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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 23rd May 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with some three player games while waiting for players to arrive - a couple of games of The City and Race for the Galaxy. Then we started the first proper game of the evening - Strasbourg. Marion went very heavily for getting first place in the regions, to get points from her people in the middle. I meanwhile was meant to be getting three people in two of the colours, but thanks to be absolutely stupid in mid-game (forgetting to use the large bid I'd set up for the thing I set it up for) I ran out of cash at a crucial moment, losing me a mammoth number of points (placement next to the 6 building, as well as the points on the card). Sami meanwhile went for the bulidings, and in one round that was all he bid for! Marion won, with Sami a close second, and Colin and I trailing miles behind.

Hannah arrived while we were playing, and then Marion suggested Schrille Stille as the next game. It was a changeable game, with early on Marion doing well, but then losing all her bands and having to change colours just to have something to vote on. I seemed to come in for some unwanted picking on, that kept me in last place all game, while Hannah crept up from behind rather. Colin managed to win though, after an average start turned into a rather good end-game.

Marion then wanted a short one before she left, so we pulled out Alchemist, where Marion struggled to work out what to do for the best to promote her colour, but the chain set up by Hannah and Colin seemed most profitable for the rest of us - particularly Hannah as it turned out!

Next was Crude: The Oil Game, which was new to Hannah. It was a very petrol game, and Colin, as the only initial petrol player, had it made - double after double. I was very unlucky to roll doubles on my very first roll as the oil player, with a taxes card in play - I sold less than a third of my drilling rigs, but then still missed hitting on one the next FOUR turns, which effectively put me out of the game, as I had nothing to do from there. Sami's refining/petrol strategy just started to get set up at end game, but it was too little too late, and Hannah's mixed strategy was catching her up on Colin quite well at end-game, as she wasn't so dependent on other people, but even being over the billion, she was a long way behind Colin.

We finished with Industrial Waste, thinking it followed on well theme-wise from the previous game. Colin managed to get himself into a pollution/debt spiral - unable to produce, and unable to find another way of getting cash - while I, to his right, consistently kept taking the selection of cards that would help him out of his hole. Sami meanwhile went for a never producing strategy, instead reducing costs and getting money from selling goods - it worked fairly well for him, but not as well as my low pollution, high production strategy.
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Tue May 27, 2014 2:13 pm
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Friday 16th May 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were just 4 this week. We started by trying out my new acquisition, Splendor, a couple of times while waiting for the fourth person to arrive. I'm very impressed by this little game - quick and simple to explain, but with enough decisions in it that I feel that players with more experience have the edge - and my husband nearly always beats me, which indicates that there is some skill at least!

Next Marion arrived and chose Egizia as she hadn't played it in a while. I think that showed, as her game did not go well - she kept trying to buy too many things up river, and then got blocked out of things that she wanted down river. It was very hard to feed for everyone, as almost all the cards left out of the early rounds were ones which helped feeding, and this meant that on most feeding rounds more than one player (sometimes as many as three!) failed to feed, which is unheard of! Sami and Colin both went for gravestones in a big way, and they actually finished, as well as the pyramid nearly doing so. I meanwhile was building up the obelisk for my sphinx card, but Colin managed to piggyback it for more points from the next level up - grr! It was very close between Sami and Colin at the end - so close that they were both trying to find an extra point here and there that they'd forgotten to give them the win.

After that Marion chose Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar, which went about as well for her as Egizia had! She went for the yellow strategy, and picked up tiles to help her feed early in the game, but stayed on zero points for far too long! Meanwhile my starting tiles set me up for a skull strategy, so that's what I did, only deviating at the end to buy a monument as it was worth more points for me than the final skull I would be able to build. It turned out that a dedicated skull strategy, with no-one else competing for skulls, was an easy win. Sami and Colin meanwhile both went for different variations on the building strategy.

After that it was clear that lighter games were in order. First we introduced Marion to Splendor, which Sami won as usual, although I was only a point behind, and so he then went and raided the family games cupboard, and pulled out one of the games on my unplayed games list - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Mystery at Hogwarts Game. This game is basically Cluedo with a different board and some extra rules - you're trying to find four cards instead of three, you don't start with cards, and one of the dice faces gives you a bonus hint card, instead of movement. There is also a ghost, but this seemed largely pointless. It felt very much like Cluedo with different rules.

After that Sami got to choose again, and this time suggested Flutter, a light stocks and shares game that we played regularly with my family when I was a child. Marion hadn't come across it before, and was pleasantly surprised by it. Red turned out to be a good buy (despite it not being my family's set with the biased-towards-red dice!), and this helped me to victory over Sami, who was a close second. I suggested Outburst Junior to finish with - I still say that the junior version of this game has far better cards in it than any of the adult versions we own, but there were a few cards that were just way easier than others, as always!
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Tue May 20, 2014 12:25 pm
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Friday 9th May 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 8. We started by trying out my two new Math Trade games - Qwirkle, in which I got an impressive number of Qwirkles, and Travel Blog, in which Marion said she'd be bad due to her knowledge of geography, but actually wasn't much worse than Colin or I - only get caught badly once, when a country turned out to be rather further east than she thought (and I'd have got it wrong too!).

After that almost everyone else arrived, so we split into two tables, with one table playing Castles of Burgundy, while we played Vegas Showdown upstairs. The very first card to turn up was the VPs for lounges and fancy lounges card, so Colin refused to go for his usual green strategy, which meant I ended up in it, while he went for my usual mega-tile strategy, finishing the game by filling his board (unfortunately a turn later than he wanted to - but he still won!).

As we finished we got a text saying James would be half an hour, so pulled out Forbidden Island and played two games of that, both of which we won, the first one fairly comfortably; the second one was a little closer.

We were then 5 upstairs, and chose Breaking Away as the next game. It was an incredibly fast starting game - Colin played a 1 off the starting line with one of his later bikes, and the peloton then moved ahead so fast that he couldn't even catch the back of the pack with his next move and lost his bike on the second turn. Charlotte, Colin and I then missed the peloton on the next turn, and while most of the bikes got double figure numbers we got 3s and 4s, and those three bikes also rapidly got left behind - frustratingly close to the pack as it slowed down, but with no way of catching it. After the first sprint everyone ran out of steam, and there was a bit of regrouping - but with all the bikes reforming into one large pack again, some very large numbers were handed out. The second sprint hit, and then it was a very fast finish, with many bikes jumping from the start line area to near the finish line in just two moves, and the ones who couldn't getting overtaken.

We then mixed tables up, and upstairs played Takenoko, while I took Puerto Rico downstairs. I started with an early sugar to get some quick cash, and then moved into coffee, sadly just as Sami, sitting to right, did the same thing, so getting a coffee trade in was almost impossible, and instead I just concentrated on shipping it. Colin, the only player in tobacco for most of the game, was getting a huge amount of money from trading. I managed to get two large buildings, but neither worth a huge amount, and my shipping was down compared to everyone else, as I didn't get any of the middle level buildings to give me extra shipping points, while Colin and Sami both had harbours, and James a wharf.
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Sat May 10, 2014 8:50 am
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Friday 2nd May 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday there were 7 of us. We started with a 5 player High Society, but Marion forgot the key rule that the person who spent the most loses, which didn't help her final position! I bought a couple of items early, for what everyone thought was a lot, but later turned out to be a bargain, as prices later were far higher!!

After that we split into two tables, with one table playing Power Grid, while three of us took Prêt-à-Porter downstairs - Marion's latest game she wants to learn! It was an odd game, with the incomes after the second show being about -15 a turn to Marion, struggling to keep afloat, about flat for me and with a huge cash buffer but nothing at all to prepare me for later shows, and Sami gaining 15 cash a turn!!!! And then he bought something that allowed him to buy VPs each turn - and put on an enormous third show, partly due to a lucky pick-up of a design card that was the right type and had easy to buy cubes. End game scores were quite widespread, with Sami clearly a long way ahead.

After that we reordered tables, and we played The Pillars of the Earth. I got off to an early lead, crusading, and taking VP cards wherever possible, but with very little prospect of turning many cubes into VPs - it nearly worked for me, but I was just overtaken by a few points on the final turn. Sami went the other way, and had a mega penultimate round, scoring a huge number of points, that catapulted him from the back to the front score-wise! Martin did his usual, taking start player almost every round, so I was always last, and James never worse than second place, but Martin's bag drawing didn't help James, especially early game! Was nice to play this game again, it's been a while!

After that Barry left, and the rest of us all merged together for a 6 player Knowing Me Knowing You to finish with, discovering that Colin doesn't like rap music, everyone had forgotten that I played tennis - even though I'd played earlier that day (what's Sharon's favourite outdoor activity?!?), and that Marion knows everyone best! Always fun.
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Wed May 7, 2014 10:33 am
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Friday 25th April 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with a few fillers while waiting for others to arrive - firstly The Bucket King, where Marion had a very bad start, losing one of her bottom buckets on the very first round, after it went round several times. She recovered though, and although she went out first, I had to work to make sure she went out before me, and was left on just one bucket when she went! Next we played Burn Rate, where I had an amazing early game, and was 60 cash ahead of everyone else, but at the point Marion went out Sami suddenly started gaining cash, and he ended up winning - impressive given his low of 11 about 8 rounds earlier!! It was a rather long game in terms of rounds - no-one got stuck with too many bad ideas for many turns, and we all played lots of funding cards.

Charlotte and Hannah had arrived halfway through our previous game, and Charlotte now asked for Around the World in 80 Days, one of her favourites. She decided to go for the plow ahead regardless strategy and did really well with it, getting three stages ahead of us, and in quite a low number of days relatively. She then stuck just before London, but good placement of the detective plus a complete lack of ships turning up meant we all stuck trying to cross the Pacific, and she was able to end on a relatively low score, putting the pressure on us. I stood no hope, having had terrible luck with dice and balloons (three re-rolls in one round, and never rolled less than a 6!), and just passed as quickly as possible to avoid going over 80. The others followed, Sami with a balloon which needed to be a 1 to win him the game, but turned out to be a 6 (worse than the card he'd played), but 6 turned out to be enough for second, after Marion made a mistake discarding cards and Hannah had a disaster trying to find a low train for the final crossing.

After that we needed something fairly short, and wanted something light, so pulled out Knowing Me Knowing You. Sami had a card which we'd had for him before - the one which asked where he was born (I got it right this time, after last time embarrassingly getting it wrong). And I discovered that Hannah was another person like me who doesn't like hot drinks, when we were asked how she liked her coffee. Scores were fairly close, but Marion was the one who knows us all best.

James arrived just as we were finishing, and Charlotte asked for another getting to know you game, so we pulled out GiftTRAP. It turns out Hannah is terrible at giving presents, but really easy to give presents too, while Charlotte was the other way around! The facelift card almost earned James a slap - no-one else dared to give that to anyone, but he found himself with that, the perfect woman, and something just as bad, to give to a woman. James didn't do well himself that round, getting 5 perfect women, but not wanting one!

Continuing with the lighter games, we moved onto Midnight Party where Hannah was impressively bad at rolling numbers that would move her into rooms, but also very good at running away from Hugo when the last one left in - until the last round when it all went wrong for her. Charlotte managed to beat her, just by never getting caught badly, and escaping totally one round.

We finished with Pictomania, twice, as it was so near midnight when we finished that we continued with a couple more rounds, moving on to the hardest cards, rather than pull out a new game. James didn't do much drawing, so his triangle (which eventually became a seesaw), confused a few people for a bit, but his little tiny fish that you could barely see was starry - it earned him full marks as a minnow, despite the lack of black used on his board! Marion seemed to get quite easy cards relatively, and was generally guessed right most times, with some nice clear drawings. Hannah kept starting her picture, doing some guessing, and then drawing more to help later guesssrs. In the case of Spring this didn't help her, as everyone else had already given that number away to someone else, but in the case of Printer it definitely benefitted the later guessers, because the early drawing was focussed more on the computer (which I knew it couldn't be as it was my number!) - whereas it later very clearly printed out paper! And Charlotte's bird confused everyone - it was clearly a bird, but whether it was a Robin or Sparrow or Swallow or something else on the card was not obvious - it turned out to be a kestrel! I was the luckiest in the final round, where my "Responsibility" happened to look more like another word on another card that happened to have the same number - no-one guessed the WORD right, but half the guessers happened to put the right numbered card in!
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Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:23 am
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Friday 18th April 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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There were just 4 of us. We started with Catan: Cities & Knights. Matt got an early lead due to some mega-production, which I also got some benefit from, but mostly sheep and cloth. However this got me a very early metropolis, and with a complete inability to build cities (I just didn't get stone as a resource, and it was scarce across the board) I didn't get into the knight/city protection war that the others were all in. This freed me up to buy longest road instead, and a collection of settlements, while the others took it in turn to get points for defending us, and Matt's production in particular ramped up amazingly, coupled with the aquaduct for extra help. There was also a very odd lack of robbers, with a 7 not being rolled for almost the entire half of the first game. I then had a particularly bad mid-game when it started being rolled, getting caught with 8 or 9 cards in hand by the robber no less than three rounds in a row - I kept keeping the same four cards, but never really gained, as I always discarded any extra production - and with brick being the most scarce resource, no-one was building city walls! When the 7s calmed down however, my game improved, and I very rapidly built to 12 points, and played a merchant card for the last one I needed, winning just ahead of Matt, who'd looked like he was in the lead all game, but somehow hadn't converted it to points enough to win before me.

Next came Robo Rally, and Matt asked to play our last-man standing/points for killing robots variant. I was very clearly not going to win from the very start, losing two robots incredibly early on, and getting no points, while everyone else was getting tons of points from pushing and shooting and killing me! Matt and Colin both lost one robot soon too, but Sami, despite having a robot on almost no health wandering around aimlessly, survivied quite a while before losing one (no powering down allowed in this variant!). I then lost my last robot and went out, and the others continued for a few turns, until it became clear that the final points could never be anything but Matt, Sami, Colin, so they finished - the remaining robots did seem to be doing a very good job of avoiding each other.

After that we wanted a party game, and Time's Up! was our game of choice, with Sami and I playing Matt and Colin. Matt and Colin seemed to have a bit of a problem when Matt was describing to Colin, although they were doing fine the other way, but this did mean they were getting half as many points this way round, which put them well behind in the first round. They didn't improve much in the second round, and we won that one too, but by a little less. The third round though, Matt suddenly came into his own, and managed to describe the most cards of all, enabling them to just win the final round, although we won the game.

We finished with a few hands of Coloretto, made particularly painful by the second bonus card being all negatives are trebled!!
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Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:29 am
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Friday 11th April 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were 5 this week, after one player didn't turn up at the last minute. We started with three of us, and played a quick Vikings and Guildhall (with the usual close finish - one player being about to win on their next turn, but another player managing to top deck a 5VP card to win just in front of him) while waiting for the others to turn up.

We then pulled out Monopoly Deal Card Game, and dealt Hannah in one round in, as she arrived not long after we started. Sami seemed to have forgotten the rules - firstly forgetting to draw cards, then playing two instead of three, but he got there in the end - and in fact won (playing to two full sets instead of three, as we were five players).

Sami then browsed the shelves for new-to-Hannah 5 player games, and came up with Amun-Re and El Grande. On time constraints, expecting the 6th player to turn up in an hour, we chose Amun-Re. The first round Colin did his usual, getting Boku with a huge number of pyramids in, and not putting any temples in his other regions. He did get messed up in the third round by not bidding high enough for the region he needed for his power card. Sami meanwhile went for biggest pyramids on the other side, and his usual huge number of points from the old kingdom. The New Kingdom started, and Boku came out first, and Colin bit high for it and got it, pretty much guaranteeing him that side of the river points again. The bidding for other regions was more tame, but Sami ducked out for Thebes (one of Colin's poisoned regions) in the last round, which made bidding less severe - it turned out with that region he did no less than FOUR bonus scoring cards!!!! Meanwhile Colin and I shared the honours for most pyramids, with me also getting three sets, while everyone else was on just two. However, Sami's power cards put him way past everyone else. Colin and I ended up on a tie for second place, quite a way behind!

After that Sami chose Modern Art. The first two rounds were over very quickly, with Colin, and then Hannah, both getting big payouts and everyone else getting almost nothing. The third round was much longer, and more competed for, with James ending up buying worthless paintings, and the positions switching wildly. Then in the fourth round James again was unlucky by buying paintings which ended up worthless, while I scuppered Colin with a well-timed double auction, and Hannah (again) bought most of the paintings, and then ended the round in a good position for her. This was enough for her to win. I, to my surprise, came second, with Colin just behind. Sami with his "never buy any paintings" strategy was fourth, and James's disaster paintings left him at the back.

The next game chosen was Peloponnes. It was a slightly odd game, as the resupplies all came up as late as possible, which hurt those players who didn't have a good grain supply - there were lots of starving people this game! I had a good grain set-up, but no points, but I was the only one in that position! At end game Sami was clearly in the lead, thanks to an amazing last turn giving him 27, protected from the plague that hit the rest of us, but also with enough points. Colin was on 21, and all the rest of us were on 18!! James and I were one point ahead with our other score being 19, while Hannah was on 18 - very close between the three of us.

Sami then chose Alchemist. This was a particularly odd version of it, as all the potions were very small - a couple using just one cube to get two for quite high points, and also two two-cube potions using the combination of cubes produced by these single cubes. This meant that everyone was scoring huge amount of points each turn, but cubes were running out very quickly. At end game the number of cubes remaining in each colour was almost identical, but mine was lowest, which pushed me into second, with Sami (yet again!) wining.

We finished with a quick ...und tschüss!. Colin won all the early rounds, until eventually I was able to take one off him. He was a long way ahead by then, but won the -5 on the last round, which hurt him, pulling him back to 39. Amazingly, we ended up on a three way tie for second place on that 39, with Sami (yet again!) winning.
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Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:20 am
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Friday 28th March 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started rather later than normal this week, for various reasons, with Thurn and Taxis, which was new to Charlotte. She started on the west side of the map, and rapidly completed the red/orange area, while I was clearly going for each colour, James looked to be going for the central grey region, and Marion was concentrating on the green/blue area of the board. I announced I'd completed one of each colour, and then it was pointed out that I'd missed red, so I had to hurriedly do a short route to complete that, and another two short routes to finish all the green/blue/purple areas, which meant that I fell behind on carriages. Meanwhile Marion built several long routes, and steadily went up the carriages in order, while James managed to get lots of bonuses on the board. A few turns before the end we counted up points and all three of us were on exactly the same score, with Charlotte lagging behind by a few points. It came down to who finished the game, and that was Marion, just one turn ahead of James and I, and losing James in particular a ton of points, although he still ended one point ahead of me.

After that Sami arrived, and we became five. Charlotte asked to play something she knew, and we settled on Around the World in 80 Days. It was surprisingly close between Marion, Sami and I, as we travelled together across the board, taking almost the same number of days to do each route. James and Charlotte tried the hanging back strategy, and were way behind on days for a while, until they got stuck by the detective while trying to elephant to India, and lost time trying to catch us up later. I finished first, setting quite a hard target for the others to beat, but Marion managed to do the last route very efficiently and ended up two days ahead of me. James then gave Sami and Charlotte an extra day by being last into a city, which meant Sami could no longer beat me, and the detective meant he couldn't hang around to try. Charlotte then raced to the end, but was very unlucky on the last route, not managing to get a pair of ships, despite buying three cards from the deck and going first that turn - and having three different ships in hand to start with!!! A pair would have put her first or second, but she unfortunately was fourth, just one day behind Sami and I. James was too far behind to finish, so was eliminated.

After that they asked what was top of my list, and by now it was Ave Caesar, which Marion for once agreed to play. The first race was very friendly, with everyone pitting, and Charlotte crossing the line first, with Sami second. The next race was rather more vicious, with Marion crashing and burning, taking James with her, as he'd left himself with a 6 behind her in second position - oops! I meanwhile got forced round the red bend twice in the race, so ran out of cards one square before the end. This time Sami placed first with Charlotte second, which guaranteed them first and second after the third race, way ahead of the rest of us on points. The third race was clearly Marion's race - she failed to pit on the first lap, then raced ahead round the second lap to pit, but had no problems playing her 6s. I finished second behind her, with James third, but having not pitted. Sami just beat Charlotte to end up first overall, despite being fourth in that race, while Marion and I tied for third position.

Next we were looking at the party game shelf, and someone suggested Ca$h 'n Gun$. James went out on a mission to kill Sami devil, and even Sami having four health instead of three didn't save him - he took two on the very first round. I took control of his gun, but by then there were very few people with bangs to take me out! Charlotte seemed to immune from being targeted, and cleaned up on cash early on, and later no-one could catch her, although James was only a little behind at end-game. Marion took a couple of late bullets and died, so there were just the three of us at final count, which gave me third position (cash-wise I was miles behind!).

Sami headed to bed at that point snore, leaving us to play some 4 player party games. First Articulate!. Marion and I had an impressive first couple of turns, with me getting 6 off the starting object, and Marion following it up with a 4. After that we slowed a little - especially when hitting categories like World and Person, and James and Charlotte were able to maintain position behind us. Then at the halfway point we switched to the expansion box, and this seemed to work in our favour, as we flew round the second half of the board, although James and Charlotte did manage to win themselves an extra turn.

We finished with Knowing Me Knowing You, which was the usual amusement. James was asked what his oldest possession was, and Marion said "Oh, it's obvious" and wrote something down immediately while we all looked on in bemusement - James in particular spent absolutely ages trying to work out what it would be, and none of the rest of us were sure what to write. It turned out that Marion had thought of teddy (or similar) - although in this case she was wrong, as James hadn't kept any of his childhood teddies - although both Charlotte and I had to admit she probably would have been right for us! It was also clear that they didn't know me that well, or they would have known what I was most likely to record off the TV and watch - Star Trek of course, no question!!! Countdown indeed!!!
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Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:37 am
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Friday 21st March 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 5. We started with 3 and a game of Takenoko. It looked all game like Marion was going to win, as she early got ahead on achievements, and Sami and I were playing catch-up - in particular I was struggling, with 5 quite hard achievements stuck in my hand. We also had an odd board, with almost no green, but a huge amount of pink, and a fair amount of yellow. However, at end-game I managed to get my 5 achievements down, plus another one from the deck, and they were all so valuable I had more points than Marion, and Sami tied with her, winning on the tie-break!

James and Colin had arrived by the time we were ready for the next game, so we started Outpost. Sami got off to a really good start with this, with the early water factory/man combination, and then bought TWO nodules. I picked up the third, while James decided to buy two Heavy Equipments just as it went into the second phase - quite early, thanks to Sami's high points score. Marion got the early scientists she had been wanting, but Colin outbid her for it, as she'd paid so much for the second data library the turn before she was lower on cash. Meanwhile James's Outpost turned up, and one turn of saving income and he bought that. The non-Nodule players got early Robots, so it didn't hurt their income, while I picked up both the other Outposts. The Orbital Labs were the very last thing to come up in Phase 2, which meant bidding for them was rather odd. Then came the first turn of Round 3, again very early thanks to my double-Outpost. Colin had stockpiled cash here, so was in the best position. Sami stockpiled cash for a turn, hoping for enough cash for the second Moon Base, but was dramatically under average, and hence outbid by James, which decided second position, behind Colin. I ended up in a weird position in that, despite having two Outposts and hence a hand-size of 20, I wasn't able to stockpile enough cash between turns, as I was producing so many cards a turn, but without any type that didn't count for hand-size, and this hampered my ability to bid for the larger end-game buildings, and I was fourth. Marion didn't really participate in the third phase at all, having fallen so far behind by then.

Next Colin chose Peloponnes and here the game helped me to victory. I was playing the stone strategy, so needed the disasters to come out in a very particular order, and the penultimate feeding round to be as early as possible, and both things happened, so that I was comfortably able to win. No-one had a complete disaster, but James was outbid from everything he could buy on the last round, which knocked him down on points rather.

Then I suggested Puerto Rico. I got the early tobacco going, which gave me some good early cash, although it dried up rather later on but by then I had a harbour so it wasn't a problem, and I was driving the shipping. Coffee didn't come out until very late in the game, so it was a fairly low cash game anyway, with quarries being quite useful for Sami, who went for a building strategy. I tried to convince Colin to finish the game on my terms, rather than giving Sami another turn to get his large building manned, and this left me safely first, with Marion, sitting to my left and also shipping heavily, in second. Sami only managed third, which he would have definitely managed to increase with another round.

I then suggested Ra, as we had less than an hour left. It was a rather an odd game, with Colin going heavily for monuments and ignoring everything else and an incredibly short first round so that everyone was on negative points except Sami. Sami was clearly winning by the end of the second round, although Colin's stack of monuments looked impressive, and was enough to give him second. My complete non-strategy, but just picking up points here and there was enough for third, in what was an incredibly low scoring game for everyone but Sami!

Colin left at this point, and we finished with a quick hand of The City.
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:45 pm
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Friday 14th March 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Games, games and more games!
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We were a grand total of 8 this Friday. We started with 5 players, and a quick Take it Easy!. It was a slightly odd game, as firstly I drew a ridiculous amount of 8 tiles, often 2-8 tiles, and in general drew tiles with lots of high numbers, so only two players scored anything for numbers 1,2 or 3 at the end, and no-one scored more than 6 points for them! At the other end, Marion and Colin scored two lines of 9s, and both Hannah and I scored two lines of 7s, with Hannah also scoring two lines of 4s, and an impressive amount of 6s (given how few I drew!), which gave her the win, with a high score of 196.

James had arrived while we were playing, and we had about half an hour before the two remaining players were expected so we chose 7 Wonders, the first time Charlotte had played it. Charlotte went very military early on, and so her neighbours left her to it, which also gave Colin and I some nice military points - although James in the third round made sure we didn't get the third round bonus! Hannah and Marion also both went into science, both building all three science resources - which meant everyone round the table, except James, had good access to science when we needed it. There was a distinct lack of clay at one end of the table which was hurting a couple of players though. At end game scores were pretty close, with me winning with Pyramids A, and Charlotte managed to just get second place, thanks to a good military and blue score.

Barry and Sami arrived by now, and Marion suggested her current favourite, Takenoko, for one table, while Barry suggested Power Grid or Puerto Rico for the other table, which James made sure was Power Grid, by the simple method of getting it off the shelf. I joined the Power Grid game, and we rolled the Central Europe board. It started with a pretty poor selection of plants, with lots of garbage plants coming up, and garbage costs high. Sami on third turn had a choice of a 3 garbage for 6 power plant, but with garbage costs at 5 or 6 pretty much unpowerable, or taking a third power plant that overpowered one! Neither a good choice. Meanwhile I got lucky on playing the deck and got a very early recycling plant for 4, which made my early game costs very good. I then bought the garbage plant Sami had passed up, even though I could rarely afford to power it. I also picked up a coal power plant powering 4, and at that point was powering 14 already, and could concentrate on house building. I was two houses ahead of everyone else early on, and powering more than everyone else, and then picked up a 7 power plant, and was powering 17, and then it was just a case of building the houses. Everyone else scampered to try and power 15 or 16 houses, but then struggled to build them, so I could build to 17 and power them easily.

After that Barry asked to play King of Tokyo. I got an early Jets, which meant I was pretty much invulnerable, and was concentrating on claws and more energy for more power ups. I picked up Burrowing too, and then the damage started to become painful. James and Sami started to concentrate on VPs instead, and then a card turned up that took 5 VPs off each player - which was a bit of a setback for them. Barry and James were low on health by now, so an attack on Barry, coupled with a card that did 2 damage to all other monsters took them both out. Then Sami posed a problem, as he bought the card that meant he could pay energy to stop him losing life each turn, and moved into Tokyo and sat there - I was no longer invulnerable. Luckily for me, Complete Destruction turned up at that point, and I was on 11 points. Sami could reroll one of my dice, but it was worth buying - the next card after it was the "Turn a dice to the face of your choice" option - defence against Sami. On my very next turn I managed to roll Complete Destruction, and Sami couldn't undo it, as I just changed the dice to the face I wanted - for the win!

Barry left at that point, and the other game had just triggered the last round, so we played a quick round of Love Letter. Sami had a disaster, not getting a single heart!

We then reshuffled tables, with one table playing Knowing me, Knowing You, while I went downstairs for game of Ticket to Ride: Europe with Hannah and Marion. It was new to Hannah but she quickly picked it up. I had a two almost identical tickets from Madrid to Paris and Dieppe - and then Hannah bought the single 1 train line between Paris and Dieppe - so I had to build round. Then both the others build into Vienna and game me a bit of a panic that I'd be blocked from that too! Then I took ticket and picked up London to Vienna, took a wild and build the ferry to London - much to Marion's disgust, as she was also trying to build to London and was now blocked out of it - luckily there are stations in the Europe map! Then Marion went on a long track building spree, and I panicked, as my next ticket needed me to build to Athens, and she was rapidly running out of trains. I built a quick shortcut using a station, and then tried to continue to Athens, but Marion triggered game-end before I had a chance. Hannah had the same problem though, and it cost her the ticket, which was 16 points, a lot less than my 4 point station!! Marion won comfortably, thanks a lovely ticket selection and the longest route bonus. I apparently had way less in track points than the others, so was miles behind, and Hannah's lost ticket cost her rather too, ending up just behind me (if she'd done it the 32 point swing might have won her the game!).
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Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:43 am
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