Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Stuck in the Shire (at least that's what my spellcheck keeps telling me)


Contributors: Daniel, Paul A

An extended edition of IBG last night with the meet starting at the earlier time of 5pm, and although we spent a lot of the extra time simply hanging out and chatting we managed to get more than the usual amount of gaming packed into the evening.

We started the evening with a bash at the exceedingly obtuse collection of crossword clues that is the Shire Games quiz. Neil was stuck on the last two questions but despite our efforts to confound him even further Paul A managed to suss out one of the answers for him. Nineteen down, and one to go!

Royal Goods made a return with guest member Richard picking the game up quickly despite Tomtoo's best attempts at being disruptive. Oh, the little scamp that he is.

We then delved into a five player game of CVlizations. I'm still not sure what to make of this one; the passive thief mechanic remains one of my least favourite ways to shoehorn 'interaction' into a game and it didn't help that I got pummeled heavily with this in the first couple of rounds. This put me in an awkward spot of having to buy whatever I could afford from the available idea cards regardless of whether or not they worked with the rest of my tableau. Despite being unable to create any synergy with my card purchases I still managed to romp to a convincing victory. So I managed to win pretty much by accident rather than design, even though I didn't feel like I was in with any sort of chance for most of the game. So I dunno, I like playing it but is it one of those over-balanced anyone-can-win-regardless games?

Codenames made the table once again, with Tom Juan and myself as the cluemasters. Given his opening clue, Tom clearly had a bit of confusion over which colour he was playing. For some reason I managed to be in an upward lucid cycle with my own clues which makes a change from the garbled nonsense that I usually spout when playing this. 

We were miles ahead with a single card left to go when Tom's word-hunters amusingly handed us our inevitable victory by selecting the card that I had already given an incredibly blatant clue belonged to us.

We also enjoyed a cracking game of Dark Moon, with some stellar moments. The highlight was everybody passing in turn on a difficulty 10 task we knew we could never make, which encouraged the infected to also both drop out, and then Tonio, last in turn order, decides to go ahead with it anyway and manages to one-shot it on his first roll.

We clocked who the bad guys were fairly early on despite Noel's very best "poker face" and Paul's rigid impression of a shop mannekin every time his motives were questioned. Despite riding very close to the wire at one point with a dodgy shields situation, the uninfected had a strong run for our first ever victory for the good guys.

What else? Machi Koro was in play for quite a while, that old Knizia classic Samurai made an appearance, we saved the world in Thunderbirds, plenty of Tabletop Curling action despite the wonky table messing up many shots, and some more stuff surely going on that I've missed.


* Table curling: a ridiculous, absurd game that is also a lot of fun. I am particularly enamoured of how they actually put little handles on the balls (stones?) and how they curve their way down the field.

* Dark moon: and us aliens nearly had you.

* Codenames: fun as ever. Not that the other team put up much of a fight.

* Warhammer Quest: interesting, although I still don't have much of a feel for it yet. It seems better than Pathfinder, which is increasingly colourless to me, with more choices. Like to get back to this.

* Thunderbirds: The Hood was defeated. This was my second outing with this game and improving in my eyes. I expect to find a copy in the hands of every 40-year man in the UK.

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