The Ross-on-Wye Boardgamers

Beer and Boardgames at The Plough Inn (formerly the Prince Of Wales, formerly the White Lion). "It's not F-ing Monopoly, alright?!"
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Friday October 2nd - Other Men Need Sheds Too!

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
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Oi! Hands off...
Microbadge: Guinea Pig loverMicrobadge: Princes of Florence fanMicrobadge: Agricola fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Quantum Leap fan
It's not getting any easier to write blogs about talking to people on Skype, believe me.

Anyway, the last games night in September was a no-show (although I did get a couple of cracking games of Scrabble in with my Mum and stepdad on the Saturday), but this week compensated by way of bringing five gamers to my screen. Indeed, I had to spend a fair few minutes shuffling their little portraits around because Dave is always a bit off-centre, and Gerv gets lower and lower as the evening progresses. In more ways than one.

Dan joined us too, from his bijou new shed (the wife and kids were watching High School Musical), featuring a variety of junk, a large mushroom-identification poster, and a robot that would have been torched within seconds of its life had it ever qualified for Robot Wars.

When five are present, my thoughts invariably stray towards El Grande. Indeed, I am so fond of this masterpiece of gaming that I have been stretching my skills against a multitude of antipodean gamers early on Sunday mornings, all in the name of Defence Research and a £12 Amazon gift voucher. But that's another story....

It was a much more tense opening than usual, a fact which probably owed something to the absence of John, whose habit of plonking down his 13 card in the very first round has become a tad predictable. Dave opened an early lead, but was overhauled by Dan and - very briefly - by Gerv. That was to be Gerv's last significant movement of the game, as it happened, as he failed to score very much at all in the second and third scorings. In fact, I'm sure he'll be pleased to know that he now has another 'all-time low score' to add to his Hall Of Fame.

I struggled to get into things at all, and Becky - somehow - always is defeated by the premise of this game, so it turned into a straight shoot-out between Dan and Dave. It was too close to call, going into the final scoring, but Dave won - again! - by a mere handful of points.

Libertalia was being warmed up as our second game from at least Round 7 of El Grande onwards, so we roistered over to BGA for piratey fun. BGA implementations are generally great, but this is one of the weaker interfaces for me - everything just looks so damn small, and people generally have difficulty working out who their direct neighbours are supposed to be. Not that any of this stopped Dave, who showed a mercy-free streak in waltzing away to his second win. Dan couldn't challenge his this time, being somewhat Beggared into penury at the start, so the main opposition was left to me, but even I finished 25 points short. Massacre.

We finished with a couple of rounds of 7 Wonders, which gave us chance to roll out the traditional fun-poking at Gerv's 'grand unified theory of how to win at 7 Wonders'. I think the theory needs some more polishing: he finished dead last twice. Becky won both, the first beating Dave (playing Halicarnassus and his 'I don't know what I'm doing, honest' guise) with a pile of science cards, and the second ahead of my (always underwhelming) Olympia with lots of blue.
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