Match Report 17th January 2011

Where to start? I think with a big thank you to everybody who turned out this week, possibly the largest turnout we have yet had with a total of nine, Crispin, Daniella, Matt, Alex, Ben, Natalie, Gwen and Malcolm.
Some of the players laughing during a game of Hick Hack

With Ben and Alex cooking the family meal we needed a game to fill the half hour till they joined us. Perhaps not surprisingly we selected the groups current favourite starter / filler game Hick Hack, which when the feathers and feed were counted saw Gwen emerge as clear victor. Ben and Alex timed their arrival to perfection appearing just as this game finished and as they settled into their seats a lively culinary discussion ensured fuelled in part by Malcolm having brought along a cook book that looked more like a Haynes Car manual and the munchies that Natalie had kindly cooked for us, not to mention other munchies brought along by Daniella.

Ben clarifying a point during a game of Dominion
With thoughts of food put to one side, for the moment, we decided to split into two groups for the next game with Ben leading a game of Dominion, (eventually won by some significant margin by Matt in only his second game - he was very keen to play) at one end of the table whilst Gwen, Crispin, Alex and myself played Citadels at the other end.

Now we played Citadels a couple of times last year with very mixed
reactions and so it was to prove again on this occasion. My first move was to select the Thief and rob Gwen’s’ character the Architect (left with the last choice of character cards I had to pick between the Assassin and the Thief as all the more positive cards had already been chosen). This immediately brought back for her all the bad feelings she (and to be fair I too) had about this game and the way it can leave some players intensely frustrated if their characters are unwittingly struck by the Assassin or Thief. [For those who might not have played this the thief and assassin strike BEFORE players declare which character they have and both strike against a character not a player meaning that either can unknowingly be deployed against a player who is doing badly and/or mean that the same player can be struck turn after turn.] Whilst we went onto complete the game, with me eventually winning, I doubt we will be getting this game out again any time soon. A funny moment during a game of Citadels
That said Matt and Daniella both had positive memories of previous games of Citadels.
My feeling is that it is a clever game, which is quick to explain and reasonably fast if you have 4 or 5 players but with the frustration it can causes some players why play it again when we have so many other wonderful games available. Although there was some discussion later that evening about giving it another go if we removed the Thief or the Assassin and so reduced the probability of being struck by one of these felons. I think there is a time and place for this game but for us at least it has less universal appeal than would be indicated by the views on BoardGameGeek.

Two games in progress - Dominion and Citadels
With the games of Dominion and Citadels complete we had the lovely munchies – thank you ladies – and tried out a game I had picked up in Essen last year and last played in the channel tunnel on the way back – The Resistance. This game is set in a futuristic setting where the resistance are trying to overthrow a ‘malignant ‘(call it violent and corrupt and you build the atmosphere in the game) government. It is described as a social deduction game with secret identities and has a fundamental rule that players may say anything that they want, at any time during the game. Discussion, deception, intuition, social interaction and logical deduction are all equally important to winning.

The game is described in more detail here. Sadly as a non Spy the Spies eventually won.
The Spy cards in The Resistance
The Spy cards in The Resistance

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