Charity Challenge Night 1 - Welcome to...

Welcome, welcome, welcome to Night 1 of the charity challenge!  In case this is your first time checking out this blog and are wondering what the heck is going on here you might want to start on our charity challenge page over here.

The quick version is this:  We (Rachel and I) are raising money and awareness for Toronto’s Sick Kids hospital.  For an entire month we will play games every day in a competition that’s one part household championship and one part charity battle.  If you’d like to learn more or you’d like to donate please visit our Extra Life donation page.

The Choice

So excited to be here at Night 1 and getting back to the competition.  I lost last year so I get to pick the first game to get us started!  I figured I would start us off on a breezy note so I’ve selected “Welcome to…”, it also very much works for the opening game of the charity challenge.

The Game

“Welcome to…” is what’s called a Roll and Write game (Mr Roland Write to you).  For non hobby gamers the easiest example of a roll and write is Yahtzee.  You roll some dice, you write down some results and there’s some scoring mechanism that decides the game.  Welcome to… flips the dice based roll and write model on its head.  Instead of dice there’s a deck of cards that’s split in to three decks.  The three decks have numbers that players will simultaneously choose a number and ability that they will write down on their piece of paper.  What are you doing on this piece of paper?  Building a housing development of course!

welcome to box cover

The number on the cards represent a unit number in your development.  You need to build your units in ascending order and that’s the puzzle.  There are cards ranging in value from 1 to 15, so the first neighbourhood slot is easy enough, there’s only 10 slots, so you can mess up 5 times without causing yourself trouble.  BUT your third neighbourhood has 12 slots, so the margin for error gets much tighter.  Should you skip 8 to put a 7 beside your 9?  Careful now.

There’s a range of abilities that alter the game and impact scoring and if you’d like to learn more I strongly encourage you to check out this video.

Roll and Write games are a tonne of fun and Welcome to… is a perfect balance of thinky fun and breezy accessibility.

welcome to game board on the table

The Result

Rachel and I have only ever played this game once before and I crushed her.  There can be quite a few decisions to make given the different abilities and I don’t she got how they all interacted the first time that we played.  This time I think she was much more prepared.

Now before we get too far in it… let’s talk about her development’s name.  Each player gets to name their little housing development.  I tactfully named mine “You’re going to lose…” while Rachel named hers “Squirrel Guts”.  Why Squirrel Guts you asked?  Well… just before I sat down to play I came back in with the dog, it took a lot longer than expected and I was in a bit of a rage when I returned home.  Why?  Well Monty, our wonderful little pain in the arse Corgi, decided that he was going to find a squirrel corpse and I spent 15 minutes wrestling with him to get it off of him.  The result was gloves covered in, well, squirrel guts.  Well played Rachel, the rage was running deep, taking me off my game.

I thought I was doing well with Welcome to… honestly.  I was feeling confident right up until the moment Rachel claimed the first bonus objective.  I was no where near scoring anything and I didn’t really think Rachel was either.  I thought I had all the time in the world.  Nope, one down.   One of the ways the game ends is that the three scoring objectives are claimed.  I needed to get it in gear.

I managed to keep it fairly tight but in the end some tactical errors on my side cost me the game.  The game also ends if one player cannot place a house in their development three times.  Sadly that’s what happened to me.  In the end after the scores were tallied Rachel won 88 to 73.

I guess I’ll have to wait until Day 2 to get my campaign off to winning ways.