Jenseits von Theben: We played this at Keith's session last Thursday. I enjoyed it a lot. I like the way the passage of time is handled - a bit like Around the World in 80 Days only more intuitive. I wonder if a similar mechanism could be used in wargames? Some actions take longer than others - so if you pick a long one your opponent gets the chance to do several shorter ones before your next turn comes around. Might work well in an Age of Sail game.....anyway, enough musing on red herrings. I like the archaeology theme of JvT , and the difficult decisions about balancing research in Europe with the chancier commitments to a big dig in the Near East. Sure there's a lot of luck in how many decent artifacts you find, but that's the skill - making the right decisions to optimize your chances. The production is a bit sparse, but this is such an excellent game I would be surprised if it's not given a face-lift soon by one of the big publishers. But what are Jenseits, that's what I want to know?
Shear Panic: Yes, Keith has a copy. Stuff some money into my Paypal account and I might give you his address, if you fancy a bit of breaking and entering. Basically this is a little abstract game with a bit of luck thrown in, played in three or four rounds with each with different objectives. But of course it is lifted by the superb playing pieces - those large, heavy, hand-painted comedy sheep, looking just like characters from Wallace and Gromit. Brilliant.
Zertz: The nice thing about this is you can stuff the whole game including the board in a large dice-bag and take it to the coffee-shop or pub. Which I have done with Phil a couple of times now. Highly portable, and looks great when it's set up. Phil usually beats me too. It's a strange game, very indirect. You can't just fight it out for what you want - you have to maneuver the other guy into a position where he is forced to give you what you want. Takes a while to get used to this.
Poker: Phil took Gavin and my shirts at Texas Holdem on Friday evening. On Sunday I persuaded Gavin to try Draw Poker (out of Sid Sackson's book). We both got pretty fed up with the rule that says you must have at least a pair of Jacks to bet. I can see it might work with a big table, but with two it was plain boring.
6 Nimmt!: I had a few rounds of this with Gavin once we got tired of Poker. It works well with two, I would like to try it with more some time. Fantastic, classic game.
Memoir 44: I've been soloing the Montelimar scenario, and I splashed out for the Eastern Front expansion and extra boards, which look gorgeous by the way. I've persuaded Keith to have a go soon, and I plan to try M44 online on VASSAL some time this week.
High Stakes Drifter: Another collectible card game, on a western/poker/gunfighting theme. Comes with a couple of poker chips! The guy in the Aldershot Games Shop popped it in my bag as a freebie with my M44 stuff - this is worrying, it suggests he is starting to think of me as a regular spender. If he starts offering me a discount I will know I've got a real problem!
The Napoleonic Wars and Throneworld: These have both been sold on eBay and packed off to their new owners in the post with never a pang. Strangely I was expecting Throneworld to make a better price, but in the event it went for just £11 but I got over £30 for The Napoleonic Wars. I lost my digital camera in November, in Cambridge on my birthday. Didn't even notice it had gone until Christmas Day. I'm just about to get a new one on insurance, and I'm waiting on that before the I can put the next batch of games up on eBay.
The War of the Ring: Painting of the pieces continues apace. Completed the dwarves yesterday. Only the elves and our friends from the North left to do now - plus the companions and minions of course, who will get a slightly more detailed paint job. (I bought one of those sinister looking frames with claws and a magnifying glass in preparation.) I'm really pleased with the results so far. I will post some pictures when everything is complete - if I don't lose my new camera in the meantime......