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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 24th June 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 7, so split into two tables. I played Robo Rally. Marion got off to a great start, getting both her robots to checkpoint one early, while the rest of us colliding in the middle of the board, resulting in both Richard and I losing a robot, Richard's thanks to an untimely push which meant he stepped in a pit, while I shot my own robot a few times, and then Sami finished him with a double-barrelled laser. My second robot then fell foul of Marion as she left checkpoint one, with a neat push into the flamers in the middle of the board, which it escaped on one damage, and looked like it would survive the next turn, only to be killed by a stray shot on the final phase! Meanwhile Sami and Richard got to checkpoints one and two, while my other robot was still moving aimlessly around, and Marion was circling checkpoint two, but never quite touching it. Then both headed for checkpoint three at the same phase (two to three was fairly easy), but Richard unfortunately flew onto a square occupied by Marion's powered down robot, not realising there was a portable teleporter under her, which messed up his checkpoint touching as he teleported over it, leaving Sami to step onto the checkpoint in the same phase.

The others were just starting their last turn in Tzolkin, so we played a quick game of Love Letter while waiting. Then we merged and split again. Outpost was suggested for one table, and top of my list was Antike so as I won Love Letter I suggested that, and John and Richard were keen to join me. John had never played any rondel games before, whereas Richard had played the game a few times before, but several years ago, so was a bit hazy on the rules/strategy. John followed me round the rondel at the start, while Richard went off on a different early route. John then went mega expansionistic, getting up to a total of 20 places, while I alternated getting bonuses for 5 towns with bonuses for 7 sea areas, and having a few minor skirmishes with Richard, who had headed my way, in the process. I also started with two temples early on to increase my income, and then rapidly built 4 more, all on gold places, and finished the game by claiming a few research achievements. John was nicely placed to get another 4 or 5 achievements in the next couple of turns, with a massive stockpile of goods and half the board, but hadn't turned it into achievements yet, and Richard was so focussed on attacking/defending me that he hadn't got round to scoring!

We then played Roll for the Galaxy which for the third time in a row had a tie for second place! I did a very rapid military strategy, piling out lots of low costs developments and settlements with my 7 (!!!) red dice, and finished the game impressively quickly.

I triggered game end while the others were still deciding on a game, so we joined up for a couple of six player games to finish - Ave Caesar, with two races blocked from people crashing and burning, and 7 Wonders, where Sami was surprised by how many points he had for his win.
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Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:50 pm
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Friday 17th June 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 11. We started with 9, which split neatly into two groups, one playing Around the World in 80 Days, while the others played Imhotep. It was new to Seb, so we did a quick rules explanation and then set off. It was very close for the first half of the journey, with not much between anyone until we got to India, but then it started diverging. However, getting to the last stage Marion, Richard and I were all within a day of each other. Marion bought three cards from the top of the deck and managed to top deck two 4 boats, to go with her 3 train, and travelled for 7. I tried the same trick and drew a 7 and an 8 boat, and a 6 train!! I waited for a turn for a pair, but this still meant travelling for 10 days, which landed me exactly on Richard for third, with Marion finishing safely in first. Seb was the only one not to finish in the 80 days, his last few legs not going well.

By now the last two had arrived, so we split three ways, tabling Roll for the Galaxy, Filthy Rich and Acquire, which was the game I ended up in. Acquire started by definitely going Simon and my way. We ended up first and second in all the early mergers, while the other two rapidly ran out of cash. Richard however had used his money and single merger to get a majority in the largest chain, and devoted the rest of his game to growing this as much as he could. Another chain started to grow large on the other side of the board, and Simon decided not to buy shares in it because they were so expensive. This proved to be a costly mistake. I merged another chain in on my turn, which gave me three of the remaining shares and the majority, with Seb taking the remaining one, tying Simon for second to add insult to injury! This chain then grew to 41, swallowing up all the remaining businesses. With me having the majority in that, as well as my stockpile of cash I was safely ahead, but Richard's majority in the other large chain just took him past Simon in cash at end-game.

We then played two games of Spyfall while waiting for the Roll game to finish. The first was very short, only three questions. I asked Simon where he was going to. "The end" was the response. He then asked Seb a question, which got quite a woolly response, and Seb asked Richard a question that he answered very clearly showing he knew where he was - on a Train, so Seb was accused, successfully. The second one was a little longer. I drew the Spy, and was asked how often I came here, which I answered with every week. A couple of questions later, and I was asked for more detail for that, and my answer was sufficiently plausible (something about usually coming to see a particular person) that Simon was now convinced I wasn't the Spy. A few accusations went around, but none were held, and then a few answers from Seb and Richard made me realise I was at the university and guessed correctly for the win.

We then discussed various games, before the inevitable Terra Mystica was suggested and rapidly tabled (my 99th play of this game). It was a particularly unimpressive game for me though. I was third and fourth to place houses, with Chaos Magicians in the game, with Halflings as my race, on the new board, and there were just no good spaces. Sami shut off the obvious place down the bottom, I couldn't place anywhere sensible on the middle island. I went top right and middle left, hoping to connect through on the single brown in the middle island. Everyone else placed, and no-one was on the same land mass as either of mine - not a great start. Then the game progressed, and with no +1 shipping tile, I found it hard to get off my island, and no-one else came to join me. Until after I'd passed on turn 5 I got no power at all through the game (the others were sharing power like mad!), I had to build all my trading posts expensively - and I had no income! The two bonus tiles with high cash on weren't in the game, so I had a major cash shortage problem, and even my nice cube income wasn't enough to outweigh that. I couldn't even get enough cash to upgrade my shipping track. Needless to say although I had a respectable score, it was comfortably last.

After that we merged and split again, with this time me playing Lords of Waterdeep with Colin, Matt and James. It was a slightly strange game, as it was really hard to get orange cubes, with no buildings turning up that helped with that, and hence there was always a major fight to get them. I early on built the quest that allowed me to go where someone already was, and this helped me greatly, but Matt won, completing a couple of large quests, and building some very popular buildings that were used every round and gave him a constant stream of cubes over the game.

We then finished the evening with a quick game of The Game, which was new to James. It looked early on like it was going to be a complete disaster, with firstly Colin and I having nothing but middling numbers (40s-60s), and then once we hit that region having all extremes, and really struggling to play anything that didn't ruin the decks for everyone else. However it all panned out ok in the end, and we finished with just 4 cards leftover.
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Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:09 am
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Friday 10th June 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 10 in total. 6 people arrived at the start, so we pulled out a filler to play while waiting for the remaining few, Timeline: Diversity. James arrived while we were still in the first round, so was dealt in. It ended as a three-way tie for three players, all finishing in the same round, with Simon finishing a round later, but then the three females in the group took rather longer to finish. I got down to two cards quickly, one of them being the tank, which I could easily place, but I couldn't get my penultimate card in the right area, repeatedly just missing by one gap, and eventually was just beaten by Marion.

One table started up Orléans at this point, but we were still waiting for two people, so the rest of played another filler, High Society. It turned out to be unfamiliar to two of the group, so we started with a quick rules explanation, then got going. Lisa ended up passing for the 1/2 at the start, and then her bid for the 1 held, so she won that too. Sami then bid his 25 for the x2, and then the other two negative cards turned up, both taken by Marion. Then another x2 appeared, which Sami again bid highly for, setting himself up for the rest of the game - only it was not to be, the last x2 was next card, leaving Lisa as winner with the grand score of 1/2!!!

We then split into two, one table playing Vegas Showdown, while I was in Roll for the Galaxy with Lisa and Marion. It was new to Lisa, so we spent a while explaining the differences from Race for the Galaxy, then got started. Marion got herself first in a money hole, then managed to get all her dice committed and with only one available. I started with a nice alien start dealt to me, but then ended up in a heavy development strategy, with the 6 development building netting me lots of points. Lisa and Marion tied exactly for second place.

The other two tables both looked to have about 20-30 minutes to go, so we decided to start Grand Austria Hotel, one of our new hot games. I somehow piled out huge numbers of cards (9 in total by end-game!!), and in the 3rd phase drew the one that gave bonuses for 6s, only for in round 4 no less than 5 6s to be rolled! Even not being first that round, that gave me a good selection of actions of my choice for free, and my game kind of flew from then on, getting first in all three achievements (neither of the others managed more than one). Only Marion managed to get her emperor track high enough for the last round, Lisa and I losing end-game scoring cards - but I had four anyway, so losing one wasn't a great hardship!

It became obvious by about two-thirds of the way through the game that Marion was only really in a fit state for party games by now, so we moved on to them next, with the other table playing 7 Wonders. The first choice was Duplik, with a fairly tame first round, a couple of average but low scoring rounds, then Lisa's round, which caused quite a bit of merriment when she rattled off about ten things he was holding in about ten seconds, and we were all frantically trying to remember them to draw them in the time. We then finished with Hannah's description, which was definitely the most varied round points-wise. She started off by describing a dog on crutches, which we all drew in the centre of our picture - only to find it was the left-most of a line of 5 animals, so we rapidly ran off the edge of our page. Luckily for me, I had a folded in half piece of paper, with a fold on the right-hand side, so just unfolded and carried on, but others had to squeeze their animals in rather. I was also rather lucky that I automatically drew cats with whiskers, and put eyes on all my animals - this netting me 4 points over all the other drawers, and 2 for Hannah. This put me in first safely, and caught Hannah up with Seb. General hilarity was had throughout through, between smiles that were about three times as wide as the face they were attached to, four-legged birds - and Seb's turnip on a pair of trousers.

We then lost Seb to Ave Caesar, and the remaining four of us played Concept. It was new to Hannah, but she rapidly caught on, getting a huge score very quickly. Then, unfortunately for her, the rest of our brains started clicking into gear, and although she helped us get some of the remaining ones, her score stayed relatively static for the rest of the game, and both Lisa and I went ahead of her. Amazingly we only had one which went into a major stall, which was my Grapes of Wrath. I didn't bother much with the end, just assuming a book starting with Grapes would get me the result, but I just couldn't get the others to say Grapes - small round purple or green things that you could eat came up with a wide selection of foods - everything from beetroot, to sloe berries. I then spotted a glass of champagne on the board, so tried to say these were in wine, but they were thinking of things you put in drinks, not what the drink was made of, although Hannah did vaguely mention juice. I was on the verge of giving up, giving the clues one last time from the start, when Lisa suddenly got it!! Phew!!!
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Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:25 am
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Friday 3rd June 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were just 6, and Simon turned up with a new game, Imhotep, which Marion and I were keen to try. It won a SdJ nomination, and it is very much that style of game - very simple and entry level, but with interesting decisions. It was also very quick, playing in about half an hour. Scores were close at the end, with Marion just beating me and Simon a few points behind, having made a mistake in not sailing a ship on the last round.

After that the others were still only fairly early on in Grand Austria Hotel, so we went for Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, which was top of my list. We played the short game, and Simon got off to an amazing start. However, he then got himself into a food hole, and then overcompensated in trying to fix it, and was never able to quite recover from this. Meanwhile Marion got herself set up beautifully for the long game with a nice income, reasonable military, but sadly we were playing the short game, and she neglected to set up a VP engine before the game ended. Meanwhile I just went for the very simple strategy of Genghis Khan and Knights. Only 3 stone income, but that built me a knight almost every turn (when I had enough food!), and combined with the odd other VP here and there, I was rapidly getting 10VPs to the other two's 4 a turn, and pulled ahead for the win.

The others had started Contraband while we were halfway through era 2, and were halfway through, so we played The Hanging Gardens to time our finish with theirs. It was an incredibly close game, with Marion just ahead and me last, but only a handful of points between us. We then filled in the brief time before they finished with Qwixx, where the dice were very unkind to Marion, and only marginally less so to Simon, and both took misrolls very early on, while I locked blue quickly and was nicely building up my tracks!

Ellie then went home, and the remaining 5 of us sat down to play Power Grid. This game was almost handed to Sami on a plate, thanks to a gift 6 power plant early on - we kept all bidding high for lesser power plants, assuming at some point a bad one would appear in the gap, but they just kept getting better and better, and as the last player left in he picked up an amazing one at cost price! He then on the last turn built into my super-cheap area, getting 5 houses for the price that everyone else had to spend 3 on! I meanwhile set up a uranium monopoly, bidding for all the plants that came out of that type, and buying cheap uranium at 1 and 2 each turn to power them! Sadly this was only enough to gain me second place.

We then filled in the remaining time with a game of Concept, which was new to Simon and Lisa, and not very familiar to Marion. Lisa had a bit of a nightmare over Harry Potter, and I still don't know quite why/how I guessed it! We also struggled a bit with Marion's "soap" until she removed the cube on water, and we realised it wasn't liquid, and which point Sami got it very quickly!
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Sat Jun 4, 2016 9:16 am
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Friday 27th May 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 8, which neatly split into two tables. We started with a Jungle Speed while waiting for the last couple to turn up, then moved on to Modern Art, while the other table played Grand Austria Hotel (as usual!). Sami won that by absolutely miles, somehow everything just going his way! We then played a quick game of Race for the Galaxy while waiting for Marion, who had been delayed. I then read games off my list, and the one chosen, to my surprise, was Ratrace, an old 60s game and favourite of my childhood, that Martin hadn't played before. Martin was the first to get to middle class - and then get divorced and headed back to working class. Marion seemed to be attracted to the divorce square too, getting divorced three times in total I think over the game. Meanwhile I thought I was doing well - until I landed on credit due, when my 3000 I bought at the start didn't look such a good idea. Luckily for me everyone bid high on the other luxury I sold off, and so I was just able to pay off my credit, leaving myself with just 70 cash. Colin however wasn't so lucky, and went bankrupt (I think that was divorce again). Meanwhile Sami was quietly just getting on with it, and landing on the investment square at the top level several times in quick succession for the win! After that the other game were just scoring, so we played a quick game of Spot it! while they packed up.

At this point we switched into two tables, and with a group of us looking to play lighter party games, the others took Terra Mystica downstairs. We started with Knowing Me Knowing You, where clearly Seb didn't know us as well, but actually I scored just as well with him as the others. We then moved on to Time's Up!, where the Sharon/Seb team was a bit one-sided - I couldn't guess a thing he described (much to Seb's great frustration!), but he was an absolute star at guessing everything I described to him! Sami and Marion were much more even, and in the first round were way ahead until I suddenly had two freak rounds near the end to nearly catch up. Seb and I won both the later rounds, but I think by a single card each time - this must have been the closest game of Time's Up I've played in ages!!! We then played two games of Codenames - the first was very close, me going for a "Do or Die" clue at the end, knowing that either Sami would go for the one I wanted or he'd go for the bomb (but they were clearly going to win next round) - luckily for me he got it right. then the second game was very one-sided, as Sami had a dream set of clues, starting with two 3-word clues, both of which were fairly obvious, and finishing the game in almost record time! We then joined together with the other table for a finishing game of Apples to Apples.
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Wed Jun 1, 2016 3:57 pm
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Friday 20th May 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were just 6. It started with just Simon and I for the first ten minutes, so we played a quick, and incredibly close, game of Star Realms while waiting for the rest to arrive. Simon was just victorious, with me leaving him on 2 and him just able to do enough to finish me off the next turn.

We then split into two tables, with the current inevitable choice of Grand Austria Hotel or Orléans. I explained Grand Austria Hotel to Simon and James, who hadn't played it yet. I went for a high rooms strategy, given that two of the bonuses were for all of one colour, and 4/3 of yellow/red, and also made sure I pushed up the emperor track for the bonus for that. Simon had a similar strategy, but was just a step behind me, getting the bonuses second. James however went off in a completely different direction, ignoring the card bonuses, ignoring the emperor track and just taking punishment, instead hiring a huge number of staff, and taking a few valuable customers rather than lots of smaller ones - it worked surprisingly well for him, especially as he had lots of bonuses for taking 3s, including 5 points every time, and good end-game points. Final scores were very spread with me lapping Simon, and James ending up somewhere in between.

The other game finished at exactly the same time, so we merged and split again. After some discussion I ended up upstairs playing Shipyard with the other girls, while the guys took Tikal downstairs. Hannah had only played once before, so needed a few reminders, and nearly got herself in a mess trying to do too much with her contracts. However it was Marion who did get herself in a mess, misunderstanding what one of her contracts meant, until halfway through the game when I realised she had it wrong. This lost her a few points, as she had being doing stuff for no gain, whereas Hannah was gaily producing 3-sized whips with propellers for her contract, and I produced one big ship with rigging/engineer bonuses, and took huge numbers of bonus tiles. It was close at end-game scoring, my points from my bonus tiles just putting me ahead of Hannah, with Marion a little behind that.

We then played Industrial Waste, which was new to Marion and Hannah had only played once. Hannah went for a fairly typical producing strategy, upgrading her pollution track, to stop pollution being a problem. I went the other route, upgrading my tracks heavily, selling lots of goods, firing most of my staff, and running my factory only rarely. It turned out these strategies were just as good as each other, with Hannah beating me by just half a point at final scoring!

It was now twenty minutes to midnight, so we needed some shorter games. Marion suggested Pass the Pigs first, as she knew it was on my list to play, and she turned out to be a complete star at rolling pigs, while Hannah and I kept going bust before we even got a chance to score! I just managed to beat Hannah on the final turn, with a couple of lucky rolls, but we were both about 60 points behind Marion! We then played Dobble, which Marion and Hannah tied, with me just two behind. We were then going to stop, but were chatting about other games, and the fact that Hannah hadn't played Qwixx came up, and as the others still hadn't finished we thought we'd have a quick game - only sadly, it was about the longest game of Qwixx ever - with both Marion and I getting to the stage that we could only take 2s or 12s (and no-one ever rolling lock numbers!), while Hannah finished three of her tracks, but had space on her green, but kept mis-rolling! Eventually she took her fourth misroll (luckily for me, just before I took any!), and I won with an impressive score of 100, while the others were in the 70s.
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Sat May 21, 2016 8:54 am
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Friday 13th May 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with 5 of us, expecting two more imminently, so needed a filler and Liar's Dice was the one nearest the top of my list. It was new to Hannah, and Marion hadn't played in a while so we did a quick rules explanation then started up. Sami rapidly found himself in trouble, thanks to Hannah's freak dice rolling - there were a number of times he challenged her on unlikely bids, only for her to produce four of whatever number from behind her cup, in addition to whatever the rest of us had! After he was eliminated everyone else lost a couple of dice, and then Marion, followed by Colin, both palificoed and went out shortly after. That left Hannah, with just one dice by now, and me, with three. I then rolled three 6s, which naturally Hannah challenged, not having any herself despite having started with one 6, while I smugly produced them!

The other two had arrived while we were playing, so we then split into two tables. Grand Austria Hotel was rapidly suggested, with Orleans not long after, and we decided to put two new players into the Grand Austria game with Colin to teach them, while the remaining four of us played Orleans. I decided to try a board strategy this time, going for an early red, then upgrading my stars, and building lots of houses on the board. This meant my bag stayed small, and I was taking 7 or 8 out of only about 11 tiles out of the bag each turn, which meant my game was fairly consistent - until the turn when I drew no reds and no greys, which messed me up, followed by a turn with no whites!! However, I bought two buildings, one getting me a good, and the other getting me cash for each of my houses from double grey (which was my only use for greys!), and was getting me 8 a turn for several turns near the end. At final scoring I had the highest score in every category, so it was fairly close I was winning!! James was close to me in cash and end game points, but hadn't picked up any goods during the game, while Sami scored well in goods and end-game points, but was lagging in cash, but just managed to beat James. Marion had a bit of a disaster and didn't even break 100 points, going up all the tracks well, but not really getting many points for it.

I chose Princes of Florence as next game. This was a slightly odd game for me, as I ended up in a builder strategy, without having really planned to do so. I had six works to do, all needing different buildings, but only had enough actions left to play five of them, if I built the buildings for them. James was bidding very aggressively for jesters, put his first three works out on the first three turns, then bought two more from the deck to play later. Marion had a fairly standard mixed strategy going, while Sami was going for a 7 work strategy, with prestige card for most works, and that prestige card just put him ahead of me at end game, but I was safely second.

The others were about to start their last round, so Marion suggested Splendor as a suitable length game. This was incredibly close, with no-one dominating the bonus tiles, three of us getting one each, and everyone collecting points at similar rates. Sami took a tile that would allow Marion to get to 15 points in two turns, only to groan as a card that was even better, and would allow her to do it with just the one wild turned up. James and I scrambled to get as many points as possible in the remaining two turns, and it ended 15-14-13-13, with Marion first and Sami second.

Marion then suggested Telestrations, as she was now sufficiently under the influence of alcohol to want to move to party games. We played this 7 player. The first round Marion was blaming James for some strange drawings and guesses, but then when the cards were revealed it became clear that it was Colin, sitting to James's left, who had actually been causing the problems, several cards breaking down at that point! Seb was the only person to successfully get his word, nail polish, round the table. The second round we went the other way, and a few more succeeded, or nearly so, but we still had a few amusing guesses, as usual.

At that point my table continued with party games, while the other took a more serious game downstairs. We started at the top of my party game list with Taboo, with Marion and Hannah taking Seb and I on. I forgot it was a minute timer usually for this, so we played with 30 seconds, which made some of the rounds a bit quick. Hannah however was a star at getting Marion to guess quickly and often managed two or three in her round, while Marion was doing less well the other way round. Seb and I were just increasing our score in ones mainly! And we had several laughs - such as Hannah "The sound a goose makes", to which Marion replied "Honk", at which point Hannah just dissolved into giggles for the rest of her time (she'd been going for Quack but couldn't say duck obviously!). And the time when Marion was trying to guess Quick, and managed to work her way through almost every "quick" word on the card, but missed Quick!!

After that we returned to my party game list, and they asked to try You Robot, which was new to them all - Marion amazed to find a game in our collection she hadn't played! We rolled the same pairs. The first attempt was a bit unbalanced, as I got Seb into position, while Marion after a few failed attempts, sat in the corner in hysterics instead! We managed to reach five cards first, Hannah having some luck getting Marion into position, so her and Seb were fairly even, but every time it was me against Marion our team finished first.

We finished with Pictomania, which is a general favourite. Seb looked like he was going to beat me (unheard of!) after he was ahead for the first three rounds, but then he had a complete disaster in the fourth round - he drew a lovely frying pan, with some other stuff (apparently a beret and a French flag), but with Pancake, Crepe and Omelette to choose from, none of us dared hazard a guess and I pulled ahead and kept ahead on the last round, with my birthday party being easy to guess, even if I got very few points from guessing anyone else's. And the last round put Hannah into negative score!
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Sat May 14, 2016 9:23 am
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Friday 6th May 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 9. We took a while to decide how to split, before eventually splitting 4-5, with the four playing Orleans, while the 5, which I was in, playing Terra Mystica. It was a disastrous game for me. I was Halflings, with Sami playing Nomads next to me on one side of the wheel, and Simon, as Dragonlords, choosing black to put his initial settlements on, the other side of the wheel. And then to add insult to injury Ray was Giants, so could also equally easily terraform any colour. I couldn't see any good space to place my initial settlements, and my first one was immediately joined by one of Simon's. My other one I placed on the top, and Sami placed two squares away. I had the immediate area around that second settlement, about 5 squares, but Simon with his Dragonlords took all the good squares for me around the other one and I abandoned it completely, instead upgrading my shipping track to get out, but Sami made it hard for me one side, and Colin squeezed me the other, and I was unable to get a second town, although I was able to increase my area somewhat. The game was incredibly close for the other four, with only a handful of points between them, and me about ten points behind.

The others still had a way to go, so we played a few hands of Mü & More while waiting. Simon happened to be on the right team the first two times, with a large bonus the first time thanks to Ray, and a bonus for Ray failing the second time. Sami and Colin managed to team up successfully the third time to take them out of last two places, but neither was close to catching Simon's score!

We then split into three tables, 3-3-3, with one table taking our new Grand Austria Hotel, another tabling Vikings, and Sami, Ray and I settling on Puerto Rico. It was a high shipping game, with me deciding earlier on that I was blocked out of the trading house, so there was no point competing, and I should just ship, so bought a harbour instead of my coffee roaster which I had planned on, and with some help from Ray, who had a good cash flow, and eventually picked up Factory, Harbour and Wharf, I was shipping madly. I also blocked Ray out of building a second large building by ending a turn earlier than he really wanted, and this was enough to keep me just two points ahead of him, while Sami had been struggling to keep up with the shipping all game.

Neither of the other tables were anywhere near finishing, so we taught Ray Orléans next. After a bit of confusion initially he got going, although as it was his first play he naturally wasn't as effective as Sami and I. I managed to win in the end, ahead of Sami's building/cog strategy, which looked quite interesting.

We finished just as Vikings was scoring up, and Ray decided to head off at that point, so the remaining five of us joined together for an Ave Caesar, a full four race game - which Simon and I managed to jointly win.
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Mon May 9, 2016 5:56 pm
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Friday 29th April 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we started with 6, expecting a few more imminently, so we pulled out 6 nimmt! as a quick filler. We played two hands, dealing James in as 7th player for the second hand. Scores were relatively close, with Simon pulling off the win.

Next we split into two tables - I forget what they played downstairs, but upstairs we played Breaking Away 5 player. Sami won by absolutely miles, getting some big numbers for almost all of his bikes early on, and then two of them romping home for first and second at the end of the race. James was about 10 points behind him, and the remaining three of us were ten points behind that!

We then merged and split again, with Seb wanting to play his Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, so he explained how to play and acted as gamesmaster for the first game. Sadly for everyone else, but luckily for me, his poison clue threw them completely off the scent for my alcohol method of killing, which meant although I was clearly the suspicious one all game, they weren't able to find the correct pair before the end of the game, although Simon did get close at one point. I then took over gamesmaster for the second one, but Colin's Stone proved rather too easy to give clues for with the objects the others had, so he was guessed very quickly.

We then moved on to Powerboats. It was the usual chaos. I played safe, and came first in the first two races as a result, but then was baulked by Sami and sent off on a diversion as a result in the third, but luckily still finished high enough to retain first place overall. Everyone else went on multiple diversions - either because they were trying to go the wrong way round the buoy (at least two people made this mistake!), or because they were terrible at rolling dice, or because they were just a bit too keen to go fast and it went horribly wrong! Martin in particular had to abandon one race and finish at speed 1, as his attempt to catch up after his first diversion just went even worse! He managed fourth place overall though - the results definitely went with experience - I think maybe the hard board, which we played on completely at random, is a little too tricky for newer players to navigate.

We merged and split again at this point, with this time one table heading downstairs for Codenames, while upstairs we played 7 Wonders. Simon went uber military as usual, but Marion attempted to compete, but lost - which wasn't good for her final score, which was pretty much just the score from her wonder and cash. I was on his other side, and gave up after building some token military and just accepted 0 points, getting a few points from beating up my right hand neighbour. I instead went mega-blue, getting 32 points in total for blue buildings, and 16 for Guilds on top, but this wasn't enough to beat Colin, who scored well in every category except Guilds, and managed 18 military points with relative ease, and pipped me just one point for a winning score of 59.

We then finished with one of the closest games of The Bucket King ever. Marion, having experimented with a random pyramid, learnt why that wasn't a good idea as her pyramid fell down in just a couple of hits, but after she went everyone else got down to a pair of buckets almost simultaneously, and it really could have been anyone's game from the players remaining. James was finally victorious with me second, which I was quite relieved by, as both Martin and I had been attacked so much early on that we'd been playing double cards quite often, and our hands were quite tiny compared to the other players!
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Wed May 4, 2016 10:33 am
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Friday 22nd April 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were 7 this Friday. We started with just 4 of us waiting for two more to arrive, so played a quick handle of Spot it!, which I thought Marion had won, but turned out to have beaten her by just one card!!

We were then 6, and after some discussion of games decided to play a 6 player Fauna for half an hour, until Sami had to leave to pick up our daughter from her school disco, hoping that our final gamer would arrive in that half hour. We started with a Koala, which was easy enough and most people had fairly similar scores (although we were surprised by the lack of tail), and then moved onto an Auckland sealion - but Sami and Marion didn't know where Auckland was (Sami placed in Canada, while Marion had it confused with the Orkney Islands!). There was also some difference of opinion on the size of sealions. James pulled ahead after this round a bit. Then we had a Alpensalamander, and this was where James did very well, knowing the dimensions of a Salamander much better than everyone else - the "Alpen" clue meant that everyone could get similar scores for location! Then finally we had a sperm whale, which I didn't bother translating to German, and there was a word in their that meant Pygmy Sperm Whale, so although we assumed James would pass the finish line, he didn't - and in fact Sami and I nearly caught him up, as all the dimensions were off for everyone (and I'd ignored dimensions and gone for just locations as safer points, just placing my final cube as the smallest weight cube placed, which was just enough for 3 points). However, we called it a day there anyway.

At that point we were 6 and looking for two games, one of which needed to be about an hour long, so my husband could join them when he got back. John had brought Caverna: The Cave Farmers for one table, which most people were happy to play. I suggested Thunderstone for the other table as top of my list and about the right length, and Seb and Colin joined me for that. I had to explain it to Seb, and made it sound far more confusing than it actually was! I got off to the best start with my fighters and weapons and beat up quite a few monsters, while Colin kept going to the dungeon with his card draw deck and ending up just short, usually as he didn't have enough light. However, then my deck went into meltdown, as it had two many monsters in, and I was really struggling to beat up any more. Meanwhile Seb was spending turns thinning his, and Colin was buying lots of Magic Attack - ok until a few creatures turned up immune to it. In the end Colin was able to beat up the last monster and take the thunderstone, and this proved decisive for the win, just ending up a couple of points ahead of me.

Sami had returned just as we drew the Thunderstone from the top of the deck, so we were then a four player, and Colin brought down a pile, from which Seb picked Amun-Re, as the only one he'd heard of! Again it was new to him. First round was fairly typical - Colin went for largest region on one side, and poisoned two regions; the rest of us got our sets, and none of us got many points from bonus cards. Sami had the most money going into the second round, with me not far behind, and Colin rather short, but ahead on points. By now I had two bonus cards that needed cards and side of the river, so when Abydos appeared that was a good first buy for me. I then picked up Baharya, so really needed Kharga to finish the collection - although it was one of Colin's poisoned regions, or if I just wanted one card I could go for Damanhur, which had a double pyramid in. However, Sami bid 21 for that straight off, and I didn't have 28 cash so that wasn't an option; Colin bid on the other region with two pyramids on the other side of the river, and I bid on Kharga, but then Seb outbid me, and Colin took my region rather than overbid him (he'd clearly had an overbid card for a while from the way he'd been bidding!)! I had to move over the river, losing 6 points of bonus cards, but gaining a double pyramid. I assumed I'd get three sets, but Sami then forced me to choose between the last set and keeping the majority on one side, and it was one more point to keep the majority. Sami was miles ahead of the rest of us at end-game, and I just managed to keep ahead of the other two at final scoring.

Next we pulled Peloponnes from Colin's pile, and introduced Seb to that. It was a fairly tame game, with the resupplies nicely spread, and the disasters all appearing in the last three rounds as expected, and by then well-prepared for. I had a real problem with people all game, which gave me a problem with money, which gave me a problem bidding on more tiles that gave me people... Anyway, Seb and and I ended on a tiebreak on 15, which I lost, while Colin was streaks ahead on 24!!

Colin then had just half an hour before he had to leave, so chose Der dreizehnte Holzwurm, ANOTHER game new to Seb! This time I was definitely getting the luck of the cards. The first hand I had mostly positive, or small numbers. Colin and Sami took all the early bonus cards ahead of me, but I then realised that a quick end would still leave me positive, so I took the remaining negative bonus cards and a few rows with small positive cards in them, and then was planning on empty my hand of negatives, then take a row and the -13 and catch them on the hop. Just as I got rid of my last negatives, Seb got squeezed and had to take the -13, and I finished with an amazing 52. Seb was obviously negative, and Colin was only just positive. Then the second round I was dealt all but one of the +10s, along with lots of other large positives, and just ended the game quickly at that point, for +40, while both Sami and Colin were still negative! My final score was 92, while Sami was the only other player with a positive score, with a score of 8.

The other table were just scoring up Caverna, so we moved upstairs to heckle (and upset John's maths!), and then help pack-up, and then played a 6 player Ave Caesar to finish with. Despite Marion not liking this game, she proved yet again that she is really good at it and should play it more often to improve her stats - winning two of the four races, and finishing all four for the win. John was second, with two seconds and a third, and I managed to just get third place, despite only finishing three races, as when I did finish I was always well up in the first three places!
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Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:41 am
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