June 17, 2014

A Different Kind of Tabletop Gaming

Today I come to regale you with tales of something very different than my normal posts, but still technically tabletop games! This time I'm going to be talking about one of my favourite sports: HOCKEY.

Part 1)

My workmates and I sometimes get together during Friday lunch hours to play card or board games.With the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs in full swing my brain was most definitely in 'hockey mode' so I suggested we play a game of Big League Hockey Manager, with the included "Stanley Cup" expansion!

This game is tough to play in an hour, but we did our best to crank through it. Knowing we were limited in time we played to three match wins rather than five. This was the first time we had used the expansion and everyone agreed that it added a lot to the game.

Konrad and Sonja ended up as the two finalists, playing Pittsburgh and San Jose respectively. The Penguins pulled out to an early 3-0 series lead, but some savvy coaching of the Sharks saw them make a series of it when they won the next three games. Tied 3-3 Sonja's Sharks weren't able to keep the win streak going and they ended up losing in game seven in overtime. Konrad celebrated by lofting the cup while Sonja weeps in mournful sadness.

Part 2)

A few weekends back I was told about a new toy store that was opening up. They had a promotion during their opening weekend where you could get 25% off of any one item you purchased, so we went to check it out.

The store was quite busy and had a good selection of boys and girls toys, ranging from dress up and puzzles all the way through science and magic kits. We spent a good half hour and were on our way out, but something caught my eye...

I had never heard of Stiga Stanley Cup Hockey before.  As a kid I had always wanted a tabletop hockey game, but never had one. The big tabletop game box included two Canadian NHL teams: the Montreal Canadiens (in white) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (in blue).

Also included in the box are all the accessories like the score trackers, two pucks and some plexiglass for the ends of the ice. The board was pretty easy to put together and I have to say that it looks great all assembled. My biggest concern with it is simply: where the heck do I put it?! It certainly isn't going to fit back in the original box.

The store also had some additional teams and the players are fully interchangeable so I bought the Calgary Flames and the Boston Bruins. I would have grabbed an Edmonton Oilers team rather than Boston, if they'd had one, so that I could play out the "Battle of Alberta." Instead I had to settle for the Flames vs. the Habs so that I can replay the '89 Cup Finals.  Finally I added a set of replacement pucks, just in case (the cat makes off with it at some point).

I haven't had a chance to play a proper game yet but we did give it a brief go on Sunday afternoon and it was loads of fun. The real hockey season might be over, but the playoffs at my house are just getting started!

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