Tuesday, 12 May 2015


You'll have noticed that posts here have slowed over the last few days. This was because, with the Hallmark Mother's Day* at the weekend and my birthday yesterday, Mrs Kobold and I decided to have a weekend away. We went to Katoomba, on the edge of the Blue Mountains and had a lovely time despite the cold and the wind. The cold was expected. The wind wasn't.

Still, we did scenery, cafes and all sorts of other tourist stuff. But we didn't play much in the way of games, despite discovering  a small games and steampunk shop, Afternoonified,  in the town which offered all-day games on a Sunday.

I did take some games, but we only had one session, and then only one game - StreetSoccer. We hadn't played this boardgame of five-a-side football in years, but it's simple enough and easy to pick up, even after a bottle of wine.

Here's the first game in progress - Catherine (orange, and playing towards the camera) is winning 1-0.

The Hand of God ...

... leads to another goal for orange.

Final score - I lost 4-2.

We played again. In the following games we got better at keeping the players in the kind of lines which allow you to move the ball right down the pitch. The game uses a PIP system, which allows you to move one player, then use the remainder (if any) to kick the ball. Each friendly player the ball passes through gives it a small boost. The ball's movement is allowed one change in direction per kick - you can curve your shots.

An intense midfield scramble sees some players blocked from each other.

The second game was a draw and went into extra time. The game is played for 25 pairs of turns, with 10 more if extra time is called. because of a tie. After that the player who scored last wins. That would have been me, but Catherine sneaked in a goal for a 4-3 win.

I won the third game 4-3, before hitting my stride in the fourth game just as Catherine had an appalling run of dice and picking up a 7-0 victory. So we ended the evening with two games a piece.

I'd forgotten how much fun StreetSoccer is to play. It can turn on good or bad PIP dice, but there are tactics and positions which can help or hinder play regardless, and that makes the game work.

Incidentally, the orange team were dubbed the Newtown Moles, who as anyone will tell you are Australia's premier exponents of ball-based games. Go The Moles!

And here's my lovely wife at the Three Sisters, rugged up against the cold and the wind after I hauled her out of bed so we could go and see the dawn. It was worth it though.

*As opposed to proper, UK Mothering Sunday, which is sometime in the run-up to Easter.

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