Match Report 12th March 2012

Our largest game yet makes it to the table!

We welcomed our regulars Ben, Malcolm, Daniella and Natalie but sadly no Crispin as he was feeling under the weather and no Gwen as she had had a busy day of interviews in London and fancied a quiet night in front of the telly. The good news was Crispin’s absence meant more munchies for the rest of us and Gwen’s meant my chances of winning a game had increased, or so I thought!

Our evenings normally start in the kitchen as everybody arrives, with people catching up whilst drinks are found or made. This is a convivial and important part of the evening as all our attendees would say they enjoy the social aspect that games facilitate, not seeing themselves as serious gamers. It is a phase that sometimes takes a few minutes and other times much longer. Monday night was very much in the later camp; topics covered included the merits or otherwise of brothers keeping snakes and dragons in their room, girlfriends who behave as / get treated as doormats, the stress of meeting a new partner’s 30 ish children (apparently every bit as stressful as meeting the parents at a younger age), job interviews and the issues of timing on how to handle telling your current employer your quitting.

We did eventually sit down to play a game and of the 4 new games I was suggesting Crokinole, 7 Wonders (by Repos Production), Ticket To Ride: Europe and Existenz the team plumped for 7 Wonders.
The box artwork from 7 Wonders
7 Wonders is a card game themed on the ancient world were players seek to collect raw materials and manufactured goods, build their particular wonder (each player has a player board depicting one of the seven wonders) or military, commercial, scientific, civilian structures or guilds. The game is played over 3 ages with players starting with 7 cards and 3 coins. In the first turn they decide which card they want to keep and pass the remaining 6 cards to the player to their left. The first age continues in this way until each player has only two cards left. At this point they keep one and discard the last card. The second and then 3rd ages proceed in much the same way starting with 7 cards each. This simple mechanism results in fast game play (once players are familiar with the cards and their symbols) and a game that can accommodate 7 players as well as it can 3, without noticeably lengthening the time the game takes. A feature that I thought would be particularly interesting to our Monday night group.
It was everybody’s first encounter with this game and they universally agreed that they had enjoyed it and would be keen to play it again, although the game had taken longer than I would have hoped.

Daniella has often been heard to say, when learning a new game, that she “doesn’t understand it” reinforcing this statement with “honestly I really don’t understand it”. However it is our experience that these statements normally proceed her winning the game and so it proved once again!
With our first game out of the way it was inevitably time for coffee and munchies: low fat carrot muffins, once again baked by Natalie, or pear and chocolate tart. Yummy.
Crokinole - Now are we here to play games or eat food - looks like eat food!
Suspecting that our group had had enough seriousness for one evening and being keen to see their reaction I broke out Crokinole.
Crokinole - The board
This resulted in a lively team game between the boys and girls with me acting as coach / referee. Practice clearly improves players ability as the early game was much more chaotic than the later and I am sure that over time you could become very skilled at propelling your disk into the central well or knocking other player’s disks out of the scoring zones; a very welcome addition to the collection.
Crokinole - Ben about to take his shot

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

If you would like to try some of the games talked about on this blog come along to our next event at the Blue Anchor, Crowborough is in two weeks time on Sunday 1st April starting at 7pm - £1 per head. More details can be seen on our Facebook Page Social Gamers - Crowborough

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