Match Report – 24th September 2012

Pirates, trains and dwarves plus more munchies!

Lunch time had seen a surprise request from work colleagues for a game of Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers and the introduction of two new players, a good start to the week.

The evening saw our smallest turnout for a very long time with apologies because of funerals, over work, holidays and hectic social schedules. The good news was that our master baker was available and had tried her hand at some chocolate and ginger cookies – yummy, and only Gwen and myself to share them!
Ticket To Ride: Europe - The board and other components early in the game
However before the food comes the games and we started with a game of Ticket To Ride: Europe a game that having played TransEuropa many times was immediately familiar to all of us. Ticket To Ride is one of the three classic gateway games (the others being Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan) and in this version is about completing routes between European cities and is described in more detail in this video. We all thoroughly enjoyed the game, although it will surprise nobody to know that when the final scoring came in Gwen had piped both Natalie and I.

Ticket To Ride: Europe - The board and other components as the game nears its end

Munchies and coffee were quickly followed by one of the games from last years Essen trip, The Dwarf King. Described in more detail here it is essentially a trick taking card game but one where rules change for each hand and that can create some quiet wild swings in the scoring a point that will put serious gamers off, but was perfect for us on this occasion.
The Dwarf King - The players
We all had a good laugh, the girls in particular as I was repeatedly mugged by them. Victory in this game went to Natalie. I think I ended up with a negative score and Gwen was heard to complain that she had misunderstood the scoring for one particular hand and that had she understood it better would have played her hand very differently. This was a hand in which I collected -8 points and the girls scored zero – in this hand that was success. Gwen then revealed that she would have sought to play the special card on me that would have resulted in doubling my score ergo -16! Wives!
Riff Raff - At this point the ship is surprisingly balanced in spite of all the cargo in the yardarms

Last up was a game that I had been hoping to play all evening, Riff Raff. This is the latest review game from Zoch and one I think will prove very popular with social gamers and families of every age. This is a game with quality wooden components in box that seems sturdier than usual, where players are set the task of trying to stow the ships cargo on the yardarms (?!) of a precariously balanced pirate ship (don’t think too much about the story line!). The game is tactile, tense and just plain fun.

In each round players seek to place one or occasionally two pieces of their cargo on one of the 10 locations on the ship. Obviously a large part of the fun is seeing your fellow players struggle to balance the ship and then in turn struggling yourself. Inevitably the ship becomes unbalanced and as was the case for me on a number of occasions most of the stowed cargo lands on the table and so is added to my cargo. However, any falling cargo caught by the player is removed from the game, something I was not very successful at. The winner is the first player to successfully stow all their cargo. The girls were joint winners of this excellent game.
Riff Raff - More cargo is added

More photo's of 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 evening at the Blue Anchor, Crowborough is in two weeks time on Sunday 30th September starting at 7.00pm - £1 per head. More details can be seen on our Facebook Page Social Gamers - Crowborough

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