Since people were there nice and early, we started off the evening with a quick game of Turf Horse Racing. This is a clever little game where players bet on horses, but the return depends not only on the place and the “stake”, but also the number of people who bet on the horse. Thus, if several people backed the same horse, the return would be a lot lower than one which only one player bet on. Nobody backed Raven Beauty, but even it did better than Roamin’ Emperor who might as well have had three legs. Up front however, the race was quite tight with Mosstown Boy making a mad dash for the line only to run out of steam and lose to Lagoon Lady, Red Baron and Silver Blaze.
Next we played the “Feature Game” which was Nollkoll (aka Speedybag), which is another quick, fun game, but was universally agreed to be the most stressful game any of us had ever played. Basically, players turn over a card which has a shape on it and players have to feel in their bag and pull out a matching small plastic shape. The first wins the card, the person with the most cards at the end wins. It was a tight game, but oh soooo stressful!
Then it was Queen’s Necklace. We had one player who was new to it, but the rest of us played it a few weeks ago, so revisiting it was nice as it meant we could use what we had learnt the first time. It was a much closer game this time with one round really making the difference between first and second place.
Our fourth game of the evening was Coloretto, which strangely was new to most of us, though it is a well known game. Play is very simple: you can either draw a card to add to a “truck”, or take one of the “trucks” and add the cards in it to your collection to make sets of different colours. Each “truck” has a maximum of three cards and only the largest three sets score points with any others scoring negatively. It is a fun little game closely related to Zooloretto, and in many ways much better as you don’t get side-tracked by cute fluffy animals, barns and vending stalls.
Finally we finished off with our old favourite, Bohnanza (known within the group as “The Bean Game”). Since we all knew this one very well, we just checked the specific details for player numbers and launched straight into a game. Unfortunately, the deck hadn’t been shuffled very well before it was put away, so the first time through the pack was a little strange, but we sorted that out for the second time through. It was another tight game, but the “Queen of Cards” won by one card giving her a hat-trick for the evening.
Learning Outcome: Shuffling is a skill we all need to improve.