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Subject: Hoe Hoe Hoe - Merry Christmas rss

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Brandon Clarke
New Zealand
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Oh Lordy - Lordy!

The Knizia brotherhood had a clandestine meeting last night. It was a controversial 'parallel to the chall's final meeting of the year' affair due to:

1. The need to get Brother Mark along, in order to allow Brother McSean and I to give Brother Mark his Christmas present; and
2. Brother Mark only being allowed out to attend the chall's final meeting of the year; and
3. the Chall's no alcohol restriction.

You see Brother Mark has for some time been the target of incessant ridicule and derision due to the range (or lack of range) of suitable glasses available at his house. There are several VERY small Simpsons kids' cups, and a range of wine glasses, but no beer glasses. Recently he alleges that Michelle bought some beer glasses, but rumour has it they have flowers on them!

So when I saw that Liqourland were selling Hoegarden gift packs - 4 Hoes plus a Hoegarden glass for just $16.99 I rung Brother McSean and suggested we go halves on 4 such gift packs, and give the 4 glasses to Brother Mark so that when we went to his place we'd have something decent to drink out of. We discussed the moral dilemma as to what we should do with the 16 bottles of Hoegarden we would inevitably left with, and our considered opinion was that we should drink them. Clearly we could not give them to Brother Mark, as it was his steadfast refusal to cough up and purchase decent glasses that had got us into this predicament in the first place. However it was equally clear that we could not give Brother Mark 4 Hoegarden glasses without offering to christen them.


At the appointed hour of 7pm I arrived with 8 Hoes, opened the front door, (as you do) and let myself in, and added my Hoes to the fridge. There were now 24 Hoes in the fridge. Shortly thereafter Brother Dan knocked on the door. Kus yelled out "It's open". Brother McSean went to the top of the stairs and yelled out "Come in. It's open."

Dan knocked again. Kus again yelled out, from in the garage, quite close to the front door, actually, "It's open... come in."


Brother McSean looked at me and said "It's gotta be Dan".

Finally the Wonkey Donkey let himself in. His 4 Hoes were squeezed into the fridge. (Running count 28).

Not long after, Brother Mark arrived avec 12 more hoes (running total 40 Hoes!) and was (a) taken aback by the vista of a fridge fairly bulging with Hoes, and then, not long after that, (b) taken aback by the stark visage of Brother McSean's new 40 inch Sony LCD Panel TV.

Hoes were poured. Brother Mark had bought (at long last - we've been waiting some time for this great unveiling) Reef Encounters of the 2nd Kind. The Wonkey Donkey had a brief Reef Encounter rules revision session, and then Brother Mark began the rules explanation for REot2K.

Firstly, let me observe that the rules to the expansion are:

i. as well written and presented as the original rules.
ii. lengthy.
iii. an excellent expansion to an already excellent game.
iv. require approximately 3 Hoes per person (13 in total) to get through them.

Luckily we had a few Hoes in the fridge that we had prepared earlier. And, of course, we also had delightful Hoegarden glasses to drink them out of too.

So the game began, and we introduced a rule for the evening that take backs were allowed, but only if one supped. There was much supping. Both of the take back induced and voluntary kind. The Sony 40 inch LCD panel was hooked up to the X box and the music rolled. The image was inspiringly sharp. As was the wit, and the intakes of breath when I introduced a crown of thorns early in the piece right between Brother Dan and Brother McSean's corals.

There was some Khanage that ensued, and Brother Mark had some particularly powerful cards which allowed him to cultivate a large Orange and a large Yellow coral successfully. Much less alga cylinder play was pursued than is normal in a standard game, as a LOT of card buying was seen as preferable.

The first spillage event occurred when the empty bottle count had reached 25. No major damage was done due largely to Brother Mark's excellent laminating of the cards.

The game finally wound up at about 1am. All 40 Hoes were now in the empty bottle stack. There are photos to prove this which Brother McSean will be circulating.

Final score:

Brother Brandon 37
Brother McSean 32
Brother Dan 31
Brother Mark 30

That's the first time I've won a game on the reef.

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