Tag Archives: Turf Horse Racing

20th September 2022

Blue and Pink were the first to arrive to the news that The Jockey was under new management.  Pine soon followed and after a bit of chatter, the three of them settled down to the first “Royal Themed” game, Love Letter.  This is a very quick little game played with a deck of just sixteen cards.  The idea is that players have a hand of one card and, on their turn draw a second and choose which one to play.  The cards each have a special action and a number—the actions allow players to eliminate each other and the player with the highest number at the end is the winner.

Love Letter
– Image by boardGOATS

Powerful cards can lead to early gains, but are risky as they make players targets, however, relying on weaker cards for too long will give a guaranteed loss.  This time, Pink was taken out twice in consecutive rounds by Guard cards with Pine and Blue sharing the spoils.  In the third round, it was down to Blue and Pine again and Pine ran out the winner.  Although with three players the winner is usually the first to win five rounds, as Green and Lilac arrived with Orange and Lemon, the trio called it a halt there.

Love Letter
– Image by boardGOATS

Ivory, Black and Purple turned up as well and as they arrived, everyone remarked on the new smart table decor.  We were only waiting for Lime, but when Pine suggested he might not be coming, his text enquiry was met with the response, “OMG, it’s Tuesday not Monday, will be there in twenty minutes!”  So, while the group were waiting, they decided to start with the “Feature Game“.  To mark the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, this was Corgi Dash, a re-theme of the 1986 Spiel des Jahres winner Heimlich & Co..  Corgi Dash was published as a “Jubilee Souvenir” earlier this year, by Tony Boydell; although we had a copy picked up at the UK Games Expo, as it was a special occasion we had enlarged the board to make it easier to play in a large group.

Corgi Dash
– Image by boardGOATS

The game is very simple:  on their turn, players roll a die and distribute the pips amongst the “corgis” to move them round the board.  When one of the corgis reaches the throne (either in the Throne Room or the Kennels), each dog scores with the one that triggered the scoring getting nothing.  The Throne then moves to the next location, and the corgis continue to dash towards the Throne.  Each player secretly “owns” one of the dogs and after one dog reaches a score of thirty, everyone secretly guesses which dog belongs to which player.  The game ends when one dog reaches forty points.  Players then score for their dog and receive five additional points for each identity they guessed correctly.

Corgi Dash
– Image by boardGOATS

Blue, Pink, Ivory, Purple and Pine got going first.  In their game, the blue dog (well, meeple actually) got picked on early which marked it out as the dog with no owner.  Unfortunately, the blue dog turned out to belong to Pine and it was the grey dog who had no owner, which became more apparent towards the end when everyone concentrated on their own hounds.  The black dog was the first to get to thirty and then the only one to get to forty too.  Ivory was the only one to guess more than one owner correctly, but it didn’t make any difference as the black dog’s score was twenty more than any other, making it’s owner, Pink, the clear winner.

Corgi Dash
– Image by boardGOATS

On the neighbouring table, Green (who had played Heimlich & Co. a very long time ago, explained the rules to Lilac, Orange, Lemon and Purple. They finished their game early, guessing after two scoring rounds and scoring after the third.  Green’s dog did by far the best picking up thirty-two points, twelve more than any other hound.  Orange did exceptionally well at guessing who had each dog, getting three right, but it wasn’t quite enough to take the lead and he finished two points behind Green, both some way clear of the field with Lemon a distant third.

Corgi Dash
– Image by boardGOATS

Corgi Dash was very quick to play leaving plenty of time for other games.  With all the happenings around Buckingham Palace and Westminster over the last week, “London themed” games seemed appropriate, so while everyone else played Ticket to Ride: London, Ivory, Blue and Lime took themselves off to the other side of the room to squeeze in a game of Key to the City: London.  This is a reimplementation of one of Blue’s favourite games, Keyflower.  Lime, however, had not played either game, so Blue and Ivory had to explain the rules first.

Key to the City - London
– Image by boardGOATS

Like Keyflower, Key to the City: London is based on an a series of tile auctions where players bid with meeples.  The rules for bidding are simple:  players can bid on any tile, but if there is already a bid, they must follow with the same colour and increase the value.  In addition to bidding for tiles, players can also activate a tile in their Borough, a tile in someone else’s Borough or even a tile that is currently up for auction.  Again though, players must follow colour if the tile has already been activated or has an active bid, further, every time it is activated it costs one additional meeple.

Key to the City - London
– Image by boardGOATS

At the end of each round, all meeples in winning bids return to the bank and players take any tiles they’ve won and add them to their Borough.  All meeples on tiles in a player’s Borough go back to that player, and any meeples used to activate tiles up for auction go to the winner of the tile.  Tiles are worth points at the end of the game.  Some are just worth points out-right while others are dependent on tiles they are connected to and all are worth more if they are upgraded.  Connections are acquired by activating specific tiles; tiles are also upgraded by activating them and paying any associated cost.

Key to the City - London
– Image by boardGOATS

The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game.  While the mechanics of the game are fairly straight forward, like Keyflower the art of the game is combining them to score well.  The Connections are the main difference between Key to the City and Keyflower, but there are several other smaller differences like the round endings, for example.  In Keyflower, players bid for boat tiles which dictate how many meeples they get at the end of each round, but in Key to the City, when players choose to end their round place their boat in a position on the river.  The earlier a player “checks out”, the earlier they can place their boat and the more meeples they can get—and meeples are scarce, very scarce, in both games.

Key to the City - London
– Image by boardGOATS

This time, Ivory with the Buckingham Palace player screen and start tile, went first.  He began by winning Paddington Station which gave him telecoms (black) and electricity (grey) cable connections.  He went on to couple this with St. Pancras, Kings Cross and the Royal Academy which gave points when connected with electricity cables and Marble Arch and Monument which gave points for telecoms cable connections.  Lime understood the fundamentals, but was struggling with how to fit them into the game, so when he picked up Battersea Power Station which provided water (blue) and gas (yellow) pipe connections, he was encouraged to pick up the London Eye and Canary Wharf to go with it which ultimately proved good choices.

Key to the City - London
– Image by boardGOATS

Blue lost out in a couple of early bidding wars, so ended up with the Barbican instead, giving her underground tunnels (red) and waste pipe (brown) connectors and later Charing Cross (more underground tunnels and grey electricity cables).  Maybe she’s spent too long with Pink, but she mostly chose to eschew sewage pipes and electricity pylons, instead focusing on trains, using them to make connections with the Royal Opera and the Globe Theatre.  Unfortunately, there was a little “rules malfunction” in the early part of the game with a misunderstanding of one of the scoring icons.  Instead of players scoring for connectors of the colour indicated connected directly or indirectly to a tile, players should only score for each tile connected to the scoring tile.

Key to the City - London
– Image by boardGOATS

The “rules malfunction” was spotted quite early, so although it added a little to Lime’s confusion, everyone had enough time to correct things before scoring took effect.  In the final round, Ivory bid for the Natural History Museum which gave him points for monuments, and London Zoo giving him two points for each blue meeple he was left with at the end of the game.  He then activated a few last tiles and set sail.  Lime engaged in making lots of utilities connections, and bid for the British Museum and the Royal Festival Hall (giving two points for each tile won in the final round and three points for each tile connected by all six utilities respectively).

Key to the City - London
– Image by boardGOATS

Blue took the V & A Museum (giving points for sets of skills tiles) and the Science Museum (giving points for tiles with six connections).  Then she made a mistake:  with Ivory out and Lime running low on meeples, she had the opportunity to either out bid Ivory for London Zoo, or compete with Lime for the British Museum and in a fit of stupidity went for the latter.  Blue’s error might have proved critical though as winning the zoo would not only have given her twelve points, but also taken twelve from Ivory.  As it was, in the final count, Ivory took victory with a hundred and seventeen to Blue’s ninety-six and Lime’s seventy-eight.

Key to the City - London
– Image by boardGOATS

Meanwhile, on the other side of the room two games of Ticket to Ride: London were underway.  Ticket to Ride is one of our current favourite games and the London variant, being one of our “local” editions is particularly popular.  The game plays in the usual way with players taking cards from the market, using them to pay to place trains on the map and claim routes, or taking Tickets which give points at the end of the game if the two destinations are connected.  Each map has an extra rules “tweak” and in case of the London edition players get bonus points if they visit all the places in a borough.

Ticket to Ride: London
– Image by boardGOATS

When Pink asked Pine who the people were on the box there was a general aura of shock when he claimed not to recognise Emma Peel (though he did correctly identify Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II).  Their game with Purple and Black started off very confrontationally in the centre of the board and carried on in much the same vein as the game developed from there.  Pink took Pine’s dubious advice to take more tickets, but failed to score them.  Pine got his comeuppance though when Black just pipped him to the line beating him into second place by a single point, while Purple took third.

Ticket to Ride: London
– Image by boardGOATS

The other group managed to rattle through the game really quickly too as everyone knew what they were doing.  Orange completed all his Tickets and triggered the end of the game.  For everyone else it was a more frustrating game. Lilac was convinced she was going to lose as she had failed to complete one of her tickets finding herself blocked, but in the end finished second, significantly ahead of Green and Lemon.  Green had tried the “gamers tactic” (espoused by Black on previous occasions) said all the best Ticket to Ride players do, namely  collecting more tickets at the start of the game.

Ticket to Ride: London
– Image by boardGOATS

This went OK until about half way through when he got blocked on his best route, then while trying to re-route got blocked again, forcing him to try a third option. This was blocked too and he was locked out of his key station, finishing with three incomplete Tickets.  Lemon had tried the same strategy (collecting tickets first), but also ended up with a couple not completed.  As a result, Orange wiped the floor with everyone else finishing with a score nearly three times that of his nearest competitor: a convincing victory.

Ticket to Ride: London
– Image by boardGOATS

Key to the City: London was still underway, so, given Her late Majesty’s well known love of the gee-gees, the two groups got together to play Turf Horse Racing.  It was a while since anyone in the group played it, so Green reminded everyone of the rules.  The idea is very simple, players have three counters to use for betting, two small and one large, double weight one.  In the first stage, players take it in turns to use these counters to bet on horses.  In the second stage, players take it in turns to roll the die and move a horse to determine the outcome of the race.

Turf Horse Racing
– Image by boardGOATS

The game works because the die has three horses heads with one of each of the other icons, and each horse moves a different amount depending on what is rolled.  Since each horse has to move before a horse can be moved again, players can choose to make a positive move for one of their own horses, or nobble someone else’s.  Although the rules as written give the maximum number of players for Turf Horse Racing as six, the group thought it would stretch to more due to the way it is played.  And given the hilarity that ensued, that seemed a really good decision.

Turf Horse Racing
– Image by boardGOATS

It was decided that due to there being so many players, perhaps three bets per player would create too many horses with multiple bets, so it was house-ruled to two bets only each: one big and one small.  The extra bet tokens needed were taken from Ticket to Ride: a scoring disc and a bus.  Pine was the sole “investor” in Roamin’ Emperor’s fortunes.  Pink, trying to get his revenge for being misled in Ticket to Ride, cajoled everyone to choose this purple horse to move only one space, much to Pine’s annoyance.  Pink got his way, but then got his comeuppance when someone made his chosen horse, Lagoon Lady, also move only one.

Turf Horse Racing
– Image by boardGOATS

After the first round it was Silver Blaze blazing a trail up front, closely followed by Mostown Boy and Raven Beauty.  This theme kept repeating with Lagoon Lady and Roamin’ Emperor moving only one space a turn, until finally Pine struck gold and was able to shoot his horse forward by a massive fifteen spaces and get it into the leading group.  It was a close race, and eventually Silver Blaze was overhauled and brought back into the pack.  As the race entered it’s final furlongs Lagoon Lady was still languishing behind.  Although it had made up some ground, Roamin’ Emperor was making better progress but also starting to fall back.  One more “mega surge” would have been enough to put it within spitting distance of a win, however, that was not to be.

Turf Horse Racing
– Image by boardGOATS

In the end it was The Red Baron who crossed the line first, with Silver Blaze second and Desert Prince third. Adding up the betting totals, Lemon took home the biggest winnings with eight, with Lilac just one behind in second and Black a comparatively distant third.  The conclusion was that Turf Horse Racing can definitely be played with eight, but maybe a little more tinkering is needed. Perhaps keeping the three bets, but with seven horses, the start player moved around the table very slowly—something to think on and investigate further perhaps.

Turf Horse Racing
– Image by boardGOATS

Learning Outcome:  Her Majesty had a point—dogs and horses can be a lot of fun.

BoardGOATS @ “The Mix” II – Saturday 21st November 2015

Following the success of our first drop-in session in April, The Mix in Wantage town centre is again hosting a gaming session on Saturday from 10.30 am until 2 pm.  Once again, members of the club will be providing games and teaching people how to play them.

The Mix
– Image from thewantagemix.wordpress.com

There isn’t very much space so we won’t be playing long games, in any case, the idea is to show people what modern boardgames are all about by demonstrating shorter games.  We will bring a few eye-catching games like PitchCar, Riff Raff, Bamboleo, Boom Boom Balloon, Toc Toc Woodman, and Saturn, but most of the gaming will be smaller filler games like Dobble, Turf Horse Racing, No Thanks!, Walk the Plank!, Love Letter, The Great Balloon Race and some of our other light favourites.  We will also be bringing some of the classic gateway games like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, The Settlers of Catan and Jamaica as well as a small number of deeper games, just to show people what else is out there.

Boom Boom Balloon
– Image used with permission of henk.rolleman

3rd Movember 2015

Like last time, we started out messing about with the dexterity game, Bellz!.  With Blue, Magenta and Burgundy all familiar with it, it was a very tight game.  As the only person who hadn’t played it before, it took Red a couple of turns to get the hang of it before she developed a devastating new technique and came storming from the back to snaffle first place.  Next time there might be a new house rule…

Bellz!
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor W01FVF

Despite the original prognosis of an hour’s wait for food, the pub kindly rushed us through so while we munched we played a quick game of Turf Horse Racing on a very lumpy course.  It was a while since we last played it, so Green reminded us of the rules.  The idea is very simple, players have three counters to use for betting, two small and one large, double weight one.  In the first stage, players take it in turns to use these counters to bet on horses.  In the second stage, players take it in turns to roll the die and move a horse to determine the outcome of the race.  The game works because the die has three horses heads with one of each of the other icons, and each horse moves a different amount depending on what is rolled.  Since each horse has to move before a horse can be moved again, players can choose to make a positive move for one of their own horses, or nobble someone elses.

Turf Horse Racing
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor franchi

Silver Blaze had a fantastic start so for the next few rounds, but from then on, his progress was slowed by everyone who hadn’t bet on him.  Once the rest of the field had caught him up, the pack stayed together for the rest of the race until Roamin’ Emperor finally broke free with the finishing line in sight.  Then suddenly, Magenta played king-maker giving Red Baron a sudden spurt to win bringing the game to an abrupt finish with Roamin’ Emperor coming in second and Mosstown Boy third, bringing home the rest of the field.  Although Magenta had an investment in Mosstown Boy, Burgundy was the real winner as he had his double bet on the green horse and he finishing ahead of Magenta by several lengths.

Turf Horse Racing
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor franchi

With the arrival of a new player during the game, that gave us six, so we decided to play our the  Halloween-inspired “Feature Game”, Witch’s Brew.  This is a role selection card game with aspects of set collecting and bluffing that has recently been reimplemented as this year’s Kennerspiel des Jahres, Broom Service.  Each player begins each round with a deck of twelve character cards from which they choose five.  The start player then selects a card and places it on the table and declares they are that character by saying, for example, “I am the witch”.  The next player examines their hand of five chosen cards, and if they don’t have the same card, they pass.

Witch's Brew
– Image used with permission of BGG reviewer EndersGame

Play continues until there is a player who is holding the current character card, in which case they then have a choice.  They can object and declare that they are the character instead, saying, for example, “No, I am the Witch”.  In this case, they replace the first player as “the Witch” – the player who is the Witch at the end of the round gets the richest pickings and starts the next round, while everyone else gets nothing.  Alternatively, they can take the “cowardly” option and acquiesce, instead saying “so be it”.  In this case, they immediately take a lesser reward.  Although the decision is a simple binary one, the ramifications are potentially complex and far-reaching, added to which it is a lot of fun to watch player after player declaring their character only to be shouted down by their neighbour.

Witch's Brew
– Image used with permission of BGG reviewer EndersGame

The aim of the game is to collect ingredients for potions and then prepare them.  The more complex the potion, the more it is worth at the end of the game.  Thus, players might use the Snake Hunter to collect snake venom and the Herb Collector to provide them with herb juice which can then be used together to brew a potion in a silver cauldron using the Druid.  Players can also pick up points for potion shelves, but the characters used to claim these (the Cut Purse and the Begging Monk), force all the other players to pay a tithe, which will be used to cover the cost.

Witch's Brew
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor Toynan

Nobody had played it before, but Blue, having read the rules, started out well while everyone else was still working out what to do.  Pine was unlucky just failing to get enough gold/ingredients to pick up potion shelves on several occasions.  Burgundy also struggled to make the game work for him, and when he eventually succeeded in brewing his first potion it felt like a real success.  Working steadily, Blue gradually built up an unassailable lead though Green came from nowhere with his last couple of cards, finishing in second, by just a couple of points.

Colt Express
– Image by boardGOATS

The next game up was Colt Express, newly pimped out with fancy gems, purses and a new large start “poppel” from Essen.  The game itself is quite straight forward, but it usually takes at least  round to see how it works.  The idea is that game play is in two phases:  first players take it in turns to chose which cards they are going to play, then players take it in turns to action the cards they chose in the order they chose them.  Although we’ve played Colt Express quite a bit recently, with Pine new to the game, and the chaotic nature of it, it seemed a little unfair to drop him in the deep end and include the expansion as it adds quite a bit more complexity.  So, after admiring the wooden horses and 3D stagecoach, and discussing the DeLorean mini-expansion, we decided to stick with the base game.

Colt Express
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor sdetavern

The game started out with bullets flying every where and, unusually, mostly finding their targets.  As the game progressed, even the marshal joined in the fun making Ghost (played by Magenta) a real spook for Halloween.  Burgundy (playing Belle) and Red (Cheyenne) started out well with some valuable pickings.  Magenta, starting to look like a piece of Swiss cheese, was seriously hampered by the nine bullet holes she had picked up, and Pine (Doc) was not far behind with seven, though he was giving as well as taking.  Somehow Green (playing Django) who we normally take care to make sure can’t get ahead in games like this, had largely managed to avoid being shot.  This gave him a significant advantage added to which, everyone else  foolishly left him to play his own game.  Before long he was getting away with the strong box (now upgraded to a gold bar) worth $1,000.  This, with the Sharp Shooter Bonus gave him the win, $750 ahead of Blue in second (playing Tuco) who also picked up the bonus for emptying her magazine.

Colt Express
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor punkin312

Magenta and Red were determined that Blue should get an early night to nurse her cold, but she managed to persuade them to one last quick game of one of our current favourites, 6 Nimmt!.  The first round all went according to plan with Burgundy once more picking up more Nimmts than anyone else.  As usual, he did much better in the second round, but couldn’t match Blue and Red who finished in joint first place with a total of just eight each.

6 Nimmt
– Image by boardGOATS

Learning outcome:  Organised chaos is a fun part of lots of different games.

Save the Date: Mixing it in Wantage II

The Mix in Wantage town centre is a community space that can be booked for use by local groups, organisations, businesses and individuals for activities, fund-raising, meetings, workshops, and presentations etc.  This spring, we held a drop-in gaming session there to try to inspire people to play games.  With winter approaching (traditionally “the gaming season”) and Christmas on the horizon, it seemed an excellent time to do it again.

The Mix
– Image from thewantagemix.wordpress.com

We will be there from 10.30 am until 2 pm on November 21st 2015.  There isn’t an awful lot of space so, as before, the idea is to encourage people to drop in and play a short game or two, so we will be bringing along some of most eye-catching games like PitchCar, Colt Express, Dobble, Turf Horse Racing, Cube Quest, The Great Balloon Race and maybe a few of our favourite winter themed games like Snow Tails, Carcassonne: Winter Edition and The Great Downhill Ski Game.

The Mix
– Image used with permission of BGG contributor punkin312

BoardGOATS @ “The Mix” – Saturday 18th April 2015

The Mix in Wantage town centre is holding a drop-in gaming session on Saturday from 10.30 am until 2.30 pm.  Members of the club are providing games and will be teaching people how to play them.

The Mix
– Image from thewantagemix.wordpress.com

There isn’t an awful lot of space so the idea is to encourage people to drop in and play a short game or two.  We are planning to bring a few eye-catching games like PitchCar, Riff Raff, Bamboleo, Toc Toc Woodman, and Saturn, but most of the gaming will be smaller filler games like Dobble, Turf Horse Racing, No Thanks!, Walk the Plank!, The Great Balloon Race and some of our other light favourites.  We will also be bringing some classic gateway games like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, The Settlers of Catan and Jamaica as well as a small number of deeper games, just to show people what else is out there.

Round and About - The Mix
– Image by boardGOATS

The event has been well advertised and was mentioned in the Ramblings section of the April edition of the local magazine, “Round and About”, so we are hoping for a decent turn-out.  Please pop in if you are in the area on Saturday.

Save the Date: Mixing it in Wantage

The Mix in Wantage town centre is a community space that can be booked for use by local groups, organisations, businesses and individuals for activities, fund-raising, meetings, workshops, and presentations etc.  For four days a week The Mix is used as a ‘hot desk’ area for local people to use as a space to work from in town, however, Saturdays and evenings are available for local groups and community events.

The Mix
– Image from thewantagemix.wordpress.com

We will be holding a gaming session from 10.30 am until 2.30 pm on April 18th 2015.  There isn’t an awful lot of space so the idea is to encourage people to drop in and play a short game or two, so we will be bringing along things like PitchCar, Riff Raff, Dobble, Turf Horse Racing, No Thanks!, Walk the Plank!, The Great Balloon Race and some of our other favourite filler games.

Riff Raff
– Image used with permission of
BGG contributor punkin312

Stanford-in-the-Vale Summer Festival

This year, in order to raise our profile in the village, we will have a stall at the Summer Festival on Sunday (weather permitting).  We are planning to have a “Dobble Against the Clock” competition, Turf Horse Racing and a small table with people playing Army of Frogs.

We will be starting at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, hopefully on the village green in front of the church, as long as it’s not raining…

Stanford-in-the-Vale

2nd April 2013

This week we had two new gamers, so we started out gently with the “Feature Game” which was Coloretto. This is a simple card game where players have to collect sets of coloured chameleons.  However, while the three largest sets contribute positively to the final score, any others are subtracted.  The game was really quite tight with only three points between first and second place.

Coloretto

Next up was Carcassonne which had its second outing in as many games nights.  In contrast to the last game, this was played very “nicely”.  We started out with a selection of tiles from the two river sets and then played with just the base game, without farmers.  The youngest player managed to draw city after city tile and built a massive, uncontested city.  Meanwhile, the other new player got meeples stuck in a city and on a road that required two tiles to infill a hole, one of which was quite specific.  In a masterpiece of courage, she waited it out and drew the last required tile in the penultimate round.  Despite these heroics, however, his seemingly never-ending stream of cloisters meant nobody was quite able to catch red, who ran out eventual winner.

Carcassonne

Given that the new players have an interest in horses, we then moved on to Turf Horse Racing.  This time, the new players ganged up, backing Roamin’ Emperor who had a one in six chance of moving 20 lengths. It started really well too, launching into the lead, only for Silver Blaze, Red Baron, and Desert Prince to eventually move ahead.  Mosstown Boy and Lagoon Lady hung on to the back of the pack while the old nag Raven Beauty seemed to be going backwards.  Lagoon Lady started to loose contact when, with a sudden burst of pace Roamin’ Emperor made a dash for the line winning by 15-20 lengths from Silver Blaze and Red Baron.

Turf Horse Racing

Finally, we finished with a few quick rounds of one of our old favourites, Dobble.  We managed three different riotous variations and honours were pretty much even.

Dobble

Learning Outcome:  When it comes to boardgames, playing on a tablecloth is a BAD idea as it moves and causes “earthquakes”.

5th March 2013

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.

Turf Horse Racing

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!

Noll Koll

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.

Queen's Necklace

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.

Coloretto

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.

Bohnanza

Learning Outcome:  Shuffling is a skill we all need to improve.