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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 4th March 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 9, so, after a quick starter game of Timeline: Inventions, while players were arriving, we split into two tables, one of 4 and one of 5. The 5 played El Grande, while I was on the Galaxy Trucker table. I had a bit of a disaster, doing well in the first round, then my ship running out of boosters in the second round and left drifting in open space, along with Ellie, and then the third round my ship blew up again. I stayed ahead of Ellie, but Sami and Colin both were a way ahead of the pair of us!

We then introduced Ellie to Vampire, and played a quick three player game of Haggis after she went home, while the others played their last round.

We then merged and replit into two tables, with me playing Terra, in which I had another disaster, followed by Seb introducing us to Cockroach Poker, which I also lost!! We they played one hand of Codenames, which Simon and I were able to win, Seb having a few problems with the assassin card being very close to one of his other cards.

We then merged and split again, with me playing Time's Up! Title Recall!, paired with Seb against Gill and Jonty, who it was new to but soon caught on. I seemed to be doing very well at describing to Seb, and so we got ahead slightly in the first round, and then maintained a similar lead in later rounds. We had a few too many cards where the clue in later rounds was a gun, which caused confusion trying to illustrated the differences between them!
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Mon Mar 7, 2016 12:06 pm
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Friday 26th February 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we had 10 people. We started with a quick Chronology, which James won, and then split into two tables - one of Power Grid, and the other of Outpost. I was on the Power Grid table, playing on the Italy map. I started at top of the boot, with everyone else above me, so had a nice area to buy into down the eastern side of the boot. Simon was in a nice position to do similarly on the west, but got too tempted on the third turn by a 25 power plant that powered 5 instead, leaving himself too short of cash to buy houses. I ended up building to 15 houses, very cheaply, hoping no-one else could afford to build and power more than me, but Sami unfortunately could. I was ahead of Hannah on a cash tie-break, and the other two fell behind.

We then played Medici while waiting for the other table to finish. It was very close at the end with Hannah and Marion on a tie, with me just one point behind. Hannah had an amusing third round - having got to the top of one of the pyramids in the second round, but nowhere on any other colour, she just didn't want anything on the last round!!!

We then decided to split into three tables, with one table taking Snowdonia, another playing Evo, and my table taking Terra. It was a fairly close game throughout, but I was eventually victorious over Sami, with Simon a little behind. I then suggested a similarly named game might be a good next game, and we pulled out Terra Mystica. I drew Dwarves, Sami Mermaids (groan!), and Simon Witches. Sami won, predictably given that he had Mermaids (his best race), but not with a typical Mermaid spread - in fact I spread more on turn 1 with my Dwarves, but then after turn 3, with most of my houses on the board and having founded one town, I struggled to get any more points in the remainder of the game, but Simon's Witches were struggling even more to get points, so I ended up second. It was an impressively quick game - 38 minutes from start to finish!!!

Evo still hadn't finished, and so we played a game of Splendor while waiting for them, with me managing to win. Simon was struggling as Sami kept taking the bonus tiles he was going for just ahead of him!

We then joined with the Evo players for a 7 player 7 Wonders. Unusually Simon dind't get a huge military score, instead being beaten up by Marion and Colin either side of him. I and Marion nabbed first and second places, both with good military scores and good blue scores, but with me also having lots of Guild points to put me comfortably in first. After us there was a whole bunch of players on similar scores in the 40s.

We then split into different tables again to finish with, with Colin, Simon, Lisa and I deciding to play Keep Talking, one of my Christmas present game acquisitions - but I couldn't find it, so ended up pulling a similar game out, Them & Us, with Lisa and I taking on the guys and winning. There was the usual mix of impossible topics (things women do better than men!), and ones that sounded incredibly easy, but we couldn't manage to get the whole 10.
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Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:19 pm
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Friday 19th February 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with a quick game of For Sale while waiting for the last few people - new to Simon and Lisa. Sami was not impressed when he ended up paying a huge amount for a 29 early on, and I got a 28 much cheaper two turns later (I think people were starting to run out of cash!). Then Lisa had a bit of a disaster in the second round selling her buildings. Everyone else had a score in the 50s, with me just a few points ahead of James.

We then had 7, so split into two tables. I was keen to play Prêt-à-Porter, so suggested that for one table, and Ellie eventually chose Lords of Waterdeep for the other table. I had to explain the rules, as it was new to both James and Lisa, and Marion couldn't remember all the details. We got started and I very early picked up the blue card that allowed me to double use contractors, so went for lots of contractors. I meanwhile got blocked out of buying new designs, as everyone went for them very early, so resigned myself to a size 1 collection in the first fashion show and just worked on maximising score from it and getting benefits for future shows. I got contractors for buying cloth and for getting stars at the show, and these were both still useful flipped. First fashion show and stars were fairly even, especially as the rest all tied for a size 2 collection, which meant they dropped to third place and scored no stars!! There was a major quality war going on, but I managed to get the PR very cheaply. Second fashion show and here James was the one with the small collection, while Lisa and I went for huge ones, and again I won PR very cheaply, with no-one placing second. Going into the third round we all had roughly the same amount of money, but our costs were dramatically different - James and Marion paying quite a bit each turn, while Lisa and I were making a profit, thanks to our accountants! Third season and here James actually had to ask about how to take loans, although he did manage not to need one. I meanwhile picked up a contractor that made all my buildings free, which with two upgraded buildings was worth quite a bit to me - and it worked flipped too! Everyone else finally worked out how to get PR too! In the third round it was everything but quality that scored - and T in particular scored high stars, which James beat Lisa for with his "break a tie-break" card. The last season, and we all had reasonable size collections, and on the last turn, no-one wanted any of the cards on the left-hand side bizarrely - not a single one was useful to anyone - never seen that before!!! Instead the bottom right corner was filled up. Lisa went for a huge amount of quality again, and I managed to stop Marion scoring too much from her building that got her 18 each time she ended up in first place. Scores were nicely spread at end-game, 420, 340, 226, 123, with me winning, and Marion, the only other player who had played before, predictably in second. Reminded me how much I enjoy this game - must get it to the table again soon!

The other table had just finished their second game as we hit the final fashion show, so we then merged and re-split into two threes, with me suggesting Black Vienna and the others taking Macao downstairs, as Simon wanted some more practice at it! James was rather unlucky in Black Vienna, as two cards were pushed towards him that got three tokens put on top of them, which meant we knew most of his hand, while he had rather less information about ours - in particular both of them had very little information about my hand, and with none of the cards ever having an A on them (A being one of my cards), and one other letter of interest to them also being sparse, I had a bit of an advantage, but everyone worked out two of three. The third was proving more problematic. I suddenly realised that I had ticks or crosses in every row but one for Marion's hand, so knew her last card, which enabled me to work out that James didn't have a card that I was interested in, so I knew the final card.

I suggested Hacienda next, an older game that hasn't been played in a while. We were on the dogbone board. James and I both went for market strategies - me going for a region in the middle and then connecting with animal chains in all directions, then starting a second mini chain with lots of branches off on the right hand end. I then bought haciendas and lakes for extra points. Marion meanwhile pretty much ignored markets for points, and instead saw them as sources of lots of money, and built up a huge land area - size 14 at end game - with hacienda on it and an animal chain connected to it, and again several areas of water. My experience with the game told at final scoring, and in the second scoring Marion moved ahead of James - I was impressed how much she scored from her mega-region!!

Again both tables finished simultaneously, and so we then joined up for a couple of six player games - firstly 7 Wonders, which Sami won - getting a ridiculous amount of double resource building cards in round 1, and then using them (and the money he was gaining from other players buying his resources) to buy his pyramid and some high scoring guilds, and one single blue card - but it was worth 8 points! Meanwhile Simon as usual went military from round 2 to get points there, and also got a good guild score, for second place. I was Mausoleum B and was most unimpressed with the selection of cards available to me when I bough the first stage at the end of round 2 - the only cards I could take were single resource cards, or science cards worth exactly 1 point to me!!!! I didn't fare much better building the second stage at the end of the game, but at least the card I picked up scored me more than just discarding a card would have done. Sadly my huge blue collection wasn't enough to do better than fourth!

We then finished with a game of Knowing Me Knowing You, where Sami seemed to know everyone best, with Simon and James just behind, and then a long tail for the rest of us!
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Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:00 am
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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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Games, games and more games!
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We were expecting 9 players, so after a quick game of The Game: Are you ready to play The Game? 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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