Match Report 19th July 2010

The team line up for this week was denuded by the absence of Pauline(at a BBQ), Natalie still recovering from her graduation celebrations – well done (actually working with a judge this week but recovering from a party seemed more interesting), Josh up north with his girlfriend, Alex still in Kerry discovering what the Irish mean when they say it’s a ‘soft day’, day after day, after day, after day…., Ben briefly back in the country but with other commitments, and finally Helene having run out of time, after a day out and finding that there are sometimes just not enough hours in the day.

On the positive front our numbers this time were augmented for our second game by two youngsters we found loitering around in Daniella’s house looking for a game It seemed churlish of us adults to be playing such fun games and deny the opportunity to them. It might be analogised to showing

starving men a table full of delicious food and then saying you can’t eat. In addition we were also joined by our host for the evening (thank you for the hospitality and the cookies – very nice), Malcolm, Ian and Crispin.

Patrician (Age10+, 2-5 players, 45 min playing time)
The players giving thought to what they should do next
Our first game was Patrician. This was the second time we had played this and as the game progressed it was apparent that those that had played it before had an advantage because whilst it is a simple game to explain there are a number of strategies contained with the simple mechanic that become more apparent the more you play it. As we vied to build the tallest tower or at least achieve dominance in the towers being built some continued to keep a close eye on the alternative and complementary strategy of collecting portraits (each multiple of three being worth 6 points). The photos show the many colours of the towers and thereby the contribution different players made to there building. However contributing is one thing, but getting the dominance necessary to get points from all the graft and hard work is another thing.

The board late in the game with a strategic hand pointing out the towers
When it came to scoring our efforts Ian came in with a significant lead of over 40 points with Malcolm and me in the twenties and Crispin and Daniella having not played the game before in 4th and 5th.

However, all agreed this to be an excellent game. In an effort to say something more meaningful than it was a good game we used the system for Rating games found in the Digital Issues of thru-the-portal for the first time and using  system (marking a game on a scale of 1-6 for Components, Ease of Play, Fun/Enjoyment, Replayability, Socialising and Value for Money) it scored 29 (being the average of those who marked the game) out of a possible 36.

Saboteur (Age 8+, 3- 10 players, 30 min playing time)
The players look on in amused wonder at Crispin following his last comment
With munchies and lubrication consumed we were joined by our young friends for the second game of the evening Saboteur. With now 7 players this (in theory) meant a possible 3 saboteurs and 5 gold diggers (see previous match reports for a description of the game) unfortunately addled by the chocolate cake and cookies or the concentration from the last game I managed to create a situation were there were 4 saboteurs and only 3 gold diggers. This lead to a lot of furrowed brows as players tried to work out who were the real saboteurs and who was the crazed gold digger who had been smoking some “wacky baccy” and so was trying to help the saboteurs. In the end all was revealed and so we started again with the correct ratios. Duh

Having counted the cards correctly the dwarves set about digging their tunnels towards the gold but they kept finding their tunnels turning away from the gold – I wonder why? This may have had something to do with the saboteurs identifying early on where the gold was located and then determinedly twisting or even reversing the tunnels so as to avoid the gold. First round therefore went to the saboteurs.

The second round was more successful for the gold diggers, despite a number of caved in tunnels and broken implements they managed to fight their way through to the gold with Ian being the lucky dwarf first on the scene closely followed by Leonie. The last round saw the gold diggers digging multiple tunnels trying to make it hard for the saboteurs to cave in the only route to the gold and having on this occasion worked out where the gold was they used the cave in cards themselves to their own ends opening up tunnels that the saboteurs had tried to reverse and close off. Again the gold diggers triumphed on this occasion with Leonie being first on the scene.

When all the gold found during the three rounds was counted Leonie emerged triumphant as the winner of this great little game – well done.

The players graded this as 32 out of 36.

Thanks as ever to everyone for a very enjoyable evening.

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