Pasteboard and Plastic games group hold a games day 3 times a year and the one in November is a showcase for all the new Essen games. Steve, Richard, Garry and myself made the trip to Saltdean on Saturday to see what it was all about. Having said that I'm sure that Richard and Steve have been before, but for Garry and myself it was our first visit. Dick Ruck organises the event and it takes place in the Scout hut at Saltdean.
PnP gamers in the Saltdean Scout Hut
The day runs from 10am to 12pm, but Garry and I arrived at around 10.15 to find some keen gamers already playing. After we signed in and met a few of the gamers Garry suggested we start off with a game of Giganten der Lufte, a card and dice game about building the Hindenberg designed by Andreas Seyfarth. As we were just starting Jo turned up and we asked him to join us. The game is about acquiring cards by rolling dice, the more cards you get the more dice you can roll. Some cards give you benefits to your dice rolls, some give you more VPs. When you reach a certain point in the game you are then able to attempt to build the Hindenberg. A fairly light game with not a lot of player interaction, but a pleasant 45/60 minutes.
Colin 12, Garry 11, Jo 10
Giganten Der Lufte layout
We had a real life personality join us, Francis Tresham, who had a prototype of a new game which Richard and Steve managed to sit in on. It was a train game of course, I don't know much about it just that it had a lot of bits!
Richard getting all excited about a new train game
Francis Tresham (with paper) explaining his game
As I never managed to get to Essen this year I asked Richard to bring back Galaxy Trucker for me. Jo had already played his copy and said it was a blast so Garry and myself joined him for a ride through space.
Components for Galaxy Trucker
In this game there are 2 phases, first you build your spaceship against the clock, trying to make it as stable as possible with all the shields, cargo holds, cannons, crew etc to survive the trials ahead. In the second phase you use a card deck which represents events that happen which affect your voyage. Smugglers, pirates, meteor storms, landing on planets for goods etc. If you haven't built a very good ship, bits of it tend to fly off if you are hit by meteors or cannon fire. Before you even start your trip you have to check your ship's integrity to see if it holds together, Garry had a bit of a disaster when before he even launched a large part of his ship floated off into space.
The remnants of Garry's ship
This game has to be played in the right spirit, but if you get into the mood it's a real blast. I did hopelessly, ending up with 5 space credits, Garry did better, even with half a ship and Jo had a runaway masssive win. Obviously a career in outer space beckons.
Jo 95, Garry 11, Colin 5
By now the hall had filled up nicely with games going on all over the place. There was a buy and trade table which was doing well, I had brought a few games and managed to sell about half. Board Games Group were there with a selection of games to buy, I think Garry bought a copy of Zooloretto.
Games in full swing
Luke Moscrop and his lady, Lydia, had arrived and were keen for a game of Agricola , I had read a bit about this game, it was getting a great buzz, but there were reservations about the amount of German on the large card decks. Luke assured us we would be OK, he had played 3 times already, and being a german speaker would guide us through the game. We didn't use all the cards, just played the basic game I think. There certainly is a lot to think about and it's a bit Caylus like.
Garry with all the bits for the basic game of Agricola
The game is beautifully produced and designed by Uwe Rosenberg, who 's reputation was based on the Bohnanza series of games. Luke talked us through the rules and explained the various cards we would be using. It took a while for the rules to sink in because there is so much you can do in your turn. I would like to play again but I think an english version would make things easier. As it was Lydia had an easy win.
Lydia 36, Luke 28, Jo 26, Colin 23, Garry 14
Jo discussing the finer points of Agricola
Player board for Agricola
We finished Agricola around 5.45pm and although the games would be continuing into the evening Garry and I decided to call it a day. We had had a great time, met some new gamers and played some good games.....what more could you ask! And finally a big thank you to Dick for running the event.
Galaxy Trucker.....Jo's super, duper spaceship