Games in a Pub - 2nd October 2011

Frustration and chaos in a very funny racing game

With apologies from a number of regulars and Gwen at home following her second foot operation the previous day I knew the turnout might be small. But thankfully Oliver and I were quickly joined by Karen and Martin (the green team from the last Sunday meeting). At the last Sunday meeting we played Ticket To Ride and Oliver had requested that we have a crack at one of the other two classic gateway games Carcassonne or Settlers of Catan so this week we started off with Carcassonne. This is a game in which I had lost interest until playing it recently with my nephew on a camping trip reawakened my enthusiasm; I was confident that both Karen and Oliver would really enjoy it (which they did) and Martin knew what he was letting himself in for.
Carcassonne - The players

Carcassonne is a tile-laying game where players build up a landscape reminiscent of that around the southern French city of Carcassonne famous for its Roman and Medieval fortifications. As the players develop the area around Carcassonne they deploy their followers (Knights, Thieves, Monks and Farmers) on the roads, in the cities, in the cloisters and in the fields earning points as they complete various elements of the landscape. It is a gentle almost collaborative game but still has a competitive dimension as players seek to score as many point s as possible. With Martin and I having played this one many times before (although never together) there was always a good chance one of us would come out on top and so it proved in the end with Martin finishing significantly ahead of the rest of us.
Carcassonne - The tile layout early in the game

Whilst we had been enjoying the delights of the French country side Nick, Andy Chris and Adam had arrived and played the ever popular Bausack.
The guys playing Bausack - Not a good photo - Sorry

With both games complete we rearranged the furniture (as there had been a request for a game that could accomodate all eight of the evenings attendees) and set up the chaotic but very funny
game RoboRally where a bored super computer has its robots racing around a very dangerous factory floor.
RoboRally - A close up of the Robots racing around the factory floor

More detailed description of a previous game can be read here, but in brief each player has a robot and seeks to program it so that it races around the factory floor touching each of the three race flags in the correct order. Some of the anecdotes from the game follow although I suspect you had to be there to fully appreciate these, or at least have played this game.

1. Andy noted (with a cry of arghhhhhh !) when he had his robot destroyed (and so returned to the start position) that he had been playing for an hour yet still not managed to move his robot onto the first marker.

2. Adam had a close encounter early in the game with one or maybe two of the conveyer belts and despite his best efforts just kept going around and around.

3. Karen (not noted for any aggressive tendencies to date) pushed Martin’s robot into the abyss that surrounds the factory floor muttering something along the lines of ‘it’s not my fault!’ only to make an error on the programming of her own robot (turning left instead of right) which resulted in her joining him into the abyss shortly thereafter. Martin as you would expect was very sympathetic!!!!!!!

4. I made one mistake in what would otherwise have been a perfect second turn, putting myself on a gear. This resulted in my robot moving off at a 90 degree angle to its intended course and me spending the rest of the game trying to recover from my error and reach the first marker.
RoboRally - The players planning their moves with much concentration and some already showing signs of stress!

I am sure there were many other stories (sorry) from this manic 8 player game however as we commended Karen on her victory over the rest of us a number of people were saying they wanted to have another crack at this game. For myself I find an occasional visit to the insanity that is RoboRally is all I need or can cope with given the counselling I have needed following previous games.

We also raised £8 for World In Need East Africa Drought Appeal.

More photo's from the evening can be seen here.

Our next event at the Blue Anchor, Crowborough is in two weeks time on Sunday 16th October starting at 7pm - £1 per head. More details can be seen on our Facebook Page Social Gamers - Crowborough

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