Spy Cats

Jobby and Sarah once more head into the wild to find the pub known as the Bennet Arms in Rougham…

Masters of Words

It was wet and windy as we headed to the Bennet Arms to meet with the Bury St Edmunds Board Gamers Group. We knew we’d be OK, though, because the pub has a roof!

We put our order in at the bar for a couple of pannini – a very grown up fish finger panino for me! 😁 Then we settled into the designated board gaming area to chat to the early arrivers. This night it was Whiskery Simon, James and George. We nattered for a bit about games (what else?) before others showed up.

As usual, we elected to start with lighter fare. Poor Bryan (not me, the other one). No matter how much he pushed it, nobody wanted to play Detective Club. Except maybe Sarah who got very excited about the Dixit like cards. Instead we opted to played Codenames with Rod and Non-Whiskery Simon being the spymasters.

I have never played such a raucous game of Codenames before! We had about four or five guessers on each team. Everybody was standing up and that was an enormous amount of heckling going on. Three guys had settled at a nearby table to eat chips and gods know what the heck they thought was going on!

The game was won by Simon’s team but there was controversy. With one card to go, Simon gave the clue “Polish” to direct us to the “Pole” card. Immediately the blue team burst into cries of “You can’t use derivatives! That word is too close!” We took the win, anyway. 😄 So with a feeling a cheer and goodwill in the air we broke into three tables for the meaty stuff.

Cats on a Boat

Sarah and I stayed with Whiskery Simon and James. Simon had brought a new game with him, Isle of Cats, fresh off the Kickstarter press. I must admit this game does look pretty but I had previously written it off as “cute but not interesting”. Sarah was desperate to play, though.

Turns out I was wrong. There is actually an interesting game here which kind of comes in two parts. Both parts cunningly would be described as drafting but are completely different! First of all, players draft (in the 7 Wonders sense) cards, two at a time, from a hand of seven cards. Then the cards are played to then draft (as in taking turns choosing the one you want) polyomino tiles from a pool in the middle. The tiles are cats or treasures that are played onto the player’s board. Points will be awarded for getting cats of the same colour near each other as well as achieving goals on cards. Points will be lost for visible rats on the board at game end, as well as rooms that haven’t been completed.

My board at the end of the game. The big hole in the middle was deliberate as it matched one of my goal cards.

I actually really enjoyed this, despite what my face was doing. I slipped into that state of really trying to work out the best move as well as having two or three contingencies. This is somewhat how I play Splendor and Sarah always says I look too serious and tense when we play that!

Sarah’s board at the end of the game. She did a good job of keeping the families together.

The game slipped along nicely and we soon got into the rhythm of things. There was plenty of taunting going on. Much swearing occured as people took tiles that other players wanted. Also a declaration that “This game is really evil! I hate it!” Although that came from the Other Bryan playing World Without End behind us.

After a much enjoyable 1½ hours it was time to tot up the scores. Simon, owner and teacher, managed to come last with 45 points. Sarah scored 55 points but declared she loves the game! James totalled a naughty 69 points. Finally, yours truly, won with 79 points. Obviously frowning and looking miserable paid off. 😁

Simon began to open the box to Age of Civilization but Sarah and I were both very tired so we called it a night and headed back out into the horrible rain. Luckily, Sarah’s car also has a roof!

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