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Newcastle Gamers, 31st August

(Gulp… less than five hours to go until the next Newcastle Gamers… better get cracking with logging my last visit then…)

Trias

trias

I hadn’t heard of Trias until I saw Olly mention it in a pre-meeting Google+ post… but he tends to have pretty good taste in games, so I figured it should be worth a try 🙂

Trias is a game about continental drift. You control a species of Dinosaurs, and during each turn of the game — aside from doing stuff like moving your herds around and making dino-babies — you get to move a chunk of Pangeal (pretty sure that’s not a real word, but it should be) land-mass around and re-shape the continents. The object of the game is to end up in a situation where your species dominates the biggest landmasses.

It’s a fun game, with some interesting tactics involved… the rules regarding which chunks of land can move (and where they’re allowed to move to) actually made it a tiny, tiny bit Hive-like at times. Good stuff. I enjoyed it.

Bruges

bruges

Hot off the printing press: the brand-new English edition of Bruges — the latest Stefan Feld game — in which you play the part of a… well, I’m not entirely sure what you’re doing, really; it seems that they don’t bother putting a lot of scene-setting text in Hans im Gluck games any more. I guess Eurogame players are pretty well trained by now to assume that unless instructed otherwise, they’re some kind of medieval nobleperson attempting to gain reputation and prestige (AKA victory points…) by doing a variety of vaguely-interconnected point-gaining stuff.

This time around, said reputation and prestige is achieved by building chunks of the city of Bruge. You have a couple of canals to complete, houses to build, and people to house — all of which give you victory points. Meanwhile you need to reduce the risk of fire, floods, plague, raiders, and treachery upon your property (and person) … and try to make enough money to buy your way up the reputation ladder each turn. It’s a fairly typical Feld game… it dangles point-scoring opportunities in all directions, but never quite gives you the resources you need to pursue them all.

In this particular Feldian-points-salad, your actions are driven by a rather neat card collecting mechanism … a blue card lets you hire a blue worker, or build a house using a blue worker, or gain money at a level set by the blue dice, or counter the blue threat (floods), or build a chunk of canal in a blue space… etc etc. Getting the right combination of coloured cards in your hand to carry out your desired plans (or, more likely, making the best of the cards you get saddled with) is the crux of the gameplay.

Bruges is a good game… if a little bewildering. In addition to using your cards for all the colour-coded actions mentioned above, each card also features a unique personality/character (165 of them in total!), with special powers and abilities, which you could choose to bring into play instead of playing the basic “colour” ability. Remember how confusing it was the first time you got dealt a hand full of occupation cards while playing a game of Agricola? Your first game of Bruges pretty much feels like that… except you get dealt 4 brand new “occupations” each and every round of the game. Eek!

But, the thing is… the occupations and minor improvements are one of my favourite aspects of Agricola, and I’m sure that once I’ve got the hang of Bruges, I’m going to really like Bruge for much the same reasons. It’s just going to take a few games to get up to speed 😉

Bruges definitely gets a thumbs up from me. I’m not sure it quite topples Trajan in terms of the favourite-Feld-I’ve-played-so-far stakes … but it’s a very promising game. I’m looking forward to playing it more.

Forbidden Desert

forbidden

It’s a bit like Forbidden Island… but different. Actually, it’s a lot better to play than Forbidden Island… playing Forbidden Island usually just makes me wish I was playing Pandemic (which is essentially the same game, but with a bit more going on), but Forbidden Desert — while coming from the same boardgame-gene pool — is very much a thing in its own right.

In Forbidden Desert, players take the role of a team of explorers seeking the remains of a flying machine left behind by a mysterious ancient civilization. Shifting sand dunes and the ever-present threat of death-through-dehydration stand between you and your objective.

Gameplay is the same sort of co-operative risk mitigation exercise as Pandemic-Island, with a similar amount of luck aiding or thwarting your progress towards victory. In this case, “thwarting” was definitely on the agenda, as all the water-granting oasis tiles clumped together at one end of the map, and the all-important clue tiles being particularly reticent about turning up until very late in the game. So we lost. Very convincingly.

Un-photographed Fillers

I’m getting my chronology a bit muddled up here, but No Thanks, 6 Nimmt and Coloretto all made an appearance during the evening.

Those first two titles are abstract card games that I keep seeing bandied about in lists of classic filler / 100-games-you-MUST-play type lists on BGG etc, but which I’d never actually had any experience of (either playing them myself, or even seeing them being played by others at Newcastle Gamer meetings) …so this month, I took the plunge and snapped up a cheap (German import) copy of each title. They had their first outings at this meeting.

No Thanks is a very straightforward push-your-luck game… each player gets an allocation of plastic chips (worth points at the end of the game), and each round a numeric card is put up for grabs. When it’s your turn, you either take the current card (which is bad, because you’re trying to avoid taking cards — especially high-value ones), or you can pay one of your chips to reduce the value of the card by one point, and pass the card-taking-responsibility onto the next player. The twist comes in the fact that once you’ve been forced to take a card, any subsequent cards that you take which are numerically adjacent to ones you already hold don’t incur further scoring penalties… so they suddenly become massively valuable to you, but are still a pain for the other players. The game seems to be all about striking a balance between getting cards which are beneficial / less harmful to yourself, and denying the other players access to cards which are beneficial to them… or, at least, not letting them get their hands on them too cheaply!

The game was new to everybody at the table, so it was difficult to judge the relative worth of the various tactics involved, and it maybe felt a bit like an experimental/learning round. Seems like it has potential though.

6 Nimmt! is another game in which you try to avoid taking cards. In this one, you get dealt a hand of 10 cards, and each round you need to play your card into one of four rows, according to a bunch of rules which I won’t explain here (they’re easy to find online if you’re interested). Whoever places the 6th card in a row takes the contents of that row into their “scoring” pile, and whoever scores lowest wins.

The “official” way to play 6 nimmt! involves several rounds, with the game ending when at least one player exceeds 66 points… though many people just seem to play the game as a single-round 10-minute filler — which is what we did. This one seemed to fall a bit flatter than No Thanks did, with a general opinion at the table of “Yeah, it was OK” … though I played it with a different group of people the next day, and it was a big hit there (with demands for repeat plays)… so I guess it might be a bit of a marmite title, or a right game/wrong situation kind of thing.

And another game of Coloretto also occurred. I still didn’t win. But I’m getting better 😉

Terra Mystica

terramystica

The final game of the evening was a marathon session of Terra Mystica. Olly has posted something about this taking 5 hours… I’m not sure it was quite that long, but it was definitely a long game. Too long, really. I think the take-away lesson here is not to play a 5-player game of TM against four first-timer opponents unless you’re ready for a long session… the rules explanation alone took the best part of an hour.

I played the Mermaids (who get advantages for moving and expanding over water)… and I didn’t do very well. My failing was in the early part of the game — after explaining the importance of not being too isolated, and relying on the adjacency of opponents to get your initial civilisation up to speed, I ended up isolated and struggling to get my initial civilisation up to speed. This definitely wasn’t intentional — I dropped my initial building in the usually-busy area in the middle of the map, under the assumption that _somebody_ would end up being a close neighbour … but the initial clumps seemed to ended up concentrated at the West and South sides of the map. This made trading halls relatively expensive for me… so while I ended up placing an awful lot of dwellings at the start of the game (and got a good supply of workers to play with), I didn’t really break through into the higher-level buildings and/or a steady income of coins until round 3 or 4, by which point my growth was severely stunted.

I still enjoyed the game, but it went on for far too long — TM really wouldn’t appeal to me as much if it normally took that amount of time to get through. Previously, I don’t think I’ve had a TM game last longer than around 2.5 hours… but this was the first time I’d played with a table full of people who hadn’t played before and/or hadn’t studied the rulebook in advance, so hopefully marathons like this will be the exception, rather than the norm.

* * * * *

In summary: Another good night’s gaming! I don’t think I played a single title that I didn’t enjoy in some way (as an aside, over recent months I’ve got a bit fussier about which games I join at Newcastle Gamers, and which ones I politely decline — sometimes at the expense of waiting around for a while for something better to begin — but I think my evenings have improved massively as a result). Pick of the bunch was Bruges … I definitely need to play that again, soon. (i.e. TONIGHT!). So… see you all in a few hours, then?

CREDITS: Session pics taken by Olly. Newcastle Gamers meets on the second and last Saturday of the month. Usual cost is £3 (or £1 for concessions), but your first visit is free … check our G+ group for more info.

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Newcastle Gamers, 10th August

(in which I attempt to re-start my regular blogging of things that happen at Newcastle Gamers meetings…)

10th of August was an all-day session, officially to celebrate the 100th meeting of Newcastle Gamers… but also, I suspect, because we were expecting a delivery of new tables for the club, and the delivery men don’t operate at night 😉

The new tables arrived very early … in fact, I hadn’t even settled on a first game to play when a slightly-confused van driver arrived at the door, so my first activity of the day involved helping Chairman John inspect & unpack the delivery (almost as much fun as un-boxing a new game. But not quite). Here’s a bunch of suspicious-looking characters playing an inaugural game of Love Letter at the first one we unpacked…

Table

The tables are a pretty good acquisition… they seat 5 or 6 comfortably, and are better-suited for games which require a bit more 2-dimensional “spread” than the venue’s other (long and narrow) tables. Plus, with our ever-growing membership (we got 11 new people at this meeting), we’re starting to run out of available gaming surfaces. A few extra tables will save us from resorting to playing on the floor for that little bit longer 😉

Oh! This meeting also had one other special feature worth mentioning before I crack on with the customary list of games played… CHOCOLATE DICE!

IMG_1711

In celebration of our 100th meeting, some of the club funds had been invested in a supply of chocolate dice. They weren’t quite square, nearly always rolled a five, and some people insisted they tasted a bit cheap and nasty… but I liked them 🙂

Anyway, on with the games…

Adel Verplicht (Hoity Toity)

hoity-toity

A game of aristocratic antique dealing and petty thievery… and winner of the Spiel des Jahres award way back in 1990.

Chairman John was keen to play this (it’s one of his all-time favourites), and I remembered having fun the previous (and only) time I tried it.

I was playing against some slightly more seasoned gamers this time around, and the difference in play style was quite notable; it was much more difficult to second-guess what actions people would take. I’m not sure that I enjoyed it quite as much as the first time I played — perhaps it didn’t have the novelty factor working in its favour this time, or maybe playing against unpredictable opponents made everything seems a little bit more luck-driven. Good fun, but I fear my interest might wane with a few more plays.

Next: Finstere Flure (Fearsome Floors)

fearsome floors

(Forgot to take a pic until it was all back in the box. Oops!)

Lunchtime was looming by this point, so I didn’t fancy getting into any 3-hour epics… I therefore suggested a game of Fearsome Floors. We played a 5-player game, which — perhaps surprisingly — played much, much faster than my previous 3-player Fearsome Floors experience at Newcastle Gamers. In the 5 player game, you only have 3 counters each (instead of 5), so there was the same number of counters on the board both times… but I guess the chaos level is just a bit higher when 5 different people are all trying to lure the monster in opposing directions. Plus, of course, you have to get fewer people out of the dungeon in order to win. It was a fun, light game… with a fair bit of banter and cries of anguish/frustration whenever a cunning plan turned out to be not-so-cunning. Good stuff.

Pandemic (base version)

pandemic

Returning from lunch, I spotted a first-time visitor sitting alone at a table, clutching a copy of Pandemic (Camo’s, I think), and intently studying the rule book… so I thought I’d do the decent thing and introduce myself and offer to play! I managed to coral Dave and Chairman John (who, surprisingly, hadn’t played Pandemic before) into playing too, and the four of us promptly set about saving the world… on the easy level.

…Or not saving the world, as the case may be… 3 diseases cleared, but we were a long way off from sorting out the last one when the player deck ran out. Oh well… I think Babs (the newcomer) enjoyed the experience nevertheless 🙂

Love Letter

We were getting pretty heavily besieged by newcomers at this point… a few of them were interested in trying out King of Tokyo, and Jerome offered to show them the ropes. I suggested Love Letter to the remaining people… working on the logic that both games would probably finish at around the same time, and we’d maybe be able to swap around a bit.

Unfotunately, not very far into the game, I completely forgot the names of everybody I was playing with. I suck with names at the best of times… it somehow seems even harder to remember them while also teaching games and keeping people on the right track. I therefore had to play the meta-game of “trying not to reveal that you’ve very rudely forgotten everybody’s names within minutes of being introduced” while playing my cards. I don’t think I did it very well. Sorry everybody 😉

Anyway, Love letter was a massive hit with the group… the sort of hit where everybody who played was asking how much it cost and where they could go and buy a copy. Result!

Village

As it turned out, King of Tokyo ran short, and Love Letter ran long… so the initial plan to have everybody synch up again after playing those two games fell by the wayside. The people on my table seemed keen to play something a bit longer/more board-gamey, so I suggested Village. I’d really brought it along with the intention of giving my copy of the Village Inn expansion another outing… but the plain vanilla version seemed like a good option to play with the new folks.

The game played out a bit differently to normal, with an unusually-high proportion of craftspeople meeting their maker very quickly (clearly, this particular Village had a bit of a gruelling work ethic!). This meant the crafting segment of the book of remembrance soon overflowed, and the game was pushed to an early close with the anonymous graves filling up with un-commemorated tradespeople. As such, it probably didn’t show the game at its best; this was probably one of the less-interesting games of Village that I’ve played … the new folks didn’t seem to mind though; they seemed to enjoy it.

People broke up a bit at this point for food, cigarettes, and to go and rescue cars from parking meters (somebody obviously didn’t see the mention of FREE PARKING on our web site!). I grabbed some sandwiches from the Sainsburys next door (it was around that time of day where all the freshly-made lunch stuff gets reduced – hooray!), and then hooked up with Les and James (who had just arrived) for…

(More) Love Letter

Again?

Yes, again.

Les and James had (amazingly!) never played Love Letter before, and we thought we’d play something short-ish since it looked like a bunch of other games were on the verge of completion.

And it is a neat game.

They were impressed. Really impressed. (I must’ve been instrumental in the sale of a bunch of copies of LL this week!).

Next up:

Terra Mystica

IMG_1725

(This is the point where I remembered to start taking pictures again. Hooray!)

3 players, Me vs Les vs James (yep, yet again the old “let’s play something short, and somebody else is sure to be ending their game at around the same time as we finish” tactic didn’t work out quite as well as planned … so we settled down to a 3-way game of Terra Mystica).

Terra Mystica is a game which seems to have taken the BGG charts by storm this year… coming from pretty much out of the blue at the close of 2012, and ending up as the 8th highest-rated game on the site at the time of writing! I avoided it for a long time … from first impressions (admittedly, mostly from looking at pictures of the game materials), Terra Mystica struck me as a sort of Small world / Eclipse hybrid — two games that I’m not massively keen on. It’s got a bit of a high fantasy theme going on (Dwarfes, Halflings, Giants etc…), which I tend to find a bit harder to swallow than more traditional “euro game” themes. Plus, I’m kind of skeptical when comparatively expensive short-print-run games bubble up to the top of the BGG charts; I can’t help wondering if there’s an element of hype & purchaser-confirmative-bias involved in the ratings when such things happen.

Anyway, to cut a long story short… Terra Mystica is actually a very good game, and not at all the type of thing that I expected it to be… and while I wouldn’t say it was the 8th greatest game ever created, I certainly wouldn’t dispute that it’s amongst the 10 games that are most worth playing right now.

Let’s face it… when you see a game where each player controls a different fantasy race, and it has a big board covered in hex terrain, you automatically think it’s going to be some kind of pseudo-ameritrashy territory control game where you have battles and try to knock the stuffing out of each other, right?

Wrong. There’s actually no combat in this game. The many races (and/or factions) in this game are all living in peaceful co-existance, and trying to build the biggest cities. There’s a land-grabbing element, and a lot of strategy in making sure you get the prime real-estate before one of your opponents nips in and cuts off your expansion … but once you’ve claimed a hex on the board, it’s yours for good; No fisticuffs. No scrapping over ongoing ownership. It’s nothing remotely like a war game, and more of a network-builder / scoring race. And as such, far more my cup of tea.

The game does far too many clever things to detail here, but one of the more interesting aspects is the fact that there’s an action-selection mechanism involved, and this is driven by a set of tiles which you select randomly (from a larger set) at the start of each game. Each combination of tiles will present a different palette of options, and tilt the game to favour slightly different play styles.

The game has 14 different player factions (/races) to choose from, each with special powers and/or victory point generation routes, and with asymmetrical resource-generation “micro economies” of their own… and, obviously, different races suit different strategies and (therefore) different starting configurations. It’s an insane amount of stuff to explore.

This time around, I played the engineers. The engineers love to build bridges… they can build them easier than any other race, and for every bridge you erect, you get points at the end of every round. “Easy!” I thought… just rush-build some bridges and watch the points roll in! Of course, what I hadn’t reckoned for was the fact that engineers get a *far* smaller worker population than anybody else (I guess it takes longer to pass the bridge-building examinations), and — unlike all the other races — they don’t get a head start on any of the religion tracks in the game (another critical source of points) … leading to a very challenging, crunchy (and fun!) set of scarcity-driven resource allocation decisions through the game.

Meanwhile, Les was playing Nomads (they start with 3 cities on the map, instead of the usual two, and have a “sandstorm” power which turns the terrain bordering their cities into nomad-friendly desert), and James used the Witches (once they’ve built a stronghold they get a “witches flight” ability, which means a new witch settlement can pop up in a chosen forest hex every round, free of charge).

Sadly, I’d underestimated the amount of work I’d need to do on the religion side of things to keep up in the final scoring… (pesky atheist engineers!) and Les — who had been lagging behind for most of the game — zoomed ahead of me in the final round. …Which wouldn’t have been too much of a crushing defeat, except James had already secured a pretty good lead just by following the round-by-round building objectives (which are also randomly configured at the start of the game, and which I haven’t even talked about!). Still, our final scores weren’t too disparate, and it was a really enjoyable experience. Best game of the day 🙂

Les and James had to head off at this point (On the way out, Les mentioned that we might not be seeing James so frequently in future, as he’s off to university next month.. Good Luck James!), so I went scouting around the room to see what else was going on. Olly looked like he was getting close to wrapping up a game of Agricola that he was involved with, and we’d (vaguely) pre-arranged to play Age of Industry at some point in proceedings, so I figured I’d nip to the shop for more munchies, then lurk around until they’d finished their game. John S (not me, the other John S) was also interested in playing, but only after he’d had chance to go to the chip shop… so while we were waiting, Olly and I played a couple of rounds of…

Coloretto

This game is a bit of an old one, but seems to have had a couple of outings at the club over recent weeks… prior to this resurgence of interest, I hadn’t played Coloretto for years, and I’d sort of forgotten what a neat game it is. It’s a simple set collection game — try to collect cards which are advantageous to you, while forcing your opponents to take cards which are disadvantageous to them. It’s quick, fun, and affords plenty of opportunity to do evil things to your opponents.

Olly hadn’t tried the two-player variant before… neither had I, but it’s very similar to the 2-player version of Zooloretto (which I’ve played a couple of times with Mrs Shep). Despite a feeling of vague familiarity, I played hopelessly badly; I’m clearly out of practice with this one, and need to get some extra-curricular games played… to this end, I’ve already scored a copy of the slightly-different-but-99%-the-same Coloretto – 10th Anniversary Edition to play at home 😉

Finally:

Age of Industry – Minnesota

Olly was keen to get his teeth into one of the more complex AOI maps (previously, he’d only played Germany, but he’s a big fan of AOI’s much-more-complex big brother, Brass). “Other John” hadn’t played AOI before, but is a pretty seasoned gamer, and didn’t mind being thrown in at the deep end… so we cracked open my previously-unplayed copy of AOI’s Minnesota Expansion:

Age of Industry

It’s an interesting map (though possibly a bit of an atypical introduction to AOI for first-time players, as it messes around with the base game’s resource production rules massively!). It has a significantly-modified coal-production system, you can use ships to export iron, certain cities offer hydro power for your industries (reducing the need for coal), there’s tweaked iron production rules in the Minnesotan iron ridge, and the map has some quirky/exploitable layout features like twin cities and potentially-valuable rail links into Chicago (coal city!).

Definitely the sort of map that takes a “learning game” before you get a grip on the strategic possibilities… but no worse for it.

I enjoyed this — I played a fair bit of AOI when I first got it, but then it kind of got sidelined by the Cult of the New … it was good to get re-aquainted with it. Especially since 4 new AOI maps have, apparently, arrived in the USA and should be hitting the board game geek store shortly (hmm… what was that I was saying about the Cult of the New?)

By the time AOI was back in it’s box, it was after midnight and I realised I’d clocked up 14+ hours of gaming. Time to call it a night.

* * * * * * *

A good day’s gaming… Highlight of the day was definitely Terra Mystica; I can see myself playing a lot more Terra Mystica over coming months, though AOI was pretty good too. It was also great to see a record number of new people at the club (the all-day sessions seem to be particularly good at bringing in first-timers!).

The next meeting is on the 31st August, starting at the more conventional time of 4:30pm. See you there!

Newcastle Gamers meets on the second and last Saturday of the month. Usual cost is £3 (or £1 for concessions), but your first visit is free … check our G+ group for more info.

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Beltane

Last week we went to the Beltane festival on Calton Hill, Edinburgh. It’s a modern re-invention of the ancient Gaelic celebration, which welcomes in the summer on the eve of the first day of May. It wasn’t a particularly warm night (this was, after all, the top of a hill, in scotland, on the last day of April) — I was just about comfortable in 2 layers of clothing and a jacket — but quite a few of the performers were wearing nothing more than a layer of body paint for the whole 4 hour duration. Eek!

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Not this Newcastle Gamers, but the one before… (13th April)

Argh! … after a year and a half of dutifully blogging my trips to Newcastle Gamers, I finally let one slip. My excuse: a crazy-busy couple of weeks, much of which was spent in the pursuit of a cool new job (spoiler: I got it! Yay me!). However, for sake of OCD-style completeness, here’s a whistle-stop tour of the stuff I played on the 13th April….

Keyflower

Keyflower

Played with John F, Jerome, Emma and Emily… this was the first time I’ve played Keyflower with 5 people, and it handles that number of people beautifully — I’m sure the 6 player version will work equally well. I was convinced Jerome was going to win… he went into the final round with far more meeples than anybody else, and was still taking turns long after the rest of us had resorted to repeat passing … but it was actually Emma who came in first. Fun game. I’m really enjoying Keyflower, and it was good to see that another table had a copy in play at the same time — I think my previous Keyflower evangelism at Newcastle Gamers must’ve borne fruit 😉

King of Tokyo

Cyberbunny

Keyflower was followed with a quick filler session of the afore-blogged King of Toko, while we waited for some other games to finish/synch up. I’m still a bit “meh” about King of Toko; still feels a bit like a kids game to me. I controlled Cyber Bunny (pictured above), and played a fairly risky game — unfortunately leading to an early elimination — which was no bad thing, as it gave me a chance to nip to the Sainsbury’s branch next door and grab some nibbles. I got back from the shop — discounted veggie samosa in hand — just in time to see Jerome win a final round battle against Owain.

Power Grid

Power Grid, Brazil map

John F. has made it his personal mission to play a game of Power Grid at every Newcastle Gamers meeting… this week’s variation was the Brazil map. It’s been a while since I last played Power Grid, and I’ve never played the Brazil map before, so I decided to give it a go. The game had a really odd finish; EVERY player powered exactly 17 cities in the closing round, leading to a 4-way tie break judged on accumulated wealth (with Graham — the only first-time player at the table — winning by a huge margin; that’ll teach us to take the newbie for granted!).

Dominion

Dominion

Played with the Basic + Cornucopia decks, vs John F, Owain and Andrew. I can’t remember much about this one, though I think it was a very attack-oriented kingdom card pool, with a lot of thieves and jesters being thrown around. I won, by quite a big margin… partly due to a high investment in Horse Trader cards. I quite like horse traders… as a “reaction” card, it’s a bit average/meh, but something that’s easily overlooked is the fact that it also carries a +3 money value (on the condition that you discard 2 other cards… which usually isn’t too burdensome in the mid-to-end game). This can be a really nice cash boost; I had quite a few hands where a horse trader carded bumped me up into province-buying levels of wealth. Hooray for horse traders!

Finally:

Hanabi

Hanabi

The game-that-never-gets-photographed finally got photographed. Thought that’s possibly not the most flattering shot of me on the left (I wasn’t hiding… that’s my “thinking” pose!)

This was John F’s first experience of Hanabi… and we were maybe hampered at the start by some colour-confusion, *and* the fact that we didn’t make it clear to John that you don’t have to declare which heap were playing a card onto as you play it. Nevertheless, we got into a pretty good logical flow by the end of the game. Admittedly, not quite soon enough, or logical enough, as we only scored 18 out of 25… but that’s a pretty decent score, which the rules equate to: “Excellent! Charms the crowd” 🙂

Best bits: Keyflower. Still brilliant.

Worst bits: The Circus school was on their Easter Hols, so the usual fun and games of trying to get into a locked hall ensued… made worse this time the fact that even when a keyholder turned up, we couldn’t get the car park gate to open. I ended up having to abandon the shepmobile in a paid parking space over the road — booo!

Credits: Game snapshots stolen from Olly and Owain (thanks chaps!). Newcastle Gamers meets on the second and last Saturday of the month. Usual cost is £3 (or £1 for concessions), but your first visit is free … check our G+ group for more info.

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Egg Jarping

Inspired by a recent episode of Rory and Will – Champions of the World, we spent Easter Sunday in a pub in Peterlee, watching (and taking part in) the World Egg Jarping Championship. While we were there, I made this:

Sadly, I was knocked out in the first round… but Mrs S. made it all the way to the quarter finals (that’s her in the red jumper).

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