For Across the Board #6, we decided to crack out the big guns and focus on some of the games most responsible for the huge resurgence of the board gaming hobby that we're seeing today. The night saw the most epic game of Ticket to Ride Europe I have ever beheld, with basically every inch of the continent covered.
Three brave souls were persuaded by my enthusiastic rantings to tackle the complexities of medieval farming in Agricola, one of my all-time favourites, and (in my opinion) well worth the gradient of the learning curve the first time through. The game proved especially challenging in this setting given that it only just fitted on the table, and the light was a touch dim for reading small print. However, they enjoyed it! Or so they assured me, anyway...
Carcassonne, the classic tile-laying, map-building game was also out in force (my fascination with the game of Agricola in progress may explain the lack of photographic evidence...). I've really enjoyed revisiting this one recently, despite being consistently bad at it - definitely in the 'quick to learn, hard to master' category, for me at least! We've also found that playing the rules variant where you draw a hand of three tiles and chose one from these to lay on each turn takes the game from good to great by removing the frustration of waiting patiently for your turn then drawing a tile you absolutely didn't want. The first couple of expansions (Inns & Cathedrals, Trader & Builders) are also both really strong and add more depth to the strategy.
However, the sleeper hit of the night was undoubtedly 6 Nimmt!, which admittedly isn't really well known enough to fit with the theme of the evening, but snuck its way into the bag in case we were in need of a filler. We should have seen the result coming because this game has never failed to go down well, despite involving nothing but a pack of cards. We first encountered this one in Suzanne Sheldon's top 10 games (her overall top 50 list is varied, interesting and packed with great choices - worth a look), and it's now one of the most played in our collection. It's full of tension, highly addictive, fits in a pocket and genuinely works with anything from 2-10 players. I won't tax you with the rules here as despite being simple they're a bit abstract and don't really make sense until you start playing, so you'll just have to take my word for it that this is a good'un :-)