A night of games, gin, and conchords

Meaghan and I both love to play board games, however as a couple we find that the number of games that work with just two people is somewhat limited.  Most of the games we enjoy the most work so much better with four or more people.  That’s why we were so excited on Saturday night at Matt’s birthday party when we arranged what we hope is the first of many board game nights with our friends.  Wednesday night this week was the first of these nights, which Matt and Holly were kind enough to host at their house.

As we first arrived, we could smell the lovely dinner Holly was preparing for us, and no sooner than we had said hello we were asked to participate in gin tasting and testing.  The candidates were the Aviation Gin, the Vintners Gin, and of course Bombay Sapphire.

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Surprisingly, the group agreed that the Edgefield Vintners gin was the clear favorite with a difficult distinction between aviation gin and bombay sapphire.  Bombay has been my gin of choice (on the rare occasions I drink gin), however I now have other options to consider.

Meaghan and Holly had been berry picking earlier this week and for a dessert Meaghs had made angel food cake with a sauce made from some of the berries they had picked.  This night was shaping up superbly.  Onward to gaming glory.

We started with a game of Carcassonne, a Klaus-Jurgen Wrede tile game in which players take turns constructing (and attempting to own) a medieval landscape.  By careful use of knights, farmers, and thieves, each player attempts to control the majority of the resources on the ever growing landscape.  Part of the fun of Carcassonne is watching the board grow as each tile is placed.  It’s a fun game but can run a little long, especially when you’re rusty to the process of playing each turn.  Fortunately it’s very easy to modify to a half-tile set, making for a smaller board and a shorter more tactical version of the game.

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For our second game, we decided upon Pictionary.  It’s a lot of fun to play as a group and we relished the opportunity to stage a classic “Guys vs Girls” match.  The girls summarily kicked our asses, however we all did fairly well considering some of the challenges we had to draw.  I felt that “Hard Copy”, “A Time to Kill”, and “Lie Detector” were particularly curve-ball like, especially for the graphically challenged such as myself.

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To finish the night up in style, Matt invited us to see the first episode of a new show called Flight of the Conchords in his new movie room.  I don’t watch much (if any) TV so I hadn’t heard anything about the show, but have to say that I rather enjoyed the pilot.  It chronicles the adventures of a band from New Zealand that find themselves in New York trying to make it: as a band, with chicks, and yet still maintain their friendship and camaraderie.  Meaghs and I are going to try to catch up on the episodes we’ve missed so that we can all watch the new episodes of the show together.  Awesome!

We’re going to get together for games night every other week as often as it can work out for our schedules, something I’m really looking forward to.  It’s great to have local friends to play board games with and we look forward to the kinds of trouble we can cause together in the future on other trips too: starting with the Oregon Brewfest this weekend.  Pictures and footage to follow.

Stuart Thompson

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