Match Report 5th July

The dangerous 'beastie caged in
With the continued renovation work going on at our place the group was kindly invited to meet at Pauline’s with the added benefits that this is the home of possibly the best munchies in the UK and a unique and very cute beastie.

Apologies had been received from no less than 5 people on this occasion, Malcolm visiting his sister, Alex in Marseille, Julia working hard with American clients who seem to think it unreasonable to work in line with our time zone, Joe having finished exams is already hard at work on the coursework for next year’s exams and Josh travelling back south. Attendees were Ian (now the Black Knight), Helene, Crispin (Now Brother Crispin member of a new order of monks, the Crisponians - more on this and the Black Knight later).

Sushizock im Gockelwok (Age 8+, 2-5 players, 20 min playing time)
We managed three games on this particular outing. Starting with Sushizock im Gockelwok as Natalie and Daniella had not yet arrived. This simple game explained in previous posts saw the big plus numbers captured early and in my case a balancing pile of low negative numbers, things were set fair and then it all went wrong.

Your scribe crying into his drink as he tries to re-build his pile of + tiles
Ian - launched three (others may have been involved but in the session with my counsellor I could only remember his dubious activities) unprovoked chopstick raids, not only on my pile of plus tiles leaving me with none and then to add insult to injury he took one of my minus one tiles leaving me with no alternative but to take the remaining minus four tile. The net result of this
unprovoked assault (I would obviously never do such a thing myself) was he had +9 whilst I had -8. Why is it that whenever I try and throw the dice to get chopstick and thereby steal someone else’s tiles it doesn’t come off however when Gwen tries she has a similar level of success to her brother - very strange!

Your scribe receiving the sympathy of his fellow players!!
In the intervening time since our last evening we have played this game 4 or 5 times (sitting in a lovely West Country garden with my God parents and three young friends (8, 12 and 17) we call the munchkins. They all really liked this game and the youngest had no problem either with the maths or deciding on the right strategy and thereby winning at least one of the games.

Bohnanza (Age 12+, 2-7 players, 45+ min playing time)
With this game over there was a rustling of keys and both Daniella and Natalie arrived. Our second game was Bohannza. Following the gentle introduction to this game for Helene at our last meeting the gloves were off and active trading commenced as people vied to offload their unwanted Stinky beans and sought out the Green and Cocoa beans and more coffee fields than Kenco could wave a stick at.

Discussions over what field to harvest
It soon became apparent though that the rich manure being used by Ian and Crispin at the other end of the table was resulting in not only prolific yields for them but also Natalie, sat between them. Pauline had sat this game out to feed the beastie but came in as strategic advisor to Helene who was still finding her way with this active trading game. When all the harvests were in Natalie triumphed with possibly her first ever win at our games evenings. She resisted a lap of honour but an enthusiastic ‘YES’ was heard to pass her lips.

A munchie mountain
Finally capturing an image of some of Natalie’s wonderful creations in all their glory - thank you once again. It was around this time that I also captured the images of the beastie. The name Darcy just doesn’t do justice to this creation. Part Polar bear, part teddy bear and part golden retriever, everyone agreed she was one cute bundle of fur. With a body too large for the legs and an affectionate bounciness strait out of the latest Andrex video those of you who didn’t make this games evening missed a real treat.

The beastie being restrained or cuddled?
Caracassonne (Age 8+, Players 2-6, 60 min playing time)
So to our last game Carcassonne with the expansion set Inns and Cathedrals. This addition not only introduced two new features Inns and Cathedrals (there is a surprise!) but pieces to take the game up to 6 players and changes to the scoring making it more important to complete roads and castles as they can be worth increased points if completed, but at the risk that if they are not completed then they may be worth nothing).

The Carcassonne tiles early in the game
On this occasion I sat out and watched as the players each vied for dominance. Ian having selected the Black Meeple's (apparently this is the name for the little wooden playing pieces) and so now capturing he honorific the ‘Black Knight’ (it seems appropriate given his earlier activities and that was a sabateur 3 times in our last game of that name) struggled with the gentle nature of this game, Crispin once again believed that his way in true medieval fashion to dominance was through the power of the church, founding a number of monasteries (no doubt having taken note of the significant drubbing he and I suffered at the hand of Gwen when she pursued a similar strategy and so gained the title ‘Prioress’) and placing the last cathedral tile on a large incomplete castle owned by Helene and The Black Knight thus reducing their potential score for this structure from 8 or 9 points to zero!! Will they forgive him? Not the act of a Christian brother, although maybe in keeping with the period.

This weeks gamers
However, in the end through a serious effort to get her numerous meeple farmers to lie down in the fields (farmers are denoted by lying your Mepel down as opposed to knights, thieves and monks who all stand up!) Daniella triumphed over those ne’er-do-wells at the other end of the table, despite this not being her favourite game, with a comprehensive points advantage (over 18 in farming alone). The game got a thumbs-up from Helene and everybody had a good laugh.

Thanks go to everybody for a relaxing and fun evening.

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