Match Report 23rd April 2012

A game from the past and the most impressive munchies yet!

Elfenland - One of the younger teenage elves and superb cook
We had heard rumours on Sunday of the craftsmanship going into Natalie’s munchies for this week but their reality was truly amazing - more of that anon.

With Crispin, Natalie Gwen and myself convinced that our only other player would be Ben (having called to say he would be late) we were just about to set up a game of Stone Age (a 2 to 4 player game) when a ring at the doorbell heralded the arrival of Malcolm.

With Gwen’s adamant insistence that she didn’t want to play anything that involved learning new rules and Crispin’s well voiced disinterest in any games involving drawing I thought I would reach for a game we had not played in over 3 years, Elfenland. It met both Gwen’s and Crispin’s requirement although left Natalie and Malcolm having to learn something new; but then strictly speaking they were not part of the requirement - there speaks a business analyst!

Games on a Pub – 15th April 2012

A session report and game review all in one

The as yet un-played Panic Station had been leant to Martin at our last session to see what he thought, as it had previously bombed with my Monday night group. Thankfully I had received a text from Martin to say that whilst on holiday with his family they had played it a number of times and gave it “a massive thumbs up, brilliant for suspense and paranoia”.
Panic Station - The artwork for the metal box
With Robin having requested a collaborative game and Panic Station falling broadly into this category it seemed the obvious game to play.

As Martin described the game it was obvious that he had invested some considerable time in reading various posts on BoardGameGeek (geek) concerning this game and that:

Match Report 8th April 2012

The box lid for Straw
Lots of youngsters and more drawing

As the rain fell and brought a close to what had been a miserable Easter Monday it seemed like our plan to stay in and have a games evening had been the right move. This feeling was re-enforced when other like minded souls turned up. As we had hoped, with the school holidays in full swing we saw a number of our teenage friends turn up and as the evening progressed the noise levels and laughter rose quiet significantly.

Reiner Knizia Talks About Games Design

I have mentioned the prolific Reiner Knizia a number of times on my blog and the other day I stumbled upon a talk he gave at the end of last year on games design that I thought was well worth sharing. If you have an interest in games and a half hour to spare then make yourself a coffee and enjoy this stimulating talk.

He uses some interesting slides which hopefully will not offend any of my readers.

Reiner Knizia: Maximum Impact Game Design from Utrecht School of the Arts on Vimeo.

Games in a Pub 1st April 2012

A family joins us with a little monkey!

With the start of the Easter school holidays we welcomed one of our youngest ever visitors, along with his Monkey!
Crokinole - The big match with spectators
When they arrived Oliver and Martin were already warming up their flicking skills on the Crokinole board (a full review of this game and the work necessary to fix it can be read here). Oliver had played this a couple of times at a previous meeting and Martin was frankly appearing to make a real mess of it during the warm up period. He claimed never to have played it before and we could all well believe this. Thankfully there was no money riding on the game because as soon as the warm up was over he was a man transformed playing a skilful game that saw Oliver’s disk being sent repeatedly into the surrounding well. Suffice to say that Martin emerged the victor and left the rest of us a little suspicious about his early apparent inability to flick the disks!

Review Crokinole (by Mayday Games)

A game that needed a lot of work to get it to the table
This copy of Crokinole was kindly received from the Spanish games retailer laPCra
Crokinole - The game in its finished state
This review follows a slightly different format to my normal reviews and is made up of the following sections: The Beginning, The Game Arrives, The Game Is Fixed, Playing The Game, What We Think Of The Game and a Postscript.

The Beginning
It was during my evening with Steve Berger at his Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Association of Gamers STAG that I first heard about Crokinole, a game he mentioned as popular with his family. Not surprisingly, for me at least, I had a quick look at it on BoardGameGeek (BGG), read some reviews and looked at some photo’s. It looked interesting and very different from any of my existing games so I duly added it to my BGG Wish List, as a way of not forgetting the idea.
Crokinole - The large game board sitting on the end of the dinner table
As last years Essen approached I reviewed my Wish List and saw that one of the retailers would be carrying a version of Crokinole by Mayday Games. Looking more closely I discovered to my surprise that this game was priced at well over 100 Euro’s. My earlier superficial analysis had omitted to establish the price of the game. It was at this point that I began to appreciate that this was not a game like Carcassonne but rather Chess or Draughts where there are many makers of the game. Further investigation confirmed that this not insignificant price was very much at the lower end of the scale and that some of the Crokinole boards were beautiful pieces of craftsmanship, with a commensurate price tag

Given its cost let alone let alone its size (28 ½” diameter) this was quickly dismissed from my Essen shopping list and I thought no more about it, until…