Normally, we are very reliant on support from people coming from outside Stanford – Stanford is a village and we are very grateful to the people who travel from the surrounding villages and towns. However, this week we had a visitor who set a new record coming over 8,000 miles – although it is possible she might not have come just to play games…!
Since the early arrivals were eating, we didn’t start playing until 8pm by which time we had six people, so the first game was Pick Picknic. This is a fun little game where players play chicken cards to claim corn in one of six coloured fields. If two or more chickens claim the same field, then they can choose to share or they can roll to see who gets it. But watch out for the foxes: They are not interested the large tempting pile of corn, and eat chickens instead. Initially, it seemed that a handful of fox cards was an advantage (well, wouldn’t you prefer to be a fox?), but the winner was the person with the most corn…
The next game was the “Feature Game” which was Ticket to Ride, a train game where players compete to make routes connecting cities. Since there were six of us we decided to play the “Team Asia” map which adds the twist that players play in teams of two and have shared information and hidden information. The first thing we discovered was that it plays a lot better if you include the white, blue and yellow cards, but once we had got that sussed, the game progressed in the usual way with players picking up cards and mispronouncing place names as they laid trains to fulfil their routes. After a short tussle for Hong Kong, Blue took an early lead with Red and Black squabbling over second place. However, in the final scoring Black had many more tickets (and higher scoring ones too), and shot ahead running out easy winners.
There had been a lot of discussion and the game took much longer than expected, so we finished up with three rounds of an old favourite, No Thanks!, with the added luxury of real poker chips. All the winning scores were less than ten, but the final was -1. We thought that was a good place to end the evening.
Learning Outcome: Sometimes it is better to be a chicken than a fox!