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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 5th September 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday there were 7 of us. We started with some three player fillers - Factory Fun and two games of Race for the Galaxy. Then everyone else arrived in a rush, and we split into two groups, one downstairs playing Egizia, which was chosen by Richard but he decided he liked my choice of Show Manager better, so I played that with all three Carpenters. Marion won by absolutely miles, getting more points than Richard and I put together!! The others had a bit to go, so we played some fillers while waiting - a game of Augustus and two quick games of Spot it!, which got a bit violent at times, with one card nearly getting ripped in half as Ellie and Richard were fighting over it so violently!!

After that Ellie and Richard were desperate to play Quelf, as Ellie had enjoyed it so much a month ago and wanted to show Richard. Colin and Sami were quite happy to play a silly party game, whereas Marion and Hannah stayed upstairs with me for a more normal game. I ran down my list until Marion found one she liked the sound of - La Città, a game that is actually on my trade pile, but that I like occasionally. My extra experience showed rather in this game, and I won very comfortably. Hannah was a bit unlucky early on, when it turned up the only colour she couldn't defend herself in and she lost so many people she lost two buildings. I managed to not feed in the same round, as I gained so many people!! When that finished we played a quick game of Hey, That's My Fish! - it rapidly got to the stage where I was blocking everyone else from getting to "my" area, and it was larger than everyone else's, so I won - although the scores weren't by any means overwhelming in my favour.

The other table had then finished, and Ellie went home, leaving six of us. We decided to play a party game - initially Taboo, but I couldn't find it, so we played the kid's version instead, Don't Say It, which is exactly the same game, but with more accessible words for children. Our team seemed to have a slight handicap in one of our players, so we lost that. We then finished with a game of Category 5 in which Hannah just seemed to attract cards! Sami however seemed to lead a charmed life - even when he played a card that looked almost guaranteed to win him some points, he managed to escape somehow!
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Tue Sep 9, 2014 2:25 pm
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Friday 29th August 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 5. We started with a quick game of Augustus. I had a complete disaster, as Sami raced to the end with a couple of cheap cards with common symbols on, and none of the "valuable" types were drawn from the bag (pink/sword) to complete my two valuable cards that were sitting there full but just waiting for those final types. To add insult to injury, he stole the gold off me with one of those cards too. This put me resoundingly last by over 20 points, whereas if I'd finished those I would probably have been in second! Sami was over 30 points ahead though, with one of the most impressive scores I've seen in this game!

We were 5 after this, and started a game of Pizarro & Co., a game I hadn't played in a couple of years. I managed to claim three boats in the same area, and my fourth boat as Cook, to make my later rounds easier, but was beaten in the last round to the valuable Cook square after Sami got dealt some very impressive income cards and was able to outbid me easily. Meanwhile James went for lots of income spots, and had a very impressive rack of income cards at end-game, and having saved all the 1 and 2 cards, these were worth a huge amount of points, which catapulted him into first position, just ahead of Sami and I in joint second.

After that James chose Power Grid, always a favourite, and on one of the new maps he didn't own - which ended up as Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal. We all started in our own little areas of the board with space for about 5 houses before we had too much competition with our nearest neighbours. The oil and coal rapidly got expensive thanks to the early power plant selection, and Sami in particular had ridiculous early game powering costs, especially as he was in first place, having bought the most valuable power plant on turn 1. Being late in turn order I managed to collect an early uranium plant that powered 4, and then a turn later a recycling plant that powered 5 came out, and everyone else decided not to bid for it, instead concentrating on houses, so I got it at almost cost price. This turned out to be a very good move, as the power plants then stagnated with no plants appearing that powered more than 3, and most of them just 2, for the next few rounds. Some players upgraded to cheaper plants, but otherwise we just lost one a turn through everyone passing. We reached phase 2, with everyone jumping to 9 or 10 houses, and then everyone hit their powering limit and passed for a turn, with me in last position. The next turn I picked up a cheap power plant to enable me to power 13 and bought my 15th house, ending the game to the great surprise of everyone else except Sami, who had planned for it, but still couldn't better third position.

Marion had to leave at this point, and I suggested another game we hadn't played in a while - Trias. This was a gift for Sami early on, as he created a large bulge on one side of the island where his dinos were, and then separated it to create an island for himself. James tried to recombine and jump on it, but it drifted away from him too fast, and he just ended up giving Sami even more points - not that it mattered by then, as the lead was just too big. The rest of us were left playing for second on the remainder of the map, drifting off several smaller islands and jockeying for position on them. I was just able to stay ahead of the other two, who tied for third just behind me.

We finished with Sami's choice of Breaking Away. It was new to Hannah, and she took a while to work out how the game played, so ignored the first sprint and just concentrated on moving and gaining good numbers. James meanwhile jumped all four of his bikes to the first sprint for a very impressive first sprint score. Hannah then moved up to the back of the pack, and while the rest of us were struggling with 3s and 4s, was getting some great numbers, and was able to pass us with a couple of bikes in time for the second sprint, and then race to the finish, getting points for the finish with all four of her bikes. This score was just uncatchable! I came second, mainly because a couple of my bikes ended up in Hannah's pack and finished well, but also because I consistently got one good score from each sprint on top.
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Mon Sep 1, 2014 8:06 am
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Friday 22nd August 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 9 in total. We started with 5 players and a few short games - No Thanks!, Race for the Galaxy and The City - while waiting for players to arrive.

We were now 8 players, so we split into two groups, one group taking The Castles of Burgundy downstairs, while upstairs we opted for the lighter Thebes, timed so that it would finish as the last player arrived. Ellie started off collecting lots of white books, I went heavily into two colours, Colin collected wild-coloured books, and Martin went for the collection for end-game VPs. We then moved on to digging, and Colin seemed to be seeing how many 1VP tiles he could draw out of the bags - getting 6/6 out of one location! Martin on the other hand seemed to be attempting to draw as much sand as possible, getting something like 15 sand out of 16 tiles in three draws (and not out of bags that had been heavily dug either!!). I drew about average - which for this game was good - and Ellie had a couple of lucky draws, but then followed it up with some heavy sand draws that evened out her early draws. At end-game scores were amazingly close between the other three, with me about ten points ahead - combination of doing two exhibitions where no-one else did more than one, and having better draws from the bags.

By now the fifth had arrived, and we moved into party game mode, starting with two games of Identik (two because everyone enjoyed the first so much they wanted to play again!). We had some very funny moments, such as the one where I said that the wolf's nose extended over the tray he was holding, at which point all four of the drawers fell about in hysterics. In the picture I was describing this was fairly minor - in the pictures they were drawing this meant giving him a very long nose like Pinocchio (and it wasn't even in the final description anyway!). We also had an invisible bow in one little girl's hair - when it came up as the bonus question at the end, the describer (Colin) had to look very hard to even find it in the picture he was describing - he certainly hadn't told us!!!

After two games of that we moved on to Moods, in which it turned out that Ellie is very good at saying things in a certain mood, while I am terrible at it (but luckily quite good at guessing!). Charlotte enjoyed it so much she borrowed the game so she could play it again at home! We then played Say Anything, just one turn each instead of the usual two as the Burgundy game had finished by then.

Ellie went home at this point and we split into different groups, one group taking Suburbia downstairs, while those of us who wanted something lighter opted for Pictionary upstairs.
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Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:13 am
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Friday 15th August 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were 7. There were 3 of us initially, and we played a few hands of Gang of Four to start with. Now on the trade pile - for this style of game we'd rather play Haggis, or Tichu itself.

Then the other three arrived, and we needed about an hour long game while waiting for the last person to arrive, so pulled out Knowing Me Knowing You. It was the usual fun, although James was very unlucky with his card, so was doomed to get a bad score. Marion was much easier for everyone, particularly her daughter and me, although it appeared I knew her better than she knew herself in one case! (How could she forget that cats were pets?).

Sami then went to get Matt from the station, and the rest of us played Chronology while waiting for them to return. I just squeaked a win, more from the timing of their return than anything else - Colin and James were keeping level with me, while the other two were lagging somewhat .

Now we were 7, so split into two groups, one group taking Filthy Rich downstairs (and playing on the floor!!), while upstairs we played a game of basic Catan. Marion looked like she was going to win from very early on, but then stalled completely on 9 points and seemed unable to get the last one, so ended up losing to Sami.

Then Ellie went home, so we were 6, and I requested Tigris & Euphrates, which I proceeded to lose horribly, thanks to a complete lack of green tiles, and no obvious way to get greens from the way the game went. Colin got huge numbers of cubes from external conflicts - some of them it has to be said, with a high degree of luck. Sami hadn't nearly as much luck with his external conflicts, but spent most of the game camped out on monuments to get his huge pile of cubes. The others were still playing their game of Lords of Waterdeep when we finished, so we played a game of Race for the Galaxy, and two games of The City while waiting for them to finish.

We finished with a 6 player Ave Caesar, in which I only finished one race, failing to pit on one, crashing and burning in another, and the fourth race being voided. At least I wasn't the only one, so I didn't even come in last place!
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Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:38 am
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Friday 8th August 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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I seem to have missed at least one Friday - we were away two Fridays, but did hold a session inbetween. Never mind, will carry on now!

Last Friday there were just 4 of us. We started with Outpost. Marion had the most amazing income start, and rapidly ended up a couple of Data Libraries ahead of Sami. James was the one who didn't get a Nodule, and Heavy Equipment were heavily contested, with James picking up a pair and me getting the other one. Going into phase 2 Marion had all three data libraries and got the early Scientists, which meant she could buy a New Chemicals plant. Meanwhile James was lucky enough to have just over 50 when the Microbiotics came out on the first turn in Phase 2, where everyone else fell just short, and that gave him a great boost from then on, especially when he picked up a second one shortly after, and two Outposts - having just enough to outbid Sami and I both times. I eventually bought all three Ecoplants, which kept me in the points game with Marion and James, but with my income miles behind both of them. Sami's income was slightly ahead of mine, but his mass water strategy, and no way to switch into anything better for a long time, did put him way behind the other two. Going into the final round it was fairly clear that Sami and I were always getting the smaller buildings, and our points lead slipped even more. James's slight extra income over Marion was enough for him to get the extra points in the end game and finish just ahead of her.

After that James chose London as the next game. Again Marion had an amazing start with some great income cards, while Sami just took loans out and bought lots of regions in the city hoping for better. James slightly overdosed on the white cube reduction to try and keep his poverty down, but running a city of size 9 meant he produced quite a few afterwards each turn, and Sami and I both managed to keep to the same level as him at the end-game. It was incredibly close between Marion, James and I at end game, only a few points between us, but Sami was about 20 points ahead, despite losing points for three loans!!!

Sami then chose Strasbourg. Here James got off to a bad start, having forgotten how to play! No-one seemed to want the building/church option, so Marion and Sami managed to keep them very cheap most turns. Meanwhile I was messing Sami up, inadvertantly. I had the card which meant I needed two buildings in each region, 10 in total, while he had kept the card that meant he needed more buildings on the board than anyone else - he had hard work to keep ahead of me, and only just managed it, and had to sacrifice another card to do so! I made a mistake with the placement of my very last house, not putting it in the spot where James was obviously going to place a church, and this turned out to be costly, as Sami took it instead (the only place left), and then beat me by 1 point - if I'd been sensible it would have been me winning by that 1 point - grrr!

We finished with a quick Splendor, in which James and Marion both managed to get a pair of bonus tiles and trigger an early finish, while Sami and I trailed behind, having both just missed out on a bonus tile to James by one turn!
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Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:33 pm
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Friday 4th July 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Ellie joined us for the first time this week, and we started by introducing her to Evo. It was a very close game all through, but sudden violence erupted as various dinosaur races evolved horns. Marion made the mistake of playing a card that gave her two extra horns in attack - and Sami decided the best form of defence was to wipe out any dinosaur of hers near him, and I took one out in retaliation, which put her slightly behind. Hannah and Ellie found themselves squeezed in a corner, but Hannah's unexpected gene at the end put her just one point behind Sami and I as joint winners.

Next we played Puerto Rico, which Ellie knew, but Hannah needed a quick refresher on. Sami went for a mega-quarry building strategy, with Marion going for mega-trading, while Hannah went mega-shipping early on, but then late-game found herself unable to get enough cash to buy buildings she needed. I bought an early tobacco storage and everyone then delighted in blocked me from getting a tobacco plantation for a few rounds, but I did eventually get set up in it, and with a harbour to help with my shipping. Wasn't enough to get me better than third though, with Marion and Sami both ahead thanks to their large buildings. Hannah was just one cash short of building a large building on the last building phase, and that hurt her final score.

At this point Ellie left, and we set up a 4 player Outpost. Marion bid early for two Nodules, which meant that she had no men problems, but everyone else but me did. Sami picked up all three Data Libraries, while the other three of us picked up a Heavy Equipment each. At the point we hit stage 2 my income had pulled ahead rather, but Sami had a big advantage if any early scientists came up - luckily for me they didn't! Robots and Orbital Labs sorted out the men problems for those who were struggling, and Sami also bought the first laboratory. The Outposts were very hotly contested, while oddly the Ecoplants were going for face value, and they always turned up the same turn as a bidding war, and were auctioned before it, so no-one dared bid them up!

We hit Phase 3 with everyone but Marion having lots of money, and the bidding was very tight for the two Moon Bases when they came out in the next round. Marion however was able to keep up points momentum with her lower income, and some Space Stations, and at end-game just squeaked ahead of Hannah in points, despite looking like she was well behind. Sami just beat me at the top - I don't know whether I would have done better letting him get the Moon Base and instead buying points and a cost-price Planetary Cruiser.

We finished with 7 Wonders, with Sami going Science with Hanging Gardens, but not starting until Phase 2 (as no-one else was!). Hannah went very military early on, and Marion did later, so Sami and I struggled to get any military points. Both Hannah and I got an impressive score in Guilds, partly from Hannah copying one of mine that was rather nice for her too. Hannah won, 15 points clear of everyone else, and I just squeaked second.
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Tue Jul 8, 2014 12:24 pm
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Friday 27th June 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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It was a fairly quiet start to the night, with just James and I playing a couple of fillers while waiting for Barry to turn up - The City and Qwixx (in which I had the worst dice rolling I've ever had in this game - taking a misroll on both my FIRST and THIRD turns - unheard of, but the numbers were that terrible!!!).

Barry brought Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia with him, so he explained the rules and set it up and we started to play, only for Sami to return before we were very far along, so we restarted as a 4 player game, giving him a super-speedy explanation. Euphoria is at heart a worker placement game, mixing in elements of Tzolkin and Alien Frontiers, and adding in some promotion tracks. The basic mechanism of placing dice one by one, then wasting a turn taking them back is very similar to Tzolkin or Concordia, with ways to reuse turns, or buy extra dice (at your own peril). The dice being used as workers is like in Alien Frontiers, but unlike Alien Frontiers where the numbers you roll is very important, in this game you almost don't care what you roll - the numbers are hardly used at all really! The promotion tracks and competition for VP spots on the board worked well - ignore those early VPs at your peril. Overall it's a reasonable but not stand-out optimisation game, trying to optimise your turns to get your VPs down faster than everyone else, with variability between games being provided by the cards you start with.

After that Barry had another hour, so we pulled out Lords of Waterdeep which we hadn't played for a while. Sami managed to pull out to a huge lead, mostly due to his "place where another worker already is" quest that he almost didn't take, but unfortunately (with me sitting on his left eyeing it up) decided to do so. It was a very low building game, so resource tight, particularly in white cubes. A mandatory quest on me at the end stopped me doing my 25VP quest, but I still managed to just hold onto second place, with Sami miles out ahead of the rest of us.

After that we were into lighter fare for the remainder of the evening - firstly Burn Rate, in which James found himself with no company at all after his second turn, just a growing collection of Bad Ideas. He did surprisingly well, thanks to some early funding, but eventually his lack of ability to play cards hurt him. I had an absolutely huge company, as all I seemed able to draw were poaches and hires, and so burned out second, while Sami was still looking fairly comfortable, having dodged the double burn rate card as I chose that turn to remove one of his VPs just before James was going to play it on him.

Then came High Society, in which James bought the first few things, then ended up pretty much out of money, Sami bought all the 2xs, but nothing to actually double, and I took advantage of them being cash poor to buy a few smaller ones cheaply, and took the 1/2 tile, which they both bid very high to avoid. James eventually ran out of money completely on the next negative tile, and the last tile was very hotly contested between Sami and I, with me having enough money more than him to outbid him, and win the game. We finished with a very close Race for the Galaxy game.
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Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:04 pm
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Friday 20th June 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were 5 this Friday. We started with a couple of quick games while waiting for the fifth to arrive - a game of The City where even my mega-fast start and huge points from shopping trolleys couldn't quite catch Marion's treble StadtVilla - although I was only two points behind on the final turn.

Next came Augustus, which I managed to win, meaning I chose the first longer game of the evening - The Princes of Florence - a favourite of mine but one that doesn't come out that often any more. It was new to Hannah, so we quickly explained the rules - as our copy is in German, she had to learn the words for everything too! She did amazingly well for her first game though, coming second, just a point behind me in first place, with a solid mixed strategy. Marion went for the building strategy, and did pretty well with it, but was unable to put on her last work. Sami tried the mega-work strategy, but it didn't work as well for him as sometimes - he blames not buying a forest early on, as then when he tried he kept getting into bidding wars, and it made it difficult for him to put on his works! I bid very high for a lake on the last turn, even giving in a point to do so, as it was worth so much for me both for my work and my prestige card - by contrast Hannah expected a bidding war, and ended up with money to spare!

As I won I picked the next game, Fauna. After two rounds it looked like two separate games were going on - one between James and Marion, and one between the other three of us (I blame the hyena that was everywhere in Africa except where I put my cubes!), but then I made a surge in later rounds, and on the last but one round was just one behind James, with him on 99 and me on 98. Sadly for James he couldn't find that one more point that round to end the game in the lead, and next round I passed him.

Next came Show Manager. James was very lucky with his first work, getting some nice early cards, but sadly once he'd put it on he found himself very cash poor for the rest of the game, and didn't want to take money out of his good show, and got squeezed. I got similarly squeezed, but not quite so badly, but was still some way behind the leaders. Sami however seemed to always be collecting the right shows for the cards, and picked up some good shows quite cheaply, while Marion meanwhile kept getting gifts from my nexting, and it was between them from quite early on. Sami just won, by one point, from top in the two most valuable regions, while Marion placed second almost everywhere for second place overall!

Then we continued with the show into Vegas Showdown. Marion went all out to play Colin's green strategy in his absence, and it seemed to work for her. The rest of us were all in a bunch scoring at end-game, with her miles out in front.

We finished with 7 Wonders. Sami yet again found himself sitting between two military players - this time Hannah and I! James was the science player, but thanks to missing one science resource and Marion taking quite a few science cards off him, so he didn't get a great score from them. I won, with an impressive score from my guilds - a total of 27 points from them!!! Mausoleum B wins again!
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Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:25 pm
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Friday 13th June 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday there were 5 of us. We started with Augustus, which was new to Charlotte, but she did very well at it, coming second, and a good 20 points ahead of any of the others except me. Sami in particular had a disastrous game. Very neat little Bingo variant.

Next Marion suggested RoboRally, so we explained that to Charlotte too. We played with the board with the pit in the middle, and Sami put the first checkpoint on the far corner of the board. This proved to be absolutely impossible to get to, and made the game drag on forever. The few robots that got close, or even touched it, usually died in the process, or robots pushed each other into the pit and couldn't get out again. Anyway, after a while it was clear that although a few of us had touched checkpoint one, it was going to be a long while before the game finished, so we set a time limit and called an end.

Charlotte left after that, leaving us with 4, and we decided we had enough time for a game of Agricola, using the I deck. James had a wonderful set of cards, getting him huge amounts of clay, and discounts building stuff in clay. Meanwhile I had the well builder and a cooking hearth upgrade, so was concentrating on them as a food source. The end game scores were incredibly close, with only 6 points from top to bottom, with James in the lead.

We then finished with a quick Burn Rate, in which James burnt out, and the rest of us were within one turn of doing just as Sami, looking like he would be second to burn out, picked up a ridiculous amount of funding, and we couldn't stop him winning from that.
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Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:40 am
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Friday 30th May 2014

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with a quick three player game of Jumbo & Co. Then the others arrived, and we were 6 so split into two tables, with the girls going downstairs with Splendor while upstairs they played Thunderstone - the new expansion seems to have meant this is coming out more and more, whereas everyone wasn't that keen on the base game. Splendor was close between Marion and I in the first game while Hannah was still working out the finer points of the rules. The second game I managed to pick up two of the bonus tiles, beating Marion to one, and then took a card that would put me on 15VPs next turn. Hannah then stopped to think, and Marion and I both realised that she could get to 15VPs this turn, by buying a tile which would give her the bonus tile that Marion hadn't been able to take the previous turn. Hannah had been concentrating on a different bonus tile, but almost got that one without realising. We pointed out the obvious move when she was going to do something different and she won. Marion had the most impressively low score in that second game, as a few really stupid mistakes at the start meant she was only on 2 cards while Hannah and I were on 6 or 7, and she never really recovered from there. It was one of the harshest game setups I've seen though, with all the starting tiles needing 3 of one type at minimum - two of them with one or two other colours too, and the fourth needing 4 of a colour! With me collecting chips instead of buying the cheapest one, I blocked up the rows for the other two, who both found themselves with useless early turns, taking cards they didn't really want.

After that Marion asked to play Expedition, which she's spotted upstairs and not played before. I got off to a terrible start, not reaching any of my doubled locations or any of the joint locations, but actually managed to claw my position back to a very close win at the end, mainly because I'd stockpiled money and was able to take advantage of it when the expeditions came close enough for me to divert.

We then played, and lost, a game of Escape: The Curse of the Temple while waiting for the others to finish up. Marion managed to be one tile from the central room at both the first gongs, while Hannah got completely stuck with 5 black dice for the first one, while we ran away and left her, intent on self-preservation. I was the only person to explore tiles in the whole game, leaving the other two to do the gems behind me, after we'd done two large rooms as a group early in the game. This did however mean I also got all the curses, and at one point was rolling dice with my mouth as I had both hands on my head. I found the exit, and escaped just before the final gong, while the others were still making their way there.

We then shuffled groups around, and upstairs we played Puerto Rico - a game where Sami was the only one with much money and had Factory and Harbour, but a high shipping game prevented him from getting large buildings. James meanwhile went indigo shipping and wharf, while I got an incredibly early harbour, and got well ahead on the shipping early game before the others really got started on it. This was enough to just keep me ahead for the win.

We then needed some shorter games to finish with, so I suggested Batavia, which must have had one of the record quickest finishes I've ever seen, as I ended up skipping to the end with only about 8 tiles, due to competition with Sami for one of the types I had majorities in. I had a great start to the game, playing out almost my whole hand on turn 1 after buying the cards, which meant the other two were struggling to get majorities - especially Sami, as he only bought one card all game!! I didn't get huge majorities in any types, but finishing so quickly managed to score, often joint but sometimes alone, in something like 6 of the regions which was enough for the win.

We then finished the evening by showing James how to play Splendor.
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Wed Jun 4, 2014 11:43 am
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