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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 18th December 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We then joined together for two games of Codenames to finish with, where Marion was making Sami groan by coming up with ways of making almost every card connect to the words he'd said, making it hard for them to settle on the correct ones!!!
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Mon Dec 7, 2015 10:42 am
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Friday 27th November 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday there were 8 of us to start with, so we neatly split into two tables of four. Everyone seemed keen to start with a heavy game, with Agricola and Through the Ages being the two games suggested. I went for Agricola, having missed out the previous week, with Sami, Simon and Ellie. Sami opted to sit on my left rather than right for once, after a comment at the end of the last game, when I said how weird it was to have him on that side of me - in the normal table seating he always ends up on my right! We played the E deck, and Sami had the most amazing selection of cards, playing all 7 of his occupation cards (he had a bonus for each one he played, and I had a bonus for the person who played the most), and they combined nicely to give him a great game. I had one that needed me to get four occupations out then I got 2 food every round remaining, which I played for heavily early on, leaving large piles of resources for the others. Then in the mid-game I had a grand plan, which never quite came to execution due to a wood shortage. I was however start player throughout most of the game, as no-one seemed to want to play any minor improvements to take it off me, and when they did I took it straight back, as I did have good ones. Simon and Ellie didn't seem to have quite such good cards - indeed, most of Ellie's were pretty poor, as she showed them to me afterwards - and so concentrated more on the board, Simon building up a nice selection of animals. Sami won, comfortably, with a huge 25 points from cards, with me next over 10 points behind with a solid score of 39. Neither Simon or Ellie got more than 1 point from their cards and improvements, so despite their other points being similar to mine, they were a good 10 points behind me, with Simon just beating Ellie by one point!

The other table was still only partway through era 1, so we started Terra Mystica. I drew Chaos Magicians, to my great delight, as they're fun to play. Sami was Halflings, again, a race he doesn't particularly like. Ellie was Dwarves, and Simon Darklings. Simon scuppered Sami from the start by the placement of his very first house, next to Sami and blocking him from where he'd planned on expanding to. Ellie, on the side of the wheel, also started near the pair of them. I started next to Sami's other house, the only red square next to any of them at the start - and it was well away from everyone else but with plenty of room to expand - just what Chaos Magicians want! While the other three were competing heavily for their land on the right hand side of the board, I took my time expanding northwards, maximising points and income as much as possible. I was hopeful that I could build three size 6 towns, but then realised there were more points available if I got the largest land area. I blocked Sami from connecting easily, just in case he decided to compete (although it looked like he wasn't going to), and then Simon and I had a competition as to who could get the most buildings down, which ended in a tie. I however had the best presence on the cult tracks - top on three, and second in the remaining one. Simon had a good start, but just didn't seem to be able to convert to points in the late game; conversely Sami took ages to get going because of all the blocking, but then went past at end-game. Ellie, in her third game of this, did some solid building work with her Dwarves, in the lead for most of the game score-wise from all her tunnelling, but was unable to connect her two regions, and also couldn't found her second town, which meant at the end the rest of us went past her, and she had no end-game points to keep up.

Ellie then went home, so we were three and I chose Doge, a 3 player game we haven't played in a while, and which was new to Simon. Early game we were all ignoring the Quarantia, and building palaces at a similar rate. I had a disastrous penultimate round though, putting in 5 to a region and getting third place as the others had put even more in, and also only getting second in the other region I went for heavily. This put me out of contention, and although we all needed two more palaces in the final round, I had rather less houses to get mine with, and didn't get any at all, while both the others managed to finish, with Sami having more houses remaining to win the tie-break.

The others were finally looking to get near the end of Through the Ages, so Sami picked a shorter game, Wacky Wacky West. Simon hadn't played with the experienced rules before, and unfortunately thought his card was mine (we need a cheat sheet for the translation!). Sami was clearly all 4s from early on, and I did my best to squash what I could, leaving him with just 3. In the process of saving them he managed to squash two of the 1s for me, so that my "smallest in each type" bonus just managed to beat him (aided by Simon thinking he was me, probably!).

The others still had a few cards remaining, so we had time for two more quick fillers - Take it Easy!, where Simon just pipped me by 3 points, and Hey, That's My Fish!, where my penguins managed to get the most food!

The others were just scoring up so we helped them pack away, then all joined together for a 7 Wonders. James had a complete disaster resource-wise, as neither Hannah or I build any resource cards for him, just yellow cards, and he didn't have many of his own, so he was very limited in what he could buy, passing on most cards in era 3, just picking up a couple of science ones. I went heavy yellow and purple, getting 20 points from guilds! Simon and Sami on the other side of the table seemed to be getting all the blues though, with them having 26 and 30 respectively, as well as a good guild haul (with Sami copying one of Simon's guilds!). This put them just ahead of me, but it was very close for all four of the top positions.

We then finished with a GiftTRAP that showed how bad we are at giving presents. Hannah did well at receiving presents in the first two rounds, but then it all went wrong and she went backwards from there. Sami however was brilliant at giving presents, getting to the end after three rounds, but couldn't get his getting marker off the start line - it made a few short hops off and back, but never went far from home before coming back. We eventually called it after five rounds as it was past midnight, with three players - Sami, James and Lisa - all having one of their markers at the end, but no-one anywhere near having two!
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Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:24 pm
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Friday 20th November 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 7 in total, but Hannah and I were both late (children in a concert for me, Hannah had to work late), so Ellie had left by the time we both arrived. They played Vegas Showdown and 7 Wonders first, then we took some time deciding what to play 5 player, finally using a dice roll to decide on Outpost, but before we'd even managed the first auction, Hannah texted to say she was on her way finally, so we switched to a quick game of Chronology. Sami seemed to draw all the 19th century cards, while I was quite lucky and got none of them early on, which meant later it was much easier for me to fill in the 19th century gaps that came round to me, for the win. We then had just time for a quick game of The City, in which I had the bizarrest hand ever - with no cards with any income on in my starting hand, the first card I drew, and only one 1 cost card with any income on the first time I drilled teh deck. Instead I a Schule and 4 Stadtvillas! But even playing this I was unable to keep up with Sami's ridiculous number of shopping trolleys, and had to resign myself to second. The others were all a long way behind, as it finished in just 7 rounds!

Hannah arrived then and we split into two tables of three, one to play Agricola (in which Marion apparently got the most amazing selection of cards), while downstairs we played Giganten, a much older game we haven't played in a couple of years. It was new to John, so we did a quick rules explanation. There were no train slingshots early on, so all our trains rapidly moved up the track, and John and I rapidly got several derricks down, producing lots of oil. Colin however kept taking cards with free oil, which meant he had fewer contracts and movement. Then later on the slingshots came in, and I was definitely struggling to keep my train ahead of the derricks I'd built, and had to pay the black train to transport my oil a few times. When it came to selling though I was really lucky, and managed to sell for reasonable prices throughout, and this meant at end-game I had the most cash.

I chose Alhambra as our next game. I seemed to collect orange cash throughout the early part of the game, ending up with a 2,3,4,6,7,8,9 run in orange! Meanwhile though all my early tiles had walls that connected to give me a huge wall - but meant I couldn't buy the orange tile as it didn't fit - and nor did much else to be honest - majorly boxed in! Eventually I collected enough other colours of cash to buy a tile that got me out of trouble, and the tiles I got got me majorities in most of the more expensive types, while John was going for the cheaper types (for most of the game he was the only one with any Pavilions), and Colin was struggling to get more than second in anything other than gardens.

We then joined together and Sami headed off, leaving us with 5 for Fauna, one of my favourites, and a game I'm usually pretty good at, but this game I had a complete disaster with a Grey Goose, getting no points and losing most of my cubes, while everyone else got 3 points for each and didn't lose them (apparently Grey Geese don't go to America!). This unfortunately cancelled out my good Green Samba round from the turn before, and meant I was short on cubes for the rest of the game, and unable to keep up with the rest, with John having a very impressive final round on the Springbok to win comfortably, with the rest of us in a bunch some way behind, me at the back of the bunch!
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Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:57 am
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Friday 13th November 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were 5 this Friday, and Hannah was last to walk in, so she was nominated to pick the game. Her choice was The Princes of Florence, which turned out to be new to Simon. As 5th I passed up my chance to buy a personality card on the first turn to put a work out for bonus points, only to get to buy the last personality card the turn after anyway! Sami and I got two enticement each early, fairly cheaply - and then the others realised what they did and the bidding went huge for the last one! I meanwhile went for a prestige card, only to get a terrible selection - most builders, most jesters, fewest empty spaces, and most buildings - none of which fitted my game at all. I ended up taking "1 builder, 1 jester and 2 landscapes" - with three rounds left and only one landscape that was a bit tight. Next round the builder bidding went pretty huge, so I picked up a jester instead - only for the round after the builder bidding going crazy - James and Simon going to about 1000 in the end, which was more than I had! However, I did manage to put on 5 works, which was enough to just put me ahead of everyone else except for Sami, who was comfortably ahead at the end.

Next was Outpost. This ended up as a slightly bizarre game for various reasons. Hannah bought two Data Libraries, but then from the way the game went, never actually used either - picking up an Orbital Lab instead of the first Scientists, and then buying an Outpost the turn both the other Scientists and two of the Labs came out, as it was better for her than the other options! Sami was well ahead on income going into Phase 3, which came as a bit of a surprise to all of us as we were playing 5 player and forgot how much earlier Phase 3 hits with 5 than with 4! James in particular was struggling with hand limit problems, and unable to store enough. Sami picked up the first Moon Base and then romped away with the win, with me ending up second, thanks to picking up an Outpost with a big discount, and then saving for a turn to get a Moon Base.

Next came El Grande, where I had a disaster in the second phase, as all the areas I was scoring in the first round were taken over one by one, and I scored almost nothing in the second scoring round! Meanwhile Simon managed to score a majority in the Castillo three times in a row, and then maintained his lead to win. We finished with a quick Abluxxen.
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Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:38 pm
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Friday 6th November 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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With it being one of our games group's birthday the day before, we had birthday cake, and I suggested we started the evening with my new purchase - Crappy Birthday. Simon turned out to be gifted at giving presents that scored - but I'm not sure if it was from bad presents or good presents. Marion however, seemed to give very much "ok" presents, and didn't score at all!

We then split into two groups, with me playing Terra Mystica, while the other table played Lords of Waterdeep. Simon drew the Cultists, and with no other track race managed to dominate all four of the cult tracks, even though quite often people were refusing to take power from him. I had Mermaids, and got off to a great start, getting most of my houses down on the first turn, then converting them to trading posts on the second turn. I then however ran out of steam, and points scoring options. I ran out of houses, and was struggling to upgrade and build my second city, and everyone had board-building races, so I ended up tied third there even. I had a nominal amount of stuff on the cult tracks, and I couldn't seem to get extra points from any of the turn tiles, so although I was just about able to keep up with Simon and Sami in-game scoring (although Sami's Engineers were scoring well), at end game they both went flying past me. Ellie had an impressive second game of this, scoring well, and doing well to connect her two areas, incidentally causing problems for both Simon and I connecting as a result!

We then played a couple of quick games of Spyfall while waiting for the other table to complete their final round and scoring. Both times the spy felt they were becoming obvious so guessed early, and wrongly, where they were.

We then merged and split differently, with the players wanting a heavier game taking Macao downstairs, while the ones of us wanting lighter fare starting a game of Rage upstairs. It was very close, and also very low scoring. After the 4 card round the highest score was 36, and the range from top to bottom only 16! Next Gill asked if we could play Schrille Stille, a favourite of hers. She did very well early game, but then when the first set of bands were removed she was in the top 3 places, so lost all 3 of them, leaving her with just 2 bands, one of them lowly ranked. I then made a target of myself and also had a few rounds with only 2 bands in, but was doing amazingly well at picking high risers and the number 1 (Marion and Lisa's band camped out there, so it wasn't too hard!), so was still gaining points.

Then I suggested Pictionary, which then became Duplik on Lisa's suggestion, which surprisingly was new to Gill. This game definitely provided the best laugh of the evening. Lisa was describing a picture of two cows sitting either in front or behind a tablecloth - she wasn't very clear which, and gave us no information on the cows themselves, giving much more detail about the hats they were wearing. Gill, after drawing the hats, gave up in disgust on the cows, and completely failed to draw them, starting drawing again when Lisa told us about the food on the tablecloth. Then we started reading the requirements, and one of them was that there were no horns, tails or feet visible in the scene - Marion was very annoyed to see that Gill's disembodied hats, and my cows with faces but no bodies or heads, both scored (and to add insult to injury this was the bonus question too!), while her beautifully drawn cows had horns, and therefore didn't!

Both tables joined together for 3 games of Codenames to finish the evening. The funniest clue of the evening was definitely Sami's "Rugby" - which was obviously for ball, said the three guessers - Sami had completely failed to see that that was in the grid, aiming for three completely different words.
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Sun Nov 8, 2015 9:21 am
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Friday 30th October 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This week we were 7. We started with one of my new purchases, Codenames, with John and I giving the clues to our teams. I started well, with a couple of doubles, while John was a bit more cautious, going for singles, and one of his doubles failed to get him two cards on the board. He then went for Lesotho, and his two teammates looked at him blankly, and he knew it wasn't going to go well - luckily they only picked a neutral! I was then able to safely finish with a couple more singles, with John just a couple of cards behind.

We then split into two tables, with me playing Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, the short game with James, who is trying to practice it at the moment, and John while the others played Amun-Re. James played a very good era one, but then got distracted building up his economy instead of VPs and I was able to start pulling away. John mis-remembered a few rules, but got a huge economy going, but was having a few problems with his hand being blocked. I built three wonders that got me a VP each, then started on Universities, and was just set up for a mega-turn, when I inadvertently caused game end by taking so many cards into hand! It didn't matter, as I was still safe for the win.

The other table finished at the same time, so we merged, and then split back into the same groups, with the other four taking Terra Mystica downstairs, while upstairs we played Outpost. I bought the first Nodule, and the next turn James bought Heavy Equipment while I didn't have 30 cash, so instead I bought a Data Library, and then bid up strongly for the second and went Research (after all, Colin wasn't in the game!). John didn't have anything to buy on the last turn of era 1, and his saved cash gave him an Orbital Lab for cost price on the first turn of era 2, which gave him a great income burst. I however managed to get the lab early, and then started building out research factories, and also picked up the second Orbital Lab, although nothing like as cheaply! The Outposts split one each for the other two. The first turn of era 3 hit, with a Moon Base, Laboratory and Warehouse as the three buildings available. The others were both struggling with hand size, so I knew I was the only one with more than 200, actually having more like 270. I bid the lab up to my maximum leaving me 200, then bought the Moon Base. I then picked up a Planetary Cruiser the next turn, and on the final turn was outbid by James for the remaining one, but still managed to buy 14 points with my income, which was enough for the win.

The others were on the final turn, so we played a couple of fillers while waiting for them to finish - a quick Timeline: Historical Events, with James winning again, and then a Love Letter, which ended when the others came upstairs with me in the lead!

I then suggested Pandemic, which I've been trying to table for the last couple of weeks, and finally found enough players willing to play it, while the non-Pandemicers took Drunter and Druber downstairs. We thought it was going so well - we'd had a few outbreaks, but managed to get the board back under control, and we'd been passing cards for the cures, and I was all set to cure on my turn, the last turn of the game before the deck ran out - when an Epidemic came out at the end of Colin's turn (just in front of me) that forced me to spend an action healing a cube before I left the city - an extra action I didn't have! Had we known earlier we would have had various options to save me that action, but it was just too late by then, and we saw our victory snatched away from us.
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Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:58 am
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Friday 23rd October 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 6. After a bit of discussion of what to play one table started a Through the Ages, while the other table started with Robo Rally, drawing the water board. Sami tailed one of my robots from the start, staying just two squares behind me and pointing at me, which meant that robot died fairly quickly. Marion however avoided the water by taking a dry route through and rapidly got to checkpoint one and was heading to two, only to realise that she needed a move 3 to get safely over the mini conveyor next to it, which delayed her slightly. All the remaining robots converged on checkpoint 1 together, which meant lots of damage and pushes, and a few more dead robots, including my second one. Marion meanwhile had got to checkpoint 2, and realised that the easiest way to checkpoint 3 was along the start board, avoiding the water, but took a few turns getting there, and Sami was nearly able to catch her with one of his two robots. Meanwhile my robot that had restarted was making its way to the earlier checkpoints, with remarkably little interference by now as everyone else was so far ahead! I touched checkpoint 2 just as Marion got to within one square of checkpoint 3, and she had the Move 1 in her next hand of cards to finish the game.

Marion then chose Innovation, as she hadn't played it in a while. She grabbed several early achievements, while Sami and I nabbed a special one each, but then I started attacking scorepiles - sadly not quick enough to stop Sami getting a couple of mid-level achievements, and finally we were unable to stop him getting achievement 8 first. The upstairs table were just finishing up at this point, so we played a quick High Society. Sami overspent badly on the first few items, so I calculated how much cash he had remaining to make sure I stayed under him, but Marion got a bit carried away with her bids, going over his amount to put herself in last place, and me in second, as I couldn't catch Sami's quite high score with my remaining cash before the last red card came out.

We then merged and split differently, with me playing Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar with James and Simon. I played mostly a yellow strategy, although it wasn't as dedicated a yellow strategy as I've seen played. Simon was playing for skulls and yellow, and also playing heavily on the temple tracks, so we were competing for those throughout. James went a different route, going for buildings, upgrading quite a few tracks to maximise what he got from various placements. He also got two extra men, but also ways of helping him feed them. Sadly however he hadn't played in a while, so didn't realise he had to feed on the first scoring round, which lost him quite a few points. In the second round a building came out that gave one up each temple track. This was quite key for both Simon and I, as whoever got it got a distinct advantage on the tracks, and we both had the resources for it. Simon however passed up the chance to buy it, so I pulled a man off the board, even though I really didn't want to, to buy it anyway, and this was enough to guarantee me the majority on all three tracks, which kept me ahead of Simon at end game. James had been on zero after the first scoring round before getting his negative points, but managed to get an impressive number of points in the second round, but even discounting those was in third.

The others were nearing the end as we finished, so we played a couple of fillers - firstly Timeline: Historical Events, in which James picked up one of the easiest selection of cards I've ever seen and won comfortably, while I managed to stay ahead of Simon, by just repeatedly picking the Victorian era until eventually my cards didn't keep just missing! Simon just couldn't get a last card he could place! We then introduced Simon to On the Dot, and after a few cards he definitely got it.

We then decided to play all together for the remaining hour, starting with 7 Wonders, in which I recorded what I think must be my lowest ever score in this game! Simon was taking all the blues to my right, and somehow I just couldn't manage to get anything else to give me points, despite having a good resource mix myself. We then played two hands of The Resistance, both won by the spies, both times including James. We then finished with Knowing Me Knowing You.
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Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:32 am
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Friday 16th October 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 9. Asking for games suggestions Through the Ages and Tigris and Euphrates were quickly suggested, with a third voice asking for Tzolkin. These all worked well with 3, and everyone was happy with at least one of the games, so then it was just a case of allocating people to tables accordingly. I ended up on the Tigris & Euphrates table, teaching it to John, with Simon on his second play. I ran through the rules, and then quickly illustrated in play an external conflict, internal conflict, building a temple, and using catastrophe tiles - which got me in a nice position gaining three cubes a turn, just missing black (as Simon fought back when I tried to knock his black leader off the board). A few turns later and I also was gaining the black cube a turn from another temple. Simon was getting the second colour from two of the temples, but John's leaders kept getting knocked off the board. The three regions then started building towards each other for a large conflict to end the game. I triggered it, winning the green conflict comfortably, but knowing I was a bit dicey in the black one due to having no black tiles, although I had the majority on the board, so had the blue one next to separate the region. However, Simon was determined to have the black one anyway, and I was knocked off the board. This joined the two regions, so the game ended on treasures, with me safely ahead, with the scores going by game experience.

I then suggested an older game I hadn't played in a while, Medina, which was new to both of them. I capped black early, in a corner near to the 4 wall, hoping to score that, and then spent my next few turns trying to make sure the remaining blacks were blocked. I then also capped an orange one near the line of people hoping to pick up lots of points there. However, this left a lot of orange blocks in hand, and Simon ended up with a mega-orange in its place, as we weren't able to block it - would have been even bigger had he not been forced to cap it before I was forced to play my last two! Strangely not a single person built a wall off the 3 tower corner, as that was my "blocking various colours" area, and no-one actually capped a temple in that corner. I don't think I've ever seen a wall bonus tile not handed out before though!

The Tzolkin game had finished while we were playing, and Ellie had gone home, so we were left with 5, and Simon suggested El Grande. This was definitely Sami's game - early on he scored a region pulled aobut ten points ahead, and that's how far ahead he was at end-game! It was a close fight for second in the mid-game, but I had a slump later in the game, as my second places all became joint thirds, and I didn't have any regions that were decisively mine like most people.

The Through the Ages game finished just as we were starting our final turn so we merged and split again. Someone mentioned Terra Mystica and that kind of decided one table, with three of us heading for the stairs at high speed with the box, when James realised what was happening and leapt out of his seat to join us! The others started a game of Lords of Waterdeep upstairs, which surprisingly Hannah needed a rules reminder for! Terra Mystica I drew Cultists, and fourth place, and the other three all placed right next to each other on the centre island! I squeezed one settlement in amongst them, knowing I was likely to be able to terraform the key square before Simon, and put my other one on the right island, hoping that someone would join me there. I then managed to get lots of early track upgrades from all my early builds, although later in the game no-one would ever take power from me! Sami was Swarmlings, and did manage to get them to kind of Swarm for a change. Simon's Alchemists went off on their own in the west, which meant Simon had to buy expensive trading posts, which hurt him a bit. James was engineers, and focussed his early game heavily on the tracks, going for bridges later on. However, he had cube income problems. Sami pulled ahead and although I nearly caught him at end game scoring from my track majorities, I couldn't quite make it. We had a three way tie for largest region - James missing out, as I got the key region that we were both competing for to join our regions before he did!
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Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:26 am
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