Board game club meeting

The board game club season opened well yesterday. We had about 15 attendees, which is a good amount considering our premises.

It wasn’t completely ordinary event, though. There was a photographer from the Finnish home journal Kotiliesi, taking pictures for an article that they are doing. It’ll be a great article! He took some pictures of me with games and then photographed us playing games. It was quite neat, especially as he brought some proper lights and for once we had good lighting!

I went at the club early to set up PitchCar. It definitely attracted people and many games were played during the afternoon. Lots of shouting and fun, it seems. I guess I should bring it next time, as well.

I took the first opportunity to play Alhambra. I played it twice during the meeting and after those two games I can see why it won the Spiel des Jahres this year. It’s a good game. There’s a healthy dose of luck, so some might dismiss it because of that, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

Alhambra reminded me of Union Pacific. You can either take money, getting more potential to buy something and get extra turns, or you can buy buildings, losing money and thus opportunities, but gaining points. If you build, the cost is obvious: you lose money. If you take money, there’s also a cost: you spend a turn without getting points while the scorings and the end of the game get closer. You’ll have to maintain a close balance there.

After Alhambra it was Crokinole time. It was my first game with four players and proper rules. I ended up playing five games (we played four rounds or to 100 points, whichever came first), all of which were brilliant fun. I think that’s the best way to play the game, it was simply so much fun. The Crokinole board got less use than PitchCar, but PitchCar is easier. I’m sure Crokinole board will get more use when people know the game better.

Since we had four players already in two pairs, I wanted to try Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, the latest addition to my collection of weird trick-taking games. It was great fun! It’s a tricky game and compares to Dia de los Muertos in weirdness (and in quality — both are very good games). Very weird, that is. The tactics take some getting used to. The scores can vary a lot from few points to hundreds of points so there’s some luck involved, perhaps, but no more than card games usually have.

We got a fifth player after that and played Biberbande. It made it’s first appearance in our club and got a good reception. It was well-liked and why not — it’s a funny and entertaining game. Good entertainment for a low price, as usually with Amigo card games.

And that’s it. I was quite happy with the games yesterday — Alhambra and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde were very positive experiences and four-player Crokinole was great fun.

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