Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Take A Moment

   When is the last time that you took a moment and enjoyed your surroundings?

   Maybe found some storm clouds cascading over a mountain.

   Sat back and looked for shapes in the clouds.

   Taken the time to stop and smell the flowers.

   Enjoyed a cloudy sunset.

   Noticed the sunbeams.

   Or sat out and watched the clouds roll in the night before a dessert storm.

   Remember, when things get hard or you are feeling down, take a moment to watch what is going on around you. Take a walk and listen. Really listen. You never know what you may hear. Birds singing, kids laughing, a ball bouncing.

   We have had a rough summer this year. It felt like one bad thing after another would happen. We didn't get much of a break. During everything that was going on, the one thing I would always try to take time to do, is take a moment in the evening and watch the sun set. Living in Las Vegas, we don't get many clear shots of the sunset. There is one mostly clear view if I go and stand in just the right spot. I am grateful for the many beautiful sunsets I've seen this summer and I'm even more grateful that my family is always excited to stop what they are doing, to go and watch the sunset with me.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Star Trek Five-Year Mission Review

   Star Trek: Five Year Mission is a cooperative game for three to seven people.

   Inside you will find an Enterprise and seven crew members from the original series.

   If you flip them over, you will find the Star Trek: The Next Generation Enterprise and seven crew members from that series.

   There is a pile of dice, a timer, Enterprise damage marker and a deck of cards with either blue, yellow or red alert on the back.

   To set up, Choose which series you want to play. Place the Enterprise in the middle of the table. Next, hand out the crew members. You can play with any combination of crew members, but it is recommended that you have at least a captain and the doctor.

   Each player gets two red, two blue and a yellow die. If you are playing with three or four players, place one die of each color in the dice pool (Enterprise) and place the Enterprise damage marker on the start space.

   Place the blue, yellow and red alert cards under the Enterprise. Place the Boldly Go card under the blue alert deck.

   Play starts with the Captain and then moves clockwise. To begin your turn, flip over any of the alert cards and place them under the corresponding deck.

   Next, if you have less than five dice at this time, take dice from the dice pool to add to your dice before rolling. This will happen after your first turn. You can choose any of the dice that are available in the dice pool. Roll your dice. If your dice match the dice on the card, place them on the card.

   Any remaining dice are then placed on your player mat on the action dice area. When moving your dice to your mat, make sure you do not change the number on the dice. You can use these dice on your following turn, re-rolling only the dice you choose. Each crew member also has a once per turn special ability.

   When a player completes a card, it is removed from the play area. If it has a yellow delta symbol, it is moved to the score pile. If it has a special one time use ability, the player that completed the card takes the card until needed. Once used, you may move it to the score or discard pile.

   The dice used to complete the card are moved into the dice pool for future use.

   Some cards will have arrows on the dice. In this picture, this means you have to use a red die that is a five or higher to place it on the card. The blues need to be a three or lower and a two or lower. When the dice on the card and grouped together, you must place all of the dice in the group at the same time.

   When the dice are separated on the card, you may add any of your dice that match. If there is not an arrow either above or below the dice, it must be that color and number to be placed. If at any time you flip over a card that has the blue Prime Directive symbol, you must complete this card before completing any other card in play.

   If the card has the orange timer symbol, flip the timer. You now have three minutes to complete this card. If it is not completed before the timer runs out, the card will go into the failed alert pile. The white die means that you may use any colored die for that spot.

   Some cards will injure a player. If this happens, choose one of your dice and place it into the injuries space. These dice stay there until an action is taken to heal the player. The doctor can use one of their dice to heal you or you may use a turn to heal yourself. If you choose to heal yourself, you still must flip over an alert card. You may then move one die from the injuries section to the active section.

   Some cards will have effects on them that must happen when flipped. Some examples are injuring you or damaging the Enterprise. Some limit the dice you may place or make it so you may not talk to your opponents.

   When the Enterprise is damaged, move the damage marker up one. Whichever color space the damage marker is on is the lowest alert you can flip cards from. For example, if it is on a yellow space, you may only flip yellow and red alert cards. You can repair the Enterprise by using one of your dice to move it down. Here you would have to use a red die that is four or higher to move it down to the start space. If your damage marker is on a higher space, you may move it down as many spaces as you have red dice to repair it. If you are on the last damage space and another damage is taken, the Enterprise is destroyed and you have lost the game.

   You may only have three alert cards from each color flipped at a time. Once this happens, you still must flip over an alert card. The card that is flipped is placed in the Failed Alerts pile.

   Once you have either five failed alert cards or the number of points to complete your mission, the game is over. If you have five failed alerts, you have lost the game. If you reach the desired number of points, you have won! Live long and prosper.

   Some cards have special alerts that can be used at a later time. The icons are located on the bottom right of the picture on the card. They do things such as changing the face value of a die, healing, swapping crew mates abilities or using a die as any color.

   There are also dangerous alerts. They do things such as make you draw extra alerts, use the timer or have you complete a certain card before working on others.

   This is a game we enjoy playing as a family. You can even include the younger kids. Have them roll dice and help match up colors and numbers. My youngest is a huge fan of dice and is always willing to help match. If you like the game Roll for it! it has a similar feel. It's easy to learn and can be played in under an hour. It's a game that is mostly luck from rolling dice. There is a little bit of strategy, but you mostly just roll the dice and hope you get what you need.

   Having said that, if you enjoy dice games and co-ops, this one is a good one to add to your collection. I'm sure if you get the right Star Trek fans together, it would add a whole new level of fun.

   Make it so!