Match Report 1st August 2011

Unexpected happenings, not a geek thing at all
The delicious Lemon and Poppy Seed cake baked by Ruth

Let me start this week’s reports with the most important bit – munchies!?

Regular followers of my Match Reports will know that we have a number of regular attendees – Natalie, Daniella and Crispin – who when they have time bake some awesome munchies for us to enjoy during our evening of games. Well to this list add two more names and neither were able to join us!

Gwen and I were busying ourselves about the house at 6:45 conscious that we had 15 mins before people started arriving when there was a ring at the door bell; we looked at each other quizzically wondering who this could be – we don’t normally have people turn up early although sometimes people turn up on the wrong week, but more of that later. Opening the door there was
Ruth (one of our mailing list recipients and an occasional gamer) with a cake saying that whilst she could not join us, for which she felt guilty, she had nevertheless had a spare afternoon and decided to baked us a cake; a cake that was still vaguely warm and smelt heavenly – Lemon and Poppy Seed with a light icing.

When we broke for coffee and munchies it was indeed divine and Daniella commented on what an awesome cook Ruth’s mum had been and that this was every bit as good as anything she had ever baked.
The delicious Flapjacks baked by Thomas

But we were twice blessed in that Daniella’s youngest son Thomas (sadly not old enough to join the games evenings) had baked us Flapjacks, which again I am told were yummy – I had a fasting blood test the next morning so couldn’t partake.

A huge THANK YOU to both of this week’s bakers and indeed our regulars; whilst not necessity it is a kind and generous gesture that is always appreciated by the games group.

With the holiday season upon us you can never be sure who will turn up, we knew Crispin was still not fit enough to venture out, Malcolm away on holiday in Ireland, Matt knee deep in harvesting and Alex flying around Europe somewhere. So with so many regulars absent to have a big turnout was a surprise particularly as we welcomed four new faces, Leonie, Effie, Claire and Brian. To these were added Ben, Daniella and obviously Gwen and myself so 8 in total.
The players during a game of Nottingham

Nottingham(Age 12+, 3-7 players, 30+ min playing time)
We started the evening with a card game, Nottingham; as a recent acquisition (£2.20 on ebay) it was new to everybody so regulars had no advantage over our newbies. The game is set around the theme of medieval tax collection although with no Robin Hood to thwart our efforts. The idea is that each of the players is a junior tax collector seeking to collect taxes from the inhabitants of Nottingham County for the Sherriff. More interestingly from the game perspective they can also steal goods already collected by other tax collectors and thereby gain the credit for delivery to the Sherriff. The mechanism of the game ensures this is done in a light hearted way that whilst hampering other player’s plans doesn’t leave them entirely out of pocket and so creates much player interaction and humour as player after player’s plans are hampered.

A players cards in a game of Nottingham
In truth the games mechanism has little or nothing to do with the theme, other than enabling the tongue in cheek justification for robbing, stealing, ambushing etc, some nice artwork and a name that evokes that period of English history / legend. A nice, if somewhat opportunistic, addition to the games portfolio that is in effect a set and run card collection game so accessible to non gamers and great fun to play. As is so often the case when playing our games, victory went to one of our new players Claire with Leonie coming in a very close second.
Players during a game of Trans Europa

We then split the group into two. Gwen led a game of Trans Europa at one end of the table (won by Daniella) whilst Ben and I played Blokus (won by Ben) and the collaborative game Forbidden Island, which we lost (again) just as we thought we might have won!
Forbidden Island can do strange things to players!

As to people turning up on the wrong day, there had been a knock on the door the previous Monday just as Gwen and I were finishing a game of Stone Age (one of our favourites). Ben stood there apologising for being a little late and I stood there pleasantly surprised. We invited him in and were soon joined by Alex for an impromptu but very pleasant games night. We started with Galaxy Trucker which Ben won with a masterful display of space design and leadership that Captain Kirk would have been proud of and followed this with a game of Pitch Car which was great fun but I haven’t a clue who won.

If you have read this far, thank you.

Games Are A Great Tool
As I have said many times before the games are simply a great tool for, bringing people together, supporting education and a multitude of other objectives besides, in no small part because they are fun. Hence more was written in this post about the people and the munchies than the games! As one of our newbies commented it was nice to get out and meet some new people and what a diverse and surprising, mix we had; aged from 16 to 58 and with five women and only three men (so not just “Kevin and his mates”).

Modern board and card games are really not a geek thing at all.

Our next Sunday meeting will be on 7th August anytime after 7pm at the Blue Anchor, details can be seen here on Facebook.

There is a nominal £1 charge for attendees and with the continuing plight of those suffering the effects of draught in East Africa monies received this Sunday will go towards the Crowborough based international charity World in Need who have been providing relief aid, education and development support for 20 years. More details of their work can be seen here. Please tell your friends and come along if you can.

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