Match Report 30th August 2011

The challenge of picking the best game for the number of players
The Monday (on Tuesday) night gamers enjoying some munchies

Another good turn out with 11 this time, Daniella, Malcolm, Liza, Leonie, Chris, Effie, Sinead, Crispin, Joe, Gwen and obviously yours truly. On this occasion we had apologies from a further three Ben, Claire and Brian. I am sure the imminent start of school for two and University for another two will cause number s to drop but it is tremendously encouraging that we continue to attract such a broad range of people.

Given the nature of the evening i.e. a social evening with games (where people arrive at different times and we can never be 100% sure of how many will turn up) we can at times stumble into a good game that when played with too many people doesn’t quiet deliver and so it was on this occasion.

Caracassonne (Age 8+, Players 2-6, 60 min playing time)
Carcassonne - The players watch as Sinead considers where to place her next tile
At one end of the table I led six people in a game of Carcassonne which included the two expansion sets, “River” and “Inns and Cathedrals”. The interplay between the players and the suggestions, normally
ignored, of how players should place their tiles to the advantage of others made for a fun game but the number of players (three of whom had never played it before) meant it was slower moving than expected and left a couple of the players observing that ‘it had taken too long’. This is obviously disappointing for both them and me and suggests I need to be more convincing in my encouragement that it is better to play two three player games or a two and a four than six as invariably the balance of the game is skewed. Particularly given the number of outstanding games we have that works best with these lower numbers.
Carcassonne - A close up of the board near the end of the game
In the end and in spite of the abuse I received through the game I managed to win by just one point ahead of Sinead in what was a closely fought game.

Alhambra (Age 8+, Players 2-6, 60 min playing time)
At the other end of the table Gwen led a game of Alhambra (sorry no photo’s) with Crispin building his customary Seraglios. Everybody seemed to enjoy the game and indicated their desire to give it another go at the next opportunity. When the points were counted it looked initially like Daniella had won but was piped to the post by Crispin with the longest wall.

Time for munchies and on this occasion we had Jammy Dodgers from Leonie and Cherry cake from Crispin (no chocolate so Ben won’t be too disappointed he missed the evening!); as ever a big thank you to the bakers and also to Chris and Sinead who brought along savoury munchies for earlier in the evening.

Qwirkle (Age 6+, Players 2-4 (or 5!), 45 min playing time)
Qwirkle - Gwen amazed that Malcolm missed such a good opportunity

When games resumed Gwen led a 5 player (yes I know it is only supposed to accommodate 4 but all agreed it worked well with 5) game of Qwirkle. This is one of Gwen’s favourite games and certainly one that she normally triumphs at. On this occasion she came in third behind Malcolm and Crispin. A great family game and one we have used at the Church in the past with mixed ages but I think when played with just adults it brought out a cannier element. With this photo showing Gwen’s disbelief that Malcolm had missed the opportunity for 15 points by his placement gaining a paltry 5 instead – she did not highlight this till after his placement and scoring!

At the other end of the table we had now finished Carcassonne and moved on to one of our favourite filler games Hick Hack with poultry chasing feed and foxes chasing poultry, one of Liza’s favourite games and one that she ultimately triumphed at .
Hick Hack & Qwirkle - The players enjoying their respective games

As this game was coming to a close Gwen got her group playing Catch The Match for 5 minutes.

Whilst Carcassonne had been a little disappointing (although one player was enquiring about where to buy it, so it cannot have been too bad) it was never the less a really fun evening with as ever some lovely munchies and much laughter.

Thank you to everybody that came and made it such a great evening and more photo's can be seen here.

As a post script this link provides more information about Carcassonne and its many expansions - I suggested that it may well be the board game with the most expansions.

For those who have been following our adventures from the beginning you may have noted the absence of my personal favourite from the games played – Race For The galaxy. Those who played it in the early days have now deemed it too complex (I obviously disagree but ....) and with the exception of Alex they refuse to play it (as they reminded me this week).

Our next Sunday meeting will be on 4th September 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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