Saturday, 7 January 2017

Beds, pots, and hand grenades

Friday night, and after a week of slobbing on the sofa downing tea and satsumas, I (Sam) was ready for a bit of gaming. Fortunately Chris, Joe and Andrew were happy to join me, so at 8.15 I talked them through the relatively simple (still not simple enough for me to get one thing wrong) rules to Cottage Garden, Uwe Rosenberg's multi-player update on Patchwork.

making your bed

You're all planting flowers in your garden, and on your turn you either plant a flowerbed, or add a plant pot, your choices restricted according to the picking-up parameters of the game. When your garden is complete, you score it: moving an orange marker along a score track for plant pots, and a blue marker for cloches.

lying in it

It's very simple, albeit less combative and more gentle than its predecessor. I've been playing it over the holidays with the family and my previous experience helped me:

Sam 59
Joe 52
Chris 49
Andrew 47

With that sedate - yet thoughtful - experience out of the way, we broke out Joe's cardboard version of a shoot-em-up, Adrenaline. As some GNNers discovered at Christmascon, in this game you're racing around the place trying to shoot each other - but, being killed isn't that much of a big deal, and what's key here is partly how much damage you do to the each players, and the timing of your damage: first and last to wound someone (i.e. first blood, and kill-shot) are more valuable points-wise than firing a couple of rounds into them in-between.

bang bang

The choices are simple and the gameplay involves a bit of luck, but also a fair bit of tactics too, which I failed at miserably. Andrew managed to throw a furnace at the rest of us; Chris shot at me through two walls; but Joe seemed to time everything to perfection in a game where timing is everything:

Joe 38
Chris 31
Andrew 30
Sam 27

I don't like shoot-em-up video games personally, so this wasn't my cup of tea, but the others all enjoyed it and plan to play again.

We had time for a quick dice-roller to finish, so introduced Chris to Las Vegas, playing the spoiler-dice rule. He took to it pretty well:

Chris $440k
Andrew $410k
Joe $330k
Sam $280k

And with that, the first gaming week of 2017 came to a close...


  1. Enjoyable evening Sam. Liked all three new games tonight. Las Vegas is a clever little game. Has some echoes of For Sale and cosmic run about it.....

  2. A great evening.

    Cottage Garden was nice, but it does seem like Uwe took a chunk out of Feast For Odin (stil unplayed) and turned it into a smaller standalone game. I was a little unnerved by Joe's repeated requests for rules clarifications and moaning about the scoretrack, but I'm satisfied that my own demise was due to me not planning ahead. I could have got one cube to the end of the score track for an extra five or six points, rather than have two cubes hover about in the middle of the track. Pity, really.

    Adrenalin was interesting. I'd like to play it again soon while I still have the rules in my head but, then again, I said the same about CanalMania and we haven't seen that since.

    And Las Vegas was amazing. Everything a board game should be. Fate, rivalries, despair and delirium. And all in half an hour.

  3. Very fun evening, thanks all, and Sam for hosting (and playing Adrenaline despite not being mad keen on it). That Cottage Garden game sure has some funky score tracks...

  4. Oh yes. I forgot about the running debate over Uwe's genius/silly scoreboards. They didn't bother me, although I take your point Joe. I guess one big scoreboard might have been a space issue too - it can't go around the edge of the big board as you're constantly moving the die (and taking pieces).

    And I agree that Uwe is definitely making hay while the sun shines on his Tetris idea. But to me Cottage Garden feels distinct from Patchwork. I guess we'll have to see about A Feast For Odin.

    Adrenaline: I liked the fact the point-scoring is far more canny than the game first seems to suggest. You'd assume that in a shoot-em-up you want to - well, kill the others. But it's not that straightforward, which is cool. I think I have a natural aversion to games though where on your turn, you shoot the other players.

  5. (I was trying to allude to Bedknobs and Broomsticks in the post title, but my rhyming opportunities were limited...)