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!

Elfenland - The board and playing pieces
Elfenland was given to us one Christmas probably 6 + years ago and we played it quiet a bit over the years and in the very early days of the group shortly after my heart surgery.
One Sunday Crispin was foolish enough to ask if there was anything he could do to help and one thing led to another and he was soon coming around regularly for a coffee and as my health improved walks on Ashdown Forest. However we also explored my, at that point, small games collection. Games were played occasionally in the afternoon and involved Peter
Elfenland - One of the older teenage elves or did someone let a troll in?!

and Paul, both sadly no longer able to join our evening group. Without that initial interest from Crispin the Monday and Sunday night groups would not have been created, I would have continued to play only the occasional game, not have had the joy of working with Imagination Gaming, not have started blogging and definitely not have travelled to the mecca that is Essen. He has a lot to answer for!

Back to Elfenland, it is one of the many Spiel des Jahres winners in our collection and a simple game for up to 6 players that finds the players cast as teenage elves with the objective of racing around the kingdom visiting as many cities as possible in the 4 rounds of the game. To do this they must use a number of different transport types including Troll Wagon, Elfcycle, saddling up a Wild Boar, Dragon or Unicorn, harnessing the power of a Magic Cloud or using a Raft for rivers and lakes. Gwen took an early lead managing to visit 8 of the 20 cities in her first turn and thus set herself up as the player to beat.
Elfenland - The players as they race their teenage elves around all the cities of Elfenland
As others were focused on this, as well as messing up my plans (no change there then) the team overlooked the stealthy movements of Crispin’s little elves. When it came to the final turn I entertained the notion that I might collect enough cities to get me into the running for first place only to have my plan A route blocked by Natalie, apologising with a softly spoken “sorry” and an amused glint in her eye. This left me no alternative but to go the long way round via the desert. With Gwen presumably seeing me as a threat she placed a road block across my route across the desert. This destroyed any possibility I might have had and in my mind at least, left me with no alternative but to bitch and moan about the unfairness of it all in a petulant and truly teenage fashion, to the amusement of all the other players but in particular Crispin. Because whilst we hadn’t been watching he had managed to pick up a further 4 cities on his last turn raising his total to 17 a total matching our early leader Gwen, so the honours were shared. Somehow I got the blame for not keeping an eye on him?!
Elfenland - The board and a lone teenage boot with coloured columns indicating which cities are still to be visited by the players
I wonder if it will be another three years before we see this game again, I suspect not.
Now time for the lemon muffins with some of the most elaborate and stunning icing we have yet seen -  including hand-made flowers and butterflies! To say they were delicious does not do them justice but we are running out of superlatives for Natalie’s cooking talents. Thanks also go to Malcolm for bringing some chocolate goodies so Ben got his fix, although even he was blown away by Natalie’s chocolate free offering.
Our last game of the evening was one of Imagination Gaming’s favourites and an excellent game for families trying to help children with their maths or gaming groups with 15 or 30 minutes to fill in an evening.
Take it Easy! - The box artwork and debris from a games evening
In Take it Easy” each player has 27 identical hexagonal tiles with three coloured (and numbered) lines on them plus a board with 19 hexagonal spaces. One person places their tiles face down and acts as the caller. They pick up one of their tiles and call out the three numbers on it; this identifies it to the other players who locate the identical tile. Each player then places it somewhere on their board and so as additional tiles are called each player completes or is forced to break lines of colour across their board.
Take it Easy! - One of the player boards at the end of a game
When the board is full each player scores points for completed lines of the same colour based on the number of the line e.g. yellow lines are 9, whilst green ones are 7, multiplied by the number of tiles that make up the line stretching from one side of the board to the other. It is simple to play and can be played by 1 to 6 players and has been described as a multi-player solitaire game.
Take it Easy! - The players mulling over were to place another tile early in a game
Our two games were won respectively by Ben (a surprise to him as maths is his least favourite subject) and Crispin.

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 on Sunday 29th April starting at 7pm - £1 per head. More details can be seen on our Facebook Page Social Gamers - Crowborough

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