Games In A Pub - 24th June 2011

Islands of Settlers and Frogs!

At the request of Simon, the games under consideration included, Settlers of Catan, Tobago, Forbidden Island and Pirate's Cove i.e. games that conjure up images of sunnier climes; a reaction I am sure to the unpleasant stormy weather of the last couple of weeks – so much for the summer solstice! When the group was gathered the decision was Settlers of Catan.
Settlers of Catan - The basic layout early in the game & my red territories are already being blighted by the robber
Stéphane had not played this before, Simon and Oliver had but on the unfortunate evening when it had bombed – a review of that evening can be read here. As I started explaining the rules Oliver, presented with a choice of white or blue was jokingly heard to claim that he did not have enough information to make a considered decision!

Match Report - 20th June 2012

Islands, treasure, pirates, and elephant dung!

With 7 players two games seemed in order and with a number expressing interest in Pirate Cove that seemingly left a choice between my preferred option Power Grid: First Sparks and Gwen’s of Tobago – Ben didn’t express a preference. No great surprise then that we played Tobago!

Tobago - The box artworkThe challenge for me was teaching Pirate Cove to Daniella, Natalie, Leonie and Malcolm whilst trying to focus on my own efforts at winning Tobago. As a bloke you will appreciate that this was not easy (doing 2 things at once not being our specialty – according to the ladies at least!).

As our game of Tobago unfolded I found it increasingly difficult to get into the game with the more rowdy group to my right being a constant distraction. It is perhaps a lesson (one that you would think I might have learned by know!) that when playing two games on the same table that it is better to select two that games that are similarly paced. I know Crispin amongst others has on previous occasions struggled to get into one game when a noisier one is taking place at the other end of the table and so it proved for me.

A Box Full of Family Games

Zoch Verlag’s latest batch of review games arrive

Shortly before we went on holiday a large box arrived from our friends at Zoch, the contents included four of their 2012 game releases:
  • Flossen hoch! (a memory game involving penguins eating fish);
  • Geistesblitz 2.0 Given the popularity of this reaction game it is perhaps unsurprising to see Zoch issue a second version that can be combined (for extra pain) with the original.  Personally I really struggled with the original but my wife loved it and our review is here;
  • Alles Kanone! (is a reworking, with pirates – always a good thing in my view – of their award winning memory card game Alles Tomate) ;
  • Streifen Toni (in English this translates to Strippy Tony and is an extension of the award winning concepts delivered last year in Da ist der Wurm drin where very colourful worms race each other).
In addition the box contained some games from 2011 and earlier including:

Games In A Pub – 10th June 2012

Triumph of enthusiasm over experience, or should that read the failure!
Power Grid: The First Sparks - The players
It was great to welcome another new face, Stephane, to our merry throng and as it turns out a fellow blogger although with quiet a different focus (a link to his blog is here

The evening kicked off with a game of TransEuropa whilst we waited for Robin and Oliver to join us. It was Martin and Stephane’s first encounter with this quick, light game and it got a definite thumbs up from them.

The second game Power Grid: The First Sparks was one of only two purchases at this year’s UK Games Expo and one that, despite of having played over 20 games in the intervening time, was yet to be played. With our number at 6 and with it being Stephane’s first encounter with us I was keen to keep everybody together in one game.

Of the games I had brought with me that could accommodate 6 players I only had three: TransEuropa (!), 7 Wonders and Power Grid: The First Sparks. Having played its older and more well known version Power Grid four weeks earlier and believing First Sparks to be a light version of this popular game I thought, what have we got to loose. Well maybe with a different less patient group maybe quiet a lot!

Games in a pub - 27th May 2012

Two in a car and three in a pub!

As Martin and I sped home across the motorway network from the 2012 UK Games Expo in Birmingham the guys back in Crowborough met at the Blue Anchor.

Oliver kindly wrote up the following note and provided the photo’s – thank you.

Just Robin, Simon and myself - as luck would have it, the fates conspired to ensure that the other two were both delayed so I sat with a table full of games and no one to play them for the first 20 minutes or so. One older couple came by in that time and expressed an interest so I explained that I was waiting for the others to turn up, and it's a fortnightly event, maybe we'll see them next time. But sadly they weren't willing to have a go with me in the meantime.
Trans Europa - The game board and components
Once the gang of 3 was all present, we ummed and ahhed for a minute or so but eventually picked out Trans Europa to get us going. I got a very lucky set of cards for the first and third round (the third round, as pictured, I had Dublin and Glasgow, combined with Sofia and Bucharest, the finishing position - I was red), which is why the other two look rather glum in the picture and I thought there might have been other reasons! On the second round I was miles behind the others, but my advantage from the first round was insurmountable given the luck I had on the third go. It was a nice, light way to open the evening.

UK Games Expo 2012 - The Journal

The highs and lows of my weekend at the UK Games Expo

The UK Games Expo Logo
As the train headed north on Friday morning out of Euston I found my seat and couldn’t help but overhear the conversation of the other 3 people at the table talking about ‘decks’, ‘cards’, ‘combo’s’ and a number of other distinctly game type terms. Aaaha me thinks they are going to Birmingham for the UK Games Expo, but no they were a group of friends who love Magic The Gathering heading to Aberystwyth for 5 days (and nights by the sounds of it) of Magic games! The journey sped by as we talked and quizzed each other about our respective interests finding common ground at times and significant differences at others, most notably the direct combative nature of their game versus my preference for Eurogames which rarely have head on conflict.
UK Gaming Media Network - Michael Fox interviewing Richard Denning & Tony Hyams

UK Games Expo - My Highlights

Some of the highlights from this years UK Games Expo

The UK Games Expo goes from strength to strength attracting over 4,000 people and a diverse range of people who enjoy playing games from hardcore games, families, role players, social gamers, wargamers and more - groups of gamers not normally found under the same roof.
UK Games Expo - Some of the demonstration tables

UK Games Expo 2012 - Some Of The Games

Games That Caught My Eye 

These are not games I played but rather based on what I have read and seen ones I thought followers of this blog might find of interest. They are in no particular order: