Thursday, 17 December 2009

la la la la la la Brazil

I received a nice welcome from many gamers on Tuesday night. Paying what was my first visit to the ribs in several months. Both Jimmy and I had brought the latest power grid expansion to play and we got Pete, Jack, Katie (Jacks lady friend) and a joint Rachel Chris team to attempt Brazil.

The map was very interesting as far as power grid cartography gets with significant areas that had many cheap links and less popular ridiculously expensive zones. This created a lot of congestion but we where separated into two pockets of northerners and southerners, each group fighting over cheap links but neither really overlapping until perhaps the very final builds.

Jimmy won and I ended in second place, considering my ridiculously bad start I should be happy with, Pete and Jack where close behind and whilst they could power as many cities as Jimmy they just lacked the funds for expansions. Rachel / Chris and Katie where the next peg back. As always it was a tight game separated by small decisions in the timings of sprinting for the line.

As usual we mocked Jack who took it all in the spirit it was said…..Merry Christmas

The Two Richards, Luke minor and Mr Bond played …..something which escapes me for the moment but after that eventful game they cracked on with small world, which was still being contested when I left.

It was good to be back, some stress free gaming to end the year. Nice hohoho.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Last games night of 2009.

A quick announcement that tonight is the last games night at the Ribs this year. Make sure you get down tonight as we'll be having free mince pies, mulled wine, yule log and pork scratchings.* Plus the usual great banter and great games. So I look forward to seeing you all tonight at the usual time.

*Disclaimer: There will be no mince pies, mulled wine, yule log - free, or otherwise. Pork scratchings will of course be available from behind the bar at the usual price of 70p a bag.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

tempers flare as hot heads clash over the end of the triumvruate

it was a night of bitter incriminations at the ribs, as Ben, Rich and Andy tangled in the well considered, light weight, euro area control shenanigans of End of the Triumvurate. Andy was to cause much of the trouble, playing an aggressive, combat driven game as befitted someone who was playing Caesar. Ben became bogged down in a war of attrition and words with Andy, and Rich calmly hoovered up the gold, and won a political victory whilst Andy and Ben bickered and battled. the game came to a head at several points, perhaps causing eyebrows to be raised most when, after repeatedly attempting to regain vital territory that Ben had raided (particularly those with the useful civil servant counters), Ben accused Andy of "not playing to win". gasps went up from the room, how could one dare to make such a comment. calling into the very question of the high moral fibre that Mr. Malcolm displays at all, ALL, times. of course, Mr. Malcolm is slightly prone to playing Euro games that feature combat as if he is a reckless, marauding barbarian, throwing caution to the wind and fighting wildly. in EotT, it is a reasonable tactic, as owning 9 territories guarantees an auto win. yet, Andy and Ben's war was ultimately a waste. two proud armies, refusing to back down, refusing to bend and fall under the others yoke. this bitter war presented the game to Rich, who seemed a little disheartened that his easy victory was essentialy due to the rivalry that raged in the north of the map. to this end Rich, i apologise for the lacklustre game and the ill tempered discussion of actions between Ben and myself. but this was war. Caesar does not relent in the face of opposition, he attempts to stamp his own mark on the game. alas, this time he failed. Caesar will rise again.

this game? well, i am not enamored with it. i dislike that it panders to euro tradition, i dislike that the loser in battle is far too well compensated, so that losing can become an effective tactic, i dislike that it is balanced to the point that you could use the game as a spirit level. i rate it a weak 7 (translated: 5). over on the other table, Jimmy, Matt and Pete built boats in shipyard. given the duration of their game, i suspect that they were hand crafting the hulls themselves. i do not know who won, but the game had lots of nice looking bits. they may well still be playing, matt even had time to drive me home during one of the turns (at least i think that's what happened).

revelation of the week: you no longer need to bring an air raid floodlight to see half way across the room, due to new lamps being installed on the walls.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Chalk and Cheese

Six at the Ribs this week. Jimmy, Dave and Pete played Last Train to Wensleydale. A game about trains and cheese from the eminent designer Martin Wallace. Even though the board looks like someone has strewn fatty pigs livers across the board it got glowing praise from all at the table, even the Pete, who is renowned as a Wallace sceptic.

Our table played Hansa, which Ben won. New Rich and I then had a couple of games of Citadels. I won the first game, but Rich came back in the second game with some well timed thieving and assassinations to claim victory.

Scratchings Count: Just three bags. By the looks of it someone had some other bar snack. I will investigate further and name and shame the scratching shunner.

Beer. I was predominately drinking Rudgate’s Jorvik Blonde. An easy drinking flaxen blonde ale with a crisp and refreshing finish. Fairly good. Nice session beer. I give it an 8 and equate it with Battle Line – light, but good enough for repeated play.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Taj Goodness - last week

Catching up with last week…

I took Taj Mahal to play at the Ribs. As expected there were the usual cries of “You always bring that”. Which isn’t far off the truth, but I’ve checked and only actually played it once so far this year.

Inevitably the prophecies were correct and I won. Ben was allowed to think that he might run away with it, but in reality he was my puppet and I was pulling the strings. He had an excellent mid-game, hoovering up the elephants, but it the final turns I smacked him around giving him real justification to whinge that he was being picked on. Andy and Dave got respectable scores and new/lovely Rich unfortunately didn’t.

Crushed and embarrassed, Ben retired home to his manor and left the remaining four to have an excellent time rolling dice and laughing at each other’s awful rolls (mostly mine) in Roll Through the Ages. Andy won with an empire that dwarfed all that had come before.

Scratchings Count: five bags of piggy goodness were consumed. A sterling effort for four mere mortals.

Beer. I was only drinking Robinson’s Wags to Witches. A seasonal amber coloured bitter. Fairly standard with a hint of fruit and ginger. I liked it and would rate it a 6.5, similar to the board game Cuba, as it’s decent enough in it’s own right, but doesn’t really stand out in an over crowded genre.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem.

Last Tuesday we got to find out who the really devout members of the NoBoG flock were. With many other goings on in the region (the 32nd Norwich Beer Festival, the FA Cup 4th qualifying round replay between Lowestoft Town and Gloucester City, listening to music in the bathroom because it has good acoustics), there was a chance that the turn out might be low. In fact we had eight resolute souls with us on Tuesday, not least Brother Howard and Sister Darling who had returned from their pilgrimage to the Spieltag Games Fair at Essen.

Tarn taught Power Grid: Factory Manager to New Rich, Dave and Ben, whilst Dan ran a session of At the Gates of Loyang, for James, Pete and myself. Personally, I would have been happy playing either. Both were released last week at Essen and both have had praise heaped upon them. Power Grid: Factory Manager is the latest game from the green loving Friedmann Friese and is a spin off of the popular Power Grid. Set in the exciting Power Grid Universe you are a factory manager producing stuff as efficiently as possible, which sounds bloody awful, but I still want to play it. At the Gates of Loyang is the third in the “harvesting” series from Uwe Rosenberg (the first two being Agricola and Le Harve). Loyang is lighter than it’s predecessors and more tactical with reliance on card play, however we all spent the first hour of the game with absolutely no clue as to what we were doing or why we were doing it. I rate it higher than Le Havre, but lower than Agricola. I stumbled to victory, narrowly beating James (on the second count back) by a radish. Ben won Factory Manager.

Blessings to those that came. And because we are mostly a benevolent group, blessings to those that could not attend. We hope the light may guide you back to our church of games soon.

Pork scratching count: A dismally feeble two bags were consumed. Shame on you/us!

Beer: This week I was drinking Harviestoun's Hoptoberfest. A refreshingly light, almost green, beer with a citrus taste. I'd compare it to Fearsome Floors - seasonal, green, but not overly complex.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

tiny little crown

I popped down to the ribs tonight, as a blue moon rose above the city. I had heard, pretty much, that no bastard was going, so I was planning on setting a solo wargame up on the tables and gaming on my own. This plan fell apart, as I got a lift down there off Punk Matt, and it wasn't that likely that Punk Matt was just passing the Ribs on a Tuesday night and happened to offer me a lift. So unfortunately I had to play a few games with these bastards. Such is life.

We opened up on the left hand table with Nexus Ops. This game involved Punk Rich, Punk Matt, Punk Pete, and Punk Andy. OI OI! Nexus Ops is a ludicrously simple game of territory grabbing, trash talk, dice rolling and foolin'. We did a lot of foolin'. Punk Rich took an early lead but Punk Matt figured out how to play this game pretty quick. Punk Andy and Punk Pete struggled, duking it out for last place. Punk Andy built some dragons but it was a bit late. Punk Matt was in Punk Rich's bases, killing his dudes, and suddenly Matt had enough VPs to win. Much of this game revolves around being in possession of the Monolith and earning "SOME KIND OF CARD" (which I forget the name of). After victory, we (I) made Punk Matt wear the "Monolith" on his head.

After this, we played Manila, or I made everyone play Manila, one of the two? This involved no-one playing it very well, but Punk Matt basically was on form tonight and he tried out this new strategy which ultimately won him the game. Have you played Manila before? If not, I can't be fucked to explain it, but if you have, Punk Matt won by winning auctions and being the harbour master early on. This is a good strategy, but Punk Matt took it a step forwarder by mortgaging his shares a lot. The winning tally was barely over 100, this is low for Manila. Punk Pete said he wouldn't buy the game, but then again he spent most of the evening moaning to Punk Rich about Punk Rich's bloody Orc Blood Bowl team.

Punk Matt gave me a lift home, I made the most of not driving by drinking beers. This was a good evening of trash talking, drinking beers, consuming salt, rolling dice, foolin', being punks and wearing tiny little crowns. The way it oughta be. GOOD GAMING, PUNK BROS!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Not the title I was going to use.

Adam, who we have not seen at the Ribs of Beef for many months, had bought inadequate paint. That was the reason given for Rachael and Chris arriving at NoBoG a full 15 minutes earlier than I've come to expect. Obviously, the greyhounds hadn't understood the concept of emulsion paint and so Rachael had come to the Ribs to find a sympathetic audience that would shake their heads in disapproval as she explained how Adam had bought paint that had separated in the can and, which despite being stirred, would not form a substance suitable for painting a bathroom. I completely understood her pain; only the other day I had opened a strawberry yoghurt, which had "separated" and despite claims on the packaging, I felt it would probably not aid my digestive system or the well-being of my stomach. In fact, if I had eaten it, I have no doubt that I would have violently redecorated my bathroom in Strawberry Pink, which incidentally is the shade Rachael and Adam had chosen for their bathroom.

Anyway, there were 13 in attendance last night. Other tables played Small World and Race for the Galaxy, whilst I played Power Grid with Jimmy, James, Pete and Rich (ha! and you thought that it would be Pete and Rich playing Race and Small World). Anyway, I won Power Grid and for the second week in a row the legitimacy of my victory was questioned by Rich, as we forgot a small piece of maintenance halfway through the game, which may or may not have changed the outcome. Jimmy came second, Rich third, followed by Pete and finally James, who deservedly came last for advocating the cutting down of all of the rain forests in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The other table finished off with Bohnanza and we finished off the evening with a few rounds of Land Unter.

This week I was drinking Special Ale, brewed by a brewery that has thankfully slipped my mind. The barman said it wasn't very nice and I ignored him and bought a pint of it anyway. It was O.K for a few sips, but by halfway it was clear that it wasn't special, but shit. I compare it to Zombies!!! - looks promising, but it's horrible and you really just want the experience to end.

Scratching count: Seven bags! (I only ate one bag, but I'm sure I've got salt poisoning).

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Hairy Snacks

The Crocker is on extended leave from NoBoG as he is taking a course learning to appreciate David Lynch. This leaves us free to usher in a new era. A new era where the winner is not a forgone conclusion and I get to push my perversely skewed perceptions of the evening on you unsuspecting readers.

Dave joined us this week. His first visit to the Ribs on a Tuesday found him pitted against myself and Student Luke in an effort to out-farm each other in 17th century Germany. I refer of course to Agricola. Proving to be an adaptable beast, this game works well anywhere on the scale between the printed 2 to 5 players - a rare thing with most games, which may claim to be good with a variable ranges of players, but usually have a sweet spot or are near damn unplayable at the extreme ends of the suggested player
range. Anyway, I embarrassingly finished with a model farm and strolled home to victory, mostly because neither of my opponents had played before and, as Rich pointed out, I'd supposedly cheated. Final scores: Me 43, Dave 20 and Luke 19. I'm sure that having got to grips with the system a re-run would see a much more competitive game. Anyway, new boy Dave enjoyed it and Luke didn't so much.

On the other table Jimmy brought along the new Eurogame poster boy, Endeavour - a game of world exploration and empire building. Players represent a European empire colonising the Mediterranean and shipping to all parts of the world to increase the empire's glory and status in Industry, Culture, Finance and Politics. It's a game of area control and variable player powers and from what I can gather garnered praise from all at the table. Ben, back from Indonesia, won.

As the lightweights wandered home to bed, the hardcore bought another round of drinks and scratchings and finished off the evening with a few hands of the Chinese card game Tichu. Jimmy and Luke hammered Dave and me with a series of good hands and a few surreptitious winks and nods.

This week I was mostly drinking Brew Dog's 77 Lager (4.9%). A hoppy, slightly malty, pilsner brewed in Scotland. It had a decent flavour with a slightly bitter after taste and I have been hard pressed to recognise it as a pilsner without seeing the label. Pretty good stuff. I'd rate it an 8 and equate it with Imperial as it's not quite what you're expecting, but still turns out be very good.

And finally our new feature where we highlight NoBoG's contribution towards Walsall's economic recovery by eating pork scratchings (or as the bags say; Pork Crackling). Scratching Count: Six bags were consumed by three members this week.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Norway the lads

Played tikal again last night. This time I gave the rules session to new Rich and…..drum roll…….Stephen and Harry. Stephen has virtually finished his phd and the pair where gaming at the club for the first time in ages (though possibly soon to depart to Norway). Punk Rich started the night with a game of race for the galaxy with Pete but Pete was more interested in the Norwich game and soon Rich found himself playing Graenaland with James, Jimmy and long haired Luke minor. Graenaland was last played when the club was at the complete angler so probably three years ago. At the time I remember the game being enjoyable but suffering greatly from positive feedback. I dislike games where nothing matters till the final go but excessive positive feedback makes certain games (*cough* settlers of catan *cough*) tough to play.

Tikal was enjoyed by most again although this time it lasted too long for me. Down time was an issue again but this game at least has proper choices that warrant time to think. Harry came closest to winning and new Rich put on a big score at the last but I just managed to squeak it in the end. Poor stephen was off the pace but had started to carve out an area and had the game lasted a bit longer would no doubt have been back in the running.

So thats it for me for some time now. Im not around for a few weeks, in fact I will only probably appear once or twice more before Christmas. More celebrations no doubt. But its good to see a steady supply of players turning up. NBG regularly gets two tables of good gamers and fresh new players through the door on the odd occasion. Punk Rich is coming regularly as is new Rich and Pete drags himself down to the ribs most Tuesdays. Ben is a regular now and when uni is on Jack and Luke are often down. Hopefully Hal (or whoever it happens to be this year) will promote NBG to the freshers and you never know we could be inundated with mini Jimmys or even better multiple Jacks. This of course will never happen as our members are quintessentially unique in almost all aspects, we can but hope. Game on.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Matt had been threatening to play VOC for some time and last night he got his wish, James, Luke, Tash and Jack joined him in a game that saw them effectively colouring in pieces of laminate. After almost 3 hours nobody won, or the game won…. and it had come down to the fact there hadn’t been enough purple or something. It all sounded quiet bizarre especially as Luke and Shannon shouted at each other for not understanding points of the compass or for taking duff deals. Still a good value purchase from Essen a few years back as I’m sure matt could use the box as a doorstop or paperweight or something.

I played Tikal with Jimmy, Rich and Pete. The lead swung between different players but right at the end Jimmy got an awesome score, Pete played last and was able to squeak to victory. Both me and Rich ended up off the pace paying the price for lack of final diversification. This is a superb AP game that can take a while between turns. It suffers if players take too long to make decisions or to crunch numbers and last nights group played this game at a regular pace. We finished in a reasonable time but occasionally players thought carefully before acting, a nice and necessary compromise and all players enjoyed the tight competition as a result of sometimes considered and sometimes haphazard play. Tikal has more confrontation in it than I would usually like, players compete for majority in regions, but as the board is seeded and improved by the players themselves it often boils down to judgment calls at critical times and those battles that result. Players can avoid conflict but that seldom wins the game and the balance and timing of a turn is critical. Score early and it could be cheaper, score later and you may score more. The rules are relatively straight forward and like so many euro games once playing they all fit into place. We all felt that Tikal was a superb game and like always wondered why it always seams to be ages since it last got on the table. I still need to play Java again (last time was 3yrs+ ago) and mexica, the more accessible of the mask games works well in our group. Torres sometimes also gets played but recently we have been avoiding AP games. Hopefully we will dust down another such gem next week.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Life without Jimmy & Ben

Stress levels where at an all time low as container (Matt, Rich, Pete, Rachel & Jack) and Ys (Luke, new rich & Chris) where played last week at the ribs. Im saying nothing as to the underlying causes of such a trancal atmosphere......Jack was almost well behavioured. It seams the effort needed to almost do a days work coupled with a lift in an extremely dog hair ridden car had caused Mr "kiss them guns....dont call me *uck wit"..Shanon to chill a little. He did manage to break the game and completely run out of money but who cares. Chris won Ys by a squeak and then we played Ra where I got the rub of the green and cleaned up a few times with plenty of monuments. Chris had a large amount of nile tiles and kept managing to flood them and was racking up a score but my bidding tactics and aquistion of strong bidding tiles for later rounds stood me well hurah for experience over novices. I doubt I will get such good fortune if we where to play again. For sale was started and abbandoned, the pub was empty and we left well before 11 this week finishing ridiculosly early!!!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Ben is in the house of virgins

Last week I played the Princes of Machu Picchu with Ben, new rich and Devs Brother whose name escapes me at the moment. New Rich slipped off the pace having played a blinder last week he did not aquire enough cards during the game. In the end the VPs went fairly evenly with the cards. Ben was third, I was second and the newbie won! Well played. I enjoy princes of MP, its a resource management game with a good level of interaction as other players choices and order of choices dictate the winner much more than in some other games I like. After Devs brother and I played a couple of games of battle line which I managed to win to gain back some pride.

I don’t remember what Jimmy played with Rich and Bondy......and so to tonight

Last Week - Hello New Rich

Jimmy taught Rich, Pete and me Phonecia which I very much enjoyed and it got a reasonable table reception. It had been an Essen release some while ago and was high on my radar but had slipped down my want list as no one I knew had played it and despite good initial feedback the game had gradually got a more tepid response. Not from us. An interesting turn mechanic linked to an auction that after your go you could no longer compete in. An engine building game where limited resources are auctioned in the middle while the money you receive is linked to your position on the game board. When you improve your village you increase your income for future rounds or acquire VPs (or combinations of each) its very easy for the newbie to underestimate aspects of the game or to pay to much for mediocre goods. Positive feedback is also an issue and these elements stop this game being great, however if we play it often enough these aspects should make little impact in a good group. Jimmy won, timing his last dive for the line with perfection. Had the game gone another round I’m sure things would have been different. Rich was in a strong position but was not acquiring enough VPs, Pete was at least one round behind having in hindsight spent poorly early on.

Matt taught El Grande to a group containing new Rich, Ben and others but I don’t recall who. Ben won and Rich came second. They also played Basari which New Rich won and we played St Petersburg. I won st Pete ahead of Jimmy who got some bad luck which made up for him piping me to the post in Phonecia.

The Norwich Car show

An automobile contest. No we weren’t drag racing instead we had two tables playing the relatively new Martin Wallace game. I played with Chris, Rachel and Captain John. Jimmy led a table with Matt, Rich, Ben and Peter following a ubiquitous rules session led by Jimmy, the twist being the size of the crowd.

The game got a mixed reception, I loved it as did some others, a few hated it and others where indifferent. So not much to gleam from that. It’s typical Wallace fair, some engine building, some resource management. There is interesting interactions as whilst you play much of the game solo in the decisions that you make and the costs involved, there is a limited ‘market’ for selling cars and you only know partially what that may be. There is a negative element to the game which adds consequences rather than interaction, other players opening or closing factories effects your liabilities in relation to others which amongst shroud players is interaction and as players choose their ‘roles’ for a turn this avoided the feeling of playing in a bubble, at least for me.

In our game I really thought Chris was on a winner, He read the first two rounds perfectly and came unstuck in the third when his cash flow dried up. In hindsight had he invested a bit more here I think he would have romped home in front. I played very much the reverse angle, I invested loads of money, spending ridiculous amounts and getting big returns but the difference/profit was not convincing me. I acquired lots of negativity and spent out my supply of helpful white cubes by halfway and I had to bend my strategy accordingly. In the end I won the game on our table amassing a fortune, but i’m not convinced this was down to tactics or mere opportunism.

Our Four player game finished around the time the other table got to the halfway point so we played Pickomino and sat and waited........and waited...........and waited.......and waited.....and waited..............................

Friday, 17 July 2009


I felt like Tottenham at the start of the season - Just 2 points!!!

It does feel sometimes that the fire has gone from the belly of the blog. Blogging is so 2008 (or 7 or 6 or whatever). In 2009 everyone is posting comments on social networking sites from their phones in play, as they wait for Jimmy to take his turn they post some comment about yellow being doomed or draw a face using rarely seen punctuation. I however do still have an interest in being boring to the masses, taking my job home so to speak, so whilst my posts might be rare. Please keep reading them.

Last night Risk 2210 was played by Mark and John and then again by Mark, John, Pete and Ben. Ben’s usual pessimism after the first round, that the game was doomed and he might as well quit now, I’ve lost already claims proved to be misplaced (aren’t they always) as he won!! Matt and I played Battleline as we waited for arrivals. It all came down to the last few card draws and Matt skilfully took the last two rubbers to seal victory from the hands of defeat.

Tom, Jimmy, Matt and I then played Louis XIV, I game I’ve played once before but not at the complete angler as initially thought but rather but further when NBG was just a twinkle in Duncan’s eye. In the back room of St Andrews tavern I was pushed out of a win by Richard H’s aggressive use of two influence cards dam him, and yes two years on the wounds still hurt. I wake up scream from the nightmare regularly. Thankfully though the card draw gods smiled on me this day and I was able to procure a card that awarded me an additional intrigue card a turn. Essentially players receive 5 intrigue cards of which one is discarded and four are played. Having 5 for ¾ of the game meant additional options and opportunity that allowed me to play last every round. Last placement in a game with elements of area control is a big deciding factor which allowed me to beat Jimmy into second place. I was surprised by this as he knows the game very well. My score of 52 narrowly edging out his 49. If I had not drawn the cards I did I would have had other benefits but there is no doubt in my mind that the extra turn made a significant difference.

I enjoyed Louis XIV a lot but fear it may be like so many games for me, that losing or for that matter winning due to a small flaw or a margin of luck bitters the victory. Such is life and played every now and again Louis XIV is very enjoyable.

After we played China. A superb game that we all raved about during and after. 40 mins including a rules session lets this area control game be a really good end of evening filler. Jimmy won this in sweet revenge grabbing victory from me by a margin of 2 points. Toms, Jimmys and my own final placements sealed who would win and we all might have made different decisions cards depending. I am happy we all played where was best for ourselves and tight games can leave you wanting more….

So Tom, Matt and I played Basari. Which like China I love. I enjoy so much about Basari, the fact it plays in 20 – 40 mins the fact that it has high levels of interaction and the fact it has simultaneous action selection is the cherry on the icing of the massive lush cake. The only gripe is the dice rolling for piece movement which does not bother me for positional reasons but more for the fact that 10 bonus points are awarded to all who have thrown high dice, Tom 4 sixes and 5 I’m looking at you!!!! Wherever you end up thanks to that pesky die has two pieces of information, some coloured gems and a number. During the simultaneous action selection phase you choose (secretly) either to claim the gems represented by your marker, or the number as victory points, alternatively you may choose roll the dice which will progress your marker and give you the change in VPs (6 – dice roll = number of VPs).

If you alone chose an action, you get that action. If three or more players choose the same action, nobody gets that privilege. If however two players both select the same action, then there is an auction. Starting with the leading player he offers a number of gems from his own supply (you begin the game with 3 of each of the four colours). The alternate player then may choose to accept the offer, take the gems and the privilege would go to the player paying the gems. OR the alternate player instead of accepting the offer may prefer to raise the offer. This tooing and throwing of offer and counter offer is a crucial secondary interaction that amongst evenly matched players adds another dimension to an already fascinating game.

There is very much a ‘play the player’ element to success in Basari both in the selection of actions and in the negotiation. Erratic play is valid for action selection but would ruin the game if done during the negotiation phase as it has the possibility of being a king maker situation. This is no game for spite – Jack be advised.

There are four colours of gems and at the end of each of the rounds the player who has amassed the greatest number of each colour gets VPs and has to return 3 gems of that colour, thus normally creating a contents for further rounds as any remaining gems of that colour are kept by all players (In a draw all players give back to the bank 2 gems and share the possible VPs). Blue gems are worth 8, Green 10, Yellow 12 and Red 14. This power ranking is also important during the negotiation phase where a counter offer has to be of greater worth than the previous offer. If a single Blue gem was offered, this could be raised to a single gem of any other colour, however if a single red was offered this would only be beaten by two gems. The colour of which would determine what offer would be greater again and so forth till a player decides that the offer is more in his interests than paying the gems and receiving the benefit. Here is a crucial point as if you are winning 3 blue gems you need to make sure that what you pay is worth that sacrifice, too often it is easy to get auction fever and lose sight of the real goal.

Basari is played over three rounds. With three chances to clock the marker and win 10 VPs and three chances to accumulate the most of any gem colour. All remaining gems at the end of the game are worthless. Tactically I have found that it is worth having at least one dead suit which you can use to pay for conflicts, if you choose wisely you can create competition for your closest rival and gain better offers by teasing out clever offers.

In our game Tom took very few gems in both the first and seconds rounds and whilst he was in the lead till the end of round two he found himself crippled in round three unable to offer decent gems and he finally came third. I won the game by two or three points from Matt, with me winning one colour and he winning two. Matt was ahead on red by one gem and blues where tight between him and Tom. If any player had irrationally offered too many gems that would have swung the game a different direction. Thankfully all offers where fair and this did not occur. Like I wrote earlier, provided the dice luck is generally even this is a superb game which I would enjoy playing regularly.

So at the end of the night it was John 1, Ben 1, Matt 1, Jimmy 1 and Luke 2. Tom, Pete and Mark didn’t get a share of the spoils, but there is always next week.

Easy, Easy, Easy.

Hmmm thinking back what has been played?? I know last week Amun Ray was won by Matt against Al, Chris Rachel and Andy. This is one of Matts favourite games and he was playing it against at least two players who had never seen it before and one player who had at best played it once. Chris put up an impressive fight but alternately Mr Bond won. So congratulations to Matt for that, next week Jensen Button has promised to race Ben home by car whilst Jimmy cycles against Bradley Wiggins. Now if you sat Jensen down and got him to play Hannibal or Bradley to play St Petersburg I’m sure the results might be different. Caylus next week anyone?

It was definitely a night for experience over naivety as we introduced Mark to the euro gaming world, NBG and a Jimmy rules session. Jimmy thrashed Mark, John and myself at age of empires III. The interactions in the early stages between several players skewed the margin of victory, but the result was probably inevitable regardless as Jimmy played a calculated, measured game. There is definitely an element of machine building in this board game and once Jimmy had his established he was difficult to peg back with the group playing. I tried a different approach from the first few times I played this (last time was with Sim and I was thinking about opening a shop in the city), but hadn’t fleshed this tactic out enough and ultimately came in second, John was third and Mark (his first time at NBG) was fourth. John and I played this again on Saturday night and both of us had greater success, I used the same failed tactic but this time with a bit more experience and managed to get a significant score (even without the pirates tile). John also got a significant score as we both profited from understanding the nuances more than on Tuesday night.

Experience can definitely make the difference with many Euros which must put so many people off. I know Tom who always plays well and Ben, comment on the opportunity to play games for a second or third time in close succession. But why would we do that if we might lose?? Its much more fun to win.

Forced to play Friese

I know John was new to power grid and was going to face a torrid time as Jack and Ben where pretty experienced in one of the best efficiency euro games there is. I have played few games more than this Friedemann Friese classic (I think this was my fith power grid session and the second time I had played Germany) and Matt is an old master. Given the number who attended and the selection available power grid was the only feasible choice. Bondy had limited maps in his bag so the classic Germany board was used, a rules session was given for John who grasped the concepts and we begun.

With sensible bidding, interesting fuel buying and tactical city building the game was edgy and it was difficult to mark progress. Ben and I committed to larger power stations early and became sluggish as our funds dried up and Matt went into an early lead based on board position and cash flow (not turn order lead). Solid play from John and Jack saw them tick over and over time the board got extremely congested. Eventually I declined to expand and finished on 5 cities as others grew to six. Having been in an unfavourable position for much of the game I spent four rounds gathering in money waiting to leap. The group could not advance past 6 stations into phase 2 without someone paying way over the odds, whilst every turn I was amassing more money and sitting pretty being able to power the most cities. My danger was that eventually strong enough power stations would emerge to challenge my authority. Thankfully this was not the case and when phase 2 begun I was able to spring and expand from 5 all the way to 14. Unfortunately I had thought that the game would last two rounds and had bought sufficient fuel for this. Had I not I would have been able to grow to 15 and end the game without it taking a further round. I couldn’t be bothered to do the maths as I had thought it unlikely I was wrong. Jack could have got second at that stage and had he been able to expand properly he may of got second regardless. Because there was an additional round, powerful power stations came out and phase three began which allowed the game to appear closer than it was. Bondy I believe finished second though it may have been third followed by John and Ben was last, losing a tie breaker as he had over bid for his final power station, a station he had needed to compete. Unfortunately in bidding he was unable to expand enough to challenge.

Power grid as a euro is obviously about efficiency but more than most games it is about timing. You have to sprint for the line at the correct time, go to early and you will be crippled for the later rounds, to late and the race will already be lost. A classic game that will get played at NBG year on year on year.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Back by popular demand

So this was my first trip to games club in a while....and while I struggled to focus or sit upright Tarn, Ben and I played a 'quick' game of stoneage. Which I won by a gnats whisker but it was just nice to chat and socialise again.

Rich, Pete and Jimmy played small world then T&E.

And thats all I have to say at the mo........

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Its Official Jack is A Retard

With Jack self confessing his personal retardation it was my pleasure to play Capitol and Tower of Babel with him and James. Jimmy, Ben, Rich and Pete played power grid all of whom where new to the game (obviously except Jimmy). I have no idea who won that encounter but I would expect Jimmys knowledge of the game stood him at somewhat of an advantage. When I left they where playing Race for the galaxy.

Im currently shedding a ton of games on ebay and wanted to play both Capitol and Tower of Babel again before they left me for good. Both games have merits. There is much to make either game enjoyable but not enough there to make you reach for it off the shelf over some of the other excellent games available.

Capitol is an area control game with a few mechanisms that limit your actions. It 'suffers' from players not being able to make their own choices rather having to play where cards dictate. If all things are equal this shouldnt be a problem but things arent equal and it was a problem last time I played and was again this time. I managed to draw only one card throughout the game of a particular colour and James was equally frustrated. Its a fine ballancing act in game design to allow players choices whilst at the same time having variable conditions or replayability.

Tower of babel is virtually over before its begun and has far to many elements out of my control for me to love it but when I want a 50 minute knizia auction game this was always an option. Players ask for help to build a wonder and rivals offer resources, the better the offer the less the player needs to contribute but in excepting the offer it advances the rivals board position. When offers are declined the rivals are awarded VPs based on the number of items offered. It can work well but in reality there are far too many variables out of a players control. Works best with four and can take five. We played with three which made offers rather pathetic and limited.

I also have to appologise as having not played these games for what amounts to at least three years, and having not pre-read the rules, the rules sessions where poor to say the least. This is probably why both James and I failed misserably and why Jack '(insult insult here)' Shannon was able to win both Capitol and Babel. Won done you retard.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Descent in the cellar of the ribs

After a somewhat successfull bank holiday weekend where I ran a descent game as the overlord I was itching to run my second game so took Descent to the ribs and challenged Tarn, Pete and James. Jimmy and Matt played Preu├čische Ostbahn (with Dan) while Jack played shogun with capt wesker. I dont remember who else played what (sorry Ben, where you there Tom?) but my guesses are in brackets.....

I loved Descent though. The first few times we played the overlord didn't have a chance and after the first round where Tarn crippled my spiders (if you'd pardon the phrase) I thought this might be a repeat but a few minor mistakes by the heroes and soon I'd turn the tables. You cant rush into rooms and you cant drag your feet, timing is everything and sensible combo players from the overlord can take those vital points away from you. I understand and can see how descent is RPG lite, but I love it at the moment, especially when i'm the overlord. Everyone gets to pick on you and you dont take it personaly, soak it up and mess with them all ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaa...... Well anyway im now planning the next time I can enjoy this dugeon crawl game and hopefully getting together a group willing to play it more often.

Who Knows I wasn't there

A rather short post to sum up the games played on April 28th as I didnt attend, I dont know???

I expect Matt took container and Taj and Jimmy objected to football being on....but i'm just guessing.

Cuba, San Marco, Wallenstein

It was a Bank holiday so we didn't expect to see Jimmy. Tom, Pete, Luke and Hal (I think) played Cuba as we watched all English champions league. Matt, Tarn, Dan and Ben played wallentsein. Ben won Wallenstein, Luke won Cuba and Chelsea won the football. Tom Pete and Luke had enough time to play San Marco which went down well. The balance of the game doesnt quite work but the mechanic of choosing cards is so much fun that we dont care.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Ben kicks ass at ticket to ride AGAIN

We played ticket to ride, original US version and Ben beat both Tom and myself twice. The first game saw Ben use his knowledge and experience to great effect winning well. However the second game become a lot more contentious as the tickets seen and other small issues had a much greater impact on the game. Tom was edged out of around New York and as a result lost 17 or 18 points instead of getting them a swing of close to 40 points which would have seen him win. In addition he made me double back and lose out on longest trail by one train, which would have won me the game. Ben took tickets in his last go and got a 19 point route he had already completed and I took tickets 5 times and only saw one ticket with a score greater than 9 points. Victory however was still Bens despite a lot of soar grapes. It was a fun game but was supplemented by the distraction of the all English champions league football.

Matt, James, Rich and Pete played traders of Genoa which Mr Bond won. As I left they where beginning to play race for the galaxy, result unknown….ish.

“thems are fighting words”

Puerto Rico Crazy

The evening started as all do with a few japes and jabs and look at what games had been brought. Pete had brought down the ever ‘popular’ race for the galaxy, Le havre and Puerto rico. We where surveying the possible turnout amidst phone updates from stragglers whilst debating the various pros and cons of said games and Jimmy reclusly pipe in with “I’m undefeated at Puerto Rico in this group”……The gauntlet had not only been thrown down but gathered back up and slapped around the face of all present. We said RIGHT THEN Puerto Rico it is. Pete and Rich where eager knowing the game and fancy there chance to take Jimmys ‘crown’ Matt (a superb Puerto player) was hesitant having most experience playing it two player. If anything I was expecting to be last as playing games others know well is an opportunity to lose that I would rather avoid. We joked about the possibility of playing Puerto on two tables simultaneously and Matt eagerly looked in his bag…….NO, that and Kogge where the only two games he had not bought down this week. His bagged bulged with disappointment. We sat expectant for the late arrivals and when Adam (Dans brother) appeared with ‘Race for the Galaxy’ in his hands we feared the worst but wait….Dan had brought Puerto Rico so the corn frenzy could begin.

We drew lots using playing cards (black or red), dividing two tables into equal five player groups. Then drew lots again for seating positions. I was on the south table with Luke minor, James, Matt and Pete whilst Adam, Tarn, Dan, Jimmy and Rich played North. We hoped to play two games and have the best two scores from each table + one wild entry play against each other whilst the other five formed a losers table of no hope and despair. And so it was with Jimmy winning North on a coffee strategy his undefeated crown still firm, Rich came second and Adam 3rd. On south we had two newbie and despite Pete’s pleads they frequently chose what they wanted. A shipping strategy works best when it is a symbiotic relationship. If two players together take it in turns to produce and ship both will benefit. If only one player tries this they are doomed to failure. Having a shipping strategy is difficult therefore as its level of success is dependant on others, unlike some other strategies. But that is the beauty of Puerto Rico, different paths to victory and choices have ripples. James and Luke both focused more on maximising good production and shipping those goods and as a result both got good victory points this way.

The south tables winners of Luke and Matt joined Jimmy and Rich and after much procrastination so did Pete. Lots where drawn and the seating order was exactly the same as our last game!!! With Matt playing first followed by Pete and Me playing last (to the right of Mr Bond) I streamlined my approach and became more shipping focused and started as early as possible. Had the game gone on two more rounds Rich would no doubt have won, Jimmy was also close but his engine was slightly inferior to Riches. Luke won the game and Matt was way of the pace having been squeezed out. Much of Puerto is about timing. Seating position is key but you cant dictate the strategies of your neighbours either. If the player to your left constantly chooses build you are last to select buildings, If the player to your right constantly chooses it you are always second. This can have a big impact. Its expected that over time these things even out, I think in today’s case they really didn’t for Matt as he frequently found himself disadvantaged.

So in the end I was the king of Puerto and I believe Dan was my bitch, although we didn’t play together. Jimmy was finally defeated like a glorious dragon slaine by the sword of justice and might all power to the workers (not slaves).

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

April fools not present

With no Jack, Luke or Hal it must mean that Easter is upon us and the 'pressure' of the UEA is getting to much for our virgin friends. But not to fear as we managed to enjoy ourselves "out of spite".

Last Tuesday Jimmy, Luke, Punk Rich and Pete played 'A castle for all seasons'. A four play simultaneous action/card selection euro. We started with the basic game which Luke won and then after much deliberation played again with the 'winter rules' involving random interaction cards which Jimmy won. The game was popular with Jimmy and Pete seamed to like it. Rich was unconvinced and Luke was disgusted having lost. The game should play quiet quickly (although we tried to string it out) and for the most part it flowed well. Players each have an identical set of cards which they simulaneously choose from. then each reveal at the same time. Some cards interact with each other and some benefit from other players doing certain things with there turn. The interaction can therefore be high and players who act in isolation will find themselves the victim of clever card selection by there oponants. I actually feel the game has a lot of depth that I would prefer to develop further. But then I would say that wouldnt I.

Mark, Matt and Ben played Yspahan twice. Mark won the first game and Matt the second. Yspahan is an Ystari game and plays in about 40 to 60 minutes. Players role a large set of dice and assign what they role to privileges. Then each player clockwise gets to have an action equal to the number of dice assigned to that action. Once an action is chosen the dice are removed and subsequent players have less choices. The game can be subject to freaky luck conditions but is a fun euro.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Ben Wins - Officially not a Newbie

Late arrivals caused a rearrangement but eventually we settle on a four player game of brass (Jimmy, Tarn, Luke and Tom) three player ticket to ride Europe (Dan, Richard H & Ben) and a four player game of Medina (Luke minor, Matt B, James and Jack). Later in the evening space dealer was played to the sound of the official soundtrack 'pumping' from Dans phone.

We much derived the movie Watchman and celebrated Ben winning a 'proper' game and the return of Richard H. Ben has now officially ceased being a newbie after popping his 'playing with Jimmy' cherry last week. Hazzar!!!!

Probability goes out the window

Whilst Jimmy, Matt, Ben and Rich where playing a euro conflict game that Jimmy had owned since before any other of us had been born. Jack, Hal, James and myself played through several games.

We started with Oasis which went down well and then Torres which was also popular. Both games where won by me Jack was second in Oasis and Hal was piped by a very small margin in Torres. We smiled at the remarks coming from the other table and Rich getting medieval on Ben and deciding in for a penny in for a ‘pound’.

But the evenings entertainment increased immeasurably when I took out the infamous ‘coach roach poker’ as an end of evening filler. We played 3 games all of which Jack FANTASICALLY lost. It wasn’t even close. Time and time again, Jack acquired numerous cards in front of himself as we rolled around in laughter as he haplessly pushed cards to me and was repeatedly challenged. The game got to the point where James and myself where choosing cards randomly from our hands with ZERO knowledge of what they where, pushing them to Jack and having him lose. When he challenged, he was invariably wrong. With only a one in nine chance of us being correct to have him be wrong FIVE times in a row was very freaky. This is a fun game which only Derren Brown can pretend to play with skill. I always smile and laugh when playing it and for that reason alone it should be played more often.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Masters of Efficiency

If you wanted heavy-weight euros, with worker placement and efficiency engineering, then last night at the Ribs of Beef was where it was at. Caylus and Le Havre were plonked onto the tables. Hard fought socio-economic battles raged throughout the Wherry Room. Crocker dominated Le Havre with a score which tripled last placed Jimmy. I'm not sure who out scraped and bowed the others to claim the Caylus title (perhaps someone can let us know). The only surprise of the night was that Crocker didn't straddle both tables and give everyone a serious lesson at both game simultaneously.

Beer: I was drinking Elgood's Thin Ice. A thick and warming, full-bodied premium bitter. Malty and slightly darker than my usual choice of beer, but much like Railroad Tycoon it's not as heavy as it would first appear.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Blinded by the Light.

And we’re back…

The Ribs has had a facelift. It’s a little trendier, a bit lighter, but has the same beer and on a Tuesday evening is still full of idiots – well, it is once we arrive.

The Wherry Room is much unchanged. It’s had a lick of paint, the benches have been re-upholstered and we now have two televisions to resolutely ignore. I also think it’s a bit lighter in there. There were comments that the new basin in the toilets is rubbish. Tom ventured back to the table with a wet leg blaming the new basin, but we all know he’s crap at dexterity games, so I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that he might also have problems at the urinals…

Anyway, ten appeared on Tuesday; all the same old faces. I played the teutonically named Preu├čische Ostbahn (Prussian Eastern Railway). It’s like Wabash Cannonball – same low-grade production, high-grade gaming goodness – but even better. There’s more going on and although it’s not as subtle as Wabash, there seems a lot more variation. Tom, beat the four of us, to be crowned king of stock buying games, however the outcome was closer than we feared and Tom probably cheated.

Across the room the other five played Puerto Rico in Space/Twilight Imperium Lite, depending on who you listen to. The game is actually called Galactic Emperor and it sounds like it got decent reception. In all honesty I only got an appraisal from Crocker. He didn’t suggest any rule tweaks and it seems like he wants to play it again, leaving me with the impression that all went to plan, he won and that he probably enjoyed it.

We are now mentioned on the Ribs of Beef website.

Beer: I had a pint of Marston’s Sweet Chariot. A full and fruity flavoured beer, with a spicy aroma and the sweet taste of success for every Englishman to savour. So it’s nothing like the England Rugby Team then? I compare it to Ra, gets tried by me every year and is fine if there’s nothing more interesting around. 6/10.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


March meetings of NBG should be back at the Ribs of Beef Pub.

See you there Tuesday 3rd 7:30 start.

We Now Hate Everything, We Now Hate Everything Na Na Na Na

A mixed reception for Medici and a well won game of Imperial by Tom set up a 'rematch' for those wishing to explore an alternative way of playing this rondel styled popular game. And so we met at the York tavern - six of us - and retired to Heir Bonds. Not wanting to play two games of 3 Imperial was the obvious choice and so we adapted the rules to allow all players to buy shares in a country straight after it had had its turn. The game was relatively close with most players in touching distance of winning the game. Three countries where in contention but ultimately Austria dashed to the line earliest and as a result won through and its major share holder Commandant Crocker ultimately won. However with each play the game becomes less and less popular.

We then played Citadels as warmly recieved as Medici the week before with some players loving it and others hating it. My feelings where mixed but I didnt enjoy playing it with 6 especially as with the group we where in, it felt very slow.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

February Meetings

There will be no club meetings at the Queen Charlotte. A few NoBoG members are running sessions in their homes, but I expect the majority of us will all meet up at the Ribs of Beef in March, once the renovation is complete.

Friday, 6 February 2009


On Tuesday night, a band of hardy souls attempted to play games at the Queen Charlie on Dereham Road. They failed. There was a musical act that was going to play Guns N Roses covers, and to be frank, we were going to be playing second fiddle, as the second fiddler was unable to make it. So we left. Instead, we made our way to Cap'n Crockers high rise penthouse apartment, myself and the Bond replete with tins of low grade lager and scampi fries. We are but classy guys. So, in attendance were Cap'n Crocker, Cheating C Tom, Punk Rich, Pete, the Bond and my good self. A decision needed to be made on what to play. On the table were Imperial, Age of Empires III and Struggle of Empires. I disappeared into the toilet. I overheard Cap'n Crocker utter those fateful words "I think Andy's played it. He either hated it. Or he didn't". After the conclusion of my piss, I returned to the table to find that we were going to play Imperial. That's OK, Imperial is pretty OK.

The nations were dished out, we started, we capitalised. I don't recall too much about the game, me and the Bond were consuming cheap lager and I realised I didn't like Imperial as much as I thought I did. Tom ended up spending the entire game buying shares, which is not really the most fun way to spend your evening. The rest of us did all the usual Imperial things. Taking over nations, fighting wars, fucking up, talking endlessly and not paying enough attention. Tom took us to the cleaners. I think Luke was in there, and possibly Rich or the Bond, but not me or Pete. I was awful. With one nation I played the "move the wooden bit one sector each turn" strategy, which failed miserably. As Germany I was stuck between everyone, and people kept undoing my "good" work. Mother Russia was the dominant force, France rose and fell, the British navy toddled around abit, Austria lasted about 4 minutes, and Italy did a couple of things. Tom had a million shares in every nation, so he didn't care. And that was that. The game was up. Tom won.

Second game was a choice between Medici and the mighty mighty Cockroach Poker. Cap'n Crocker insisted on Medici. We were a bit uncertain. One long painful hour later, and we were a little more than uncertain. Out of all game sessions I have ever been a part of, this one met with the most mutual hatred of a game. Except for Luke, who won by a million points. Everyone else was going through Luke's kitchen knife draw and bathroom medicine cabinet, looking for the easy way out. The Bond hated it. Punk Rich hated it. Pete hated it. Tom was as unreadably poker faced as ever. Maybe he was in seventh auction heaven, but probably not. I am sorry to say that I was taking the game less than seriously by the midway point. I BID 20! Then I dealt a most excellent hand of curtains, I BID 20! At this point Luke was reaching for the shotgun that he has hanging over the fireplace. I hurled my final can of lager in his direction and lept from the balcony. I would live to fight another day.

Medici. What a pile of shit. I bid 20 on the pile of shit!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

NO Feb games at the ribs!!!!

There will be NO games club at the Ribs of Beef During February due to a refit.......

.......STOP PRESS..........We will be meeting same time as usual (7:30 Tuesdays) at the 'Charlotte' (I believe queen Charlotte) on Dereham road.

For those unaware its just past the second set of traffic lights (not counting pedestrian crossings) as you leave the city. We will be playing upstairs.

Thanks to punk Rich for suggesting this.

Everyone HAS to play MY games LOL

Without the ginger dice general and Wallace (I don’t know if thats a Braveheart scots thing or a gromit thing???) I was left worried about the possible turnout. In the end we where 10. Hal had yet again brought down some newbies....will they come again? Who knows but they seamed to enjoy galaxy trucker despite Jacks best efforts. Ben was less impressed and by the end of the night he was joining in the ‘your mother’ remarks we were all throwing at Jack.

Tarn, James, punk Rich, Hal and I all played Le Havre. Which was amazing and awesome as per usual. I don’t know how but we got a lot of buildings out quickly and as a result it was a much more resource heavy game than last time. This I think was reflected in the scores with James and Tarn getting around double the number of points they did last time. Rich came second and I lead from early till the end. The game was enjoyed by all though concerns were raised as it becomes hard to catch a leader in so many of these economic, building, efficiency games. The game played in about 3 hours and provided players make reasonably prompt choices Le Havre will get a few outings at NBG in the coming months.

Regrets and apologies to Tom who arrived too late to play either game and his politeness as always meant that he patiently watched and observed the games being played without playing himself. Thanks for this Tom.

Its also worth noting that nobody except me brought games to the club and I was only intending to take one ....just goes to show you, its always worth bringing your game down, who knows it may get played.....except if its vampire of course.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

20th January 2009: a historic day. Crocker lost his first game of Power Grid. Godfrey and Richie's buddy, Michael* turned up for their first session at NoBoG. And I played my first game of the new "must have" game - Dominion.

I won't go into all the details of who played what and who won what and where they played it and for how long and why they won... OK, so I didn't win any of the four games I played. Instead I'll say a little about Dominion.

Dominion's soaring popularity on Board Game Geek is matched at NoBoG with at least four or five people owning it. It's also seen play at every session throughout January, which must be a record, as very few games get played more than one or two weeks in a row. I can see the appeal. It's a quick card drafting card game with many similarities to collectable card games, but with out the collecting element and the steep learning curve. It's one of those games that soon gets it's hooks into you. With a plethora of cards to play with and a short playing time I can imagine saying "Just one more game" as you want to hone your strategy, but also explore new cards and combinations. Do I like it? For the most part, yes, however, I was disappointed by the low level of interaction. It also seems shallow in terms of strategy, as for all the different cards they all seemed rather similar. I'll have to play again to see if I'm correct and to see if the combination with the Throne Room and the Re-structure could be improved by adding more... ah.

Beer. I drank something nice. It had a crap name plate and I forget what it was called. I'd compare it to Wabash Cannonball - Shoddy looking, but with surprising depth and taste. 8/10.

*He may not be called Michael. I'm not sure I caught his name, but Michael sounds familiar and I find it hard to believe that we've never had a Michael, Mike or even a Mick down the club.