My guests were not the gaming type, but that doesn't mean I couldn't sneak in a little.
First of all, I wanted to try playing Tichu with Tal, only to discover that it is from 3 to 10 players (and other than the 6 player variant of the standard game, the other versions look awful). One would think that you could play two player Tichu similar to the way you play Honeymoon Bridge.
So we played 24/7. One thing about the game: There's little setup, it's easy to teach, and it plays quickly.
We later tried to play El Caballero. It is a game that I've never been able to finish before because something always comes up. Another player arrives, or so on. This time I realized why. It's really not any better than Carcassone. In fact, Carcassonne is better. And the later versions of Carcassonne are probably even better yet. Oh well. Anyone want to trade Carcassonne the City for El Caballero?
It's also a member of the "the box is 2.5 times bigger than it ought to be" club.
Another of my Menorah game has been claimed. I'm pleased. I'm just hoping someone can convince someone to finally invest in making a proper version. I promise all people who purchase the mock-up version a discount on the real thing, if it ever sees print.
A blog called More Than a Living uses the idea of changing and creating variants for board games as an important skill for applying to the rest of our lives in Same Board, Different Game. One reason why electronic games are not going to be as good as physical analog games, at least until they become infinitely malleable.
CIVIO is a rummy game whose cards reflect issues of civil rights, supreme court decisions, and related concepts.
Sandy Antunes in his weekly column on RPG.net talks about how parents need to teach games and not just throw them at their kids, and also gives a rummy variant for Apples to Apples.