Sunday, 25 June 2017

More than one can bear

Sunday! It's not Saturday, but it's still the weekend, so Andrew, Adam and Chris arrived at my house for some frivolous gaming. At least, that was the idea. It started out frivolous enough with Stan and Joe performing some kind of magic trick/abstract performance piece involving cards, which - going and fringe to the door - I never fully understood the process of. Shortly they were off to bed, though, and I sprang Bärenpark on everyone.

This is another in the tessellating line of recent games, with everyone charged to build a park to house bears. It's closest ancestor is clearly Cottage Garden, but we agreed - or I agreed with Chris - that it's the better game. You're simply taking pieces and adding them to your construction site, but when you cover a symbol on the site - and more often than not, you do - you get to take more tiles to add on subsequent turns.

It's very easy to pick up, but deeper than it first appears. I'd had quite a bit of practice with the boys over the weekend, but I'd not come up against the creeping custard yet... Chris was the only person to actually finish his park, but clearly the bear-loving public didn't mind the fact Adam had left a load of scaffolding next to the koalas:

Adam 88 (wins on tie-breaker)
Sam 88
Chris 84
Andrew 68

We perused the cupboard for choices and several games were pulled out. But when A Feast For Odin was suggested, there was a murmuring of approval like guitar players hearing a particularly tricky chord change. We set it up, and set off on an adventure that would take us the rest of the night.

At 9.20pm, we were on round five of seven.But those last three rounds took us right up to 11pm, as agonising decision after agonising decision seemed to suggest fate was trying to put us off the game and frivolity didn't so much take a back seat as lock herself in the boot and refuse to come out. I think everyone re-took a turn, with Chris going the whole hog and re-doing everything twice.

I tried to keep things light by reminding everyone how much I'd enjoyed Bärenpark, and Chris agreed it was a manly game.

I was pretty sure Adam would win, and as it happens this probably would have been the case had he not made a bit of an error, deciding in the final round to go exploring to Bear Island. With only a single round to fill the exploration board, it transpired he'd bitten off more than he could chew - and spent much time and several tiles trying to turn the expense into a profit.

In the final reckoning the minus points from Bear Island reduced Adam's initial lead - from his enormous hoard of silver - to a little bit below my final score:

Sam 105
Adam 101
Chris 91
Andrew 79

A mixed evening of bear-related gaming for Adam then, but nice to try Feast with four, if only to see Andrew ply his vikings with gallons of milk before putting them to bed.


  1. I'll admit that when AFFO was suggested and selected I didn't think I was quite in the mood for it, although soon enough I was stuck in and enjoying it. My last round bout of re-dos induced a level of panic in me that I've never experienced in a game before. That feeling that the last 3 hours was going to be for nothing because of an oversight was genuinely uncomfortable!

    Thanks to all for you patience!
    And of course Barenpark was great. So much better than.....

    1. Games are never for nothing! Unless you're playing Battlestar Galactica of course.

      But thanks for indulging us Chris, I (clearly) didn't pick up on your reluctance. I've been wanting to break it out again for a while. I guess like much of these big games, three is the optimum player count perhaps.

      Unlike Barenpark!

  2. I've yet to dip my toe into the waters of Odin - I confess I'm a bit daunted. Barenpark looks lovely!

    1. It is really nice. Very fluid. Now need to play it adding in the Achievements.

  3. Oh no it wasn't like that. I couldn't think of anything I wanted to play, I was happy to go with the flow. I like an epic game and I'm quite into them at the moment.

    Unlike Barenpark of course.

  4. A night of two last places by a considerable margin for me, but games aren't about winning! Especially if you're no good at it. I was more impressed with Chris drinking Sam's last dusty can of Fanta from on top of the fridge and our involved discussion about how thinking about your next move is like being near a black hole: for the thinker, time is moving normally but for everyone else the thinker appears to be completely motionless.

  5. I'd forgotten that! And the idea that after a game the AP victim is significantly younger than everyone around them...