It Beats Watching The TV

A daily blog about games, family and occasionally random other things. Well, it gives me something to do, and you something to read doesn't it!?

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I Am The Resurrection

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
Abingdon
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Greetings from Brexitland* everyone!
How have you all been?
Good. Long may it continue.

*Terms & conditions apply. Please read the small print carefully. Item may not be entirely as advertised. May end up costing more than initially promised. Your country may be at risk if you don’t keep up sensible trading arrangements. Complex problems rarely have simple solutions. Consider carefully the option of cancelling and spending the time and money on important practical and sociological issues instead of a nostalgic imperial fever dream.


And me?
Well;
Aside from the existential crisis that the country as a whole has been going through I have been charting my way through some choppy waters of my own of late. Doctors, hospitals, scans, blood tests, peeing through machines (at medical request rather than as a personal peccadillo), cameras inserted into one’s honourable member** (again, at medical request rather than as a personal peccadillo. Although I have no doubt that some honourable members have a thing for things going up their honourable members.) The upshot is that, thankfully, no cancer. But very definitely prostatitis. Different for everyone but imagine beginning your day with a rock being shoved up your rear end and a swift kick to the undercarriage for good measure and you’re on the right track (repeat earlier joke here).
Anyway, getting the all clear really does give one a new lease of life, which is rather fitting for this particular time of year.
And a renewed enthusiasm for spending time doing things that bring enjoyment. Like playing games. Like bringing games that have been left under a rock for some time back into the light.

**For the aid of those unacquainted with the antiquated British political terminology; an MP (Member of Parliament). Also slang for penis.




I’d been mulling over a post for a couple of weeks now, but the erudite/ gobshite Mr Boydell’s blog yesterday tipped the proverbial Mouse TrapTM marble off down the cognitive chute and set the cogs and levers whirring in my mind. I have actually reduced the amount of boardgame information regurgitation that I allow into my eyeballs and ear canals on a regular basis and actually feel none the worse for it. I was already losing the desire to keep myself abreast of the latest and (not so) greatest releases anyway and I certainly don’t feel any the poorer for it, metaphysically or financially.

I’ve also been, much as I did over the last year, playing (slightly) older games a lot more often. These are games that I already know and enjoy and can get straight into playing without the need to learn and explain the rules and waste time watching tedious how to play videos. Concordia fits this category of game perfectly, and a couple of recent game night plays at the pub had reminded me of its elegant charms.

There has been an amusing tradition (for want of a better word) that I never play my copy of the game, indeed I never take it to games night, only playing someone else’s as a compromise after we’ve rejected the other things on offer. Concordia is deserving of far more praise than simply being the game that we can all settle on though. The shifting make up of the players in my regular gaming group has led to an interesting polarisation where we have a number who want to always be playing brasher confrontational thematic titles and another section who prefer quieter not very confrontational euro games (and not the busy boards and levers, buttons, bells and whistles approach that blights a lot of recent medium weight euros.) Concordia has obviously found its way into the game night bags of a couple of newer regulars.



Having been thoroughly pleasured by some recent four and five player sessions (of Concordia, you degenerate) I recalled that it was one of my early “proper” game purchases that Mrs B and I had enjoyed at home (indeed it was the subject of one of my earliest blog posts). Having the recent experience of playing the base game maps at their fullest player counts I was reticent to try and recreate that enjoyment in the wide open space that just the two players would mean. Handily, as you are no doubt aware, there are a number of expansion maps available with some specifically engineered to provide a tighter playing environment for two and three gamers. Concordia: Aegyptus / Creta was the one that I plumped for, the optional board for the personality cards featuring different purchase costs is what swung it over the others. I can happily report that it performs admirably in those circumstances. I have been so encouraged that Concordia: Salsa, mostly for the variety of the forum bonuses and wild goods (salt) rather than the maps, has also been purchased and awaits its introduction.

So, in summary, Concordia; it’s very good. Better than most. There’s little need to chase something brand new when there’s already something this accommodating and enjoyable that is sat round on your shelves.



I always like this time of year, even as a resolutely unreligious man, the feeling of colour and warmth returning to the world, the abundance of new life around in nature really does put a spring in one’s step. For me personally it’s also a bit more poignant this time around.
It’s been lovely to check back in with you all but if you’ll now excuse me, I’ve got a spot of living to be getting on with.
See you around.

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Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:15 am
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A Little Bird Told Me

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
Abingdon
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In my last blog post I wrote about how I’d become comfortable with playing games that I love, those that are on the lighter end of the things that usually generate the heat and the content around these parts. Shortly after that post there was a brief preorder window for a game that seemed like it might fall squarely into that happy category for us. Although I am far from a Stonemaier games fanboy I soon found myself hastily depositing the required funds into their account despite knowing next to nothing about the game and the entire process being the antithesis of how I’d spent the previous year buying and playing games.



Thankfully Wingspan is an absolute joy (ignore the ridiculous and pompous behaviour of those decrying the handful of barely noticeable printing errors) and we have fallen in love with the simplicity of the gameplay and the beauty of the presentation. I’ve played it a dozen times now at almost every player count (only missing the full 5 player table) and have enjoyed it each time. The game changes subtly with the number of players, certain cards become more desirable and potentially more useful, and you need to decide on whether competing for end of round goals is worth chasing over other priorities you have. Essentially, even when playing solo, the game feels the same though.

The components are not just pleasing to the eye but also supremely practical and greatly aid the setting up and packing away of the game, as well as being clear and concise whilst playing (again, ignore the laughable list of rules questions on the forums, the cards, board, rulebook and comprehensive appendix contain all the answers you might need (although shouldn’t) if you only open the box and look rather than the browser and type) making the whole experience swift and pleasurable. We now get through a two player game in 45 minutes, including set up etc, which makes it perfect evening fare for us, and you can reasonably add around 20 minutes per (new) player to that.



The game falls squarely into that perfect tactical category for me where you have a hand of cards and must constantly (sometimes painfully) decide which to keep and which to discard. I’ve tried to play this game strategically and plan out what I want to achieve, if not over the entire game then certainly over the next round, but have fallen flat on my face. You have to be responsive to the randomness of your card draws and make constant adjustments to your goals based on what is in hand. This makes it too light and potentially frustrating for some but absolutely ideal for me, the agonising over reassessing is enjoyable and challenging (enough).

The photos above and below these paragraphs illustrate situations where I have failed and succeeded. In the top picture I have tried since the earliest moments of the game to get an egg generating engine going, based on the second and third cards in that row that I had in my initial hand, leading me into struggles with food gathering and round goal scoring. In the picture beneath I have played more with rather than against my card draws, seeing potential synergies but not going out of the way to force them into play. The top row, the food gathering area, now has not only a way to generate bonus food but also to acquire eggs, crucially saving me taking an action(s) to get an item that is mandatory to playing later cards into any area.

This does not mean that the game is on rails however, make the right choices and respond where you can to your opponents and you will usually come out on top. Early choices made in the game, including what to keep from your initial hand, are crucial however. There are three resources (food, eggs, cards) and you will likely be poor in (at least) one of them for most of the game (in this the game has a lot of similarities in feel with Nusfjord). This means that a first play or two of the game can turn off some, and “serious” gamers, who play a huge variety of titles and often only play distinct games once or twice in the space of a few months, are most likely to dismiss this superb slice of gaming.

We adore the game.



Wingspan has also managed to rekindle something that was a New Year’s resolution back in 2018; to get out in the fresh air and explore nature some more. With Mrs B suffering from the pain and fatigue that comes from having MS getting out into the countryside and walking around is challenging to say the least (and thus the resolution was failed) but it’s perfecly possible to attract birds into and view them in your own back garden all year round, as well as get out to a local nature reserve (at some old gravel pits) when the weather improves a little. I already own a couple of pairs of decent binoculars (from being a keen stargazer) so a few bird feeders and tables and an RSPB pocket guide are all we have needed.

A boardgame that encourages us not only to sit down and play, but also to pack it away and go and do something else instead? Perfect.



I had this musical number in mind to finish, and when I hopped over to You Tube to find the link I came across this excellent performance of it from a few short years ago when this country was looking outwards, putting on its best behaviour and welcoming people from all over to these shores; a country that seemed confident and proud of its place (and its past) and appeared happy with itself and each other. A country that was viewed from the outside as quite quirky but highly competent, classically reserved yet very welcoming, and the epitome of common sense whilst retaining a sense of humour. A few short years ago. How times change.

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Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:41 am
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How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Play The Games I Love

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
Abingdon
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It’s that time again. This site, and any boardgaming social media group that you may belong to are about to be flooded once more. Flooded with gamers promising to complete numerous challenges and resolving to achieve the fabled 10x10. I wrote, somewhat cynically, about the phenomenon at the start of the year. I think those words do ring true though, a good portion of those drawn to such things are doing so out of some form of (self imposed) guilt about the number of games owned and trying to curb their urges to chase the hot new thing. I’ve tried and, predictably, failed at these things myself in the past.

This year I consciously decided to not think very much at all about what I “should” play and instead to just go with the flow and see what happened. It quickly became apparent that this was a lot less stressful a way to decide what to play. I found that a game might get to the table several times in quick succession, maybe even 3 or 4 times in a week. I found that I kept going back to familiar games rather than seeking out more variety and new titles.

In 2018 I have played 190 individual games, 25 of them 10 or more times, and around another 20 titles 5 or more times. There have been 75 games played just the once.
The previous year I only played 7 games 10 or more times and 150 games just once; and in 2016 it was only 4 games played 10 or more times and 116 just the once.
What is immediately apparent is that not only have I drastically “outperformed” on the multiple plays but I have also cut out a lot of single play titles. When I think about it I have been consciously shying away from playing new (to me) titles when they have been on offer as well.



I feel pretty good about all this actually. If I’m honest I had got into a place where I wasn’t feeling particularly happy with my game playing. Some of that was perhaps down to writing a daily blog and feeling that I needed to be constantly putting out a variety of writing about different games, that people wouldn’t be interested in reading about the same ones day after day, week after week. That was all pressure that I was putting on myself of course. Removing that self imposed obligation not only freed up some time that I could put to different use but it also unburdened me from the need I felt to stay “relevant”. Of those 25 games played 10 or more times this year, only 3 are games that have been released this year, and coincidentally they are all games by the same designer, Wolfgang Warsch (That's Pretty Clever, The Mind and The Quacks of Quedlinburg). In fact I’m not sure that I’ve played any game that was released at Essen this year at all, and not many in total from 2018. Interesting. Most, but far from all, are probably light to medium light titles as well.
Another side effect from this has been that I’m much more content with the state of my collection, and what I can perhaps sell on without any worry in the new year.

In addition to the time saved by not writing, the not constantly chasing a new game hit also gained me additional extra time; I’ve found that I must have spent many hours reading about and researching games that I didn’t own, and then watching playthroughs, listening to gaming podcasts, reading rulebooks, learning to play, teaching others; and all that effort to play a game once, twice, thrice (maybe)? That time has been spent reading generally, I’ve read more books this twelve months than in the past three years combined I think, as well watching lots of quality TV shows and listening to a ton of new music and podcasts about all sorts of things. All in all it’s been a very rounded year, and yet I’ve still played loads of games, around the same number in total that I had in the past, but much more focused on games that I already knew I liked.

I’m not going to preach to you that I’ve found the gaming light and that you should all follow my lead but I would certainly encourage you to do more playing of things you love. I’ve discovered that my ideal gaming comfort zone sits between the SDJ and KSDJ levels and that play in under an hour, with some occasional forays into deeper, longer games when I fancy it. I’ve found my balance if you will, and I certainly intend to carry this experience forward into 2019.
No challenges, no commitments, just playing what I like, when I like.


There is a companion piece to this blog, where I expand a little on each of those 25 games, in a geeklist that you can find HERE - Stu's Stupendous Year...
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Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:06 pm
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The Problem With Kids These Days, Is They Have No Idea What Hard Work Is...

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
Abingdon
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Back in the earlier days of this blog youngest son Billy used to make regular appearances, brightening up the posts with his japes and boyish witticisms. As time went by he popped up less frequently as he got busier with more typical teenage things, friends, girls, drums, exams and he didn’t really have the time to play games at home or, often, at games meet ups.
Some of you may have been wondering what he’s up to and how he’s doing.

I’m a little sad to say that the cheeky young boy is no longer really around, but I’m very proud to let you know that he’s been replaced by a confident and charming young man. And this weekend he achieved what has been, thus far, the biggest goal of his life in gaining his black belt in karate.

Billy was four years old when he first said that he was going to be a black belt. He was watching his older brother in a class and copying the moves, determined to start the instant he was old enough. That determination has certainly helped him to scale this challenge. To put it in perspective it’s been training twice a week (at least) for around forty six weeks a year, for the past twelve years. For the past year and a bit, and as part of his black belt criteria, he’s been teaching a few hours a week on top of his own training, helping kids from the age he started himself up to around thirteen with their own skills and learning.

He actually postponed his grading from the summer as he didn’t want to be doing the intensive work at the same time as his exams. For the past couple of months he’s been training around five times a week, plus his teaching responsibilities. There have been pre-grading sessions, written exams, interviews, hour upon hour of work. And then it all came to Saturday when he had to do it all for real. Topped off with a non stop thirty minute “sparring” session.

This “sparring”, for which there is no public viewing whatsoever, and I mean doors to the entire building locked and blocked, all windows covered and all clocks removed, involves fighting between one and three black belts (who do get to tag in and out and catch a breather) at the same time for at least thirty no holds barred minutes. Fail to defend yourself adequately for ten seconds and you’re done, as well as if you ask to stop. All you can do is to survive and fight back. One of the adversaries was a (police)man who’d been his sensei, his teacher, for nine of those years of training. To quote Billy, who is not prone to expletives, the moment I saw him afterwards, drenched in sweat and (some) blood, battered, bruised and exhausted, covered in ice packs; “that was fucking insane!



And it must have been. The other two who were also grading were in an even worse state. The young lady had an ankle the thickness of her leg and her foot was bleeding quite a bit, she was shattered, but still had a smile. The other lad, a year or two older than Billy, was the colour of beetroot and had a thousand yard stare that didn’t leave him even after the presentation and during the photos. Bill also offered up the appetising factoids that he was sick twice during the fighting (“I swallowed one lot though Dad”) and that he had banged his head rather badly (“Two of them picked me up and threw me into the wall”) but as the honours were handed out it was heartwarming to see the camaraderie, the back slapping, the hugs from all who’d been fighting as they welcomed three new peers into the group. To say Bill was on a high was an understatement. Twenty four hours later, at a celebratory meal out, his bandaged hands and taped fingers were still shaking to the extent that he had to pick up his drink with both hands. I think that there is no way to really understand what he’d been through, only a certain few who’ve actually been there can comprehend.

And, forgive me for my gushingly proud parent status, that’s not all. This past year he has had spectacular GCSE results and he completed his NCS (National Citizenship Scheme) course. This was two weeks of (outdoor) activities and two weeks of volunteering and social action. After the fundraising events at the end were over he was as upset as I’d ever seen him; he said “it’s not right, we didn’t do enough, we didn’t do all that we could have, they needed more”. We pacified our distraught son, assured him that he’d done some good and that it was a learning lesson for life.
Within a week he’d met with the chief of the local mental health charity that he felt he’d let down, and by the end of summer had rebuilt their website, sorted their social media and has now moved on to setting up and chairing a young person’s council for them. He is giving a presentation at a mental health convention in December.
It's been a pleasure having had a board game playing boy, but it’s incredible being the parent of such an active, caring and conscientious young man.


Billy is awesome, and he’s special because he’s mine, but he’s not unique.
There are so many other young people who, in their own way, are just as amazing.
You see, the problem for kids these days, is that many adults have no idea just how much they are capable of.
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Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:15 am
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Every Man Needs To Get Busy Living

Stuart Burnham
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Abingdon
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Thanks so, so much everyone for all the kind words here and Shed-wards.
That meant a great deal. Tony is a friend. A friend to many, many people.
That his recent birthday bash drew people from all over the U.K. and beyond says a lot.
It’s good to see him around.

It Beats Watching The TV will return for some one off instalments soon.
Thanks for reading.

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Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:15 am
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Every Man Needs A Kind Word Now And Then

Stuart Burnham
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I’ve had a shit day. I typed a long ranty post getting it (and a whole host of other things) off my chest. And then I read it and realised I sounded like a prat. So I deleted it all, it would’ve done no-one who read it any benefit.

What would do some good is a kind word or two. We all need to hear some during our day. So, and I know he’ll be reading this, why not leave a message in the comments for our favourite banged up blogger.

I’ll start off.

Tony; Your humour, your crassness, your (occasional) wisdom are all much missed. Thanks for all those words, especially the rude ones. Keep being you, whatever you do.


“Free the banned blogger”
Day 9: whistle imagine The Great Escape Theme here whistle
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Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:15 am
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Every Man Needs A Little Light Relief

Stuart Burnham
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Abingdon
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I’ve just gotten home from the weekly Games for a Laugh group, something that you haven’t read about for quite some time on this blog. Things have changed a bit, the attendees have changed a bit; several long time gamers no longer come, or only drop in infrequently (I myself have missed more game nights this year than in all the years I’ve been going along). However, there have been quite a number of newcomers as well. Some are sporadic in their showing up, others have quickly gotten into the swing and are around most weeks. All in all, there’s been quite a bit of churn. The group has always been a bit amorphous, with attendance ranging from 8 to 20 usually, but this year has been very variable indeed.

What all this means, practically, is that it isn’t really any longer the place where you can count on getting your latest mid weight euro or your recently fulfilled Kickstarter game to the table. There might be enough regulars who are adept at dropping straight into a 2 hour game with a quick rules bash, but then again they might need to do a little hand holding and teaching with newer members. And these newer gamers certainly aren’t going to be able to recall the rules to that dice mitigation point salad that they played weeks ago for the first and only time, and they’re also not the sort to go researching the faqs here or play throughs on You Tube.

And so, in something that’ll be a theme in my end of gaming year round up is just how many lighter games I’ve been playing. Something clicked, or maybe snapped, with me over a year ago; I was teaching a table to play something chunky, something that I’d spent a few hours learning and setting up and trying myself - it was a head scratcher, good, but hard work - and whilst we all kind of liked it, we didn’t really sense any great enthusiasm to play it again any time soon. So I’d spent 6 or so hours (and about £40) for this “ok” experience. It just didn’t seem like a valuable use of my time, the payoff was not commensurate with the effort. And so I retreated, gaming wise.



This evening I played games with two ladies who are fairly new to gaming (as in, Carcassonne a couple of weeks ago was a first play).
I taught them one of my favourite light games, Splendor. It took a few minutes to teach, half an hour to play and we could all chat whilst we did so. And obviously it went down well because they wanted to play it again straight away (not in 4 weeks time when you next remember to stick it in your bag!). Of course being a simple title they already had a good grasp of the type of tactics needed on a second go and it was a very competitive game, including some “hate reserving” of cards. Great stuff.
And then I taught them (along with a regular, who’d somehow never played it) one of my favourite light games, Azul. It took a few minutes to teach, half an hour to play and we could all chat whilst we did so. And obviously it went down well because they wanted to play it again straight away (not in 4 weeks time when you next remember to stick it in your bag!). Of course being a simple title they already had a good grasp of the type of tactics needed on a second go and it was a very competitive game, including some “hate seeding” of the pool. Great stuff.

The group was called Games for a Laugh for a reason. In this environment light games work, really well, and it’s a real relief to be able to just play them, more than once!



“Free the banned blogger”
Day 8: Remember to light your commemorative Tony candle and pray for his safe return.

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Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:15 am
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Every Man Needs A Rest

Stuart Burnham
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Yeah, I’m very much out of practice with blogging and as this is the seventh day since I’ve been (voluntarily) standing in for the Shed I feel it is legitimately something of a day of rest. So here’s a lovely little commemorative Agricola card that Ben(Boffo)Bateson made for Tony’s birthday bash.
Why not print it out for yourselves.







“Free the banned blogger”
Day 7: snore snore snore
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:15 am
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Every Man Needs A Challenge

Stuart Burnham
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Large group gaming days are the ideal situation in which to try out games that are longer and/ or more challenging than the sort of things that you usually play. Ahead of the weekend’s Gathering of Chums(2) there had been much chatter on the dedicated Facebook group about various incarnations of the 18XX system that could be played in this company. I’ve never played anything remotely as deep or heavy but, as I said, these are the ideal occasions on which one can get out of one’s comfort zone and stretch the gaming muscles.

And so it came to pass that an unofficial Botswana bout was convened that afternoon. Unofficial in that no title was on the line but this was contested under full tournament rules and no quarter was asked nor given. Now I’ve played Loco several times and whilst Botswana (Wildlife Safari) is ostensibly same game it is quite objectively not the same game.
A full table of five, following normal convention random seating order and starting player (a strong advantage) applied. I found myself stuck between veteran big game hunters Boydell and (former) Regional Champion Green (widely credited with developing and then exploiting the “double lion” opening). I wasn’t expecting much of a rough ride from the other seats but there was a real danger that I would be safari spit roasted between these particular two.



A wild opening round saw scores in the teens and low twenties and I, as anticipated, at the back of the pack after my naive initial moves of Lion(!), Zebra(?!), Rhino(??) were ruthlessly exploited leaving me facing something of a Kilimanjaro. I hope I’m not overstating the basics and insulting your intelligence here but it has been definitively proven that, in a 5 player game, Zebra/Rhino (after an opening carnivore) is weak almost to the point of conceding.
Rhinos have an inherent vulnerability to an early 5 being played because, as Matt eloquently articulates, “fuck Rhinos eh?”
Zebras are notoriously weak, which Knizia had tried to address with the controversial Giraffe expansion that inadvertently led to the neutering of the double Leopard play and only further enhanced the situational strength of Elephants. Whilst this can be countered somewhat by further adding the unofficial Crocodile, Hyena and Gazelle promos this introduces too much chaos into such a high strategy game, and this messing around caused huge divisions in the professional ranks and, ultimately, the formation of the breakaway Rebel Bush League. I apologise for bringing the traumatic schism back up and repeating such elementary (and upsetting) information here, but there are always the occasional late comers to this most esteemed of games on BGG.

An obscene second round triple Lion (hey, I was desperate) saw me claw a few points back on the leaders, but as the scores were all in single figures (the classic Rhino rush ending the round early) it wasn’t going to be enough if things continued in conventional manner. In rounds three and four there was a fair amount of the “Noah” (2x2) tactic being deployed which is useful for consolidating a position but won’t allow you to overhaul one. I went for an unorthodox double Elephant (?!), a risky opening; as they say, “never double Elephant yourself into a situation that you aren’t prepared to Zebra yourself back out of” (a Pachyderm Pirouette) followed up by Leopard(!?) Lion(!) which is strong against the Noah but will come unstuck against any type of diverse herd. When you’re risking falling to anyone, even someone who’s been mad enough to go Zebra, you need the cards to fall just right and it was my good fortune that they did.

Round four saw me making my move, something which has had a cult following since it was first employed by Barnstaple in what was dubbed “The Cairo Classic”. This requires an opening Rhino(?), which is usually a transparent feint, and to then back it up with a second turn predator (Lion is traditional, although obvious) but, and here is where the mind-messing begins, this is the actual feint. In turn three you go back to Rhino(?!) (as long as you are confident that you not triggering the rush) and then go Elephant(!) Zebra((?!)but situationally(!!)) to leave the predators perplexed. Traditionalists may tut to themselves about this but they need to accept that the game has moved on and you can’t just sit back and wait for an opponent’s mistake to provide an opening, you have to counter press these days.

Going into the final round I was now a couple of points ahead of Green and whilst I was starting player he, to my right, would have the opportunity end the round and screw me over if I wasn’t careful, and the others complied. I was faced with a dilemma. Nobody has ever lost lost a round of Botswana with an opening Elephant but they haven’t won very many either, and I didn’t need to win, I just needed to maintain the 2 point gap. I considered my options but ultimately found my big boy khakis and went for “go big cat or go home” - I’d come this far and I wasn’t about to die wondering.
Lion(!) Leopard(?!) Leopard(!?) Lion(!!) ended the round with a bang and Green might as well have been holding an entire herd of Zebras for all the good that anything else could do in the face of doubled apex predators. A grandstand finish that caused even the 18XX players on the next table to marvel at the audacity of it.

This was a titanic contest at one of the ultimate tests of strategic gaming that, whilst it does not confer me with any official title, will leave me glowing as if I had been out on the savannah for real. Knizia has, I think, never bettered this design (often feted as his most thematic) that packs all of the decisions of a high level economic and share divesting game with the cutthroat Dominant Species-esque turns and the Twilight Struggle dynamic card play.
To play it is a demanding test of any gamer and it is certainly true that you’ll never be quite the same afterwards.
The definitive “minute to learn, lifetime to master” game.


Major props to Mr Green, (with an honorary mention to Master Bateson), in whose Botswana footsteps I have attempted to follow.



“Free the banned blogger”
Day 6: Jesus wept, this is long enough now isn’t it?
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:15 am
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Every Man Needs A New Toy

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
Abingdon
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I took a trip to see the incarcerated one down at the Bad Gamers Gulag [(c)Don More]
and whilst he’s looking a little underfed and a bit shaky (those wobbles might’ve been because he seemed to be on a liquid diet for the day) he seems to be holding up well. The guards apparently aren’t being too rough and visitors are allowed, as long as they only talk about cardboard related matters and don’t veer from the “everything is awesome, just keep smiling and don’t talk about anything controversial” party line.
Quite natty threads the inmates get to wear as well...



I took along a gift for him, as it is his birthday, one that was a little tricky to source. I mean, what do you get for such an avid gamer and designer who has access to all the gaming goodness that he could desire? I’m sure that many of you reading will feel similarly to me that games these days are skimping on some of the components, and nowhere is this more noticeable than in turn order. Many are even making do with just a simple card or small chit to denote this important and often hard fought over position. So I found a suitably imposing Luxury Start Player Marker that he can use at any table.
And if he doesn’t like it, well, he knows what he can do with it...



There were a great number of games played by me and many others at the 2nd “Gathering of Chums” and a half arsed write up may follow from me in due course but let’s just say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself.


“Free the banned blogger”
Day 5: Plea bargain, community service, anything, just let him out so I don’t have to keep doing this. I’m properly out of blogging shape!
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Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:15 am
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