Match Report 9th May 2011

3 light games and a lot of laughter
The players considering their options midway through a game of Bohnanza

With Crispin, Natalie and Daniella (and then Ben joining us half way through the evening) we had what turned out to be one of the funniest evenings we have had in a long time, getting three games in, two of which we had not played for many months. I only hope that my efforts to record the events do the evening and the participant’s justice.

Bohnanza (Age 12+, 2-7 players, 45 min playing time)
We started the evening with one of the group’s favourites Bohnanza . A game that requires every player to be vocal and creative in proposing trades that seek to maximise the cards they have available and so generate the richest harvest of beans. This is not a game for the hesitant or quiet, or at least not with
our group. Played with our group the advice as to any one players course of action is always offered and normally biased so leading to a lively game where there seems to be an almost constant barrage of humorous interjections. Ultimately once your attempts at trading and so getting something worthwhile in return for your unwanted cards have failed, it is frequently better to donate cards to other players. These donations whilst driven by self interest obviously benefit the recipients and so are frequently accompanied by howls of derision as one player is favoured over another and not a little pain on the part of the giver.

In what you can probably tell was an incredibly hard fought game it was a generous (or in Crispin’s words unwise/foolish) donation in the last play of the game that saw Daniella, a normally astute and street wise game player gift me an extra point that ensured she and I tied for first place with Crispin and Natalie tying just two point behind us for joint second. 

Patrician (Age 10+, 2-5 players, 45 min playing time)
Patrician - The players discussing the merits or otherwise of one players actions in the game

Next up was Patrician (fished out from the bottom of one of my crates of games). A little known game (by Michael Schacht, the Spiel Des Jahres winner for his game Zooloretto, published by Amigo) that regular readers of my blog may recall I had picked up at last year’s UK Games Expo for a mere £8 and it proved popular with our group last year given a combination of its historic theme (building towers in renaissance Italy), simple game play, nice components and short playing time. 

Ben had joined us by this time and with the briefest of explanations (probably disadvantaging Ben who had never played this board game before – oh well) we were off. As players vied to both collect sets of portraits and ensure they had dominance in the towers being built we wondered why it was that it was so long since we had played this excellent little game, that also seemed to work really well with 5 players. 

Patrician - The game board very close to the end of the game
As ever there was lot of humour along the way with it being far from clear till the very end of the game who might emerge the winner, although there were early cries from Ben that he would emerge at the wrong end of the score board (sadly for him these cries proved justified). When it came to the scoring it was Daniella who emerged triumphant through a combined strategy of portrait collection and tower building. Patrician is a great filler game that I am sure we will make more use of over the coming months.

Landlord (Age 10+, 2-6 players, 45 min playing time)
Landlord - The smiles on the players faces do not reflect the anarchy going on within the game

Lastly with a good supply of munchies (cakes once again from Natalie and cookies from Daniella – thank you) we moved onto the anarchy that can be, and once again was, Landlord. This is a card game that has over the years travelled further and been played more than any other game in my collection, with Ben playing many of them. The first occasion I recall as being in Gozo with him and his brother taking shelter from the afternoon sun when they were only knee-high to a grasshopper (the photos clearly indicate this was a few years ago). For no particular reason we haven’t played it since May last year.
Landord - My estate before the murder of one pensioner and the hijacking of the other

As a game based on property building and tenant management it has little to do with best practice in the real world. I thought I was off to a good start getting pretty much the maximum score on the first round and then again on the second, sadly this was seen as spotted by my fellow players and Crispin in an unprecedented assault bombed the central building in what I had planned to be a quite but very upmarket estate suitable for all the best tenants. This was accompanied not by howls of outrage from my fellow players but rather smirks and not so subtle words of encouragement to Crispin. The good that came from this was that I languished in last place on the score board for over half the game and so received little attention of the intervention kind from the other players. 

Landlord - Crispin's hip and trendy tenants (Students and Celebrities)
During this period we saw the girls gradually assert their dominance in this game with Natalie in particular (completely unlike her real self) quite happy to bomb Crispin and murder at least one of my tenants (a frail pensioner) who had chosen (?!) to move from one of her properties into my much better appointed accommodation. An act she justified by a “well he shouldn’t have moved!” It was probably due to this nefarious activity that she struggled (or was it just luck of the cards) to get any serious level of occupancy in her increasingly large estate, resulting in Ben comparing her estate to one of those you might find in Ireland following the property boom. 

Landlord - Daniella's properties and tenants midway through the game
There were so many amusing quips and comments made during this game that the laughter was almost continuous. Sadly when it came to the scoring the girls (not the ladies, given their questionable approach to tenant management, in this case) showed a 20 point dominance over their male counterparts. Another funny game that hasn’t had enough table time and I am sure will return again in the coming months.

Landlord - Natalie's vast but largely empty (I wonder why?) estate

More photo's from the evening can be seen here


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  2. Thanks for the positive feedback, glad you enjoyed it.