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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 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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Friday 9th October 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 7, which was enough for two tables, so after a quick Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star with the early arrivals, we split into two tables, with me playing Time's Up! Title Recall! downstairs with Marion, against Sami and Ellie while upstairs played Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, the short game. Ellie was at a slight disadvantage, being younger and not knowing all the phrases, and Starstruck was definitely their nemesis card in round one, but they picked up a bit in later rounds, although were hampered by not having guessed them themselves in the early rounds.

After that Ellie left, and we carried on with Vegas Showdown. I went for a high income strategy, Marion started green (then changed mid-game!), and Sami was going for an early points strategy, but the game went on for about as long as possible, and this gave me the chance to take advantage of my high income to overtake him, thanks to high VP tile purchases, collecting triangles, and the bonus card for restaurants coming up. Then we merged and resplit, with upstairs playing Terra Mystica followed by LEgendary Villains, while downstairs we started with Takenoko. I tried to rush to an end, playing lots of cards all on one turn, then realised I was one short of the number required for a 3 player game end, and couldn't play one for turns and turns afterwards and was worried that Simon, who'd put out some high VP cards early on, would trigger game end instead, but he got stuck too!

Then we introduced Simon to London. He asked what kind of game it was, and we struggled to explain, and at the end he said he could see why we were struggling - it is kind of different in style to most other games. He tried an early loan strategy, buying lots of areas in the city, and this got him off to a good start. Meanwhile I was amassing VPs by running my city repeatedly, but had a slight poverty problem, and close to end game was on 19 poverty with the others on 5 each! However then they both ran their city on the final turn, gaining a few, and being left with cards on hand, while my final run of the city dropped me by a few, and it reduced the swing to just 6 poverty, which wasn't nearly as many VPs!

We then played a quick Qwixx, in which I had a terrible score, although no-one scored particularly highly. We then finished with Augustus.
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Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:05 pm
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Friday 2nd October 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday was very quiet, with just 5 people. That meant we were looking for a 5 player game, and Marion suggested Agricola. We rolled the I deck, which was new to Simon, having only played with the E deck before. I had two minor improvements that got me lots of wood, as long as I had 3 occupations out, so I hurriedly played 3 - luckily I had three goods ones - one of which was a bonus for most improvements, so suddenly everyone was rather keener to play theirs. Simon helped me not need a second reed for my first room by passing me a wooden hut extension, so we were both able to family growth early, before Sami just built two rooms at once normally, and stuck the card in his hand so it went no further. Meanwhile Ellie was plowing, sowing and baking bread, making it hard for anyone else to get a look in. Simon was taking all the clay, making it hard for anyone else to get enough to renovate. Food seemed in short supply, and various people were struggling to family growth because they couldn't feed their people - I spent one whole turn (and three actions) in the mid-game in a mad food scramble before a harvest, which is very unlike me. At end game Marion managed the bonus for most improvements - I had been competing and thought I was winning, but hadn't realised that the major improvements on the opposite side of her board, next to Ellie's improvements, were hers and not Ellie's until very near the end, when it was too late for me to do anything about it - oops! Simon didn't realise the competition for renovation on the last round and didn't take it as his first action, not realising that both Sami and Marion were going to do it before it came back round to him. Sami deliberately took it with fences just to make Marion waste an extra action taking fences. This didn't stop Marion winning though, with me second a few points behind, and Sami recording his lowest score in 30 games to get third place! Ellie just beat Simon by one point.

Ellie then went home, and Marion chose Kingsburg as the next game. We had the usual whinging about dice rolling - from everyone but Marion, who was getting amazing rolls throughout. I had a terrible start, but then had a succession of average rolls. Sami had an amazing first round, but then ended up with the lowest roll on almost every turn for the next three rounds. Simon, like me, was getting mostly average rolls (usually the same number as me but playing before me as it happened!), but then had a disaster in the last round, and rolled terribly - even his re-roll for less than 7 not helping him much. Sami was very glad for that re-roll building when he rolled a 4!!! It was very close at the end, with Marion just a few points ahead, and Sami and I tied in second place.

Next Marion chose Goa, which Simon had played once quite a while ago, so needed a rules refresher. It was a very high money game, with me getting the 4 cash bonus tile on turn 1, and both Simon and Sami taking the money track reasonably often. Bidding was particularly high for colonists, as we were all struggling to acquire them! I did my usual colonist/ship track pairing; Marion similarly went colonists, and Sami did the usual expedition card strategy, coupled with the goods track, which won, as usual. Simon tried the balanced strategy, moving them all down together.

It was getting towards of the end of the evening now so we needed a shorter game, and Sami picked Splendor. By chance my first few purchases were red/black, and there was a bonus for 4 of each, so I decided to play heavily for that - not a strategy I normally use, usually going for more of a balanced selection and going for the 3/3/3 bonus tiles. It worked really well for me this game, despite Marion taking one tile I'd been expecting to take cheap. I collected my bonus tile, and then just needed 4 more points, and there was a card on the top row that I only needed 2 things for, so I took it and a gold, deciding it was safer to risk the extra turn than for it to vanish, only for it to be replaced with a 5 pointer that I was now only one short of, so I took that next turn and triggered game end, one turn ahead of Sami, and with no-one else on more than 12 - in fact, two of the other players weren't even in double figures!

We finished with a quick Take It Easy, with me just pipping Marion - we even had a recount as even I couldn't believe I'd beaten her with her 8 8s and 7 4s and solid numbers in everything else - but she had missed 9s, whereas I hadn't missed any high value numbers, and did have 7 6s.
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Sat Oct 3, 2015 9:50 am
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Friday 25th September 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were 8 this week, so split neatly into two tables of four. Terra Mystica was fairly inevitably suggested as one of the two tables, while Vegas Showdown was tabled by the other four. I was in the Terra Mystica game, drawing Swarmlings, which I don't tend to play well. Simon was Cultists, one of the strongest races according to our stats, Emily drew Alchemists and Sami was Giants, on the other end of the spectrum. Sami started by taking the +1 boat tile, and placing houses on any red square he could reach. I upgraded to my Stronghold, to get points from my trading posts in the first two turns and upgraded my terraforming track twice, as it looked like I might need to do a lot of terraforming. Then Simon unexpectedly mega terraformed a square next to me that I thought was safely mine and built on it before I had a chance to react. This meant that I needed a bridge and a treble terraform to turn my Stronghold area into a town - which was very costly. Meanwhile Simon couldn't connect his areas, as Emily was in his way, and Sami was using bridges to connect the regions across the water into towns. Tracks-wise there was huge competition from everyone but Emily on the last turn after she passed out, although I did say with hindsight I should have left them to it and upgraded my ship track instead. Sami was the only person with an even vaguely large region, and I was comfortably second, as the other two didn't connect their two areas. Simon just snuck ahead of me from second, but Sami had a relatively comfortable win.

Both tables finished at the same time, so we split and re-merged, with Colin re-suggesting Suburbia, while they took Stone Age downstairs. It was new to Emily, so we gave her a quick rules explanation and then started. The bonuses were for greens and greys, so these were heavily contested, while the blues and yellows were largely being left. There were also bonuses for highest income and highest cash, and Colin won both of these comfortably in the end, thanks to a rather scary combination of blue buildings and two grey buildings that gave him bonuses for blue buildings! This gave him the win, with me second, thanks to some good income scores.

We then played the game top of my list, Breaking Away, which was new to both Simon and Emily. It started well for Emily, with her picking up some good numbers to put her through the first sprint, and then she stalled while everyone went past and picked up a whole collection of 10s and 12s for later. Meanwhile my bikes kept picking up 7s, which just weren't as effective. Colin didn't do well at all off the first two sprints, just getting one card each time, admittedly a highish number, but then at the final sprint his lead bike just took off into the distance, and used its large breakaway bonus to go straight past the finish line, and then his other bikes picked up a huge number of points too, while the rest of us limped over the line slowly behind him, Emily rather faster than Simon or I, so picking up second place!

Stone Age had just finished scoring as we finished, so we again merged and split, this time Richard suggesting Flash Point: Fire Rescue, so Simon hurriedly went for a Macao option as the other table, and I joined Richard with Lisa and Emily, wanting a lighter game myself. Richard wanted to play one of the boards he wasn't familiar with, so we pulled out a 2nd Story board. As we had two new players I didn't play on Heroic this time, and it felt very tame by comparison - the walls stopped the fire spreading too much, and Lisa removed most of the hazmats before they could explode. Richard helped me, as Generalist, to pull people out of windows and down ladders, while Emily as CAFS firefighter cleaned up all the fire very effectively. We pulled out 7, and carried on to try and get the full 10 - and I pulled the 10th person out of the building and was just walking them round the building to the ambulance, just as we had a double roll next to and on a fire piece, which created an explosion, which hit a hazmat, which created another explosion, which put so many cubes on the house collapsed on top of the other three firefighters! Ah well, we won anyway, even if the end wasn't quite ideal.

We then decided to move onto party games, and started with Telepathy. None of us were particularly telepathic early on, with scores mostly being 1s and 2s if we were lucky, but we gradually improved, and Richard and I did manage a couple of higher scores that pushed us ahead. We then finished with a round of Knowing Me Knowing You, with Lisa having to decide who had the best bottom! None of us knew each other very well so scores were generally low, but Lisa and Emily had a natural advantage, and Lisa and I got quite a few points with each other, so Lisa was a clear winner, with me just squeaking ahead of Emily by one point for second.
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Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:37 pm
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Friday 18th September 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with a game of Spyfall while waiting for people to arrive, which ended very quickly as it became rapidly obvious that Sami was not Crusading, but thought he was in a more modern location!

We then needed three games, as we were ten. Richard suggested Letters from Whitechapel, which Ellie was keen to join in with. John and James also showed interest, but John didn't know it, so James played as he knew the game. Meanwhile Vinci and Lords of Waterdeep had been suggested as the other two games, and with Vinci being better with 4 rather than 3 I took John, along with Simon and Sami downstairs to play that. It was new to John (although it turned out later he had played Small World), so we did a quick rules explanation then set up. He was start player, and picked up a nice Currency/Livestock Breeding civ that got him off to an excellent start, while Simon was Mining and Sami had Agriculture/Mountaineering, so all of them were scoring 15 a turn very rapidly. As fourth player I had a terrible selection, so went for a Rebirth civ, and hurriedly declined, but the selection wasn't any better for my second civ, so I was struggling to keep up, although taking over John's civ when I came back did help me catch him. Simon declined with Mining, only to start with another Mining civ, this time with Astronomy, and just took off out of sight score-wise. We managed to hold him off winning for one turn, but he still scored 11, and there was no way of stopping him getting 6 the final turn. All three of us did manage to get just over the 100, but miles behind Simon!

Letters from Whitechapel had only just started the second night, but Lords finished at the same time, so we merged and resplit, with the inevitable Terra Mystica on one table, with expansion, while I took Caylus downstairs with John and Marion. It was new to John, and Marion hadn't played for a couple of years, so we had a rules refresher before getting started. It was a low income game - the brown building square was the last in the line, so there weren't many bought early on, and I was consciously building non-income buildings, and putting most of my cubes in the castle, and getting lots of favours. John however was building lots of income buildings, as well as the ones that put green and blue buildings on the board. Marion was competing with me in the castle, and going aggressively for VP favours. She was doing ok at first, but then the brandy started to take effect, and the game effectively turned into a two player game. John blocked me out of building a blue building by moving the provost back three spaces, and the next turn went in there with his first move, and Marion triggered game end by moving the provost forward. My collection of gold moved me forward an impressive number of VPs at game end - 15 from gold alone! - but that wasn't enough to quite overtake John with his two blue buildings.

Our game had taken quite a while, and had meanwhile merged with the Letters from Whitechapel table, after they abandoned their game after the third night as Ellie needed to go home, and they had no idea where James was. The table upstairs were halfway through an Ave Caesar, so we waited for the lap to finish then merged and split into two tables, three of us taking Fauna downstairs while the others played Alhambra upstairs. By contrast with the slow Caylus game, this was one of the quickest games of Fauna ever, with James getting almost exactly the location of an Aardcat, which either John or I had heard of, and getting a huge number of points on the first turn. He then messed up just as he reached the finish line a couple of turns later, ending up 6 points short of it, but the next turn only getting 5 points, while John and I made up some of the gap - but still a good 20 points behind him when he finally finished the next turn. We finished with a quick game of Timeline: Historical Events.
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Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:22 am
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Friday 11th September 2015

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Games, games and more games!
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Last Friday we were 8, so split neatly into two tables of 4. Marion said that after last week she'd like to play Through the Ages again, so that was one table, and I suggested Endeavor for the other one. Sami and Gill joined me, and Lisa ended up joining us too, while Hannah went downstairs for Through the Ages. It was new to both Lisa and Gill, so I ran through the rules, but said it was a good game to learn while playing, as it kind of exploded as it went, and it proved to be so. Gill stayed in the home area, colonised and then abolished slavery, so Lisa and I lost our slaves. Meanwhile Sami and I in particular were sending out ships heavily, exploring, and Lisa joined in with that. Sami however was more successful at getting governors, getting a total of three! Gill got to the stage she'd finished with beating everyone up in Europe, so also decided to join us further aseas, and her board position at end game was very impressive - unfortunately at the expense of mine! I however had good position on my charts, and this was enough to just keep me in third, with Gill second, and Sami comfortably ahead with his three governors, and plenty of colonies overseas.

Sami chose Himalaya next, a programming game about collecting gems and converting them into other things, with some very obtuse winning conditions on your first play. They rapidly got the idea that stupas were good, and Gill quickly netted two, and was fairly safe to not get knocked out in the first phase. I was lucky enough to get one that put me ahead of both Lisa and Sami, which meant that unless they both got really lucky I couldn't be knocked out, but I had a slight problem, in that I had almost no people on the board, and those I had were totally overwhelemed by the huge numbers that Sami and Gill had. Lisa was knocked out from lack of stupas, not able to quite get the last one she needed to go ahead of Sami, and I went second, with no fields. Sami had amassed a huge number of yaks, with a fair number obtained just from collecting two early gold, and this was enough to put him ahead of Gill on yaks.

There was no sign of Through the Ages finishing anytime soon, despite the fact they were playing the short game, and it had been over two and a half hours now, so we decided to go for Gill's favourite, Time's Up! Title Recall!, with me choosing the Title Recall version, which was new to Lisa, she having only played with the people before. There were definitely a few cursed cards - Sami had one in particular that he kept drawing and just couldn't get Lisa to say in the first round, while I kept drawing a seven word one late in my turn - by the time we'd done it several times Gill had about four of the words, but even though it wasn't particularly hard it wasn't well known, so I just couldn't get her to say it! Then the second round hit, and I did my usual of forgetting I had words! Lisa started to struggle a bit more with this round, being less familiar with the game, and Gill and I were able to pull ahead a little. The last round, and here my use of actions rather than words in the previous round helped me have an amazing first turn, getting no less than 6 cards!! Gill and I were able to romp away with the final round as a result, especially as we managed to clean up the small pile on the last turn - Gill had seen them all, Lisa only took one out, and then it was just a case of getting her to say them in the right order!

We had nearly finished when the Through the Ages game finally completed, and so they spectated for the last bit, and then we merged and split for the last hour. Fauna was suggested for one table, which instantly won me for that table. It was a very close game between Marion and I, with me finishing the penultimate turn on 99 points, Marion just behind in the low 90s, and then her having a better last turn than me - but a lucky placement of a seal in Britain (everyone else had only gone for seas, not land areas) was enough to keep me one point ahead of her in the final round. We had enough time for a quick Timeline: Historical Events to finish with, where Lisa showed she was rather better with animals than historical dates! I managed to win for once, which is rare for me with this game, despite me usually doing really well at Chronology.
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Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:40 pm
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