The Thoughts of Chairman Tone.

Things that spill out of my head.

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Games Day at Chippenham Boardgames Club - Quiet...

Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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The most difficult aspect of trying to get the interest of outsiders is getting the outsiders to the venue in the first place. In the absence of interested parties, we had to find something else to do. So our little games day consisted primarily of members in attendance playing games with each other.

I say "primarily", because Mrs S was in attendance for a short time, watching how engaged we were in Navegador. After a morning of games with tenuous Irish links (it being St Patrick's Day, after all), we played this over lunch. It was enjoyed by all, and when we decided to a break until the evening, even our spectator took an interest in returning for the evening session.

We wandered around the oft-filmed village of Lacock for a while, enjoyed a cream tea, did some shopping and returned to the club for the evening session. Mrs S joined one of the tables, playing the Irish-themed game of Keltis, followed by On the Underground.

So all in all, the rather quiet response brought success in another way.
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Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:32 pm
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Games Day at Chippenham Boardgames Club

Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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Well it's a dull and dreary St Patrick's Day morning, my head is banging, and I am waiting to hear back about a potentially life-changing job interview.

But enough of all that unimportant stuff; today at Chippenham Boardgames Club there is a day of boardgame demonstrations and - erm - boardgames. It is part of the club's venue, Chippenham Sports Club's launching of Thursday all-day opening. The games demonstrations will take place between 10:15 and 16:00 or so.

The basic idea is to try and introduce non-gamers to our wonderful hobby; and naturally to do something we all enjoy. So if any of you lovely gamers in the area would like to drag along a non-gamer who might be interested, we will be running instructional sessions for a wide range of excellent games, but not just what is considered "gateway" fare (from experience they can often put off as many potential gamers as they turn on).

We will also be continuing with our usual session from 19:00 onwards, so feel free to pop along later if the daytime doesn't appeal. I look forward to seeing anybody there.
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Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:50 am
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Midweek Morning Moan

Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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I shouldn't really moan so much but I do. Arguably, it's the national pastime in England; we complain about the weather, about everything we pay for, about politics, about sport, about the price of fish. But when it comes to actually doing something about it, the vast majority of us just roll over and say "mustn't grumble".

In fact, thinking back, it was what I was brought up on. I was constantly told as a child not to complain, to be quiet, to be "seen and not heard" in a manner of speaking.

That sort of thing sticks with you throughout your life; at least until it becomes clear to you that sometimes you just have to take your complaint somewhere to get something done. And then you find you have to really fight to get anywhere; in some cases it gets to a point where you wished you'd talked yourself out of it.

But this is the product of a modern age, where the pen is truly mightier than the sword, and expressing one's disgust at something in a polite manner goes a lot further than, IMO, it really ought to. American influence over the Western world gets a lot of the blame for this, but really the only guilty parties are the unscrupulous hordes who have taken advantage of honest trade, business and people over the past few decades.

The result is not necessarily a fairer environment for all; as I see it, the innocent few are the people suffering from others' complaints. This whole can of moaning worms has spilled out of control; snowballing from a simple symptom of consumerism to a whole legal process. People have to spend a great deal of their lives complaining to actually get anything done properly; it's almost considered part and parcel of daily life, these days.

That would be fine if it wasn't for the unsavoury exploitation of complaint. This exploitation has led to harder rules so honest consumers lose out, a blame culture where somebody is always made responsible and situations where lives are destroyed on the back of somebody else's greed.

So what can we do about it? I haven't got a clue. Ah well, mustn't grumble...
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Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:17 am
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Triskaidekaphobia?

Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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I was climbing the stairs at home the other night, when the thought suddenly occurred to me that it took thirteen steps to reach the landing from the hall. I remembered that this was the same number of steps it took in the last three houses I lived in, and also the house I lived in as a young child.

The house I lived in from my teenage years up until leaving home was built much earlier than the others, 1890 or so. I cannot actually remember how many steps it took to get to the first landing, but the rooms were high and built in a rather staggered fashion. There were only about half a dozen steps to each landing after that first one; I think it might have been thirteen for the first.

Anyway, in that moment the theory I have had for years suddenly resurfaced; that modern houses in the UK (well, England at least) tend to have thirteen steps from hall to landing (if you live in the UK - or perhaps even if you don't - go on, count the steps and see if I'm wrong. At worst I reckon I'm one step out). I then tried to think of the reason why.

If one considers the long-established superstitions associated with the number thirteen (even in building, so I hear), then why thirteen steps? I could only reason that a combination of the economics involved in building houses en masses and the ideal height for a step for human use produced thirteen stairs.

Anyway, this got me thinking about the use of the number thirteen in games. Mrs S finds it very annoying that just about every thought with me comes back to games - especially at bedtime (behave yourselves!) - and shook her head in disbelief when I said "not many games use that number, do you think that game designers are superstitious?"

End of discussion there; not something she wanted to talk about. But thinking about it, actually I was wrong. A hell of a lot of Euros utilise the classic Fibonacci sequence for scoring purposes; and there it is - 13. It's never skipped on scoreboards, and some games even utilise it in the title. There are thirteen cards in every suit of a standard deck of playing cards, each player gets thirteen power cards in El Grande and Knizia's Poison has thirteen as the limit.

I reckon triskaidekaphobiacs must have a difficult time finding something they can play.
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Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:49 pm
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