Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Games Session - Catch Up 2

On the 25th Stephen and Pauline reciprocated and asked us to their apartment for a games evening. Of we always have nibbles and drinks but Stephen had baked a nice Victoria Sponge for our delectation.....yummy! This evening we were to play Cleopatra, the rather nicely produced game from Days of Wonder. All DoW games have really nice production values, I suppose that's why they are at the top end of the price spectrum. Anyway, nobody had played this apart from me, and that was awhile ago. I rang through the rules and after a couple of turns I think everyone had more or less got the idea. Collect resources, build bits of Cleopatra's palace, the more bits you build the more money you get. Of course some of the resources are tainted by corruption so you begin to collect corruption amulets which go under your own personal pyramid.

The excellent layout of Cleopatra

There are various bits you can build, Obelisks, Spinxes, Walls, Doorways, Gardens and of course the Throne. There are also 6 different characters you can use to further your plans, they give you certain advantages like collect resources from other players or get a card from the discard pile etc. They are all tainted so you get corruption from them as well. Stephen was doing very well, and managed to build 3 Spinxes in one go which netted a healthy 17 talents. The game ends when 5 out of the 6 bits of the palace are built, you then count the corruption amulets under your pyramid and the one with the most ie the most corrupt, gets thrown to the crocodiles! The corruption count was very close, Tina had 13, Stephen had 12 and Pauline 11. I had 2! I don't know how I managed that. So poor Tina went to the crocs. On the talents count Stephen had 65, and if had got one more corruption amulet would have joined Tina in the croc pool. As it was he had a comfortable victory.

Final Scores
Stephen 65, Pauline 41, Colin 33, Tina...crocs

We still had a bit of time left so we finished off with a game of The Bottle Imp (Flaschenteufel). This is an interesting trick taking card game. The idea is not to get stuck with the Bottle Imp because you get negative points. The value of the bottle imp drops throughout the hand making it harder to get rid of. Stephen and Pauline both play bridge so are no strangers to trick taking games and this showed in the scores. We played one hand to get the hang of it, then played a game of four hands.

Final Scores
Stephen 614, Pauline 507, Colin 338, Tina 114

Stephen enjoying his win at The Bottle Imp

Games Session - Catch Up 1

So on the 20th July we had a convivial social games evening with Stephen and Pauline. We were going to play Seafarers with the 4 islands scenario. This was the first time Stephen and Pauline had played this version of Settlers. I did a quick recap of the rules with the extra bit about boats and extra points for reaching another island and away we went. The game went OK, with Stephen having his perpetual problem of no brick! The points started to mount and I managed to reach an adjacent island with my boats.

Pauline and Stephen enjoying Seafarers

The winning score was 12 points, I had a development card for 1VP tucked away and was getting close to winning. Stephen had grabbed the longest road at first, then Tina pinched it off of him, but Stephen managed to get it back and keep it for the rest of the game. I had built all my cities and only had to build one more settlement for the win.... I managed to do it and with my dev card claimed the victory.

Final Scores
Colin 13, Stephen 9, Pauline 6, Tina 5

Me...savouring victory for a change

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Catch Up Post 2 - What a Coincidence!

So we were walking through St. Wolfgang after doing a bit of shopping......and, I couldn't believe my eyes, across the road we saw a couple of friends from Billingshurst where we used to live. I think they were as surprised as we were and we spent a couple of hours sitting outside the local coffee shop catching up with the news. They didn't know that we now lived in St. Wolfgang and we didn't know they were on a 6 month trip around Europe in their new motorhome. We arranged for them to come to our apartment the next day so they could update their blog, on which they are keeping a record of their journey, and to go out for a meal in the evening. We took them to the Franz Josef where we had a lovely meal and another chance to catch up. It sounds as though they have been having a great time careering around Europe just doing and going where they fancy. If you would like to follow their progress or see where they have already been you can here:


They are finishing off their journey with 2 months in Germany and going back to England in October....good luck to them!!

On the gaming front, we had a nice evening yesterday....more later!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lazy Me.....Catch Up Post 1

Well, I haven't posted for awhile so here is a potted version of what's been happening here in St. Wolfgang. Pauline came over on the 1st July, Stephen went to camp with the Army cadets for a week and would be flying out later. Fortunately they were showing Wimbledon on TV here this year so Pauline came round and we watched the men's final, a fantastic performance from both players. Roddick couldn't have come closer to winning but Federer ground out a historic 15th Grand Slam title.
Later in the week we had a games evening, playing Thurn und Taxis and Settlers: Germany version. I got trounced in both games with Paulne and Tina tying with 19pts in TuT and Pauline winning easily in Settlers with 12pts.

Air Challenge 2009
Of course the big event in July in St. Wolfgang is the Red Bull Air Challenge. On the 10th and 11th the lake is dotted with seaplanes of all sizes, from small 2 seaters to the big 3 engined Dornier seaplane. Also lots of helicoptors landed in the field, a big army helicoptor landed in the field just over the road from our house and the downdraft from the rotors filled our balcony with leaves and rubbish.....Tina was not pleased!!

The army helicoptor in the field

As usual they had all stalls there selling beer, bosna, kasespatzle and so on. They also had a Dirndl jumping competition where, girls (and guys) dress in the traditional Dirndl and jump into the lake from the top of a platform!! At 4.00pm there was an air display, with a Red Bull helicoptor performing acrobatics, a bi-plane flew round the lake with a young lady wing walking (that decidely looked hair raising, although Tina said she would like to give it a try!). Some free-falling parachutists dropped in as well. Pauline had invited us to her apartment to view from the balcony and we had a splendid view of the whole show.

One of the big seaplanes flying over the lake

More to follow!