Ben Bateson(ousgg)United Kingdom
Ross-on-WyeOi! Hands off...
All the B's this week, and with Boddle lagging behind due to tucking in the kids, Ben Becky and Bill opened matters with a game of Dominion.
So, out came the Big Treasure Chest Of Fun, and we dealt a relatively benign semi-random layout to cater for Bill's lack of practice. He opened with a Bridge, which was almost certainly the losing move. Meanwhile, I attempted some optimistic deck-thinning with Remake + Farming Village, but Becky went on full aggressive with Big Money + Bank + Militia. And it was the latter tactic that won out, Becky wrapping things up in less than 15 turns. I didn't count, but it certainly wasn't very many.
Tony having arrived by now, he disdained the possibility of a second game (no surprise there), and instead we plumped for Notre Dame, a game rapidly becoming something of a gentle classic. I elected to play Park + VPs, neglecting the plague almost entirely, but could only tie with Bill and lose to Tony playing a similar strategy. Although there was a twist in the tale - given that I later found out that we had the central four-player board upside-down, I reckon Bill should have won this given his more dedicated attentions to the cathedral.
On to another cathedral city, and this time the lean economic grind of St Petersburg. Having properly optimised the decks with the 'improved' expansion cards and adopted Bill's 'first-round Catan draft' suggestion, it was full steam ahead on craftsmen and aristocrats. I was happy to pick up an early judge, a move which persuaded Becky to move into blue cards early, and the second round was very kind, persuading the others to take relative junk into hand. By the end it was all a bit of a cruise, to be honest, and Tony was left fighting Bill for second place.
With Tony harrumphing about not playing any new games tonight (not even the delightful and recommendable little John Silver), we pressed onto Coloretto, at which Tony disgracefully trash-talked his way into a victory when teaching Bill last time out. No danger of that this time, with Bill seated after Tony. All three of my opponents fell prey to excessive cautiousness, which made for another rather easy win, although in fairness I was pushed pretty hard by Becky in the last couple of rounds.
Boddle took his leave at this point, and there was just time for the three of us to close with that much-thumbed game of San Juan. As it happened, I got out an early Silver mine and then promptly tripped over a tasty Quarry + Carpenter combo. Becky's chapel couldn't keep up as I built my purple junk (steady at the back, there) apace and finished the game as early as possible.
Three in a row this week, and technically no wins for Tony. It won't last...