Thursday, 10 September 2015

Double Trouble

Before we start, James wrote up a lovely little segment of his experiences this week - you can go read his exploits over on his blog.

With a line of NoBoG regulars texting, commenting and getting word in via yoghurt pots and taut string that they could not make it this week, I presumed that like last week it was going to be a quiet evening - which at the moment amounts to an attendance in the mid thirties ( half full for the Tuna ).

Turns out I was wrong and this week we hit 53. At least 53. I stopped counting stragglers coming through the door after 9pm.

And what a splendiferous evening of gaming it was ! What sights to see and wonders to behold !

For starters it was special hat night ! Charlotte the ever on duty bar maid commented that she was looking forward to seeing a mad collection of hats, and noted she had a beanie herself she could put on to get in the spirit. Alas, special hat night amounted to me wearing a rather fetching dragon hat, and as promised, Ewan actually for once removing his hat instead of wearing one. There were some rather poor excuses about not being informed when I quizzed people where their hats were, rather poor form, although someone suggested we should make every week special hat week. Food for thought. One suspects however this would be repeated weeks of again just me, in a hat, and Ewan without one. Pfah.

Elliot was in resplendent attire as he cut short his Other Duties and attended NoBoG in fine dinner
Lords of Waterdeep. Why is everyone staring at me ? Is it the hat ?
wear. It was like a scene from Casino Royale. Except instead of poker they were playing Lords of Waterdeep. And everyone else at the table was distinctly less well dressed. And there were no fancy palm trees and expensive cars outside. Just a small blue fiat and some classic British weather that couldn't quite be arsed to rain, might later, but would make you think about taking an umbrella only to annoyingly forget it and leave it somewhere, which would then properly leave you without an umbrella for the next day when it could actually be arsed to rain and isn't that bloody typical.

But apart from that. Just like Casino Royale.

We also had visitors from afar all the way from the US vacationing and working ( depending on which one you asked ) in Norwich. And of course, being in Norwich, the top place to be would be NoBoG ( bite it Norwich Cathedral ). So Erin and husband sat down to play some games, taking our American count up to 4 for the week. Rather alarmingly the trend in Americans attending NoBoG has steadily been on the rise for the last couple of months. At this rate we will all be Americans by sometime next year. Good news if you like large food portions. Bad news if you don't like the idea of Donald Trump possibly being your next leader. But regardless of American trends, NoBoG is clearly the international vacation spot to be given we've had Australian vacationers and all sorts. I plan to start up an in NoBoG novelty shop to cater for the flow of tourists - possibly a line of NoBoG Special Levelling Devices for holiday makers to take back home with them.

Sam was one of our regulars that couldn't make it this week, and he lamented that Mice & Mystics was probably going to be played whilst he wasn't there - a game that he wanted to have a go with. So to spite Sam we decided to play two simultaneous games of Mice & Mystics on one large table with both groups right next to each other ( largely because I was the only person who knew the rules, so I just shouted a bit to teach the two groups at once - Joe's clever idea that ). Double Trouble !

Mice & Mystics, Joe's group use "tactics" to win. Pah.
Our group of Mice didn't confer about what to take or skills to match, and piled in all dashing swords and bluster and quickly made it into the corridors beneath the castle. Two rooms in, and two mice down, we were slightly delayed having to rescued the downed mice before we walked into a torrent of spiders and centipedes. If you've never played Mice & Mystics before, then this is hardcore mode. Rats and Roaches are for wimps. Only truly heroic mice deal with the bigger spiders and centipedes. Surge after surge hit us, and in hindsight, a poorly timed dash into the next area left us reeling and bloodied and Tom as our spell caster, running desperately around a pit firing off magic bolts at chasing bad guys. Tom was last to go down, a mouse trap snapped shut on him after one too many dices with death, and as he brushed himself to get up, a centipede finished him off.

Game Over.

The other Mice & Mystics group used ridiculous ideas such as "talking to each other about what good synergies of powers they could use before selecting characters", and moving around so that the healer could always heal the hammer wielding tinkerer who kept multi smashing enemies. Pah ! They also set the game on beginner mode and removed some of the nastier events from the Search deck ( in our game it was one of these that ate a mouse ). They battled through the entire first chapter and successfully reached the tree roots - and had barely moved their time ticker on at all. I think they played it wrong. Real heroes do not discuss tactics. They spend their time coming up with rousing battle cries instead. I think we all know who the real winners were here.

Elsewhere Sean brought some possibly dodgy wrestling game to table and had a blast with that - Richard asked if you knew the winner of the game before anyone had even started, and everything else was just scripted. Sean said the game was good - or at least wasn't an abject failure, something which Andy agreed with when he noted it could have been a lot worse than it was. I'm still not sure if that was a compliment or some kind of back handed compliment insult thing. The game has some rock paper scissors action going on, with a bit of deck buildery shenanigans built into it according to Sean - the only down side being that only two of the four players could ever be in the ring at once. Why you couldn't have all four going ham is an open question. Seemed cool though. A tentative thumbs up !

Game of Thrones. Note ground zero of the Great Eastern Sea Coke Spill.
Game of Thrones was busted out yet again - and Martin and Davey were back with us at the table after a hiatus of a month ( I thought we had lost Martin for good ). As Lewis was also playing, it was necessary that a drink was thrown over the game ( it is now customary for any game Lewis is playing to have even odds that a drink should be thrown over it ), but to be fair it wasn't the fault of Lewis - but perhaps just his drink throwyness aura. They failed to finish the game, but everyone seemed to have a good deal of fun, except for perhaps Lewis who was beaten into a corner, and didn't really gel with the game. Don't worry Lewis, I'm not a big fan of the Shuffle Bits Pointlessly Between Three Areas for Five Hours game either. Game of Thrones. It's like diplomacy. But Winter Is Coming.

Hal brought along the new-ish Churchill game, which sees three players take on the roles of the World War II Allied leaders of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. Although the game is about WW2 it
Churchill. Looks. Twiddly.
is not a war game, but instead something of a political animal about which Allied Leader will come out of WW2 with the most clout. Which is a point that is not that often touched upon when talking about WW2, and marks the point where the British Empire and any kind of British world power was finally extinguished - bankrupted and exhausted. Even before the war had ended at the beginning of 1945, Churchill began to refer to the meeting of the Big Three ( the common term for the three leaders ) as The Big Two and a Half, realising that the post WW2 stage would be set for the US and the USSR. Britain would no longer be a world power. An outcome he lamented and dwelled upon post war as one of his worst failures ( along with the parlous state of the world with the US v USSR stand off )

I managed to stick my head in half way through the game, and both Hal and David commented the game was strange. Good. But strange. Difficult to get a grasp of what was going on.

Pete got his much favoured Tzolkin to table - something that hasn't been out in a while, and proceeded to thump his two fellow players ( Alex and... someone... ! ) into the dirt, then jumped up and down on them for good measure. To be fair to Pete, as something of a challenge to himself he
Funkenschlag aka Powergrid. Admit it. Funkenschlag sounds better.
went for a risky strategy that he has viewed in the past as either being untenable at worst or at best very difficult to actually do well with - going for maximum workers, and therefore, maximum maintenance costs. However. Grabbing a couple of buildings early on that made sure all his maintenance costs of food were then covered  no problem meant that Pete could steam roller through his usual efficient scoring practices. Oof. I looked in halfway through to see Pete with an apologetic look on his face, and one of his opponents declaring that he had built at least one building and he would take that as a victory. Oh man.

What has been seen cannot be unseen. Is this guy
teabagging the recently deceased ? It certainly looks like it
Shocking behaviour ! And it's labelled indifferent public !
Indifferent to teabagging ??!
A whole bunch of other things were played - Blood Bowl Team Manager, Powergrid,  Legendary Encounter, Takenoko and more ( there were 12 tables of gaming in total ).

I got to squeeze a couple of games of Guillotine in, and Richard played a card he described as the "teabagging" card, possibly of someone teabagging a recently guillotined victim. Decide for yourself !

As ever, a few pictures left over for the gallery. Not so many this week. I was busy herding two tables of Mice. Or Mystics. Whichever.

James in the fore, and deep in thought David plays Churchill in the back.

Blood Bowl Team Manager. But have you bought Blood Bowl 2 yet ? Ewan has... crazy... keen.. fool.


Elliot Symonds said...

Wonderful, funny, erudite, captures our international and dashing players well. *bows deeply*

James Hayward said...

Really enjoyed reading this blog