Jobby and Sarah join their fave board gaming group again for a night of fun and laughter (or stress and gnashing of teeth, depending on which games you were playing)…
Just One Guess
Sarah and I successfully arrived at the Bennet Arms. This, despite the best efforts of one idiot on a roundabout trying to get his car to occupy the same physical space as some other cars. Oh, and the hugely long tailback on the A14 that stretched for miles because a lorry had broken down. Actually, I think Sarah was very relieved to have made it to Rougham if only so I would stop singing to her!
As usual there was a bit of chat before games got going. Whiskery Simon had recently got a copy of Trikerion and was telling us how great it was. I believe him and would be very happy to give it a try sometime! We broke into a couple of small groups for some lighter fare to get everyone in the mood. Sarah and I joined the aforementioned Simon, Bryan and Helen for a round of Just One.
This is a fun little word game where one player has a card which they can’t see but everyone else can. A word is randomly chosen from the card and the other players must write single word clues to help the player with the card guess the word. The catch is that any duplicate clues are not shown to the player.
It was actually a lot of fun. Each player tries to go for the not-too-obvious clue because of the fear of choosing a clue someone else chose. It’s amazing how often people pick the same not-too-obvious clue, though! During one of my turns to guess the word I was presented with just ‘Furry’ and ‘Raaaarrrr’ because Sarah and Helen had both written down ‘Hairy’. Any ideas what the word was? …
I immediately thought “Hamster”, gods know why! I actually guess ‘Lion’. It actually turned out to be Chewbacca! Really! Do they not know I don’t like Star Wars?
We were now eleven and elected to break into two groups of four and a three. The two Simons, Craig and Tom settled down to play Lewis and Clark. Alex, Sean and a chap I didn’t recognise sat down to play a game I didn’t catch the name of (I’m good at this!). Sarah spotted Broom Service in Bryan and Helen’s bag. She expressed interest so we sat down to play that.
Somehow this Kennerspiel des Jahres winner had passed me by. Alexander Pfister is one of the designers and I think this might have been the start of his reign of successful titles. In this game, each player controls a pair of witches and will use those to move around the board to deliver potions to towers that want them. I don’t know who lives in these towers but they know what they like! They’ve painted their roofs to match the colour potions they want. Along the way, players will also use magic wands to dispel bad weather clouds thus opening up the board and enabling them to fly to places they couldn’t previously.
The meat of this game comes from the cardplay. Each round players select a number of cards that grant them actions. One player leads by selecting one of their cards and choosing whether to be cowardly or brave. Play goes round the players who either play the same card or declare they didn’t select it. If they play the card they must also choose cowardly or brave. All cowardly players get to do their action but only the last brave players gets to do their action. Brave actions are better but more risky!
It was actually a lot of fun and far more stressful than it’s cutesy artwork suggests. Several times Sarah asked me if I was OK due to the perplexed look on my face. A common problem all of us was the urge to plan the order that we thought our four cards should get played in. Of course, once another player selects a card that you’ve got you have to play it then, potentially messing up all your plans. A lot of fun and well done to Sarah for a stonking victory!
Time for Another?
We looked round and everyone was still knee deep in their long, heavy games. The four of us decided we’d crack on with another game. We chose one out of the bag that Sarah and I had brought: Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time.
This co-operative game made it into my Top 10 of last year. In it, we were trying to rescue famous artefacts that Professor Evil had stolen from various points in time. I set this up on what I thought was ‘medium’ mode but actually turned out to be ‘blomming frustrating’ mode!
It seemed that no matter how hard us heroes tried, Professor Evil just seemed to undo all our hard work just as we were poised to rescue a treasure. I’m not sure whether this was a problem because there were more of us playing (I’ve only played with two players previously). I guess repeated plays will tell.
Still, we all had fun (I think). Alas, we could see the futility of our actions and, sure enough, Professor Evil locked away four treasures sealing our fate and losing us the game. We had ourselves a collective sigh of defeat and turned to look how the other players were doing.
Alex, Sean and A.N.Other were all slipping away. Tom, Simon and Simon were still fully immersed in their adventure of crossing America. We bade our farewells to them and made our way home with that happy, warm, fuzzy feeling from a night of playing good games with good people.