Charity Challenge 2021 - Week 4 Night 1

Al-RIGHT! Let’s get Week 4 started!

Welcome back to the Charity Challenge – Rachel and I are playing 5 weeks of board games to determine who wins the Charity Challenge for 2021. We’re raising money for CAMH and if you’d like to donate you can do so here.

Heading into week 4 we’ve hit our fund raising goal, landing at $640 of our $600 goal. In the competition Rachel is trailing and I’m up 2 weeks to 1. If I win this week I’ve won, if Rachel manages a fight back we go to week five to determine the winner. Let’s go…

The Choice

I’m feeling confident to start the week. I want to pick something fresh that we’ll enjoy playing, but something I’ve got a bit of an edge with. I’ve decided to pick a game we both enjoy that I’ve got a few more plays in with. Tonight we’ll play Cascadia!

The Game

Cascadia is a fairly straight forward game, but there’s a few moving pieces, and I’ll leave it to the official description from to explain the game:

Cascadia is a puzzly tile-laying and token-drafting game featuring the habitats and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest.

In the game, you take turns building out your own terrain area and populating it with wildlife. You start with three hexagonal habitat tiles (with five types of habitat in the game), and on a turn you choose a new habitat tile that’s paired with a wildlife token, then place that tile next to your other ones and place the wildlife token on an appropriate habitat. (Each tile depicts 1-3 types of wildlife from the five types in the game, and you can place at most one tile on a habitat.) Four tiles are on display, with each tile being paired at random with a wildlife token, so you must make the best of what’s available — unless you have a nature token to spend so that you can pick your choice of each item.

Ideally you can place habitat tiles to create matching terrain that reduces fragmentation and creates wildlife corridors, mostly because you score for the largest area of each type of habitat at game’s end, with a bonus if your group is larger than each other player’s. At the same time, you want to place wildlife tokens so that you can maximize the number of points scored by them, with the wildlife goals being determined at random by one of the three scoring cards for each type of wildlife. Maybe hawks want to be separate from other hawks, while foxes want lots of different animals surrounding them and bears want to be in pairs. Can you make it happen?

If you want to see how the game is played (I’d highly recommend this as a fun puzzly game for any families!) check out this video.

The Result

Oh man. I got about half way through this game and just had a bad feeling. The draws out of the bag of the animals to place was really killing us – both of us were struggling to get the animals we needed but Rachel seemed to be getting a little luckier getting the things she needed. As we counted up the scores neither one of us was confident.

When it was all tallied we had 64 to 63………….. Rachel had won by edging me out in a few of the animal groupings. Ouch! I guess I’ll have to try again tomorrow to push forward this week.

What a great, fun start to the week!