Thursday, 2 October 2014

Martha the Camel

Ah, the joys of Norwich traffic on a football day - NoBoG evening found me many miles from Norwich dahn sahf, battling to return against lane cutting coaches and roads that cannot handle the numbers. So I arrived this week without any preparation or organisation and without any clear game to play. I decided to watch the river go by from the Ribs balcony instead and enjoy not looking at the arse end of yet another football coach.

My peaceful reverie did not last long however, as a bunch of fresh faced first year UEA students turned up fashionably late looking for games to play. Given only one of them had any real kind of gaming experience, Agricola seemed positively cruel, Legendary Encounters probably... a bit too alien, so I started them off on the gentle crowd pleaser, King of Tokyo.

Which was a bit like Yahtzee I explained.

What's Yahtzee ?

An old family game from then 70's, 60's, 50's whatever.

But I'm only 19, I don't know Yahtzee.

Moments like this make you realise just how old you are. Or possibly how few people play Yahtzee anymore. I blame Angry Birds.

A couple of enjoyable games followed, Kaylee was determined to be a pacifist penguin and came second twice, or in her own words "a consistent failure". Camel Up was played next, with Kaylee again favouring odd tactics and encouraging the hopelessly behind yellow camel ( which she named Martha ) to ride forth and win. She did not however put her money where her mouth was, and refused to bet on the long term prospects of Martha.

We finished with a couple of games of Avalon Resistance, four new players in a six player game, followed by five new players in a seven player game. Uh huh. No monumental cockups, apart from a team of all good guys managing to fail a quest. Uhhh. And then Darren convinced I was a bad guy sending all the actual bad guys on a quest together. Oh dear.

Despite Darren being very keen to play Resistance with our group, he spent most of the play time stating how he hated playing Resistance with me. I took it as a compliment. Which sounds weird perhaps unless you've played Resistance. He dithered about me being Merlin. I told him I wasn't Merlin. Incredibly unlikely I was. He stabbed me on the offchance I was Merlin. I wasn't Merlin. I suspect this has not improved his liking of playing Resistance with me.

It was great to get to play Resistance again - it's been a while for me, and it was great to wind Darren up. Very enjoyable.

Elsewhere Stu rustled up some Burgundum for a group of five, followed possibly by some Love Letter. Downstairs the longest ever game of Betrayal at house on the Hill saw Lewis and his zombies eat everyones brains - including the two newcomers ( rather rude to eat newcomers brains before they learn the ropes ) and Elliot brought his Catan on steroids with the Catan Histories : Settlers of America : Trails to Rails.

Which left Sam on the last table showing off his new kickstarter package. I think at this point Sam needs to be called Kickstarter Sam as he seems intent on single handedly supporting board game kickstarter development by investing in one of every other release.

This week Sam had Xia, a game in which you get to fly your spaceship around, make money from salvage and cargo, shoot things, explore things and compete for titles and fame. Which in theory sounds like a more open ended Merchant of Venus - or if you like Elite - The Boardgame. Richard IV gave this game a big thumbs up and recommended I give it a try if I could. A pity I was so unprepared otherwise I would have had a nice picture of it.

28 this week.


Sam Blackwell said...

I am at the cutting edge of board games! Where roughly 1 in 5 games are excellent and the rest are average.

But really, Xia is fun in a box. Be prepared for lots of randomness though, since everything you do comes with a dice roll. There are debris fields in the game which require you to roll a d20 to pass through. On a 1, 2 or 3 an unexploded mine or unstable reactor blows you up. This happened to me twice in our game. Nonetheless it was hilarious and fun.

Minitrue said...

Sounds cool, I don't mind some old school dice RNG. Merchant of Venus is the same. Dice rolls can control your fate.