St Mary's Social Afternoon - Week 2

Yesterday saw the second of the St Mary’s Crowborough Social Afternoons with Games. I am pleased to report that the numbers held up and if you include one person who came along to see what was going on we advanced to 18 people.

Players pondering where to go next during the early stages of Carcassonne
Whilst chatting to Gervais it struck me once again what an amazing thing modern board games (and card games) are; we looked across at a game of Patrician (described in more detail here) and of the 5 participants, there were three over 60, one in her eighties and two teenagers (14 and 17). They weren’t members of the same family but they had all come together to sit round a table and play some games and, by all accounts talking to them afterwards, they ALL had a great time. At how many places or events in Crowborough, or the UK for that matter, could the same have occurred?! That is not to say this was an isolated case either,
in that the broad range of ages was replicated at each of the tables. The only sad note is that having talked to a number of people over the weekend, who had expressed initial interest, some had not come along. I fear intimidated not by the games but by the prospect of walking into a room where they might not know anyone – I am hoping that they may come along in future weeks.

Castle Panic but there is not much left of the castle and the players wonder what they should do nextThe good news was that we saw seven new faces, all of whom reported having had a great afternoon. Those who were with us last week but did not make it this week have all indicated that it was circumstances that kept them away and they would be joining us again on future afternoons.

As is the nature of modern board games they are a great catalyst for both bringing people together as well as then providing an opportunity to move around and talk to other players as one game finishes and others start. At a very low level and in a very incremental way they are surely a tool that can help to build communities. During the afternoon a total of 12 games were played by those present, these were (click on the names of the games to find more details about the specific games):

Short Filler or Warm Up Games 

Longer Games
A cheerful group playing Straw
Four of the games, Patrician, Carcassonne, Castle Panic and Saboteur where played on our previous Social Afternoon with players requesting the chance to play them again. With people varying the games they played this week, not only did they get a chance to play with other people but we were also able to introduce three new games.

The group playing Carcassonne survey the landscape they created
Having watched a game of Carcassonne the previous week Peter specifically requested a chance to play it this week and had a great time. Even more encouraging was that Pat who had confessed to not really liking games thoroughly enjoyed herself and definitely wants to play again. Josh, our third player has been following the activities of the evening gaming group (via the Match Reports) but up till Monday not been able to join us. Hopefully his view of the games will not be coloured by coming in in 4th place following the failure of his builders to complete the walls around his cathedral city and so earn him a massive 33 points that would have lifted him into contention when it came to working out the scores.

Another angle but the situation at Castle Panic still looks bleak for the players
With it being the summer holidays I am not sure whether we will maintain these numbers as people come and go on their breaks. Hopefully word will spread of how much fun people, of all ages, are having and others will be encouraged to come and at least watch if not join in.

Our next afternoon will be next Tuesday 17th August 2pm till 5pm. Hope to see you then.

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