Match Report 18th July 2011

From anarchy to civilization, but no munchies!

With a the nature of peoples busy lives not knowing till the last minute if we will have 3 or 12 people joining us is all part of the fun. Frequently people aren’t able to confirm till late in the afternoon and teenagers often need a gentle reminder –“Oh you mean games night is tonight, I thought it was.........”. In the end Monday night saw five of us, Malcolm, Daniella, Ben and Gwen, gather around the table for a game or two.

As on the last occasion Ben arrived food in hand and sat down to eat his meal whilst we discussed the world or was the ‘The News of The World’ and what games to play. This week he had gone for roast beef dinner in a Yorkshire pudding, I didn’t think it looked very appetising but what commitment!

Dominion Intrigue (Age 10+, 2-4 players, 30 min playing time)
The box artwork for Dominion Intrigue
Our first game of the evening was Dominion but possibly the group’s first use of the Dominion Intrigue expansion box (Gwen and I have tried some of the combinations on our own). I selected the card combination called ‘Deconstruction’ which might have been more aptly names anarchy
or and destruction. This combination used some attack cards from the basic game box (Thief and Spy which we are by now well familiar with) but then added such delightful cards as the Swindler, Saboteur and the Torturer, from the Intrigue box, (as well as gentler cards such as the Mining Village) giving 5 attack cards out of a possible 10 choices!

This game of Dominion was by far and away the most aggressive card combination we have yet played (most of the Dominion combinations in the basic game box have a minority of attack cards) so once we started the game we were all frantically trying to beat off the various attacks being launched by other players (obviously in a 'dog eat dog world' we were also launching our own attacks) and work out what the optimal card combination was to triumph in such adversity. I wonder if you can guess who won.

All the Kingdom cards in the Dominion Intrigue expansion
Games that cause this level of direct player conflict (screwage as it is sometimes called amongst gamers) are enjoyed, maybe even loved, by some players whilst for others it turns them off, for example the winner of the game declared part way through they were not enjoying this combo and even when they won said they would absolutely not choose to play that combination again. But who won?

Now for regular readers of my blog you may be wondering where our stalwart Crispin had got to? Sadly for us Monday was the date set for an operation on the knee that has been troubling him recently, but I have no doubt that any disappointment he felt at missing the games night was more than made up for by his being on the receiving end of the attentions of the nursing staff. Hopefully his recovery will go as planned and he will return to our next games evening to consume munchies, beat me at the games and when I am not looking flick elastic bands at me (yes I know it is you Crispin!).

Settlers of Catan (Age 8+, 3-6 players (with the expansion), 90 min playing time)
A game civilization where players gather resources, trade and then build roads and settlements / cities.
The players during the Settlers of Catan game

Looking for a gentler friendlier game we alighted on an old favourite Settlers of Catan a game we probably first played with Ben and his family well over 10 years ago. With 5 players we used the expanded game and the mechanism for creating a random board. The players then decide where to place their first road and settlement on the board and as Ben had fared badly in his last two games with us we gave him first choice – hmm, so he chose the region on the board equivalent to the barren Welsh mountains ergo it produced only masses of sheep (or Dollies as they have become known in this game) rather than the fertile plains or resource rich quarries; an interesting approach that ultimately proved (sadly for him) to be flawed. 

The game board for Settlers of Catan
As the game progressed we were knee deep in sheep at times but somehow Ben’s master strategy never quiet worked. This was in part because he spotted two rules that we have not previously used that I felt ultimately worked against him. It looked for a long time like Gwen (with 9 of the 10 required points) was going to win her third game of the day (we had played Roll Through the Ages earlier in the day over coffee) and by rights she should have done but the gods worked against her so that when she bought more development cards than any player in any of our games over the years she ended up with 11 soldiers and only 1 victory points. In the end and at about 11pm (the latest finish to date) nearly everyone was on 9 points and it was Malcolm who managed to get that final point to win the game – well done.

One lone chocolate biscuit and no munchies!
No photo’s of munchies this time so we had to make do Choco Leibniz. More photo's ov the evening can be seen here.

In case anyone was interested and hadn't worked it out yet Gwen won the game of Dominion.

If you are reading this and live in or near Crowborough and fancy giving some of the games a try then why not come along to the Blue Anchor anytime after 7pm this coming Sunday Night 24th July. More details can be seen on the Facebook page here.

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