Games in a Pub - 11th December 2011

A large race and then some surprisingly disappointing games

With the rain lashing down outside I was surprised to find a large group ready and willing to play when I arrived at the Blue Anchor, last Sunday. With yet more people arriving close behind me and the festive season approaching it seemed (to me at least!) an ideal opportunity to give Pitch Car another run out.
Pitch Car - Nick sends his yellow car screaming into the next bend
With the evenings focus on social gaming and with so many people I suggested people pair up and play in teams of 2. It thus accommodated 12 players with a further 3 spectators. Mark and Nick took an early and commanding lead and were way ahead of the rest of us however as they entered the final lap everything went to pot and the way seemed open for Oliver and myself placed in second or the green team (see my post from 18th September 2011) in third. However whilst we were lucky enough to profit from their engine malfunction the green team lost it completely with their car doing pretty much everything you don’t want a car to do bar turning around and driving the wrong way around the track, to the point that they came in in last place - oops.

Pitch Car - A close up of the track and cars
With this big game over we split into a number of smaller groups, one group happy to chat in the corner, another keen to play Settlers of Catan and another happy to play whatever I suggested – hmmm this can be a mistake at times!
Settlers of Catan - Martin explaining the rules in a  6 player game
Well Martin kindly undertook to teach the 6 people interested in playing Settlers of Catan. Ultimately in spite of his efforts the game proved disappointing for those involved with them abandoning it at around 10pm. In the post game analysis, I think the mistakes were:

1. Too many players – especially since NONE of them had ever played it before.

2. Not having one of us who have played it before actually involved in the game to clarify any uncertainties as they arose and help keep the game flowing quickly.

Sorry guys.

I guess this just goes to prove that you can have a bad experience with even the best game and if that were your only experience then you might conclude, mistakenly in my view, that board games are rubbish.

On the up side, for me at least, it was great to hear that having played and enjoyed both Braggart and Discworld: Ankh-Morpork at our pub games evenings previously Nick and his friends had bought both games and in the case of the later played over a dozen times already.
TransEuropa - The players
Other games played during the evening were TransEuropa, Fuchs and FertigKalimambo and Villa Paletti. It was obviously something to do with the weather outside because Kalimambo which has been successful with everybody else we have played it with left the group of players Sunday night distinctly unimpressed. So sadly a couple of disappointing games experiences to end 2011.
Villa Paletti - The players considering which pilla to remove
But to finish 2011 on a positive note we started the year with a couple of friends and family with the notion that we would quickly attract 20 plus people (naive), this did not occur and by the middle of the year I was contemplating giving the idea up as we had so little support. However in our darkest hour we were found or joined by a number of different people and as we look towards 2012 I believe we have found a kernel of people around which a sustainable group can be built. If you are one of those people – THANK YOU. If you are a reader of this blog but have not been able to join us thank you for your support and positive vibes!

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 11th 8th January starting at 7pm - £1 per head. More details can be seen on our Facebook Page Social Gamers - Crowborough


  1. Kevin
    Thanks for hosting a great series of social games events this year. Your patience with people who suffer analysis paralysis and understand the rules just after the game has ended knows no bounds!
    As a consequence of these events I have purchased a number of games that previously I wouldn't have considered and people I've played them with have really enjoyed them to.
    The Green Team will return next year!

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I hope you have a great Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

  3. Kevin - Did you mean Sunday 8th January?!

  4. Yes, apologies. I have changed the Blog Post accordingly.