Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas

This is the time of year that so many of us join up with old friends and family, perhaps for a meal, a drink and maybe just maybe a game or two. Unfortunately there will be no games club this Tuesday as a result the next time we will meet will be in 15 days on Jan 1st. Most of us agreed that hangovers may have gone by that Tuesday night. This is two weeks from now so if anyone out there wants to meet up to play some games at any point through this festive period, who knows you may have time off work etc….or you may be sick of playing risk against your Gran and want to play a proper game, then please feel free to send me a text message or an e-mail and I will see what is out there and pair some of us up.

It is a shame that we can’t share mince pies or pull a cracker or two and I will just have to put in the cupboard all those Christmas cards I had bought for everyone and save them for next year. Unfortunately the chocolate and beer I had bought everyone will perish too soon for me to distribute itm, so I will have to eat it myself!!

This lack of Christmas cheer will no doubt please the philistines among us who would rather ‘baa humbug’ than ‘ho ho ho’ But I will miss you all these coming two weeks, miss the opportunity of spreading a bit of good will, peace on earth and a of course miss thrashing you at a boardgame and you will take little solace in the hollow victory of holding Australasia for the whole game against your Gran and wish you were instead losing at a real game against proper players.

See you in the new year.

Merry Christmas

Friday, 7 December 2007

A Song for Bondie

Three is a Matty number
Ya it is, its a Matty number
Somewhere in that ancient mystic trinity
You’ll get three
As a Matty number
The past, the present, the future,
Faith, and hope, and charity,
The heart, the brain, the body,
Will give you three,
Its a Matty number
It takes three legs to make a tripod or to make a table stand,
And it takes three wheels to make a vehicle called a tricycle
And every triangle has three corners,
Every triangle has three sides,
No more, no less,
You don’t have to guess
That its three
Cant you see?
Its a Matty number
A man and a woman had a little baby they called it Matt
Yeah they did
And there were three in the family
And that’s a Matty number

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Ich bin ein riesiges Luftschiff!

And here we are again, THE ELITE OF NORWICH BOARD GAMERS, attending, to play games of great import, complexity and design. We put our heavyweight brains through high calibre gaming action, training ourselves to react to the tiniest flaw in our opponent's plans, ready to inflict the fatal blow. For this week... we shall... BUILD AIRSHIPS BY USING JUST DICE AND CARDS!

The game was called Giganten der Lüfte, which kind of sounds like a Pixies song title or something. Jimmy, Tom, Matt and myself set about this task, by rolling dice. White dice, red dice and black dice. By doing this we collected cards that enabled us to roll more dice. Or add points to the dice we just rolled. Or build airships. This was the point of the game, score points by building airships. So the more dice we rolled, the more dice we collected, the more airships we built and the fewer points Matt scored. It seemed a ponderous start, rolling a mere two white dice with low numbers on, picking up an assortment of bonus cards that assisted our progress. At this point it is quite unpossible to discern who is the greatest airship builder in the land. Also we had no idea what nation Jimmy was (turned out it was an old German one). So cards were accrued, and we built up our ability to roll higher numbers. We moved on to collecting red dice, and building airships. When you built an airship, you got awarded the airship token, which was very nice, and a great incentive to building airships, because you could pick it up and make airship noises (note: I have no idea what airship noises are). It gave you a bonus too. Sweet. Myself, Jimmy and Tom all built some airships, Matt just rolled dice and got compensation for not being very successful at it (if you failed to build an airship or card, you got a token that you could use to add 1 to your dice roll or if you collected 3 you could garner a 2nd go in a row). Jimmy then became the hoarder of many dice and built many airships. I took the approach of going for the Hindenberg, for which there were 4 stages of building (any player could contribute to any stage), and a big bonus if all 4 were complete. The game possibly turned for 2 reasons. One: I was first to get 2 black dice, and a +2 black dice bonus. Two: the game can end if you run out of smaller airships. There were only two more remaining, but one of them required a high roll with just white dice. Jimmy didn't have enough white dice to pursue this. After Matt failed again, I secured stage 3 of the Hindenberg. Things were hotting up. Jimmy saw what was going on and pounced to secure two black dice. But I was going to get one more chance at stage 4 to end the game. Tom rolled inconsequentially, Matt failed, and now was my BIG CHANCE!! I rolled dice, I counted dice, IT'S GOOD!!! I had secured stage 4 of the unwittingly doomed airship. The points were counted, it was a landslide. 26 to me, 17 to Tom and Jimmy, and an impressive 3 for Matt. Well done Matt, you tried your best.

Ok, that was in the bag. Fresh from my victory I set about my half of Nog, fantastic. Over on the other table and assortment of long hairs, a punk and Luke were playing Caylus. Joy.

Next up was the dice off to decide game 2 for us. It turned out to be VOM DEM WIND! Or something like that. Initially I was scared, very scared. This game revolved around putting stock on boats, and shipping it. Sound familiar? FREAKING KOGGE. Luckily, this game was not much like Kogge, as it contained actual elements of fun! Basically you bought goods, you kept them in your hand, you then loaded them on a boat. Of course, that sounds pretty dull to you and me, but the game was good, despite taking twice as long as a game like this ought to. It also struck me as more advanced version of Medici vs Strozzi, kinda. Anyway, I got off to a quick start, with two ships departing early on, fully loaded with cheese and other junk. Jimmy though was playing a coolly calculated game which would lead to his inevitable victory. He had a lot of money, I had not much. A great element of this game was bidding on other people's cards, and they had to pay you to keep them or give them to you for your bid. I screwed myself a couple of times with this, bidding on cards in an attempt to get cash, but my opponents were wise to this, although not that wise as for most of the game I had about 2 money, so they could have bought my cards with consumate ease. Jimmy wrapped up victory somewhat inevitably with two straight plays of the card that lets you have opponents cards for a whole 1 "money". He shipped his final ship and there you have it, game under. Jimmy had 55, I had 33, Tom had 26 (I believe) and Matt had 3. No, wait, Matt had 20. Well played Matt, this was a hard game and I think you did well for someone playing it for the first time, I think if you played it again you would have a good chance to score 30!

Caylus finished up, surprise surprise Luke trounced everyone. Then they played Coloretto, and there was some discussion about Byker Grove, Grange Hill and paintballing (Don't shoot someone in the eyes at paintballing, you might get disqualified). There were some kids on that gaming table that hadn't even heard of Danny Kendall. I openly wept. I feel so old.