Match Report - 20th June 2012

Islands, treasure, pirates, and elephant dung!

With 7 players two games seemed in order and with a number expressing interest in Pirate Cove that seemingly left a choice between my preferred option Power Grid: First Sparks and Gwen’s of Tobago – Ben didn’t express a preference. No great surprise then that we played Tobago!

Tobago - The box artworkThe challenge for me was teaching Pirate Cove to Daniella, Natalie, Leonie and Malcolm whilst trying to focus on my own efforts at winning Tobago. As a bloke you will appreciate that this was not easy (doing 2 things at once not being our specialty – according to the ladies at least!).

As our game of Tobago unfolded I found it increasingly difficult to get into the game with the more rowdy group to my right being a constant distraction. It is perhaps a lesson (one that you would think I might have learned by know!) that when playing two games on the same table that it is better to select two that games that are similarly paced. I know Crispin amongst others has on previous occasions struggled to get into one game when a noisier one is taking place at the other end of the table and so it proved for me.

In brief, Tobago is a treasure hunting game based on a tropical island where players have two options in any game turn:
Tobago - The sun setting on the players of this treasure island game
Move their ATV (all terrain vehicle) with the aim of getting closer to the treasure or the amulets, or:
Reveal a new clue card that helps to build a virtual treasure map that narrows down and eventually reveals the location of treasure hidden on the island. Examples of Clue cards include ‘Next to a Palm Tree’ or ‘In the Largest Jungle’. As these cards are revealed tokens are placed on or removed from the board until there is only one token, at which point everyone knows where the treasure is and the race is on to be the first to get to it.
Tobago - The game board and components
Players gain a share of the treasure based on their contribution to finding it i.e. how many clue cards the contributed in narrowing the search or moving their ATV to the location and collecting it. The winner of the game is not surprisingly the player with the most treasure.

My efforts in Tobago where not so much on racing my ATV around the island as on ensuring that I contributed in some way to each of the discoveries. This tactic to my surprise actually paid off and resulted in me winning, something that having not felt engaged I had not expected. Particularly as Ben and Gwen seemed to be amassing treasure and amulets far faster than I was. Maybe men can do two things at the same time!
Pirate Cove - The players
To my right the table the game of Pirate Cove unfolded with the lady pirates proving fearless and ruthless in the raids on islands and the acquisition of fame points. The seemingly mild-mannered Natalie, once again showed that appearances can be deceptive, took an early lead defeating Malcolm in one if not two encounters but Leonie eventually won by some considerable margin.
Pirate Cove - The board and components
This was her second victory of the evening having already won a quick memory / pirate game Alles Kanone! This game was dominated by Daniella and Leonie to such a degree that the sum of cards the other three players won through the game didn’t even equal a third of Daniella’s and she hadn’t even won!!
Alles Kanone! - The players laughing at the success of some players and the inability of others!
Whilst our search in Tobago continued the other guys had a quick game of Straw followed by Fuch & Fertig as they bided their time waiting for coffee and Munchies!
This week we were blessed with Gwen’s flapjacks (yummy), Natalie’s chocolate brownies (double yummy) and Leonie’s Nutella macaroons (triple yummy). Sadly Crispin wasn’t able to be with us to enjoy this delicious fair – leaving more for the rest of us.
So to the last game of the evening with half an hour left on the clock. Kalimambo a game I reviewed a while ago and one that we cannot help laughing at even if as is the case with Natalie and myself we seem to have a track record of significant failure at it. Luck can play a big part in this game so it won’t work for everybody but it worked for Daniella on this occasion as she managed to survive the entire game without walking in the elephant dung (-3 points) or being caught by the rhino Mambo (minus points equal to the distance he ran to catch the adventurer at the back of the line) – well done!
Mambo and the elephant poo. They are obviously big elephants!

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 24th June starting at 7.00pm - £1 per head. More details can be seen on our Facebook Page Social Gamers - Crowborough

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