Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Pleasure Pants - Get Them Whilst They're Hot

Another busy week last week with 39 people getting in for some gaming action. Any other time that would have been a record, had we not already pushed the bar up to 44 from the previous week.

James had a mini pre-game game for us all this week, with game mention Bingo. He's been threatening to do it for months, and so everyone was treated to a small bingo card with a list of games to cross off when they were called out. I think this is largely a reaction to somethings always being present in the game roll call session and James having a James like sense of humour. Elliot called out a bingo half way through the roll call, and won the prize of nothing whatsoever. Congratulations. Perhaps we should get a special hat in future. The winners hat. Design suggestions welcome.

Snake Oil ! Can I interest you in some pleasure pants ? Um. No.
Lewis had a new thing to try out with an intriguing name - Snake Oil, one of those card games that can expand to fit a whole gaggle of players, although, it did seem to run awful long. Lewis kindly forwarded on a report of the session for it, so we can hear what he has to say and find out what it's all about.

Right by the entrance to the Ribs, I (Weird) had somehow managed to gather a group of eight fellow players to try out the card game Snake Oil. This party game has players each getting an opportunity to assume the role of a customer, their role determined from a card from the customer deck - politician, newly-wed, caveman, hostage, and so on. How we're managing to sell things to these people I dare not ask.

Once the player decides on a customer role, all other players must try to combine two words out of the six cards in their hand to create a product, catering to the role in question, then attempt to pitch said product once prompted by the customer. In my instance of being the customer, I happened to draw the 'nerd' customer card, which led to the kind of mix of products you'd expect from any round, from practical combo's (a shower fan), to video game DLC (energy key), to the really rather creepy suggestions from the far side of the table (kiss monkey). Ech!

With a difficulty level on par with Cards Against Humanity, and given the entertainment value of watching someone try to sell a banana beard to... well, any kind of customer, I reckon any group can find quite a lot of enjoyment out of this game. It's not a game to focus on scoring, given how unlike Cards Against Humanity you know exactly who's suggestions are who's, but rather a game to see people try to sell pleasure pants to an insomniac.

I would personally recommend this game as a 4-player filler rather than an all-evening 9- or 10-player session. Should've known that before, but at least we know that now. Great fun all the same, and gg to Andi for claiming 4 out of a possible 8 points to win. Quite an inventor amongst us!

Their group then split into two tables for some Colt Expressing and Sushi Go-ing - and Lewis recommends that if you haven't played Sushi Go you really should, the food has faces. Which apparently makes it more appetising  / fun. Hmm. Note to self. Don't accept dinner invitations from Lewis.

Over on our table we cobbled together a game of Alchemists, where despite me forgetting to play the first half round, we did a fairly decent job of piecing together what was what. James somehow blasted away to a significant lead in this and ended up winning, despite only mixing 3 potions for the entire game. What ?! I had mixed a good half dozen, got master of the green potions at game end, but due to some early game spurious theory gambits could only limp in joint last with Pete.

There was much spluttering around the table of I Am Right, and You Are Wrong, and in what could be an early pattern, various Euro gamers believing they are infallible only to find out they have ballsed up their notes. James swore that the app had given him a wrong result, but on checking at the end, the app seemed to be bang on point. A glitch ? Or user error ? Sad to say, in my decades of imprisonment within the IT industry, in 99.9% of cases it's user error. A PEBKAC. Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair. Somewhat out of date these days given the swishy touchy mobile slatey kind of devices that are prevalent. But who knows. The potion app was struggling with the dingy pub lighting.

Concordia - NOT a game about cruise ship piloting
A short peanut flick away from us Hal got the much fancied 2014 game Concordia to table. I am beginning to think that Hal has very good taste in games, as most of what he turns up with looks interesting. Well. Except that drab blockade runner game. Concordia was nominated for a bunch of awards in 2014 ( but failed to actually win anything ), and is a game I have had half an eye on, wanting to see it in action. Despite Pete's humorous summary of the game being about piloting cruise ships as close to the coast as you dare ( which went straight over my head for 5 minutes until I realised what he was talking about ), the game is actually about commerce in the Mediterranean in the era of ancient Rome - short on rules, long on scoring opportunities.

Players get to wander around a simple board, building houses, collecting resources and trying to build some lovely scoring combination for game end - of which there is something of a point salad, depending on what you are concentrating on. The main thrust of the game is around your hand of cards, each of which is an action allowing you to perform something or other - producing goods, building houses,  buying more cards and so on. Hand management is a part of this game, as once a card is played it stays down, but, playing a certain card allows you to pick them all up again ( although crucially here it also triggers a scoring round for yourself the first time you play it, meaning that you have to be particularly efficient in how you play this ), and some cards allow you to copy other players cards.

It looks like a cool euro economic builder to me, but I failed to get a proper response from Hal's table as to what it was like. A general thumbs up was offered.

The table behind us started off the evening with a bit of Resistance Avalon, where I assume the evil doers took the game as after a while someone at the table put on their best theatrical voice and cackled loudly into the pub that the other players were all their unwitting slaves. Or words to those effect. It was all very Macbeth.

Downstairs the ultra classic Agricola was dusted off, and David has a brief write up of that for us.

Myself, chloe, owein, Richard and ewan played agricola on Tuesday.

It was a suprisingly close game with just 5 points between first and fourth place. Owein came out on top with a solid cover all bases strategy.

Ewan managed to make a mega pasture which used all but two of his fence pieces, which was pretty impressive.

I think it was the first time I've played a game at the club in which everyone knew the rules, which was refreshing. Especially as agricola isn't kind to new players.

Agric - things are serious when you have to stand up
to take your turn
Uh huh. Agric is one of those nice perennials that never gets old. Whisper it - I prefer it very slightly to Caverna. But I live in hope of some Caverna expansions coming along to mix things up a bit.

Elsewhere downstairs another Euro classic got spanked onto a table - Powergrid, or more correctly Funkenschlaaaaaaag, this time with the American map - which I couldn't remember ever seeing before. It actually took me a minute to realise what I was looking when I took a picture of an upside down Powergrid America map. Looks cool. Although six players with Powergrid is for me... gah. Too many.

Powergrid America
Another table was playing something else. Which. I cannot remember at all. It wasn't new, otherwise I would have taken a picture of it. A mystery game.

Fillers rounded off the evening for some. I got to play Artificium and like Sam the week before went from a lacklustre score all the way to a trouncing lead by way of chaining wizards. Other things were played. But I didn't check in on them. And people don't write to tell me of their sessions either. Hint. Hint.


James Hayward said...

I was on the other table downstairs and we were playing Ticket to Ride Heart of Africa map and I think everyone had a lot of fun playing it. It had an interesting new mechanic and I thought that the map was actually pretty good.

Minitrue said...

Excellent thanks James. I belatedly realised what you had been playing when I saw the twitter feeds showing TtR. Looked cool.