Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ministry of Truth

John is at it again. This week the mischievous scamp referred to the NoBoG blog as propaganda. Propaganda?! The fiend. Still, we all know not to trust a man who believes that the Earth is flat, steals eggs from endangered birds, and who head-butted an old lady in Morrison’s supermarket in order to get the last packet of tea cakes. Nothing but the raw and ugly truth to be found here.

Once again we were graced by three new intrepid game players - Elina, Matt and a mystery fellow, who I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting. They spent the evening with Nicky and Phil playing 6 Nimmt and In the Year of the Dragon. I know that Matt won ITYOFTD (I approve), but couldn’t say who won 6 Nimmt. Welcome guys. Hope you'll be back next week.

I was forced by Pete, along with Stu and James into playing Eclipse. This a new record for a game - hitting the table five weeks in a row. Exploring and blasting things in space is alive and well at NoBoG. Pete won this with a whopping score of 65, almost doubling my second place effort. Stu came third and James, who was making his first appearance for three years, was handed the wooden spoon.

Meanwhile, in the darkened corner the subversive John and his accomplice Rich played the dystopian Block Mania. A game of tactical combat set in the 2000AD Judge Dredd universe. Players take on the role of rival neighbouring tower blocks. The residents of each block would like to destroy as much of their rival block as possible and use whatever means they can to vandalize and destroy: spray paint, guns, flamethrowers and heavy lasers. This looked a lot of fun and it was nice to see a retro game from 1987 make an appearance. From what I gather, John crushed Rich; his anti-social behaviour standing him in good stead for the low cunning and mindless violence needed to win this game. See, no propaganda here – Otherwise I’d have written that the angelic Rich won.

Beer: While my fleets were being blasted into space dust by Stu, I was quietly sipping on a pint of Adnam’s Ghost Ship. Previously a seasonal summer brew, this golden blonde ale now seems available all year. Pale ale with citrusy hops and a bit malt, toffee and hint of wheat to balance it nicely. I’d had this bottled and thought it was OK, but the cask in the Ribs was really nice – tip top condition. 8.5/10.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Write on!

Image: imagerymajestic 
John cheekily mentioned that he thought the blog was updated quarterly. The nerve of the man! I’d like to see him do better. Actually I would. It would be nice to have someone else ramble on about how they lost to Pete at Eclipse or how much they can’t stand Le Havre or how Taj Mahal is an inspired design. And maybe the writing or at least the grammar might improve around here. So if you’re reading this and fancy picking up a pen (obviously a metaphorical pen - you’d have to use a keyboard – or maybe you have one of those strange stylus things and a computer made from coral and moss...) then let me know and we’ll go about getting you a writer's spot on this very blog. 

Last night Dean trawled the streets for unsuspecting souls who could be lured into the Ribs and forced to play board games. He did a sterling job and found four victims. We took pity on the heavily pregnant Zoey and released her back into the wild (because Agricola has a health warning much akin to camembert or Silk Cut). The three lads – Ollie, Jeremy and Martin were not so lucky and forced to play Agricola, Taj Mahal and Tichu. They all gave a good account of themselves, but it wasn’t enough to stop Rich winning Agricola and Jimmy claiming a narrow victory in the superb Taj Mahal. Who knows if they enjoyed the experience – I think they did, but even if they didn’t at least they didn’t have to play Le Havre, so there is hopefully an chance they will be back.

On the other table we had the now almost obligatory Eclipse. Pete trampled his way to victory against a sullen Dean and Phil – though Phil was actually pretty chipper, as for once he wasn’t eliminated from the game.

Beer: Nothing of note this week. Though the other day I had a bottle of Little Creatures Pale Ale, which is a fantastic beer all the way from Australia. It is awesome and if I had to compare it to a game I’d compare it to Reiner Kniza’s masterpiece, Taj Mahal.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Charity Auction on BGG

James Mapp has set up a charity auction over on Board Game Geek - with all the payments going to the Big C. James has donated some games and a couple of retailers have chipped in too. So if you fancy bidding on some games including Age of Steam, Last Train to Wensleydale and Talisman, or donating something yourself, go and have a look.

Delusions of Philtopia

Yes, it’s been over a month since I last reported on the trials and tribulations of Norwich’s premier board games club. Yes, we are officially the best board games club in Norwich, which is a real kick in the face to those upstarts  at the People’s Gaming Republic of Norfolk. And the Larkman 18XX Club. And don’t get me started on those snobs at the Norwich Cheese & Wine Gamers Society.   So apart from faint delusions of grandeur, what has been happening at NoBoG?

Eclipse has taken the club by storm. It’s been racing up the game rankings on BoardGameGeek and it’s had a similar success story at the Ribs. Initially looked upon with trepidation, once it was established that this space epic could fit into three hours of gaming, it became a popular choice and has been played five times this year. I got my first taste last night and I like it. I be back for a second helping  next time it’s being served.

A few brave souls have clubbed together and committed themselves to fifteen games of Risk. ”They should be committed”, I hear you cry, “Committed to a mental asylum.” But, no, this is not normal run of the mill Risk, which you remember from your childhood. The days have gone when a game would last a  whole afternoon  and in the end you had to smack you brother round the head with the vacuum cleaner pipe in order to dislodge him from his fortress in Australia. No, this a new and shiny marketing ploy from Hasbro, where you play a campaign spread over 15 games, but you get to add stickers and scrawls to the game board and discover new rules and cards which are contained in sealed packs. Regions become permanently scarred or have cities founded in them. There are five different factions which develop though player decisions and victories.  And once the 15 games are over the victor writes his name in big letters on the board and gets to name the world – probably something like Alderaan, Spunkworld or Philtopia.

We’re six games into it and it’s great fun. Peter Silvertongue and John lead the way with two wins each. Dean and I both have one victory. While Phil has yet to claim a win.

In the last month we’ve also played Vinhos, 7 Wonders, Hamburgum, Ninjato, Reef Encounter, Space Hulk: Death Angel – the card game, Notre Dame, Hawaii, Royal Palace, Strasbourg, Hansa Teutonica, Frank’s Zoo and 6 Nimmt.