Newcastle Gamers – 28th July 2012

Bit of a confusing start to this one… as I drove into the car park, I noticed (what seemed to be) the entire membership of the club gathered in a huddle outside, away from the building. For a moment I wondered if the circus school was holding another unscheduled show in the hall and we’d been shut out — or if there’d been a fire drill or something — but it just turned out to be a weird, co-incidental, spontaneous gathering in the car-park. Ho hum πŸ™‚

Anyway, on to the gaming…

First of the night: Village.

This is the third consecutive meeting where I’ve played Village (so I won’t bore you with another overview of the game)… but it’s become a pretty reliable option for club nights. Gameplay-wise it’s a decent, medium-wieght Euro which has a satisfying amount of “stuff” going on in it — but it also plays reasonably briskly (even when you factor in the teaching time), which means it doesn’t have to be the main focus of the evening; you can happily get this in alongside another meaty title.

Plus, given the Kennerspiele des Jahres buzz, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of people willing to try it out at the moment πŸ˜‰

On this particular occasion, I didn’t play particularly well — it took me a while to settle into a points-generating groove (travelling the world / maxing out the town hall) …and through a combination of neglect on my part — and evil blocking tactics on Olly’s part — I didn’t get a single sale in the marketplace … which really hit me hard in the final reckoning. Enjoyable game, nevertheless.

Next: The Manhattan Project

I’ve been keen to play this one for a while, so when Michael mentioned that he’d brought his copy, I jumped at the opportunity. The Manhattan Project is a worker placement game where players represent nations competing in an arms race … the first nation to construct a certain amount of nuclear firepower wins. It’s an unusual theme for a game, which some people might find a tad “iffy” (though it might be worth noting that the game is about *building* nuclear weapons, and NOT about actually using them)… but it certainly makes a refreshing change from the slew of worker placement games where you’re a medieval nobleman, attempting to build a chunk of [Castle | Cathedral | Obscure European Township] in return for prestige points from the king πŸ˜‰

Mechanics wise, it’s all tried-and-tested worker placement stuff. You use various classes of workers to collect resources, build buildings, operate buildings, and transform raw resources into game-winning goodies. There are a couple of tweaks to the standard formula – notably, your workers don’t “come home” until you decide to devote an entire turn to the action bringing them home (in which case, that’s all you do on that round… take your workers off the board ready for re-use, and miss the rest of your turn), and there’s a combat/aggression aspect in there too – you can build up a squadron of fighters and bombers, and go and bomb the crap out of your opponent’s buildings so that they can’t use them for a while. This didn’t actually happen during our game… though I suspect that (much like real life) the *threat* of aggression can be just as important as *actual* aggression.

I really enjoyed playing this one — it pretty much took me a full game to get a proper sense of the game’s pacing, and to appreciate how the various resources flow and interact… but I like what I saw, and I’m looking forward to getting another opportunity to play now that I’m more clued-up!

Finally: Ticket To Ride (India)

Following the overtly-thinky experience of The Manhattan Project we decided something a little gentler might be in order, so opted for Ticket To Ride. Nobody had played the India map before, so — just to make things interesting — that’s the one that we went for.

At first blush, it seemed like quite a quirky map… it’s got a very clear north/south divide to it, a dense area of very short tracks in the busiest part of the board, and an unusual scoring rule in which you pick up bonus points for creating “circular” routes (i.e. extra points if you can perform a return journey between your ticket destinations using an entirely different route to your outbound journey).

I set out with a pretty bombastic (and entirely unrealistic) plan to do a huge mega-circuit connecting all my destinations. It started well; I managed to pick up two long routes on the west coast of the continent which seemed to be very strategically useful (and which — to be honest — I expected everybody else to be rushing for too… though apparently they weren’t). Perhaps I should have spent more time studying the choke points in the middle of the continent… because by the time we got half way through the game, my spidey sense was tingling…

You see, around about this point, I realised there was going to be a ridiculous amount of contention on a lot of the inland cities. Most inland destinations had 6 (or, more rarely, 7) tracks in and out… and, given the odd scoring rules for this map, you have an incentive to build a “through route” wherever you can, rather than terminate your line at a given city. Meaning that — under optimal play — 2 of the 5 players would be “locked out” of each destination. Suddenly the interior of this map seemed *incredibly* fierce… and, foolishly, I hadn’t already established a significant foothold there :/

As the game got into its final stages, things got even odder… there was a far longer period of aimlessly placing-your-remaining-carriages-just-for-points than you get in a usual game of TTR, and — for a time — it even looked like we might fill the whole board up before we ran out of train pieces to place! We double-checked the rules to make sure we weren’t supposed to be playing with a reduced amount of trains… nope; players should have a full set of 45.

I wondered if this map was fundamentally broken in some way (seemed very unlikely), or if it was some kind of deliberate artistic comment on the state of the Indian railway service…

Delhi Train

…but no, that seems pretty unlikely too. It wasn’t until the drive home that the likeliest possibility occurred to me: was that map REALLY intended for five players? A quick check of Board Game Geek when I got back solved the mystery. No, it’s not. It’s intended for four players. Oops!

Oh well, in those circumstances I’ll not feel too bad about my crushing defeat πŸ˜‰


Another good night… I was pleased with everything we played (despite the game of TTR being made un-necessarily evil!). The Manhattan Project was probably the highlight of the evening… it’s well worth jumping into a game of that one if you get the chance!

Great to spot a couple more new faces at the meeting — unfortunately the way that games started and ended this week (and didn’t mesh together very well) meant I didn’t move around groups very much (and by ‘very much’, I actually mean: ‘at all’), but it’s brilliant to see so many new people coming into the club … hopefully I’ll get the chance to play against some of them soon! πŸ™‚

The next meeting – 11th August – will be an all-dayer, starting at 10am. Looking forward to that one!

The pictures were taken by Olly, and have been gratuitously stolen from the Newcastle Gamers Google+ Group. Newcastle Gamers meets on the second and last Saturday of the month… usual cost is Β£3 (or Β£1 for concessions), but your first visit is free. You can also visit the official club website at … but, frankly, the Google+ Group that I linked to at the start of this paragraph is way livelier πŸ˜‰

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Thing of the week: Crossing the Divide

It occurred to me that I haven’t seen any activity from VNV Nation in my facebook feed for a while… so I tried typing their name into the FB searchbox, and accessing their profile the old-fashioned way. Imagine my surprise to discover that (a) they’ve posted loads of updates that I haven’t seen, and (b) they put out a free downloadable EP a couple of months ago that I didn’t even know about!

I guess this is an important lesson in the matter of relying on intelligent agents to curate your newsfeed for you – and PARTICULARLY on the matter of getting complacent about intelligent agents that are controlled by big orations with commercial interests at heart. I guess that because I haven’t explicitly liked/commented on any VNV posts for the last year or so, Facebook’s Edgerank system has decided that I’m not very interested in reading news from them any more (untrue!)… and because VNV aren’t paying the “exposure tax” that Facebook now levies every time you attempt to post a message to your fans, there’s no guarantee that everybody who has expressed an interest in their band will actually see what they’re saying.

Which is all rather annoying. The only thing that’s worse than being totally uninformed about something is *thinking* that you’re informed about something when you’re actually not.

Anyway, ranting aside, the EP comprises remixes of tracks from the last-album-but-one – “Of Faith, Power and Glory” … but, oddly, they seem to have selected all my least-favourite tracks from the album to re-work… and the results are a bit variable. However, I’m really enjoying the Nomenklatur remix of Ghost… I really didn’t care for the original version of that track at all, but this version sounds decidedly Ladytron-ish to my ear. Or.. like Ladytron would sound if they happened to be fronted by a grumpy fat Irish bloke. I like it.

…and, let’s face it… unexpectedly getting 6 new tracks from one of your favourite bands is always a nice thing, irrespective of the circumstances πŸ™‚

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Newcastle Gamers – 14th July

Last time I visited Newcastle Gamers, I taught John F. and Emma how to play Agricola:All Creatures Big and Small. They were so impressed that I promised (/threatened?) to take the full version of the game to the next meeting, and show them how to play that too. So, no prizes for guessing what landed on the table first THIS week… πŸ™‚


A newbie-friendly game of Agricola… well, I wasn’t an Agricola-newbie – but the other 4 players at the table were, and teaching ‘gric can be a bit of a draining experience at the best of times, so it was probably a fair match πŸ˜‰ … we played the standard/”full” game (there’ll be none of that “family variant” nonsense on MY watch!), and limited the cards to the beginner-friendly E-deck. Fortunately, I got the baker in my set of occupations, so could play the classic baker/grain strategy without having to concentrate *too* hard on what I was doing each round — which was useful, because I always get pretty focussed on making sure everybody else is playing correctly during a “teaching” game, and invariably end up playing a significantly less-than-coherent game myself(!)

It was maybe a *touch* ambitious having a 5 player game where most people haven’t played before, and — as you’d imagine — things moved pretty slowly … but Emma/John/James’s prior experience with All Creatures Big and Small at least meant they were familiar with the basic grammar of the game, so the rules explanation wasn’t too arduous. Jerome – the other player – hadn’t played any flavour of Agricola before, but picked things up very quickly… actually, I think he played the best game of Agricola that I’ve *ever* seen a first-timer play, managing to utilise every space on the board, get 5 family members, a stone house, and a good spread of animals.

Pretty good game though, despite the slowness. Plenty of occs/minor improvements got played, including a few that were quirky enough to show how every game of Agricola can turn out a little bit different; Notably, Emma had the Animal Keeper occupation (which lets you keep different types of animals in the same pasture – leading her to build a single massive enclosure on her farm), and Jerome had the bread seller (earns you food any time another player bakes bread – a great counter-play to my baker strategy!).

Jerome won the game with 41 points – a very respectable score indeed, even for a seasoned Agricola player, and pretty astonishing for a first-time play. My big fails were missing the stone renovation, and not getting any cattle – placing me second with 36.

Though, of course, I was just going easy on everybody because this was their first game. Honest πŸ˜‰


Next up was Village. OK, thematically it’s maybe a little bit close to Agricola… families, farming, worker-placement-ish, etc etc… but I was keen to play this one again, since (a) it’s my most recent purchase, (b) the last time I brought it to Newcastle Gamers was a particularly good experience, and (c) on Monday it won the prestigious Kennerspiel des Jahres award for 2012. It is therefore — officially — something of the hot new thing in the boardgaming world.

This is only the third time I’ve played Village… and so far, every game has had a significantly different feel to the previous one. This was quite a gentle game compared to last time — nobody was playing a ‘death rush’ tactic, and there wasn’t really a lot of aggressive blocking (save for some good-natured tussling over control of the Church). This means it turned into quite a long game – we ran out of merchant counters for the marketplace queue, and I got all my meeples out of the farm and onto the board (which hasn’t happened before). This time, I think most of my mid-game scoring came from politics (I haven’t really leveraged the buy-your-way-into-history perk that you get at the top level of the town hall before, but it’s a really strong points engine), and also from early dominance of the Church. John F managed to complete the round-the-world trip, Emily (who had joined our table for this game) seemed to be doing fairly well in trading and politics, and Emma kicked my butt out of the Church towards the end-game and scored nicely there.

I probably enjoyed playing this one a little bit more than Agricola … largely because it’s an awful lot easier to teach, so I could sit back and enjoy playing it once everybody had grasped the basics. I think everybody else enjoyed it too – Emma and Emily especially so.

I _do_ think it’s a slightly odd choice for the Spiele prize though. Admittedly, it has a few neat tricks up it’s sleeve, and the “death” mechanism is interesting… but it’s not a revolutionary game by any means. That said, I’ve very much enjoyed every game of Village that I’ve played so far… so even if it doesn’t do a lot of “new” things, it does succeed in doing a lot of “old” things in a very agreeable way πŸ™‚

Rhizopus stolonifer

This was the only real low-point of the night, and no — it’s not the name of an obscure foreign euro game. It turned out that the bait I’d packed for the night had an unexpected payload – bread mold. I must admit, they were particularly stinky sandwiches too (Chicken Tikka… mmmm… apologies to anybody who caught a whiff every time I opened my game bag), and I didn’t really get the hit of fungus taste until pretty much the last bite of sandwich number one. At which point, I examined sandwich number two, and noticed the blue spots. Ewww.

Fortunately, Emma had a supply of Haribo on hand. I can now vouch for the fact that a fizzy sour cola dummy is an excellent remedy for the lingering taste of blue sporangifores.


This is where my memory starts to fail me… I can’t remember who played this one (and even if I could remember faces, I probably don’t know the names of one or two of the players anyway). The previous game — Village — was a textbook example of the potential benefits of having every male in the club being called “John”, and every female in the club having a name that could be conveniently abbreviated to “Em”. There’s far less scope for embarrassing name mix-ups that way.

Anyway, me, Em, possibly a John or two, and a bunch of other people ended the night with a game of Nanuk. I went into this one blind, not knowing much about the game. I have to admit, my heart sank a little bit when Camo announced he wasn’t sure how to play, and started reading out the rule book aloud. (OK, I lied earlier, maybe I do know some of the un-Johns). Usually, when somebody starts a session by reading the rules, it’s a really bad omen; I’ve had an awful lot of bad experiences at Newcastle Gamers when games began like this. It didn’t really help that the rules kept referring to things like “Nanuk” and “Inuksuk” (instead of just saying “polar bear” or “big pile of rocks”), and I felt myself kind of glazing over by the time we reached page 5 or 6… it wasn’t looking good…

BUT… Nanuk turned out to be a fairly decent game. Basically, you’re a bunch of Inuit hunters, heading off to catch food. In turn, each player makes a brag about what the party will catch if that person is elected the leader of the hunt. The next player then either makes a bigger brag, or declares that the hunting expedition proposed by the previous player is doomed! (possibly the best part of the game is the act of throwing in your DOOM token, and declaring “doooooom!”). Then everybody gets to decide if they’re going on the hunting trip or not, the outcome of the hunt is resolved through various card-flipping shenanigans, and whichever party was proven correct (The hunters, or the doom merchants) pick up some rewards.

The scoring seems a bit disjointed from the main part of the game (there’s an odd set-collection thing going on with the various animals that you collect during the hunt), but the game is a pleasant-enough diversion, and a not-too-distant relative of Liars Dice. We probably missed a trick by not really having any kind of discussion after “dooooom!” was declared – I can see the game being a bit more interesting if the hunt leader and the doom leader maybe plead their case for other players to take their side (i.e. bluff about what kind of cards they’re currently holding) …as it was, this part of proceedings all seemed a little bit *too* random to be entirely satisfying.

But, yeah, it was enjoyable enough… if there was a flaw in the game, it would probably be that it runs a little long; it feels like a nice 20 minute filler, but it takes a lot longer (box time says 45 minutes) …and there are things I’d much sooner play in a Nanuk-shaped hole. Definitely worth a go though!

In summary – 2 excellent games played, 1 not-at-all-bad game played, and 1 entirely-awful dining experience endured. I’m still alive 24 hours later, so — on balance — not a bad night at all πŸ™‚

EDIT: There’s another perspective on the evening’s proceedings posted at “Not Another Blog About Geeks” – click through for some reciprocal linkage love! πŸ˜‰

The pictures were taken by Olly, and have been gratuitously stolen from the Newcastle Gamers Google+ Group. Newcastle Gamers meets on the second and last Saturday of the month… usual cost is Β£3 (or Β£1 for concessions), but your first visit is free.

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Thing of the week: The Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who

I recently ran out of things to watch on my Tuesday-and-Thursday-Curry-and-Sci-Fi-Lunch-Break sessions. Battlestar Galactica, right from the start – done. Firefly – done. Every season of Blakes 7 – done.

What next… Hmmm… how about some “classic” Doctor Who?

The problem with watching vintage Doctor Who is deciding where to start. I could maybe try to be a completist, and start from the very beginning… but… I’m not sure I could stomach *all* the early fuzzy Black and White episodes (besides which, a bunch of them are famously lost-without-trace, so it wouldn’t really be a “true” completist approach anyway). So instead of doing that, I thought I’d aim for every episode made during my lifetime, in the right order. And I can always go back and watch the older stuff later, if I have the inclination.

Apparently the Doctor was busy dealing with the Silurians (for the first ever time!) at the moment of my birth… and it was only the 3rd Doctor’s second ever on-screen adventure. Therefore, the start of the Jon Pertwee era (which also happened to be the first episode broadcast in colour) seemed the ideal place to begin.

128 episodes later: Jon Pertwee = done! πŸ™‚

Verdict: a bit variable, really. Some of the stories were actually rather good… a few were awful… but most were a perfectly fine no-brains-required accompaniment for a plate full of Lamb Biryani or Chicken Tika Masala. It’s kind of nice to see a lot of the Doctor who mythology (especially all the UNIT stuff, and a whole season pretty much devoted to The Master) clicking into place. I’m not sure how convinced I was by the whole Dandy-Englishman-Adventurer-with-a-black-belt-in-Venusian-Karate approach to the character, low-rent James Bond chase scenes and the flying who-mobile… but I chewed my way through all 5 seasons of it without feeling the compulsion to have a break and watch something different, so it clearly wasn’t be too disagreeable. Oh, and Jo Grant is a way better companion than I ever thought she would be. I think I even preferred her to Pertwee-era Sarah Jane Smith.

So… yeah, all in all, I rather enjoyed that. Tom Baker next…

Posted in Reviews, Thing of the Week, TV | 1 Comment

Newcastle Gamers, 30th June

Newcastle, a few days earlier

Due to the odd number of weekends in June, inconveniently-timed visits from relatives, acts of god etc, this was my first trip to Newcastle Gamers for FIVE weeks (eek!). Fortunately the biblical-scale storms and floods of a few days earlier had (mostly) disappeared, and Circus Central was once again reachable by car, rather than by boat.


This time, I played…


Village is one of my recent acquisitions. It was a bit of an impulse purchase – I got an amazon voucher that I wasn’t expecting, and decided to blow it on a new game (of course!) … Village has been on the periphery of my games-that-I’m-sort-of-interested-in radar for a while, and the choice came down to either this, or Castles of Burgundy. While I was making my mind up, somebody else grabbed the last reasonably-priced copy of Castles … so, Village it was!

Village is one of this year’s three Kennerspiel Des Jahres nominees, and is usually described as a worker placement game. I think that’s probably due to lazy categorisation … visually, it *looks* like a worker placement game, and I guess it’s worker-placement-ish… but (taking my cue from a posting on BGG a few days ago), I’d argue that “action selection” is a far better description of what’s going on in this one.

Basically, the object of the game is be the most prestigious family in the history of the village. (OK, it’s not exactly the most originally-themed Euro of recent years, but stick with it…). The score track depicts unbound pages of a history book… so, the more you score, the more pages of history have been written about your family, which I thought was a neat touch. Your family members can gain points (i.e. pages of history) in a variety of ways… by becoming important members of the town council, working their way up the ranks of the church, being a successful craftsman/merchant, a successful farmer, or travelling to distant towns and exploring the world.

Mechanically, the game is driven by a chit-pull (well.. cube pull) kind of system. A bunch of coloured wooden cubes are randomly drawn from a bag, and placed on various spots around the board. Each colour corresponds to a different personality attribute – Green = Persuasiveness, Brown = Faith, Pink = Intelligence, Orange = Skill. There’s also a number of black cubes, which bring the plague to your family… which you’d instinctively think would be a bad thing, but there are actually unusual circumstances where killing off a family member at a particular time to get him into the history books *before* an opponent gets there can be a good thing. But yes, it’s still sort-of-a-bad-thing.

On your turn, you take a cube from one of the heaps, add it to your family’s supply, and then (optionally) take the action depicted on the board next to the area that you took the cube from (e.g. advance in a particular career, harvest crops, extend your family, start a market day… that kind of thing)

Some of the actions require the payment of cubes… so, for example, to get into the church, you might pay faith cubes. To do well at politics, you need persuasiveness… so your turn is a mixture of choosing an action spot that will directly benefit you *this* turn, while accumulating cubes that’ll fuel your plans for subsequent turns. It’s a good mechanism – it keeps the game moving briskly, but does give the game a much bigger decision tree than you would get if you were simply picking one of the 7 basic actions every round.

Oh.. there’s also death to think about! Most of the actions that you can take cost “time”. Once you’ve used up 10 points of time (depicted with a little hourglass track around your farm board), one of your oldest family members is destined to meet their maker. Whether they’ll go down in the village records (= points), or be buried in an anonymous grave (= not points) is something else you need to think about.

OK, I’ve already gone into more detail than I usually do while describing this one, and I’ve only just scratched the surface … rules-wise, it’s a medium-to-heavy game. This was the second time I’d played … the first time was a 2-player game against Mrs Shep (just to make sure I’d got the rules straight before I attempted teaching it to Newcastle Gamers!), and it seemed like an OK sort of game… probably not one of my all-time favourites, but worth having… the kind of thing I usually label with a 7/10 on BoardGameGeek.

However, the game I played on Saturday – a 3-player, vs Les and James, was *excellent*. I don’t know if that’s because the game gains a lot with the extra player, or because it took another play for things to click, or if it was just because of the particular way that the game played out that particular time … but it was a *really* good experience. About half-way through the game — after a particularly devious move had just been executed — Les turned to James with a big grin, and said “Are you thinking what I’m thinking??… I’m thinking we’re going to have to go home and buy a copy of this, aren’t we?”. Pretty high complement.

It was a very closely-scored game, even though we went for very different strategies. I played a crafting/selling strategy, James maxed out the ‘travelling the world’ mini game, and Les focussed on politics and church.

I won, by a whisker. Favourite game of the night.

Archaeology The Card Game

We were pondering what to play next, and Amo turned up with a copy of Archaeology in hand. It seemed like a nice, light option to fill in the gap while waiting for other games to end, so we blasted through a quick round. (Though, somehow, I ended up teaching this one too! – no wonder I was losing my voice a bit by the end of the night)

Notre Dame

Emma joined our table, and was keen to play Notre Dame. Apparently this was her second Notre Dame of the day … Emma *really* likes Notre Dame! (actually, the picture above is the earlier game, hence the 4 player config instead of 5). It was an interesting game; I don’t think I’ve played it with 5 before… actually, it was somewhat instructional to discover that everybody who had played before (3 different parties) had a *slightly* different interpretation of the rules (not a great advert for the clarity of Alea’s rulebooks!!). One quirk of this particular session was the way that we ended up playing with concealed message tokens … I wasn’t a fan of that; it makes the carriage action an entirely random exercise … I think the ability to scoop up a rat kill or gold coin with the carriage *just* when you need one is a pretty important aspect the game.

I read an article a few weeks ago which suggested that topping out your plague meter fairly early in the game isn’t — necessarily — a bad thing. I decided to test the theory. Verdict: topping out your plague meter fairly early in the game IS, in fact, a bad thing. A very bad thing. Oops!

Admittedly, my lack of success in executing the “don’t-care-about-rats” strategy *might* have been influenced by the fact that I was sitting next to James (Notre Dame is a card drafting game, so your ease of play is dictated — to a large extent — by the 2 players to your right). James played a *very* sharp game… accumulating 8 cubes on the residence square at one point, and thereby winning by an embarrassingly large margin.

Good to get another play of this under my belt though; it’s been a while!

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small

I didn’t actually play this, but I’d promised to take along a copy for John F (previously known to this parish as (Different) John) to try out and learn how to play, and I’m always happy to help spread the joy… so I gave John F & Emma (neither of whom have played any variety of Agricola before) a quick run through the basics. I don’t think I missed out anything important… and they seemed to enjoy the game a lot.

Must remember to take proper Agricola to the next meeting – I expect that if they were impressed by Agricola:ACBAS, then Agricola:The Full Monty will be right up their street… πŸ™‚

Forbidden Island

While I was explaining ‘gric, Brad set up a game of Forbidden Island at the other end of the table… “Just in case anybody fancies a game” (hint?). I’ve only played once before, and wasn’t enormously impressed with it that time, but it’s not a very long game, so I decided to give it a second chance.

We beat the game this time – in fact, it didn’t seem anywhere near as perilous/difficult as the first time I played (maybe down to the luck of the initial island configuration). I’m still not massively struck by Forbidden Island… which is odd, since it shares a lot of design features with Pandemic, which I rate highly. I guess that fact that it’s spatially simpler, and that it doesn’t have the “organic” disease growth of Pandemic makes the decisions a lot more straightforward; there’s usually something ‘obvious’ to do, and I often feel like I’m just playing it by the numbers.


Final game of the night – Ingenious, played against Cammo, Lloyd and… (erm, sorry, don’t know. I suck at remembering names!). Pretty tense game (if you squint at the picture — and understand ingenious scoring — you can see that it was a pretty close thing between Cammo (top left) and myself (top right)). We tied on the first category, but I managed to scrape a single game-winning point on the tie-breaking second category. ‘Phew.

My brain was well-and-truely scrambled by the end of that one… time to beat a retreat home…

This time I stole all the pictures from the Newcastle Gamers Google+ Group. Yes, I know the joke: “A Google plus account is like a gym membership – everybody has one, but nobody uses it”, but it seems like as good a place as any to chat about what we get up to. Plus, if I’d realised Olly was uploading these pictures live via that new fangled “meetings” app, then I would’ve been able to have a sneaky peek at my opponent’s ingenious racks mid-game. Newcastle Gamers meets on the second and last Saturday of the month… usual cost is Β£3 (or Β£1 for concessions), but your first visit is free. More details here.

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