Saturday, October 27, 2007

Looking forward, Looking back

So, Essen is over for another year. The pilgrimages have been made, the booty unshrinked, sprues discarded to save luggage space and weight. The first batch of verdicts are in from the Chosen Few - while we, the Unwashed Masses, scoured the Internet with only one mostly industrial medium-sized German town in mind. And occasionally checked airfares and hotel availability.

My loot is still in transit - a couple of consignment numbers my only link to unimaginable greatness. Or, at the least, to hours of gaming fun. (Frustratingly, the consignment numbers only reveal that the package "is in transit to the destination country" - sometimes no information is better than partial)

Meanwhile, there's still time for the older games in our collection. Last night, we had six for games night, including two players who are new to gaming. We kept it light but fun - two games of Diamant, followed by at least ten of Bamboleo. For fun factor, especially with new gamers, it's hard to beat a really good dexterity game.

The game that is getting the most play, though, is Ingenious. This is Otto's favourite game, and she insists on playing it (usually on BSW or on the PC) before bed every night. She's improving, although she does need to be reminded that we are looking to improve our lowest score and not necessarily our highest.

In the past week, we've managed to get two new (to us/me) games to the table. Both are, I think, destined to be family favourites. On the Underground was one Fraser had played before and managed to pick up at 20% off. I enjoyed it a lot - and will put it on a shelf with The London Game. A friend - and regular member of our gaming group - is in hospital at the moment. She and her husband introduced us to The London Game - when she gets out, I look forward to returning the favour.

I have been waiting to find Thebes in Australia for some time, and finally got my chance last week when Fraser's "spies" told him that there were 2 copies available in the city. Ah, the joys of being easily led. We really enjoyed playing this with one another, and hope to get it to the table with more players soon.

We're still trying to work through some more unplayed games before the loot arrives - mostly because I may need some gaming credits to inspire Fraser to try some of my purchases. Australian Rails is on the dining table at the moment, but a combination of factors involving a bicycle, a car battery and a school trip to Hong Kong for older students means that it may not make it to full play today.

Fraser hopes so, though - he knows that once Agricola arrives there will be no chance to get other new games to the table for a while.

Happy gaming! And if you were lucky enough to be in Essen, remember to share the love. Or at least to tell us about the games.

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