore is where we played this game before, and it's incredible. What a great public space. So many nooks and crannies to do deals in and escape detection. This place is a treasure. Cheers to the team that keeps it great.
  • The turnout. I am so pleased looking at the photo above. There are Play Folk founding fathers like Dash, Maclen and Dice. Game luminary Jeff Watson's first Play Folk: he was in Canada when we began. Some first-timers and some players whose names I don't know, which is great because it means our club can grow, but bad because I had their names at one time and don't remember them now. Oh well it's my own fault for delaying so long writing the post, but also my own fault for allowing myself to grow older and more forgetful. (Edit: One of them is YuTing. Thanks Willa.) My friend Matt from my days at UCLA is there, and Chris B. also from UCLA whose contributions to the day were heroic, but more on that later. Also not pictured: Greg S., Wise Guys Events co-founder.
  • The cupcakes. I had some gift cards from Magnolia burning a hole in my pocket and, although I have a sweet tooth, Magnolia's cupcakes aren't only not the best in LA, they're not even the best on Third St. But when you can show up with a box of them to a great gathering of the people pictured above, it's just what the doctor ordered.
  • Willa's game. Willa designed an extra puzzle for us to use in last year's game, and we sat on it for a year and then we used it. It was a great intro puzzle for everyone to learn about the game and the bookstore, and the solution was quite delightful as I look back on it. Reading the numbered clues, even when you have all of them it doesn't seem like enough to come up with the answer, which references Caldecott Medals (that was my favorite part), but in fact you do have everything you need. And it seems a big group of players came up with the answer at about the same time, which is a really cool outcome. I don't remember who won. Who was it?
  • Chris's puzzle. Last year's game had a puzzle by me as the warm up and Chris's game was the main event. That was true this year as well. In a very short amount of time, with a tremendous burst of energy, Chris cooked up an immensely clever, site-specific game that was a treat to solve. Greg Snyder and Jeff Watson are the winners, which is a credit to their great brains. I used a lot of misdirection and withholding information, and I think I might have won if I hadn't gone to feed my meter partway through. That's a lie, I wasn't even close.
  • Here, in detail, is the content of Chris's game:

We played the second game entirely upstairs in the labyrinth. It got pretty hot up in there, but you couldn't ask for a more exciting, dynamic place to play.

Thanks to Chris and Willa, our game designers, and to all our great players, old and new, who came to play a new spin on an old favorite. Perhaps it will be an annual tradition, although I think next year we will play in the main branch of the public library, or perhaps at Book Soup.

What do you remember about this game? If you had played, what would you have done?


Full Contact Catan: Play Folk #15

Myles Nye

For this game we went back to a classic model that works: a run-around game on the great lawn of Grand Park in downtown LA. The weather was perfect and we had a huge turnout: about 22 people at the peak.

Look at this fun bunch! A park ranger took the photo for us.

Look at this fun bunch! A park ranger took the photo for us.

This game was incredibly easy to produce because Megan H., who wasn't present, gave us ALL the materials we needed to play the game. How convenient is that?! Thanks Megan. We'll get you your stuff back soon.

We had some 1st time players, as well as some of our die-hards, but also some Play Folk friends whom we hadn't seen for a while, including Vanessa "V-Goh" Goh, formerly of the UCLA Quidditch Team, who came out to show us a couple things about athleticism. She brought her two housemates, and the 3 of them all elected to be the Knight for the first round of the game. The Knight is the player who can tag people.

Jackie innovated the bag-as-pouch technique for collecting resource balls.

Jackie innovated the bag-as-pouch technique for collecting resource balls.

I explained at the start of the game that "full contact" is not exactly an accurate way to describe this game, although it does make for good marketing material. The Knight can two-handed tag people, but other than that, it's not that...

Never mind. We had a huge injury in the first minutes of the first game. Oh dear. Accidents happen when you're playing rough, but nobody was a bad sport. The bonked nose in question belonged to one of the eager housemates. Ice was applied and the game went on.

This game, which we got from Ludocity, works great. Our first version was played with 3 teams and a small field. After blue and green tied for first (the iron-clad grip Red used to have on victory is long gone), we re-set with four teams and a much bigger field.

I reffed the first game, but Jackie Riddle stepped in to ref the second one so I got to play. This game is really fun. There were many surprising deployments of Development Cards, and an 8-second round can seem both long and short. I will remember Erin Dean diving to tag me, and she got me with one hand on the way down, but once on the ground she tagged me with two hands. "That one was two handed!" she cried horizontally, and it was.

Power Puff Dudes!

Power Puff Dudes!

After a while, all the resources were in possessions of teams, but nobody had enough to buy what they needed and nobody would trade either. All the teams were all Knights. It was getting late, so we gave everyone truth serum regarding points on Development Cards, tallied up total VP, and awarded a winner. Slightly anti-climactic, but we all got out in time for our next appointments, and we had all run around until we were very nearly tuckered, which was the point after all.

Thanks to all who continue to keep the Play Folk dream alive.

The ranger told us to do a "silly one."

The ranger told us to do a "silly one."