Anthony BoydellUnited Kingdom
UnspecifiedWelcome...to my Shed!
I popped over to The King's Arms early on Saturday to check in with the Landlord, help set up tables and let those already in-place know that I would down in the Museum until 1PM if anyone fancied having a look around?!
Thus, while they were making early in-roads to the barrel of Titanic Plum Porter, I was chewing a bacon butty and doing my best impression of a Curator! I dug out a 'shooting' game from a musty corner and set it up for visitor participation: a couple of tin pistols sending elastic bands and two racks of pivoted animal shapes FTW! I also took the opportunity to look through an enormous box of old card games gifted by fellow antique-obsessive Phil Dennis (more on these some other time). Phil, himself, stopped in for a lengthy look - as green with envy at some of my acquisitions as I am with (plenty of) his! Chris and Jess, Richard Breese and Penny, Steve and others also made good use of the morning to participate in a 'proper' browse!
Hungry for both The Arms' excellent cornish pasties AND games, I locked the unit on the dot of 1300HRS and plodded up to the Pub:
Mr Shep (of this Parish) and Nick 'Tales of the Northlands' Case construct perhaps the greatest PitchCar ever*
The forthcoming (Q1 2022) Pilgrim gets a workout courtesy of Mr Shep, Tim (poet, writer, gamer), Phil P and myself.
My first game was in at the deep end with Nick's fabulous mancala-driven Pilgrim: send your acolytes in-and-around the city to gather resources; perform good works (donating to the Community); construct roads, shrines and powerful buildings; and, wherever possible, keep your Piety up.
Thanks to my own generosity toward the good people of the City (and impressive devotion to prayer), I managed second place (which is two better than the last time I played), which was just one point behind Tim and his chain of roadside shrines. Phil managed an early 'deal' with the City's tax official but it didn't quite translate into VPs - it only goes to show that Jesus was right about all of that money-changer shit. I can't remember how John got on as I was, by this time, well on my own road to plum porter oblivion.
With a queue of birthday beers lined up on the table nearby, I officiated while the pilgrims stayed on for some more passive-aggressive and wicked interpersonal shenanigans - Nick taking my playing place at the round table:
There was just time for the regional semi-final before the massive curry would be delivered to Chez Boydell. Unfortunately, my refreshed state led to some outrageously-stupid play in Round four (of five) which not only tanked my chances of qualification BUT ALSO those of Mr Matt Green who - quite rightly - was deeply unimpressed.
The entire back room emptied, then, as I led the Chums (pied piper-like) up the hill to Appleton House and the hot, savoury and delicious delights of the Newent Tandoori restaurant! Plates were piled high with bread and rice and richly-coloured sauces, poppadoms smeared with pickles and the whole place fogged with mouth-watering spice odours. By the time we'd all wiped the last smears from our platters and set the gaming world to rights with various discussions, there was barely ninety minutes' pub gaming time remaining:
My own evening of play ended - somewhat ignominiously - with Skull King and Fool!; I am by my own admission - but more obviously by my actual 'play' - utter shite at trick-taking games. Completely useless. Indeed, during 'Fool!' (which I'm not sure has much agency within it, anyway) my group would have been better served by a hamster shredding the cards in its cheeks and shitting them out onto the table than by any kind of supposed 'decisions' on my part. I hated it and I hated myself more for all of my subsequent complaining; I think I'd best avoid this category in future.
On a more sentimental note: as I was taking stock of gifts and other received deliveries at the end of the day**, I spotted this heartfelt and touching message in my Essen-muled copy of Shinkansen: Zero Kei:
I think I've got some
sovereigntygrit in my eye...sniff!
*in Newent Town, at least.
**Goodness; already there's just the one more day to go and I've not played Agricola yet!
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Father, Grandfather, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.
- [+] Dice rolls