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The houseboat arriving at Mandurah to pick us up.

The houseboat arriving at Mandurah to pick us up.

This year the annual boardgaming gathering was held on a houseboat around Mandurah / Ravenswood. Some friends hired it for a week or so, and ran it most effectively.

Apart from the usual good food[1] and good games in the company of good friends, the setting was very relaxing in and of itself.

I was exposed to a few new games, some of which I’ll look at acquiring. Wildlife seems worthy of further plays, and Just Desserts from Looney Labs was highly amusing. Oh and speaking of just desserts:

It has fruit in it, it must be healthy right?

It has fruit in it, it must be healthy right?

Tiny Epic Galaxies is definitely one to look into further. It is exactly what it says on the tin, and highly amusing for the one play that I got.

I’m not entirely sure how to describe A Fake Artist Goes To New York. It is as bizarre as the name suggests, I did horribly at it[2], but I’ll be happy to try it again.

One of the two games I brought with me Starship Merchants was not as much of a success as I hoped[3].

Castles of Burgundy in progress.

Castles of Burgundy in progress.

Castles of Burgundy on the other hand was a real highlight of the trip, if not for the reasons you might expect. Castles of Burgundy is a game I first encountered on Yucata, and liked well enough to buy a physical copy of.

One of the strengths, and weaknesses, of Yucata is the way it automates the bookkeeping for most games. This makes the games easier to play, but can make understanding the game harder.

This was a factor with Nations: The Dice Game, and it came up again with Castles of Burgundy. Enjoyable as the game is[4], explaining the hidden mechanics brought an unexpected joy. The friends I was travelling with suddenly understood how the game worked, and their joy in the revelation was infectious.

This is what the weekend was about: time away, connecting with friends, and relaxing. The explanations for Castle of Burgundy brought that connection in an unexpected way.

Oh, and the scenery was pretty cool occasionally[5]. Here, have a sunset photo:

Life doesn't get much better than this.

Life doesn’t get much better than this.

So, once again, my deep thanks to my gracious hosts and the other guests for good food, good company, good games, and a truly pleasant start to 2016. May you all have a good year, and I hope to see you again soon.

[1] I even contributed to the food this time. My vegetable soup went over surprisingly well.

[2] It is a game that does require a level of artistic ability. Yes, well, about that…

[3] I do like the game but it can take a long time to play, and I misjudged that. My apologies to all for that.

[4] Which is very, I did buy it for a reason.

[5] Well, often.