Holiday Party @ the Bistro

Tuesday night was the last game night session at the Bistro prior to Christmas.  In year’s past I have hosted elaborate parties, including big potluck dinners and gift exchanges, etc.  Over the past few years I’ve been scaling back.  This year Peggy and I baked a few cookies, and I made some non-alcoholic Wassail.  Kenneth, making his annual appearance, had baked a pumpkin pie, and assorted other goodies were brought in by other Bistro players.  Altogether there were ten of us, making for smaller but fun party.

I set up Carabande as a socializer to get us started.  Nine of us played it over two different 1-lap heats.  Somehow Michael Wester managed to win both times.  Carabande had not been played for a couple years, and a lot of the new folks had never played it (or Pitchcar) previously.  We enjoyed Carabande for the two heats and by then Bob Mueller had arrived so we broke into two tables of gaming.

I made a point to play with Karen, who came with Ed, as this was her first time to come to gaming.  Ed suggested keeping it light, so I proudly brought out my latest “silly game” acquisition, Tanz der Hornochsen.  This is a game about avoiding stepping in cow poop!  There were five of us, Ed, Karen, Amy, Michael and myself.  This was the first time this game had been played by the club.  It’s hard to take this game seriously, which is why I selected it.  We laughed our way through it, and Tanz der Hornochsen garnered some good ratings.

Amy decided she needed to rescue her small children so she could get them to bed somewhere close to their bedtimes, so with her departure we were four (the other table of 5 being in the middle of their El Grande game).  Michael and I thought Tonga Bonga would fit the light but fun desire expressed by Ed, and indeed, Tonga Bonga was a big success.  I am very pleased with Tonga Bonga.  While there is a lot of luck, there are several interesting decisions every turn.  The turns are fast, and the fun is generated.  Tonga Bonga is a bright cheerful looking game, and one I cannot effuse over enough.

As we finished Tonga Bonga, the El Grande game also came to a close.  We took this opportunity to mix things up a bit.  Ed, Karen and Michael hopped into a game of Der Untergang von Pompeiji – probably better known as The Downfall of Pompeii.  I visited the table briefly to help with the rules, but other wise I sat down to a game of Shark with Chris Anderson, Tiffany and Jason.  Jason has taken an interest in Shark after I had introduced it to him earlier this year.  This was Tiffany’s first exposure to it, and she was less sure about it.  We used the rule of 7, which is a rule not found in the rulebook, but one that the author has expressed on the internet.  I think it improves the game. 

I had a fine time, and I think everyone who attended also had fun.  Thanks to all the Bistro Players who come out every week for gaming!

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