Friday, June 23, 2006

Slim pickings

Recent gaming includes a couple of games of the new Lord of the Rings Confrontation with Les in the pub the other evening, followed by a weird abstract insect thing, erm.....Hive! I remember! Confrontation was good, but....bulky. In spite of the extras, I still prefer the charm of the little box which made it an ideal "take it to the pub in case" game.

I also played through Elasund solo the last couple of days. Looks promising. I like the Settlers thing of always starting your turn with a dice roll. Never mind thinking, just roll the dice! Eases you into your turn gently, I like that.

I read the latest GMT flyer from cover to cover. It had the same effect it always has on me....desperate to buy wargames....desperate to punch out wargames languishing on my shelves....desperate to read about wargames - poring over old C3i's at breakfast....above all, desperate for a wargames opponent....

But not just yet. The sun is shining and I'm off to Austria tomorrow, with my paraglider and only hand luggage for T-shirts and pants. Back in a week....


Sunday, June 18, 2006

NimrodCon never fails to surprise. Every year we go to the same place (a self-catering cottage in Hay-on-Wye), with roughly the same people (the gaming group that used to meet in Salisbury), and with the same general idea (books, beer and boardgames). But every year it turns out a little unexpectedly. This time there were three new factors: more women (we must be upping our social skills); amazing weather; and the World Cup. All conspired to keep people away from the game tables and out in the Black Mountains, swimming in the river, or in the pub watching the match. Nevertheless, in spite of all these obstacles, all these ways that people found of having a good time without the use of a board or dice, some gaming was fitted in somehow. Some of the games that were played over the four days:

Command and Colors Ancients: This was a big hit, convincing even John (who knows a lot about the period and who has played a lot of 7th Edition and DBM in his time) in the end. I played three games, coaching three different new players, losing every one, but enjoying each one immensely.

Settlers of the Stone Age: reminded me that even a really good German game can be ruined if someone is determined to play as if it is Diplomacy.

San Juan: This is really good, we enjoyed the first one so much (sitting out on the balcony in the sunshine) that we went round and played it again immediately.

Attika: played this twice on Monday morning, in the final burst of gaming that came when we realized it was nearly time to go. Last time I played it (at Baycon) it was a confusing maze, this time it all clicked into place and I won easily - twice in a row!

Dvonn: a lot of this was played by various people in odd moments on the grass or in the pub. I played once against Gavin and won - but only just! I think this is my favourite of the series.

6 Nimmt!: went down very well as usual.

Wings of War: this happened after I went to bed I think - but all fell to Nick's conquering Red Baron.

Are You A Werewolf?: this was really good last-thing-at-night fun, excellently GM'd by Phil. It was shocking how easy it is to hang the wrong guy.

The cottage at Hay (Celtic Lodge) is up for sale, so unless we can come up with £300,000 between us, it looks like we will be somewhere else next year. We're looking for somewhere cheap, with lots of cafes and book shops and mountains to climb and rivers to swim in and tables to play games on. Any ideas?


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More gaming outreach

I spent last weekend relaxing with about 15 (non-gamer) friends in a large pleasant house on the North Downs. Naturally I packed a box with 4 or 5 Euro games just in case, and sure enough on Saturday evening the subject of boardgames came up. I carefully described the various options I had brought along - Settlers of the Stone Age, Through the Desert, Lord of the Rings etc, until someone (Rosie) said "I've got Pictionary with me, anyone fancy that?" That brought immediate approval from around table (the boringly familiar wins over the scarily unfamiliar every time?) so I sighed (internally) and settled down for an evening of shouting and scribbling.

Still, when Pictionary finished at last (after a rules dispute about whether you need an exact die roll to finish!) I had the opportunity to introduce them to 6 Nimmt! which I'm happy to say went down a storm. As I result I have orders for 3 copies of the game (to be purchased from one of these obscure game shops which non-gamers find so difficult to even envisage the existence of, let alone contact or visit) including one for Rosie. So taken as a whole, I think our games evening counts as a success.