With enthusiasm running high in Daniella’s household she took the brave step of inviting the group to descend on her home for Monday night gathering. As luck would have it we had a large (for us at least) turnout totalling 11 + Merlin, the dog not the wizard!
Travelling through an English Summer evening, this should conjure images of warmth, bird song and the smell of flowers in bloom. Instead the reality was heavy rain and wind, however like the wise men we came bearing gifts - MUNCHIES!
With Daniella midway through refitting her kitchen she had just enough space to accommodate us all. Crispin lead a game of Bohnanza at one end of the table with me leading two games of Niagara at the other end and Daniella / Leonie leading a game of Pirate's Cove on the other table.
Niagara is one of the review games kindly sent to us by the guys at Zoch and was getting its first outing. A winner of the Spiel des Jahres in 2005 It offers an interesting mechanism using clear plastic discs to represent the flow of the rapids near the top of the waterfall.
The game theme is that fearless explorers in canoes battle each other and the river collecting various combinations of the five different gems found along the river edge. Each turn players use one of 7 paddle tiles (each player has an identical set and uses one each round until there are none left at which point they get them all back) to either move their canoe/s or change the weather conditions and so the flow speed of the river.
With opportunities to steal the pretty shiney gems (the girls liked these – or was that just me remembering the abuse I gave them!) and mess with the speed of the river so increasing the chance of forcing your fellow canoeists over the waterfall there are plenty of opportunities for screwage and relatively little luck.
The first game we completed before either of the others and so decided to give it another go, this second effort was easily inside a half hour and so puts Niagara in the filler category, providing an interesting alternative to the normal card games that we would often use. I would like to report the results but feel it would be inappropriate to name the winner all I can say is that second and third place went to the girls.
Pirate's Cove was won by the fearless but very sleepy Tom in what was reported as a very close game.
With mugs cleared away and munchies devoured the last game of the evening was Saboteur with the expansion Saboteur 2. We played this a few weeks ago and whilst everybody wanted another game I think it would be fair to say we are still getting our head round some of the new cards. However this didn’t distract from the abuse, false accusations and general hilarity that ensued once the game was under way (or maybe it was just a continuum of what had been going on all evening?!). Although we only managed one round of Saboteur everybody agreed that the additional cards that came with the expansion were definitely worth playing.
More photo's from the evening can be seen here.