Games In a Pub - 30th October 2011

Some new games, some old games and all of them very different, but lots of fun.

A week ago I had been surrounded by thousands of people at the largest games event in Europe at Spiel 2011 in Essen; the previous day we had been running our own little games event in Tunbridge Wells on behalf of the Pantiles trade Association and had seen nearly a 100 people through the day (details of this event can be found here). Both of these experiences had been wonderful but to sit down with friends last night and get a chance to play some of the games I brought back from Essen was really nice.
The team playing Carcassonne
However the evening started with an old favourite, Carcassonne, but as people arrived slightly later in the evening I had to dive out of Carcassonne and explain a couple of other games to our newcomers. I am not sure how either group felt about me jumping between their tables but in my absence the Carcassonne team selected and placed tiles for me. At the half way stage this was looking really good for me as I was joint leader, however as the game moved towards its
conclusion this committee approach to the placement of my tiles started to fail and ultimately I came in last place. I am not sure what this says about committee decision making!
Geistesblitz being played
In the other corner of the room Geistesblitz was being played. More details about the game can be read in my review of the game here. The guys (Andy, Katie and hmmm - sorry I have forgotten your name ) liked the game but felt that it would have been more fun with more players, we played it ourselves with four on Monday night and had a blast with it.

Whilst Carcassonne continued in my partial absence our other team moved onto Army of Frogs and had less success, feeling that this didn’t really work for them. Sadly I will suggest games at times that don’t always work (ultimately we all like slightly different things), however having dismissed it they were keen to try something new and their eyes alighted on one of the many new games I have available Discworld: Ankh-Morpork (my review of this game can be read here).
The game board from Discworld: Ankh-Morpork
This was a game I had been keen to put in front of some of our social gamers believing that it would have a fairly wide appeal, although feeling less confident about this after the response to Army of Frogs. It took a similar amount of time to explain as some of the classic gateway games e.g. Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan and encouragingly there were enthusiastic nods and murmurs from a very early stage. So much so that by the end of the game the team were talking about maybe buying their own copy for a holiday trip they were planning.

As they got into their game our other table had a quick game of Villa Paletti another lovely wooden game from Zoch and a Spiel des Jahres winner from 2002. This was followed by our two remaining chaps having three games of another very tactile but also tactical game Hive (interestingly by the same games designer John Yianni, as Army of Frogs), where players use various insects to protect their queen bee whilst seeking to capture their opponents queen bee.
Villa Paletti gets ever higher but where to find the next column?
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 13th November starting at 7pm - £1 per head. More details can be seen on our Facebook Page Social Gamers - Crowborough

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