Match Report 24th May 2010

Well let me start with a huge thank you to everybody who came last night for another really fun evening and in particular to Natalie and Crispin for bringing along some delicious munchies - THANK YOU.

Apologies were received from Joe (facing a mountain of exams this week , for which Good Luck) and Daniela (fighting the absurdities of the current education system). The latest news from Ben was that he was weathering a Force 9 storm through the night following a day in Force 8’s! His job certainly swings from the sublime to the ridiculous; hopefully this note will find him in calmer and sunnier waters. Alex is starting his Scottish placement this week. If I have missed other members of the group then apologies.

This week saw the arrival of two new faces. Gwen’s brother, Ian, who will be staying with us while he trains to be a Dive Master, after which he hopes to be heading off to much sunnier climes and Malcolm who having battled with renovating a bathroom all day found time to put down his tools and join us for something a little different. Along with these two newbie’s we had our old favourite Crispin and the slightly younger members Pauline and Natalie.

1st Game - Bohnanza
So with the newbies bringing our number to six (in a dinning room that felt like a furniture store/depot (Ian is also decorating for us between his studies) we thought to start with Bohnanza and duly set about planting our bean fields. With the normal heavy amount of trading between players resulting in such bizarre phrases as I will swap you a ‘stinky’ for a ‘black eye’ (hopefully the attached images give a sense of how this might arise). At the half way point our newbie’s were showing clear signs of having grasped the game with Malcolm profiting from holding off trading with the active player to then benefit from donations (at no cost to himself) of unwanted cards!!

On the other side of the table the ladies where diligently planting and harvesting a variety of beans including some of the more exotic and very profitable options such as the somewhat embarrassed red bean (I didn’t realize until we started playing this game that their colour derived from being easily embarrassed as with the green bean being the result of the effect they have on people rather than their actual colour). This farming activity was interspersed with some very amusing quips by Natalie, however age means that they are but a distant memory so cannot be recorded here. When it came to the scoring the girls drew, with Crispin in second place and the boys on my side of the table sharing the lower honours!

Whilst having coffee and those scrummy cakes, I am sure I heard a very strange discussion between Crispin and Natalie as to how to make buns moist and that Natalie’s secret was getting the dogs to lick the cases before putting the cake mix in - I am sure I didn’t drink anything last night! As a truer aside Pauline’s dogs had managed to pinch some silicone cases from the kitchen (no indication of if they had cakes in them at the time and were later found in the garden having been fully (or not) digested – urgh.

2nd Game – Castle Panic
Onto the second game of the evening for which we selected Castle Panic. For regular readers of the match reports you will know that last time we played this things did not go well for the good guys, so this a chance for us to get our own back and put the nasty green monsters back in their place, or so we hoped. It is fair to say that from early on in the game things seemed to be going very much the monsters’ way with waves of them coming out of one section of the forest in, again a very co-ordinated fashion (how is this possible two games running when they are supposed to appear randomly – maybe time to change the dice!). With the walls falling down around our ears Natalie and I took to alternately discussing ways of digging an escape tunnel and leaving the others to their fate or looking on disconsolately as yet another plague killed our soldiers massing for a planned attack on the monsters.

Crispin once again was active in his promotion of fortifying the walls whether we had the wherewithal to do this or not. However, when we did fortify a wall the monsters displayed evidence of having been taking dancing lessons because they had an unerring ability to sidestep or skip left or right and thus avoid our extra layer of fortification. It was also noted that where in previous games there had been lots of goblins these all seemed to have been replaced by Ogres (for Goblins think week cannon fodder and Ogres think trained killers who come heavily armed). Is it possible that Toy Story is a reality and that when we put them back in the box after the last game that they upgraded themselves from Goblins to Ogres?

With walls being knocked down left and right the Combat (Royal) Engineers where active in the midst of battle with their building equipment trying to re-establish our defences, (I am sure you can guess where this one is going). At the half way stage we where hanging on, just.

Then Pauline launched an extra three monsters at us (part of each persons go is to pick two monsters cards) Natalie commenting that it was obviously in the genes as she had acquired a reputation, on previous outings of the game, (in the way of these evenings with only the faintest of basis in reality) for being the person to launch the biggest monster attacks.

However sadly I fear this reputation will forever now rest with me as I produced a total of 10 instead of the normal 2 monster cards resulting in a hail of boulders, powerful monsters (and their followers). Even at this point we clung to the hope that the cards would produce the ability to escape what seemed our inevitable fate, as the one last tower stood in the midst of desolation surrounded by monsters. However this is not a Hollywood movie and the monsters once again triumphed, argggh. Again we had some good suggestions for accompanying music but sadly memory fails me, next time I will have pen and paper.

In the recriminations that followed possible reasons for our defeat were cited as:
  1. Daniela as she had gone easy on them in the last game.
  2. We were getting tired as it was late.
  3. Crispin’s efforts were focused on the commercial opportunities from promoting fortifications as the solutions to all our ills rather than killing monsters.
  4. Natalie and I for taking a ‘we are doomed’ stance from very early in the game.
  5. My production of ten monster cards in one go, spookily mostly on the weakest side of the castle.
If relevant, my vote went for blaming Daniela.

Again another fun packed evening, thank you to all involved.

The next games evening will be on 7th June, so put the date in your diary. As regulars will know our collection of games is fairly extensive ( but has recently had two new additions:

Imagine that you're a supercomputer. Now imagine that you're bored. So you dream up a little contest for you and a couple of your supercomputing buddies. Your task is to move one of the stupid little robots out on the factory floor through a series of checkpoints scattered throughout the factory. The wrinkle, however, is that the factory floor is filled with all kinds of inconvenient (if not down-right deadly) obstacles located in various locations: conveyor belts, crushers, flame-throwers, pushers, teleporters, oil slicks, pits, et cetera. But the real fun comes when the robots cross each other's path, and suddenly your perfect route is something less than that. Think Wall-E with a twist.

Shadow over Camelot
You and your fellow players, are Knights of the Round Table. Your task to collaborate and through undertaking a series of quests jointly defeat the powers of evil ergo the game. Sound familiar!!! At first glance, this task seems simple enough (yeah right). After all, shouldn’t a band of young and noble Knights - fleet of foot and sound of mind - easily defeat a game that plays itself? Alas your quest is further complicated by the ever-present possibility of a Traitor in your midst, biding his (or her) time, waiting to strike at the worst possible moment...

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