Match Report 12th September 2011

Where did everybody go?

With the return to school and university it was no great surprise that our numbers halved but thanks to our faithful core group, Crispin, Ben, Daniella and obviously my wife Gwen, we managed 5 Monday night.

As people arrived Gwen and I were finishing off the latest of our duels at Gobblet (an abstract two player wooden game I picked up at the local Hospice in the Weald charity shop for £1, full price when new around £25). A game that typically takes us 5 to 10 mins and over the last week we have played 20+ times, over breakfast, dinner and coffee. I had a clear lead in these encounters, which is very unusual since Gwen has something like an 80% victory record against me at 2-player games and sad to say I think the tide might be turning on this game too!

Alhambra (Age 8+, Players 2-6, 60 min playing time)
Alhambra - The game components

Alhambra - Kevin's Alhambra midway through the game
With everybody comfortable we started the evening with a game of
Alhambra (reviewed here). This has been played at the last evening meeting and was requested by Crispin, Daniella and Gwen but definitely not Ben – his preference is for more humorous games and he had fared badly on the last occasion he played this game.

As the game progressed Ben once again struggled to acquire the tiles that would allow him to build the Alhambra he desired. The rest of us muddled our way (oops that was probably me) along, but with good fortune allowing me to build a long encircling wall early in the game I was able to score highly in the three scoring rounds and this ultimately allowed me to pull ahead of Gwen (just)  in the final scoring round – sadly Ben fared no better in this game than on the last occasion.
Alhambra - Crispin's Alhambra midway through the game

Alhambra - Daniella's Alhambra midway through the game

Alhambra - Gwen's Alhambra midway through the game

Alhambra - Ben's Alhambra midway through the game

An interesting conversation ensued at around this point in the evening about the games we like and dislike. Not surprisingly everybody's list was slightly different, for some of us we enjoy or dislike certain themes for others it is the style of game / game mechanic. A longer rendering of this conversation can be read here. 

Sherlock (Age 5+, Players 2-5, up to 20 min playing time)
Sherlock - A memory game

With a coffee break Daniella and Ben squeezed in a quick game of Sherlock, a challenging memory game which ended with honours even, much to Daniella’s surprise as she was concerned that her maturity / Ben’s youth would put her at a distinct disadvantage in a game of memory recall.

With Crispin’s lovely Date and Walnut cake now on the table, games were suspended whilst we consumed this delicious offering.

Bohnanza (Age 5+, Players 2-5, up to 20 min playing time)
Bohnanza - A closely fought game

As the debris was cleared away we elected to play the ever popular Bohnanza, the humorous bean farming and trading game. We are all well versed in the trading strategies for this game, which often result in vocal appeals and very creative suggestions for deals not to mention ridicule of other peoples proposed deals (particularly when they don’t give us any advantage). On this occasion I tried a different approach and was generous (driven by self interest!) in donating my unwanted cards through out the game to the point that when it came round to my next turn I frequently had no cards available – well OK I might have traded them in order to plant what I wanted in my fields (if this makes no sense watch this video as it may help). This caught the others by surprise and Crispin in particular – the outbreak of entente cordiale had even him donating cards to me and other players. When it came to the final scoring, in spite of my protestation that I was not doing well – vocally AND vociferously doubted by Ben I managed to squeeze a win in what was a very tightly fought game with me on 19, Crispin and Gwen on 18 and Daniella and Ben 17.

Another relaxing and fun evening – thanks guys.

We return to the Blue Anchor on 18th September at 7pm. More details as ever can be seen on our Facebook page ‘Social Gamers – Crowborough’.

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