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 9th October - Ploughing

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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Oi! Hands off...
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Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
It looked like it was just going to be three this week: Becky, myself and Dan making a repeat appearance from the shed. I fired Tony an optimistic 'joining in?' message, but got not reply, so we fired up Troyes to start matters.

For the first time in ages, I didn't get dealt 'the bloke who gives you cathedral points' (real name pending a visit to the cheat-sheet), but it didn't stop me rolling a procession of miserable numbers. I one point I spaffed away eight influence rolling the following delicious succession of numbers on a single yellow die: 1,1,1,2,2,1,2,2,3. This was especially profligate given that I had been dealt the influence-guy in lieu of the cathedral-guy.

Anyway, the events got on top of us big-time in this game and it was a low-scorer, Becky eventually settling things due to a 'big tradesmen' strategy with a satisfyingly close 36-33-32 scoreline. And Tony had mystically turned up out of the blue and sat making satisfied 'cor' noises from the spectator's chair during the last half.

With Tony and Dan on board, it seemed only right to play some Agricola. Because...why not? So we trotted over to boiteajeux and set about mis-drafting some cards. I don't know how Market Woman got round to me on Round 6 of the draft; nor do I know how I mis-clicked and picked the Stonecarver instead. In fact, the Stonecarver's a pretty good card, too. I didn't know WHAT was going on.

Tony shot out of the gates, hogging the start player, and building what turned out to be a solid early-vegetable combo that saw him out of food trouble for the rest of the game. Becky telegraphed an obvious baking strategy, and Dan built the well before apparently running out of ideas. I played a frankly MEAN (and very error-free, given my opening draft) game of Agricola, using the Farm Steward to steal the crucial first family growth from Becky, taking the expansion space from Tony not once but twice (second time might have been slightly his fault given he'd seen me do it once), and then gratuitously taking the start player in order to beat Dan to the Pottery. He was so flustered with this that apparently he tried to use his remaining clay to build fences. Anyway, this sort of no-goodery inevitably leads to a score in the 40s, and so it proved with Becky, Dan and Tony trailing me in that order. Perhaps worthy of note is that I didn't take or spend an entire unit of reed in the whole game.

Tony waved his goodbyes, and - though it was getting kinda late - we stayed up to introduce Dan to the joys of Macao. I'd figured it was his sort of game, and of course he proved me right, giving us (both relative Macao veterans) a run to the finish line with a strongly office-based strategy. Becky's crucial stealing of a city quarter made the difference and she pipped me by just three points, with Dan only half a dozen behind.
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