Sunday, October 29

Cracking Holiday, Grommit!

Well, I'm back and I had a great holiday. Seven whole days of walking, drinking, eating and gaming and cold-turkey on internet usage. We got some excellent walking in, enjoying the fantastic scenery of Snowdonia, and making the most of the surprisingly good weather (you don't expect nice sunny days in late October).

I've three posts to make about the holiday, and I'll start off with this one - which recounts what games we brought and played. The other two will discuss the game design work I did on my holiday, and a tirade against the mainstream press, which I threatened to make, and now have been dared into actually making. I threatened to call it: 'Judged By A Panel Of Cretins', but that's too offensive - it will follow in a couple of days.

So what was the gaming like on holiday? First of all, I'll list what we brought. Linz and Cath have an exceptionally sporty car, so space was at a premium, they brought: Perudo and The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game. Mal had more boot space, but was giving us a lift to limit the number of cars we had to take, so he brought Carcassonne and Border Reivers (Good man!). Bringing up the rear, as the owner of the most games out of all of us, I brought: Ticket To Ride, Puerto Rico, Apples To Apples and Codename: Jorvik.

Including three games of Carcassonne once we got home yesterday, we got thirty-two games in - a good effort in only eight days. There was plenty of confrontational play (The Wife wanted a photo of a particularly brilliant Carcassonne play which royally shafted Mal and I), and Puerto Rico also got pretty aggressive at times. I really liked that I wasn't the only one suggesting games, and that everyone seemed to be up for a game most evenings. I kept a note of the scores of each game I played, but there's no way I'm going to session report all of them so here's a brief overview. Games played:

  • Carcassonne: eleven games (King and Scout: five, River: three, Traders and Builders: three)
  • Jorvik: seven games
  • Ticket To Ride: four games
  • Puerto Rico: four games
  • Perudo: two games
  • Apples to Apples: two games
  • The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game: one game
  • Border Reivers: one game.

Carcassonne was the clear favourite, but seeing as it is Mal's and my favourite game this is no surprise, plus its short play time means you can fit it in while waiting for dinner. Jorvik got quite a few plays, and evolved during the week (although I didn't take any game-making kit with me, so the rules changed but the deck stayed the same). Ticket To Ride and Puerto Rico were both popular, but longer play times limited their appearances. Perudo and The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game only came out on the last couple of nights, and TRNHRG took so long the two ladies quit, leaving just the gents to duke it out to the finish. Mal had asked me to take Apples to Apples, as he was considering getting the junior version as a Christmas present for his niece. After one laughter-riddled game, we had to get another in - it's a good party game - very entertaining. Border Reivers was requested a few times, but as it's only a 2-4 player game, it was usually passed over for a 5-player, although Mal and I did get a game in during which I nearly won it in the second round, then made some bad decisions, and ended up being completely creamed. Nice work, Mal.

Despite owning most of the games we played, having designed two of them, and having played most of them more than anyone else I didn't win many games except Jorvik (which I won four out of seven games). It turns out that despite my almost obsessive love of games, I'm not very good at them. Still, it's not the winning, but the taking part that counts. The leaderboard for the week:

Player Wins
The Wife 8
Linz 7
Me 7
Mal 4
Cath 3

In other news, after a few really good weeks of Border Reivers sales, it's all gone a bit quiet. No surprise really, I've been too busy with the holiday to publicise it much. Still, it will be featured in a BBC magazine early next month, hopefully that will drum up some interest - I'm going to get constructing just-in-case.


Mal said...

Jack said: "it's not the winning, but the taking part that counts"

After seeing that leaderboard, I'm inclined to agree! Oh, and I've uploaded the photo of the killer Carcassonne tile to flickr.

Jack said...

Thanks Mal!

I'd be joint last on the leaderboard if we discounted Jorvik!

andyb said...

Sounds like you had a great time... wish I could play that many games in a week. During my holiday in September I managed 6 games of Diamant, 2 of Fjords and 1 game of Seeräuber.. not bad considering mum isn't a gamer and usually doesn't play games she doesn't already know.

The Carcassonne picture is excellent!

Jack said...

Yeah, it was great, and the mulled wine, Christmas pudding and good walking just made it all the better.

andyb said...

mulled wine???

Jack said...

Red wine (cheap as you can get your hands on), orange juice, sugar, cloves, cinamon, Oranges and lemons heated until it's hot. It's a great drink for winter-time :-)