Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Pre Christmas board gaming 2014

Folk had a lot of before Christmas, or at least those of us that turned up to play board games on Wednesday told ourselves to salvage some self esteem and not take things personally. The pub was super quiet, so it backed up our line about people being with friends and family or at work bashes.

Also, it meant that in reversal of last week's post, I played in all of the games that hit the table and therefore everything is based on events as they actually happened. Honest.

Board gamers: Paul, John, Dan, Gareth, Tonio, Tim (Tonio's mate)


Tonio arrived at the pub early with some teacher work mates who had no intention of playing games, as they were just going to drink, talk, eat nuts and do stuff that people normally do in pubs. But one left and the others were a long time in arriving so Tim found himself on his own and was invited to join in with Hanabi. Turns out he lived in Japan for a while, knew that 'Hanabi' means 'firework' and even how to pronounce it. This sparked a conversation about the Japanese word literally meaning 'fire flower' which we agreed actually makes more sense than 'firework', but as the game as about as abstract as can be, it had no bearing other than for your interest.

We didn't do that well. And we didn't do that well even with some potentially rule bending hints from the more experienced Hanabi players around the table. And from Dan, who wasn't playing but helped anyway. All to no avail though, we thought we were doing okay, but then realised we were about to run out of cards.

Score: Tonio, Paul and Tim 17


We played John's Italian version, which allowed Tonio to translate some stuff and clarify an order of play which may have been done the wrong way round in the original plays at IBG. Although it didn't really have any baring on the results.

We didn't do that well. Dan used his ghostly presence to his best ability, which meant that he could give some clues but with the cards available he couldn't do much more and we floundered trying to match some images.

Score: John, Dan, Paul, Tonio and Gareth lost.

For what it's worth I went into this game thinking that I'd been harsh on it previously, with an attempted open mind. And I came away thinking that I loved the artwork and the concept but the gameplay it utterly limited and therefore my previous opinion is that whilst everyone loves it right now I'd be staggered if people are taking it seriously as a game in a few months. There's just not much to the gameplay - look at a card and try and guess what the nearest picture is to it. And guess what the link is. And guess what the ghost is thinking. And guess when it's going to end. And guess... well, you get my drift.

Council of Verona

The Capulets and Montegues spread themselves between the Veronese council and exile at the will of the players and their bets. Simple, but ingenious fun. It even got John B's vote of approval as it wasn't like lookalike hidden identity games as he feared that it would be.

Can't remember the result other than I din't win.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Tonio left and this super popular game came out, even though both John and Dan confessed to liking Suburbia more. Gareth was the only one who hand't played it previously, but had been eyeing it up and being an architect he didn't take too much convincing that building a castle for the rest of the evening might be fun.

John went for round rooms and all of the rooms that had run out. Dan built some very big cellars and tried to corner the market in yellow rooms, staircases and corridors. Gareth had a good mixed bag. Paul tried for round rooms, gardens and lots of money which he blew in the last round as finally there were some tiles that he fancied.

Scores: John 121, Dan 117, Gareth 112 Paul 109

And so the evening came to a relatively early close, and with a quirk of the calendar the next two Wednesday's are on Christmas Eve and New Year's eve, there is no Wednesday gaming at the London Apprentice until 2015. Tuesday the 30th December has been floated but it remains to see how much interest there is between Christmas pudding and New Year champaign.