Shefford Friday night games

This is a short description of the games we play at our Friday night game group.

Archive for Sharon Khan

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Friday 12th February 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were 9, so split into two tables of 4 and 5, after a quick game of ...und tschüss! to start, in which Simon proved his statement about not being very good at it - although it has to be said, in this case I think the cards I dealt him in his start hand had a lot to do with it!!

Seb had brought Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition) for me to play, having played the original many years ago and wanting to try the new version. Marion and Ellie joined us, while the remainder played Outpost. I ended up losing, after putting all my energy into winning a region which turned out not to score points in the final round!! Ooops, that made the difference between just narrowly coming second and being a resounding last!! Seb won, as you'd expect being the only person who really knew what they were doing, but Ellie wasn't far behind.

Both tables finished at the same time, thanks to some dithering on our table, and a very unbalanced game of Outpost upstairs! We merged and resplit into two different tables, downstairs playing a quick Incan Gold with Ellie before she left, while upstairs we played Kingsburg, which Simon and Lisa had been reminded of a few weekends ago and wanted to try again. It was fairly close at end-game. Lisa lost, due to her building being destroyed by the attackers on the last round. Colin just pipped me for first thanks to having a large disk left back, while mine was a zero! There were some very strange rolls going around - all of us made good use of buildings that rerolled low numbers, and then another round no-one had less than 13!

We followed Kingsburg with Macao. I picked up a card on the very first turn that scored me two extra VPs if I used the prestige bar, and focussed my whole strategy on using that, neglecting the city completely (only buying three in the entire game). I pulled away on points early on (making Colin discard his building that gained him a VP if he was in the lead!), and had very few negatives at end-game, although I took an extra on on the last turn to deny Colin an end-game VP card. Colin however had a large city area, and this was just enough to pass me on the final turn again! Lisa was well behind during most of the game, on both the wall and the scoring track, but that was largely because she didn't ship any of her goods early on - once she started shipping them, with an extra VP for each good, she rapidly caught up, and passed Simon.

We finished with Burn Rate, which was new to Lisa. It was a very close game. After I burnt for 30 one turn, thanks to no sales team and rather a lot of contractors, it looked likely that I was going to burn out first, but my one release card the next turn removed my x4 bad idea and kept me in the game for another two turns, and the next turn I was able to exchange hands leaving myself on 3, and picked up a perfect set of cards to stay in, while Simon, with similar contractor issues, burnt out ahead of me. I couldn't save myself an extra turn though, and Lisa followed me out on her next turn, leaving Colin victor, burning out himself on his next turn.
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Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:43 am
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Friday 5th February 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 11 to start with, but we only really had two tables available, so we split into a 6 and a 5. The 5 was the inevitable Terra Mystica, while the other table opted for Pictomania, which our new gamer Seb had chosen as something he recognised, and which is a favourite of mine. I actually found someone who could compete with me for once, as Seb proved in the first two rounds that he is quite good at Pictomania, but he had a disaster in the third round, and couldn't catch up in the remaining rounds. It was amusing how many times I just beat him to putting my guesses in! At end-game we were safely first and second, with Ellie, who did some great drawings but was a bit slow to guess as she spent so much time on them, in third.

Gill then chose one of her favourite games, Schrille Stille. I must say I think it's the noisiest game of this that I've ever played, as for some reason we turned into a book discussion group as we played, and I sent Ellie home at the end of the game with a pile of books from my shelves for her to try! I was definitely being picked on by a certain pair of people, which unfortunately hit Seb rather too, as most of my bands in the late game were ones that were his too and that, coupled with his bands hitting the job just as Marion passed the second white line, meant that he ended the game with just one band on the board - not great for scoring, so he dropped to the back in the last round! Meanwhile Marion and Ellie steamed ahead to take the first two positions.

Marion and Ellie left at that point, and while Lisa drove them home we had a quick play of Ellie's Timeline version that she'd left with us, with Seb winning. The other table were still a way from the end, so we pulled out Alhambra, and Lisa just managed to pip me by one point at the end! Seb had an impressively long wall, but Gill was able to take all his majorities off him in her final turn between what she bought and the giveaway (in which she got all the tiles!), which put her ahead of him.

The other table had finally finished, and Sami had returned from his after-work drinks in London, so we were back to 10 people again. I was keen to get a Time's Up! game in with Gill, and Sami and Seb joined us. Meanwhile upstairs they extended the table and played two three player games on it - Suburbia at one end and Vikings at the other. Time's Up had the usual funny moments went things went wrong. Seb's attempts to get Gill to say George Lucas were amusing - she came up with Stephen Spielberg and about half the cast list of Star Wars, while he came up with pretty much everything George Lucas had ever done, without any progress! Meanwhile Gill was picking up all the impossible cards in the first round - Larry the Cable Guy she nearly got him to say, but Pagliacci was a dead draw, and Dagwood Bumstead was similarly problematic (although easy in the later rounds!). I had some issues with Sami too - "The Main Character in the Matrix" "Neo" "Now make it a Roman Emperor" "Palpatine" "!!!!!" It didn't go well from there - Sami was determinedly stuck on Palpatine, and me going on about fiddling while Rome burned just confused him further!

We finished just as Suburbia drew the end-game tile, so played a quick hand of Love Letter until they finished. Vikings was just finishing up too, so we decided the games while they were finishing, and ended up with Ave Caesar on one table, while four of us took 7 Wonders downstairs.
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Sun Feb 7, 2016 8:01 am
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Friday 29th January 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 9, with one gamer who I haven't played games with for over 10 years making an appearance. Everyone was keen to start with Terra Mystica as usual, so we did the Terra Mystica double again, rolling for who was on which table. I drew the upstairs table with Colin, Ellie and Jonty, and the Chaos Magicians. Colin was Darklings, and started on the right hand area, and colonised the world over there, managing to get three men on the first turn and spreading quickly. My Chaos Magicians were obviously slower starters, but started next to Ellie and founded a nice town, before taking the +1 shipping to jump over the river and found a second town between Colin's two towns. This netted me quite a few points, but not as many as Colin. All four of us were track races, and we all topped one track, nice and evenly, but I did manage second on all the others. Colin took largest area, with Jonty and I tied for second - Jonty's Fakirs having jumped all over the board, but not having managed to connect in his last square, his Stronghold. This put Jonty just behind Ellie, then his leftover goods jumped him ahead of her. Ellie's Cultists weren't working for her as well as last game, as she wasn't really next to many people from the way the board went, so wasn't able to leech many cult track upgrades.

The other game was just about to start their final turn, so we decided to play a quick filler game of Timeline: Inventions (with James, who had arrived late, halfway through the Terra Mystica games joining in too). This game should definitely be known as the Curse of the Ink Pen!! It was amazing how many cards were lost because of getting them wrong side of the Ink Pen - by James in particular, but all of us were caught at least once!!! We were also surprised by how early the first flute was. I managed to win, mostly by drawing lots of BC cards, which were a lot easier to place, and didn't involve ink pens! When we finished the other table were still finishing up, so James drove Ellie home, and the remaining three of us played a few hands of Love Letter.

We then merged and split into two tables again. Puerto Rico was suggested as one game, and rapidly found three takers. The remaining five of us ended up pulling Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar off the shelf, and four of us sat down to that, with the fifth joining the game downstairs. It was an incredibly close game of Tzolkin, with less than ten points from top to bottom at end game. I won, with a basic building strategy - I took early upgrades on the good tracks, and the first level of the building track, and then just had a three turn cycle going - place men on building and goods wheel, place third man on goods wheel, take men off. Repeat. There was the odd turn I did something else to let my men get further up the wheels, but not very often. I ended up with two monuments, worth 12 and 9 points, and this, combined with the top of one track, was enough to put me ahead. Colin played the yellow strategy, but didn't really get going with it early enough, and it wasn't set up until just over halfway through the game, and although he ended up topping two tracks by the second scoring round, in the first scoring round he got no points at all, while Simon and I both got about 10 points. Simon was also playing a building strategy, but without building monuments - just buildings that were worth points at a discount, and pushing himself off the top of the track for 3 points repeatedly. Hannah was playing a more mixed strategy, with a skull and a high scoring monument, and a few buildings, and this just put her ahead of Simon at end game, just a couple of points behind Colin.

The other table had played a filler while we completed our final couple of turns of the wheels, and then we merged and split again, with the two games this time being Agricola (my choice), and Acquire. Hannah was trying to work out if she'd played Acquire before to make her decision, which was then made for her by four others heading downstairs! This left Marion, Sami, Hannah and I for Agricola, rolling the I deck. I got off to a very fast start - putting out three occupations, then an improvement that got me 2 extra wood every time I took wood, and then another one that helped me feed. One of my occupations gave me 1 food for every round once the well was built, and my plan was to build the well as soon as I renovated, with my other occupation that gave me stone. Marion then played the Well Builder, tried to build the Well, realised she was starving if she did, so changed her mind - and three rounds later she still hadn't built it, so I followed through with my plan! At this point I was getting three food a round for the next 5 rounds, and 2 food a round for the remainder of the game, so could start concentrating on points. Family Growth was very late and although I got the first family growth, I was repeatedly blocked out of getting a second one, and didn't want to waste an action not buying a minor improvement to take start player - sadly this meant I wasn't going to get the 3 points for using 5 actions in the last round, which I'd played as my first action. Sami was handed this on a plate by Marion playing a Guest to get herself the family growth to 5 people, and being already on 4 this gave him 5 actions too, despite her blocking him out of that family growth. Sami ended up two points ahead of me, and Marion four points behind, with Hannah a few behind her - a fairly close game.
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Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:37 am
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Friday 22nd January 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with a 7 player game of Take it Easy!, which was one of the highest scoring games I've seen. I managed an amazing score of 213, scoring every number except 9s - but with 5 8s, 7 7s and 8 6s, it didn't matter that I missed the nines. Colin said I went the longest I've ever been towards the maxmimum score tileset!

Next we split into two tables - of Terra Mystica. One table had to wait for the final player to arrive before starting - if only because they had to bring the second copy with them. I was on the table that started immediately, playing Witches. Sami won with Alchemists, with an impressive amount of money at end-game. Simon just went ahead of Hannah with his Fakirs to take third place, while Ellie was hampered by her Sponsered Silence in asking for advice and help, and didn't have the best of games.

Ellie then went home, and the other table still had a ways to go, so we pulled out Macao. It was a pretty speedy game. I went for a scroll heavy strategy, with an early end-game VP bonus for scroll types. My dice rolling didn't help, as I kept rolling the same colours on the same spots as I'd already rolled them, which made colour combinations tricky! At end-game Sami again won, with me second.

After that we re-merged and split with the other table, with the two games of choice being Terra and Power Grid. I chose Terra, which was 5 player. We followed that with Rage , in which Simon managed the impressive feat of ending on exactly 0 points, without even trying!! I however managed to be correct on every round apart from the first, and won comfortably as a result, 31 points ahead of the next placed player!
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Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:45 pm
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Friday 15th January 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with 6 of us and a few minutes to kill while waiting for the last three, so I suggested pulling out something quick, and John asked for Spyfall, which he'd seen mentioned in my stats repeatedly, but somehow escaped playing up until now! In my usual fashion, I managed to deal him Spy in his first hand, with the Restaurant as the location, and his question about the weather was enough to mark him as suspicious and be accused quite quickly. We then played a second hand, at the Carnival, and our questions about costumes, and an annual event were maybe a bit too obvious and Colin quickly announced the location correctly for the win.

The others arrived at that point, so we looked to split into two tables. John had brought Caverna: The Cave Farmers with him, so that was one table decided fairly quickly, and as soon as Ellie mentioned Terra Mystica it was fairly obvious what the other table would be, and people sorted themselves accordingly, with Marion and Richard joining John and I. After a few hiccups in setup (I for some reason set it up as a 3 player game with 4 of us!), we soon got started. We were all familiar with Agricola so the basic mechanics weren't new, but the strategies, ways to score points, and the expeditions all took a little working out. After a while we settled into it, with Marion going for a heavy expedition strategy, Richard going heavily for mining, me for animals and John for grain and veg. I went for several end-game scoring rooms, in particular the ones that gained you points for resources, and these netted me a huge 27 points from end game, while John took similar buildings that exchanged resources for coins for 30 points himself. This gave us both high scores, with mine being just slightly ahead, as I'd gained quite a few gold coins from my ore in game using the exchange for VPs square on the last two turns; everywhere else we were pretty much matching each other VP for VP. Neither Marion or Richard had really gone for VPs heavily. Richard had suddenly realised on the last turn that his lack of animals was going to hurt him and exchanged all his gems for them, but this hurt his position rather. Marion had a good collection of animals, but not much else. I enjoyed the play of this and would certainly like to play again (please bring it again John!!!), but am still unsure about long-term replayability - I can't see how after 3-5 plays you'd find yourself doing anything different - it looks like a game where you find a strategy you like and keep doing it!

After that we discussed playing Pret-a-Porter, but decided it might run too long with two new players, so instead moved to lighter fare, introducing John to Terra. He'd played Fauna and showed himself good at other trivia based games, so I thought he might be good at this. He certainly was on the first card and steamed out into the lead (while Richard found himself out of cubes!), but after that things came up he wasn't so sure of and Marion and I gradually crept up on him and went past him. Surprisingly all 6 of the cards were ones that only had one area on the board, which meant there were no easy board points to grab.

Around the World in 80 Days was tabled next, which John had played before but couldn't remember well. He got off to a fast start, but at the cost of a few days. Marion rapidly got left behind, and had to spend unwanted days catching up while chatting to the detective to avoid being knocked out in the final round, which turned out to be costly by the time she caught up. John couldn't quite finish in less than 80 days, in what was quite a high scoring game, and none of us could beat Richard, who managed to keep going quickly and in few days, which was quite an achievement.

He chose Cutthroat Caverns as a finisher, which was going ok until we met a Bugaboo - again ...and again... and again. John and I were finished off on the third attempt, and only Marion and Richard proceeded to the final encounter, Arc Mages, at which point Marion drank her potion to prevent all damage to herself, and just let it kill Richard, then she could do whatever she liked to win the game. I don't get the impression she enjoyed it though, despite the win!
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Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:33 am
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Friday 8th January 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with 6 players and half an hour before the last two were arriving, which was perfect for 7 Wonders. I was sitting between Colin and Sami, both going military, so ended up with a science strategy with Mausoleum A, which was ok apart from the lack of one particular symbol, meaning I couldn't get a maximum science score. Meanwhile Hannah was collecting a huge number of blue buildings, Simon some good guilds and Sami a bit of everything. It was incredibly close game, with 2nd to 5th places all being in the 40s and only 6 points between them. Sami was 8 points ahead with 56 for the win.

Sami suggested either Agricola or Terra Mystica for the next game, two games everyone was happy with. The usual suspects voted for Terra Mystica, while the others, including Sami himself, played Agricola. I was Noamds in Terra Mystica and caused chaos for Simon early game by sandstorming a line between his two starting settlements on the middle island, which he had planned to connect. By the fourth round I had a huge number of points and was well ahead of anyone else, but by then I'd built my three towns, got all my settlements down, and was struggling to find anything else to get points from, although I did a good job stopping Colin building his town where he wanted by some more sandstorming action. Colin however was Swarmlings and starting to swarm, and when he did (and remembered to take points for things he was supposed to take points for!), he went just past me on the scoretrack at the end. Simon couldn't really recover from his early game disaster. Ellie meanwhile says she doesn't like Engineers as a race!

The others were on the last round, so Colin suggested a quick Chrononauts while we were waiting, and proceeded to make it quick by finishing - I was absolutely miles off with my cards!

Marion was keen to play Filthy Rich, and Colin suggested the other game should be another dice game and settled on Catan: Cities & Knights, which Simon was keen to play again after the previous week. Hannah and Lisa diced off to see who would play which, and Lisa and Marion joined me downstairs to learn Filthy Rich. It was a low taxes game, so everyone was able to keep a large number of businesses, and we pretty much lived on page 2, which rapidly filled up. We had a brief burst on page 4 when we all got enough to buy one luxury, then I had a turn when I rolled extra business dice (with 4 of the 9 spots I thought the odds were in my favour), and just ended up giving Marion and Lisa lots of money! Marion used hers to buy the 7 luxury, with enough businesses on the table to be almost able to buy the next luxury just from selling them, and Lisa and I couldn't stop her - even taking the next two luxuries wasn't enough, as she also had a couple of hits on her businesses, and had enough cash in hand to buy it.

Next we played Ingenious - where we had all played mostly 2 player and kept forgetting about the extra ring of board available! Marion went for 3 ingeniouses early on, but her other three were lagging a bit). Lisa was slowly increasing all of hers evenly, but at end game Marion and I were both able to get our weakest ones past hers.

I then suggested The Palaces of Carrara, which I had noticed from doing my end of year stats that I hadn't played in ages. Marion had pretty much forgotten it, and it was new to Lisa, so I refreshed their memories on the rules. Lisa went heavily for points, and her score was looking worrying, but I triggered end game, and the end-game points were enough to take me past her, although she did have a very good score.

We finished with a quick Igel Ärgern, where Marion got my hedgehog accused of doping and removed from the race, then proceeded to win herself.
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Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:35 am
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Friday 1st January 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were expecting 9 players, so after a quick game of The Game: Spiel...so lange du kannst! with the first four, we once we had eight player we started to split into two tables. I've been trying to get Catan: Cities & Knights to the table for a while, and Matt was also keen to play a Catan version, so we found four for that, and the other table picked Vegas Showdown, as it could expand to 5, assuming that the 9th was about to show up, but after ten minutes of waiting he still hadn't, so they started without him. Simon needed a rules explanation, so we started that, and the 9th player arrived just as we finished, so we ended up abandoning the game, and playing Terra instead (one of my favourites right now). Matt won by absolutely miles!!

We happened to finish just as the previous game did, so we sent James to join them, and we started our Cities and Knights game finally. I was first to place, and went for the only two sensible stone producing squares, a 6 and 3 adjacent to each other near the edge of the board. Matt meanwhile went for a heavy aquaduct strategy - placing his settlement on the three forest squares that formed a triangle together, and his other on a forest/brick square with two of the same numbers and a 3-1 port, after Marion pinched the square he'd been hoping to get as his second square. Matt had terrible income early on, while the two sheep squares were rolled over and over again, so the rest of us had huge amounts of sheep, and were rapidly racing to build up our metropolis. I was the only person with knight resources, so the others were struggling to buy knights to defend their cities, but I decided to go for the early VP and defended them. This didn't help them later though, as I was madly building cities, and wasn't able to defend everyone else's too! Meanwhile Marion and Simon were having a longest road war, which Marion eventually won! I just won the war to the cloth metropolis, although I had to build to the top level to defend it, and these points, plus some defender ones, meant that eventually I was able to win - mostly because I suddenly remembered that the merchant was a point and played the merchant card I'd had for ages! (Could have won a turn earlier had I remembered that!).

Three players left at that point, so we played a quick Love Letter while the other table packed up, and then we all joined together for a 7 Wonders, which had the oddest military, with every other player round the table going for it; Sami going heavily for science (but getting negative other points). I won, fairly comfortably, with most of the others players in a bunch about 10 points behind me.

Then we played Ave Caesar, where I continued in the same way as my previous game and kept failing to finish - once by running out of spaces, another time by crashing and burning. However I did win one of the two remaining races, which was enough to put me ahead of Simon, just. Sami was the only person to consistently do well, and won with nearly double the points of the next placed player!

Sami went to bed at that point and the rest of us played a quick Jungle Speed, which I won with just one card left over all three hands! James won the other round, but Colin was consistently good and beat him into second place, while James had a disastrous first round. Simon seemed to be struggling with colour matching instead of symbol matching and picked up a ridiculous number of cards every time the colour match card appeared, while Matt was definitely out of practice!
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Tue Jan 5, 2016 2:00 pm
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Friday 18th December 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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It was Christmas gaming with mulled wine and mince pies. James was slightly early, so we started with a quick game of The City, in which I had the most amazing start, getting both the fountain cards and a business centre, and then just drawing into more and more fountain cards for an amazing turn 7 win on 62!! Colin also passed 50 on that turn - it was a pretty high scoring game!

Simon arrived then, and we were 5 for the evening, so he suggested El Grande. It was a very bizarre start, with the card that returned all your cubes from court on the first turn. Sami played the 13 and took the King to get his cubes on the board, while James with a 12 took the card, so the remainder of us had no cubes in supply early game. As expected, this game Sami and James a much better start than the rest of us, and the two of them pulled away from us in the first scoring round, Sami impressively so, as there were a lot of scoring cards in the first third of the game, and they all seemed to get Sami points, as he was in almost every region, while the rest of us were just in a couple! Second scoring round and despite our best efforts Sami had an end-game score already, while the rest of us were in a clump some way behind! Points were pretty much set going into third round scoring, with Sami safely first, James safely second, and me third, but there was a slight surprise as Colin, who had been lagging for most of the game, suddenly put on a spurt and passed Simon!

Sami then suggested a 5 player Terra Mystica. Things did not go well for me from the start, when after putting both my houses on the right island as Halflings, with James already there as Dwarves, Colin with his Alchemists placed right where one of my houses was planning on expanding, and Sami's Chaos Magicians also started next to me. I had expected Sami, but not Colin, and it just meant I had to spend my priest on shipping rather than double upgrading my terraform track, and there just wasn't that much land for me to terraform anyway! Sami's Chaos Magicians won. We ended up with a three way tie for largest land mass between Simon, Sami and I - Colin couldn't connect his two regions, and James didn't get much expansion going. Sami was the only track race, so got most points there, and I was amazed that my one and only promotion on the tracks in the whole game scored me two points!!!

Sami asked for suggestions and Simon suggested Rage. The award for the most unlucky player had to go to James here, as n the first three rounds every single time he won the unexpected last trick, making him go wrong, and in two of those three rounds it came with a -5! -19 after three rounds, ouch!!! His game then picked up, and Colin's went downhill, while Simon and I were neck and neck right up to the last round, with Sami lagging by just a few points he was never able to catch up. On the last round Simon and I were on the same score, with him bidding first and me last. With a low non-trump he went 0, James thought but luckily for me said 0 too, and I was able to say 0, and Simon won the trick to give me the win.

I chose Terra next - my new Fauna clone which I'm really enjoying. It was new to James and he made the fatal newbie error of being a bit over-keen on guessing and running out of cubes just before the gift round of "The Mongol Empire", which gave everyone else about 20 points. His knowledge elsewhere was getting him reasonable scores though, so despite being low on cubes he managed to avoid last. This is definitely one of the main differences between it and Fauna - it is far more likely to go terribly for you if you get low on cubes, because of the lack of change in scoring when the area covers lots of regions.

Next I was in the mood for something lighter, so went for Say Anything, which was new to Simon. Colin appears to know everyone best, and was a clear two points ahead of everyone else, who were all within one point of each other! As winner he then got next choice, and after browsing various shelves on the games room produced Mü & More, at which point my head hit the table at such a brain-frying game late at night! It was new to Simon, and just explaining the rules fried his brain, and then we got going. I was a bit cautious on the first round, when I perhaps should have gone for Chief, but it left Sami in a low bit that he managed to achieve. Next round and I had so many 4s I played for Chief to choose them as trump, and achieved my goal, unfortunately with Colin again, as had Sami, so he was rather a large amount ahead at that point! (And that was despite him having a terrible hand in my round and hardly contributing any points!). Last round went off by 3!!! as Simon as Chief chose trumps that just didn't work for his partner, while Colin as Vice loved his trump suit, as well as choosing his own!! Colin won comfortably!
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Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:19 am
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Friday 11th December 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday was double birthday, so lots of cake! We also started with double Terra Mystica again! My table was me, Sami, Colin and Lisa and I drew Nomads, which I hadn't played in a while. I'd forgotten how strong they are as a race!

After that we decided to try out my new Power Grid expansion, on the Australia map, which definitely had different challenges. Colin and Sami got the two earliest uranium plants, and Sami's in particular was powerful enough that the extra income more than counteracted the fact that he got behind on houses building it. The fact that we drew nothing but coal and oil plants out of the remaining deck (using the power plant expansion deck) made for a rather odd game, as prices went very high! The jump at Phase 3 meant it became almost too expensive to bother powering - most people spent almost all their income that turn just buying resources!

We finished by introducing Lisa to Tichu, which was new to her, and also with our brand-new Tichu deck (the other one was looking rather worn!). She did very well at picking up the idea, although she struggled a little with remembering all the different special cards! Always a favourite of mine!
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Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:53 pm
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Friday 4th December 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday there were just 6 of us. We started with 4 players and a quick game of Niagara, which was new to John. Despite this he very nearly managed to win with 4 gems of a colour early on, and we had to scramble to pick them up to stop him. Having been stopped, he then ended up losing a boat over the falls, and had to pay a gem to get it back! A few turns later Simon was clearly winning on his turn, and I was trying to think if there was any way to stop him - and then realised that I was also winning that turn, the final gem I was bringing home being my 7th!! So we tied for the win.

After that we were 5, and looking for a 90 minute or so game, and I said I was keen to play Puerto Rico, and it ended up being tabled. John had played only once before, about a year ago, and I gave him a very brief rules explanation - probably a bit too brief, but he worked out what he was doing as the game went on, and knows how to play next time!! Marion and I, as the two most experienced players, rapidly got our cash economy going and were buying third level purple buildings while the others were still struggling for cash (Marion purely by picking Prospector repeatedly, and then taking Factory - she never got a cash crop going all game). The others caught up, and four of the five players had a large building at end game. I had been shipping heavily all game, with a Factory, Harbour and Wharf, so was clearly ahead, and Marion was second, with Lisa just a few points behind her.

Sami arrived just as we started the final round, so we were then 6, and once Terra Mystica was suggested we had the usual most players wanting to play that problem, so ended up with it on both tables, with me playing with Simon and Lisa. I drew Fakirs, Simon Swarmlings and Lisa Auren. We were playing on the new board, so Fakirs weren't quite as bad as on the original board. I could rapidly hop to all the yellows that were only one step away, then infill to make towns, using bridges, for which I was competing with Lisa, who'd accidentally aso started in areas where she wanted to build across the river. Simon Swarmed with his Swarmlings for once, but wasn't able to get points later in the game, while I did some hopping to connect my two areas, and also dominated the tracks. I won, with Simon second.

We finished slightly before the others, so played a quick game of Mamma Mia! while waiting for the others to finish - my knowledge of the game meant I had a bit of a headstart, and completed three pizzas in the first round while the others were still working out how to play, and with Lisa and I both playing 15+s early in the second round, everyone was a bit unsure which pizzas would actually work!

We then joined together for two games of Codenames to finish with, where Marion was making Sami groan by coming up with ways of making almost every card connect to the words he'd said, making it hard for them to settle on the correct ones!!!
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Mon Dec 7, 2015 10:42 am
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