My Memories of Saltdean Games Day
Tim Riley
United Kingdom
Seahaven
East Sussex
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The late great Maurice Dodd & Dennis Collins creators of The Perishers
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Ole Boot - A sheepdog or a cursed English milor' depending on your viewpoint
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Saltdean is in East Sussex on the South Coast of England and on Saturday it was the venue for a Games Day to raise funds for the local Scouts. These are just my own subjective impressions as a gamer with very little experience of modern gaming and few opportunities to play in recent years. As you might imagine I was rather like a child in a toyshop: Thrilled to see games everywhere (some Essen raiders amongst the participants) including many I had only seen and lusted after on "The 'Geek".
The day was friendly and well-organised (Thanks again Dick and all participants) and I'm looking forward to more...
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1. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:317]
Tim Riley
United Kingdom
Seahaven
East Sussex
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The late great Maurice Dodd & Dennis Collins creators of The Perishers
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Ole Boot - A sheepdog or a cursed English milor' depending on your viewpoint
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Straight in at the deep end. I had seen this one on BGG and drooled so was very happy to join as Sir Kay. I contributed a fair bit to the quests I think but unfortunately my own inexperience led me to give the benefit of the doubt to Arthur who seemed to be playing rather oddly. I charitably considered he might simply be struggling to learn a new game. How wrong I was. My fellow knights strongly suspected him long before I did but he was only unmasked after he wrongly accused one of the loyal band with no apparent justification. Dread black swords appeared at the round table and the damage was done. Who would have suspected our own liege lord? After some frantic attempts to stem the tide of evil on several fronts Camelot succombed and I had a new respect for the traitorous Rudger. I imagine that like games of Kingmaker from my student days this often attracts some appropriate Python dialogue and as the picture caption says "Where are the coconuts?"
 
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2. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:312]
Tim Riley
United Kingdom
Seahaven
East Sussex
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The late great Maurice Dodd & Dennis Collins creators of The Perishers
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Ole Boot - A sheepdog or a cursed English milor' depending on your viewpoint
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Actually we used House Martell and the board overlays from the Clash of Kings expansion for this as we had 6 players (at least!) initially. We didn't use the additional rules and fortress/siege engine pieces though. I own a copy of this game but had not so far found any takers so I was excited to have a chance to play. One player had limited experience of the game, the rest of us were GoT virgins so Luke (with exemplary patience) had a lot of explaining to do at the outset. Unfortunately some of the participants ran out of time and it was agreed to end following turn seven (out of a maximum ten). To my enormous surprise this left me/Baratheon as the winner. I had felt I was floundering with no coherent strategy at least till about turn five so I was astonished. A good taster but I would like to return to this game. As an ex-Diplomacy player I like the basically simple and elegant underlying mechanic and imagine with more experience alliances and betrayals would be a major part of this one too. Love the theme and nice components although Luke and myself, both reading the G.R.R. Martin books, agreed that Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister does not look as we imagined him.
 
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3. Board Game: Manila [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:614]
Tim Riley
United Kingdom
Seahaven
East Sussex
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The late great Maurice Dodd & Dennis Collins creators of The Perishers
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Ole Boot - A sheepdog or a cursed English milor' depending on your viewpoint
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A nice shorter, simpler game after two big ones. Again with nice components. Sorry to keep saying that but after years of nothing more than hex/counter solitaire wargames, very old Waddingtons games or Kingmaker at best, I am only just emerging blinking into the dazzling light of these gorgeous modern Eurogames. I loved the game but the very high bidding for Harbour Master, which was a feature of this session, had me avoiding that side and therefore not buying shares. For a long time I was sitting on more money than most and quietly confident. The flaw in my strategy was exposed with the final tally. Not quite last but well behind the winner and runners up. This is one I would consider buying though, as I can imagine it being enjoyed by my "not really gamers but liked that horse racing game" friends, who don't want to learn a lot of rules or play one game for hours.
 
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4. Board Game: Saboteur [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:852] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Tim Riley
United Kingdom
Seahaven
East Sussex
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The late great Maurice Dodd & Dennis Collins creators of The Perishers
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Hi ho!: A quick and fun card game which I think Mike brought back from Essen. Another I would think of buying and playing
with family or the "non-gamer" friends. As Mike has noted elsewhere you can't help mentally giving it a soundtrack of "We'll dig,dig,dig,dig etc. It was obvious I was a far from subtle saboteur in the first round as there was a lot of suspicion and my tools were broken often. The cards fell my way though (and my fellow saboteur was less obvious) so we won. In the second round I was among the successful dwarves. In the third round the saboteurs were thwarted by their cards and to my surprise we dwarves motored straight across the table to the gold (the location of which I had discovered with my first map card). Mmmm more lovely nuggets! The end result was a win for me. This is so light I can imagine playing it with my whole family from my parents to my youngest niece and may try and find a copy before the Christmas gatherings of the Rooftrouser clan. Card games, other than all those rummy, whist and poker variants we played with normal cards illicitly at school, have never really been on my radar. This one has may have changed my thinking.
 
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5. Board Game: Werewolf [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1164]
Tim Riley
United Kingdom
Seahaven
East Sussex
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The late great Maurice Dodd & Dennis Collins creators of The Perishers
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Ole Boot - A sheepdog or a cursed English milor' depending on your viewpoint
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Late evening and down to about a dozen of us when I was introduced to this very simple game. The lights were turned off and "the vilage" bathed just in the eerie red glow from electric heaters on the ceiling... Now I can think of many gatherings over the years where this would have been an ideal pastime or ice-breaker however being a very shy chap I was initially uneasy about playing something so reliant on group dynamics and interaction with relative strangers. In the first round I discovered my true vocation to be slaughtering innocent villagers however and found I enjoyed the game thereafter. Rudger once again showed his cold-blooded evil side and joined me in the blood-bath. Steve pleaded with the villagers to kill him and release him from the game. The villagers could not decide whether this was bluff, double bluff, treble bluff... If he wanted to survive, this tactic worked. Pretty sure he was serious though so that backfired. I notice a number of more
complicated variations of this game exist but I can imagine that the basic game could work almost anywhere with any group of sufficient size. I'm hoping to meet Dick, experienced Games Master of most of this session, and Helen and Jim again later in the week for some more gaming so I hope they have forgiven me for all the killing and accusations: especially Jim who I argued must be a werewolf because he was so hairy (just a beard not the back of the paws er...hands or anything, honestly). Fangs for the memory then but the evening was winding down now and, after a few more rounds, more gamers departed and clearing up began (Piles of lifeless corpses needed to be put out by the bins obviously). Aaaaaaaaawwwwoooooooooo!
 
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6. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:613]
Tim Riley
United Kingdom
Seahaven
East Sussex
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The late great Maurice Dodd & Dennis Collins creators of The Perishers
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Ole Boot - A sheepdog or a cursed English milor' depending on your viewpoint
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Desperate to suck the last goodness from the day, I joined a few remaining die-hards for one last game though. Mike kindly loaned his copy of Diamant before departing (possibly on foot after he had led the lynching of his innocent chauffeur in the previous game). Another very quick simple game with nice components in the form of those lovely sparkling gems and, as someone else has pointed out, "Indiana Jones meeples". What's not to like? I managed to get some loot in my neat little crate but never looked like winning. A natural coward, I played too conservatively and ran away too readily. An enjoyable finish to a smashing day though. Roll on the next one. Thanks again Dick et al.
 
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7. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
 
Tim Riley
United Kingdom
Seahaven
East Sussex
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The late great Maurice Dodd & Dennis Collins creators of The Perishers
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Ole Boot - A sheepdog or a cursed English milor' depending on your viewpoint
Avatar
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Not one I played but it was sitting temptingly on the bring and buy table. I probably should have bought it but not sure if I could have found players. Also tempted by Apples to Apples (including expansion) and Sopwith. Apples probably makes the most sense as a potential "non-gamer group" game. Oh well maybe next time. If only I could get BGG on my PDA and look up games on the spot in such situations...
 
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