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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 6th January 2017

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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The New Year, and a quiet session to start the year with, only 4 gamers. We weren't sure if a 5th person was going to show up, so we played 6 nimmt! to start the evening with. John had a terrible first round, and then it didn't get much better from there, and went over the 66 in four rounds. I had a disastrous second round, but did really well in the other three rounds, getting nothing at all in the last round, which put me just ahead of Simon, who had been leading until that point but picked up 21 in the last round!

As we were just 4 I suggested my new obsession - A Feast for Odin. It was new to Simon o I explained the rules, then we started. I can't remember the details of the game itself, but the final scores were 109 to both Sami and I, with Simon beating John into second place.

We then moved on to Power Grid, where we drew the India map, which has slightly different rules for buying resources. Simon said afterwards that he preferred them, as they fitted more with his style of play. Early on everyone went into coal, and there was a lot of wariness about oil. As usual I moved into the rare resource type, garbage, early on, despite the extra penalty for the India map and garbage, and then bought a wind power plant, so my powering costs were really cheap, while some of the others, competing for coal, were paying quite high costs. I then moved into uranium when it became available, and managed to keep a monopoly on that too, and was powering for about 6, while some of the others were paying more like 20 for their goods. Sami wasn't quite able to build to 17 houses on the penultimate turn, and I was able to power and build to 17 for the win - he couldn't afford the power plant, goods and house and still have more money back than me so settled for the safe second.

We then finished by introducing Simon and John to Tichu. After a bit of confusion between Dragon and Phoenix they settled into the play, and we had several bombs and Tichus. Sami and John were victorious when we stopped play at midnight, 400 to our 30, thanks to a one-two that we couldn't compete with.
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Mon Jan 9, 2017 3:37 pm
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Friday 23rd December 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Friday started quietly with just Simon and I, as Sami was late back from London, and a few others were expected at 8pm after a Christmas do. We played a very close game of Star Realms where he just managed to take me out the turn before I would do the same to him!

We then started a three player game of Terra Mystica. Sami drew Shapeshifters, which are so strong in 3 player that he was practically guaranteed a win at that point, I drew Witches, which I haven't played for ages so I was happy, and Simon drew Swarmlings. We predicted the final result would be Shapeshifters, Witches, Swarmlings at that point, and indeed it was the case, Sami only a few points off my amazing Shapeshifter score of a fortnight ago, and nearly lapping Simon.

The others had arrived at this point, and Marion wanted something lighter, so chose Fauna. Ellie was a bit worried she wouldn't be any good, but although she did lose, it was by precisely one point to Marion. Simon was ahead for almost the whole game, but then lost almost all his cubes one round (I think to a gibbon), and I was able to steam past him on the final round for the win.

I then suggested K2, one of my new purchases, with Simon and Ellie hadn't played yet. Sami mis-read the last weather tile so headed down the mountain to save his climber, not realising that the top of the mountain wasn't affected by the weather, which lost him points. I blocked the top of the mountain for a turn or two, but then had to descend to save my climber, having no more blue cards in deck, and Simon instead moved up, and prevented Marion from going higher up the mountain too. Simon won, with me and Marion a point behind, and Sami and Ellie one point behind that - a very close game. And no-one lost a climber!

Ellie went home, and I read games from the top of my list (as it was too late to introduce Feast of Odin to two new players ), and we settled on Ticket to Ride. Marion got a bit of a shock when we got the board out, as she didn't recognise the map - somehow she has always played on the European map before, and I'd got the US one out this time. I started with two east-west coast tickets, so did them, and then drew more tickets, finding two more that were very similar and elongated my route further, and then drew tickets one final time to find a horrible selection - a blocked town, another that was too far off my route for me to reach with my remaining trains, and then one that ended in Florida, which was just about doable with only a few trains to spare, but Simon looked like he was heading for too. Luckily we were able to both get there without interfering with each other, but Marion was a bit surprised when I ended the game shortly after. I had built most track, by about 15 points, with the others all in a clump behind me, as my route was made up of mainly longer routes in the north, while the other three were building all the smaller routes in the south and along the east coast. Then I revealed my tickets, and Sami commented that they were a huge score, and all huge. I hadn't realised, not having played this map in a while, but my smallest ticket was 12, and two of them were 20s - I just assumed the tickets had higher values on this map, but Sami was revealing lots of tickets (he got the most ticket bonus easily), and they were all tiny! My ticket score was 30 more than everyone else, so I was safe for the win, even with Sami's most tickets bonus.

I then suggested something light and party gameish to finish with, as I was quite tired, Pictionary. I obviously wasn't too tired to still be very quick at Pictionary though, and Sami and I sped round the board, with Simon and Marion sitting there going "How?!?!?". Then we got stuck on an action square halfway round the board, and Marion's impressive dice rolling, and a run of them not getting all plays against us, sped them past us. (Sami also said I went to sleep for 5 minutes!). Then they landed on an all play square, and it was all over for them - they didn't move again for the rest of the game, us beating them on their all plays every time while we motored round the rest of the board.
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Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:05 am
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Friday 16th December 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were 9 this week. We started with a game of Crazy Circus while waiting for the late arrivals, as it was a good one for everyone to join in with. Then we started discussing the first main game of the evening. Marion had spotted La Boca on arrival and wanted to play that; meanwhile Simon was keen to play John's Dominant Species that he'd brought a few weeks ago and not tried yet as we hadn't had the right numbers. That found four, and the remaining five of us played La Boca. I was obviously tired, as I'm usually good at this, but only got 3 for my first one, and then my second one we ran out of time trying to make it work, until I eventually realised that turning the pieces on their backs did it. I did get one good round, but messed up my fourth round too!

We then wanted more light games and Seb had never played GiftTRAP before so we moved on to that. It turned out that we were all terrible at giving except for Marion, and it was obviously easier to buy presents for girls than guys! At the end game Marion had both to the far end, I had the getting parcel to the end, and none of the other pieces were more than halfway - in fact one was back on the starting line!!!

Next Seb suggested his King of New York which I was keen to try, to see the differences from Tokyo. There were a few rules wrinkles to iron out, but then we started. We all bounced in and out of Manhattan a few times, then Richard and Colin, sitting to Richard's left, both went in. I did one damage, as did Seb, then Marion did 3. Richard had the unfortunate decision as to whether to leave, or stay in and hope I did less than 3 damage to him, knowing that both he and Colin were attacking the rest of us which might put us on the defensive. He decided to stay in, rolled huge numbers of hearts he couldn't use on his turn, and then died in my turn when I did indeed roll the 3 damage. Colin followed him shortly after, when on similarly low health he bought a card from the middle and turned up one that meant we needed to pay 2 energy to move. Marion managed to take both him and Seb out on her turn, leaving us to duel for the finish, which I turned into a VP victory, after Marion failed to kill me on a turn when I was down to 2 health, phew!

I then suggested one of my other new games that handled 5, K2. It's definitely a bit more crowded on the mountain with 5! Richard lost a person early on, when he couldn't get down the mountain quick enough in bad weather. I realised afterwards that we also misplayed a rule that would have taken Colin out in the same turn - Richard moved his person down to Colin's base camp, blocking him from healing, and then took him off the board because he died, whereas actually he would still have been on the board in Colin's turn, taking Colin out too. The rest were more cautious. At the end of the game I made a final push for the summit, assuming that one of my last three cards would have one movement to get me down to my base camp again - sadly they didn't, and one of them was the blue 0, so I was either one movement or one health short of survival - either way, I lost a climber, and first position, leaving Colin to win (although actually it should have been Seb if we'd have played the rules right).

Richard left at that point, so we taught Marion Captain Sonar, although actually she didn't have a huge amount more idea what was going on at the end of the game than at the start. She was radio operator and did a great job of plotting their moves on a map - with a couple of gaps when we had queries and they moved while we were talking. Eventually they had to surface, and we had a rough idea of where they were, so I headed their way at high speed and send in a volley of torpedoes, and as they seemed to be useless at drawing inside the white lines, we were able to blow them up before they could dive again.

I then suggested Mamma Mia! as a quick filler while waiting for the others to finish. I got off to a good start, making several pizzas in the first round while the others all failed more make more than one. In the second round the series of 15+ pizzas made everyone laugh - although one did eventually get done. In the third round Seb had an amazing round and managed to catch me up to tie me for the win, even though I was four pizzas ahead going in to the round!!

He then looked at what party games were near the top of my list, giving up on waiting any longer for the other table, and after a brief discussion about Pictionary, we played Compatibility. Seb and Colin were handicapped at the start as Seb drew his cards from worst to best for the first few rounds, but actually both teams marched around the board at the same rate for quite a while, until one round when we pulled ahead. Then on the last turn they landed on the 1 square, four spaces from the end, while we were on a 2 square, two spaces from the end! Luckily we managed an indirect match from our two cards for the win!

We finished with Tension: The Crazy Naming Game, with the usual mix of easy and hard cards. We definitely got more of the easy cards, picking up a few 9s, but the other team were the only one to get 10 (the nine planets of the solar system and the moon!), and we had one card where I just sat mute for the whole card, not having a clue!! It was very close at end game, but Seb and I were just victorious, just getting what we needed from the last card, with the others just a few spaces from the end.
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Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:50 am
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Friday 9th December 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 8, but started with just 7. I had just taken delivery of some new games, so suggested that we started with one of these, Captain Sonar. We selected teams, with me captaining a team of three against the other four. There was some rules confusion, especially on timing things, and remembering a few details, and even more confusion on where the opposition was. Seb managed to get a reasonable lock on them fairly early on, but we had to surface twice - first time for damage, second time because I stupidly ran myself into a dead end, and surfaced with no damage! Luckily they weren't as sure where we were, so that was ok . I then headed north and round the island at the top, only for my engineer to tell me we couldn't go west, just as that was the only option. With the other ship close behind we didn't dare surface, so took a damage instead, and then were able to finish them off shortly after.

We then split into two. The inevitable Terra Mystica went on one table, while I pulled out Medina to play with the other table. Seb managed to end up with lots of unplayed blocks, and ran out of stuff to do way before the rest of us, but this didn't seem to hurt him, and he came second to me (as the only person who'd played the game more than once before I had a distinct advantage!). We then knew Sami was due to arrive shortly so pulled out Pictomania, expecting him to join in in later rounds. I got off to a great start as usual, as did Seb, while John and Lisa were a bit slower at guessing, and this was hurting their scores - John was consistent though - 1, 1, 1,.... Then Seb had a disaster of a round and couldn't catch up, but he was able to stay ahead of the other two, especially when Lisa's even more disastrous round took her into negative points!! I'm still not sure how you can differentiate between robber and burglar! We then played a quick game of ...und tschüss! while Terra Mystica finished off.

Then we split into two tables again, and I suggested another of my new arrivals, K2. This easily found three takers, and we all climbed K2. Seb was a bit overkeen with his first climber, and although it did reach the top, it died shortly after. Meanwhile the rest of us took it a bit slower, and I was just able to reach the top at the end, with Colin and John just behind me. I then suggested The Palaces of Carrara, which was new to a couple of the others. It was one of those games that finished quite quickly, with me hitting the three goals and getting a good score, but Colin had set up lots of final scoring for the extra scoring bonus card, and went just past me at the end. We then finished with a few hands of Escalation!.
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Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:39 pm
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Friday 2nd December 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were just 6 this week. We started with The Bucket King, meant to be a quick filler while waiting for the sixth to arrive, but actually he arrived after we'd set it up and before we started, so we just dealt him in too. John made the mistake of not checking his hand before setting up his pyramid, and this meant he lost a lot of buckets early on, but then stabilised fairly well. Seb also got off to a bad start, while Simon only ever seemed to lose buckets in singles, and Sami was protecting me nicely for the early game, until he found a weakness and brought all the buckets of that colour tumbling down very rapidly. Eventually it became a three player game, with Seb, Gill and John all getting down to one bucket and going out, while the remaining three of us still had multiple buckets. Simon went next and Sami and I had a duel for our final few buckets, and I was just victorious.

John asked to play Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, which he'd spotted last week, and I was keen to play, and Gill joined us to make a third. We played the first scenario, building a stack of wood. The early game did not go well, with us all losing quite a bit of health, and Gill as making repeated prophecies of doom, but actually we then got things set up nicely, and we did manage to win the scenario on the 11th turn - we were on 1, 2 and 2 health at the end, as we never seemed to have any spare food for Gill's healing cookery, but we made it!

The others had been playing Blue Moon City and finished at the same point, so we then joined together and played Mysterium, which was new to Sami. Sadly Seb's clues were a bit too mysterious for Gill and John, and they only found their first clues from exhausting the possibilities. In fact we all struggled a bit on the people, and all of us took about three nights to proceed, but then we were much quicker with the rooms. Sadly though John and Gill never finished their deductions before time ran out, so we didn't get to the final deduction.

Ave Caesar came next, one of Simon's H-index games. It was a remarkably tame first race, but the end of the second race was amusing, with firstly John being baulked at the start of the lap - by every single other player, effectively putting him from 2nd to 6th! However, Seb had been doing the whole second half of the race in first place, with Simon hovering just behind him, so crashed and burned on the final straight. Simon, having kept his own 6s so as not to pass him, then crashed and burned straight behind him, leaving me to fly past the pair of them and take first place! On the third race Gill decided not to baulk me at the end to try and overtake Sami, at which point I flew past the pair of them with a pair of 5s to win that race too! (And Sami still came second).

As you might imagine, this was enough for me to win the game overall, so the final choice of game was mine, and I went for Duplik. Sami and I both got full marks for our own describing, although in Sami's case it was noticeable that although he got good marks, his drawers got rather less, which worked well for him!
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Mon Dec 5, 2016 6:55 am
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Friday 25th November 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were just 5 at first, as Hannah and James were both late, so we played a quick game of Timeline: Music & Cinema while we were waiting. Simon and Sami both managed to go out without making a mistake, while Lisa and I were struggling more. Marion was next, and I managed to go out while Lisa still had two cards left. That didn't take long, so we next played a hand of David & Goliath. Marion led, and with lots of high cards soon found herself with lots of cards in front of her, while I was winning her single high cards for rather more points. Then we moved on to the two suits I did have high cards in, and I won lots of cards here, but luckily didn't ruin my good suits in the process. I had an impressive winning score of 78 at end-game, with Sami just leading the rest on 64, with Simon lagging a bit behind, having hardly won anything!

Now we were up to 7, and James was keen to try his Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, and I was keen to join him. Simon and Sami both said they would be willing to join us to try it, but when the other table chose Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar Simon said he'd prefer that, so Sami joined us. We were all experienced TtA players, so we soon picked up the differences. Sami ended up with Michaelangelo, without having even vaguely played for him, and rapidly was getting a huge number of points. I however was almost put into a military game from the way the cards dropped, while James was taking lots of bonuses for taking colonies. I then drew nothing but aggressions and wars as my military cards, apart from one tactics card for three knights (which I used), and Sami rapidly found himself a target of rather a lot of aggressions, one in particular which rather hurt his game, and a green card that lost him a population hurt him further and stopped him catching up on military. I then switched to VPs in era 3, and rapidly started overhauling Sami. James was way behind on points going into the end-game, but had a whole line of colonies (but hadn't taken Cook). However, he'd been getting all the green cards, so had chosen all the end-game scoring cards, and this allowed him to catch up impressively at end-game, although he still ended in third place. I won, by just a handful of points, as Sami was able to build Fast Food Chains on the last turn.

I definitely liked some of the changes - especially the corruption one - it was so much easier to see whether or not you were going to corrupt. And the cubes were slightly easier to handle than the little discs (although just as easy to knock accidentally!). The tactics rule seemed fairly irrelevant in our game, and Sami had slight concerns on military after being beaten up repeatedly by me, but I think that was just the way this particular game went, rather than it being a change due to the new version. The board was confusing me though - why would you reflect a perfectly good existing one!! They also seem to have made stronger some of the cards that are very good in the short game (but weak in the full game), which might have unbalanced the short game further - we already had concerns about some of those cards in the original - not a problem in this game though as we were playing the long game.

Tzolkin had also just finished, so we merged and split. I wanted something lighter at that point, so suggested Codenames, which Sami, Simon and Lisa all rapidly joined me for. Marion chose Vegas Showdown for upstairs and they played that. Lisa and I were victorious in the first game, after Lisa managed to guess two of my clues correctly at the start, both 3s, so even left with three that didn't link greatly we were just able to win, although she did scare me when she was deciding between the right card and the bomb on the last turn - luckily she guessed right! Second game didn't go so well. Lisa's first clue was sea, and I guessed Port, but then my next guess was the bomb - oops! We played a third as that had been so short, and again Sami and Simon were victorious, but it was rather a closer thing that time.

Rage came next and here I had a complete disaster, only just managing to end the game with a positive score! Lisa meanwhile had an amazing start and was pretty much uncatchable from the mid-game, although the others did have a good try, and it was actually fairly close between the three of them at end-game. Lisa chose Escalation! to finish with, and I had another disaster - Sami never seemed to pass anything round not in double figures, and the first round in particular I spent the whole game with a run in hand! Lisa, to my left, unsurprisingly won, with Sami second.
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Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:45 am
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Friday 18th November 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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James was a little early, so we started with a two player Race for the Galaxy while waiting for the others to arrive. We were then discussing a filler to play while waiting for Sami to get back from the station, but spent so long discussing it he arrived too, so went straight into Terra Mystica. Sami drew Halflings, and the perfect set-up of terraforming on turn 4, house building on turn 5. I was Mermaids, and on the original map, but without the +1 shipping tile in play. Sami and John's Alchemists started together on the right hand island, and spent the early part of the game building round each other. James's Dwarves were remarkably un-Dwarf like, doing very little tunnelling, while Simon's Chaos Magicians were struggling to find a good start space, and then struggling not to get blocked after that. My Mermaids got off to an odd start, thanks to having to double terraform two squares on turn one to protect them from James and Sami, who were both clearly after them. This meant my income really didn't get going until turn 3, and in fact I was cash poor all game, but actually my score wasn't too bad. I abandoned building a second town, just going for spreading on turn 5 instead, and upgrading my shipping level to maximum, and going up the blue track, which had no end-turn bonuses, so everyone else was neglecting it. Simon played heavily for the tracks too, but at end-game was just one point behind James, both on the bottom left corner of the score track. I was in second, round the next score, while Sami had an amazing Halfling score, and managed to go round the next corner of the score track for the win!

I then suggested Turn the Tide for the next game, which was new to both John and Simon. Simon had a bit of a disaster with this one - on turn 1 he cuckooed every single round, and it didn't generally go much better from there. On the last round we finally saw people cuckoo out, with both Simon and John going, and we played three player for the last two sets of cards. It was very close at the top, with me just ahead of James just ahead of Sami. John was actually in second place going into the last round, but cuckooing out while the rest of us were getting about 4 points dropped him to 4th.

Next I suggested 7 Wonders, which Sami was very surprised to win with a science win, being the only person in science and scoring 33 points, despite only having one cog symbol. It was a close game, and the winning score was only 56. I was second with my huge Guild points and Pyramids, with John in third with a huge military score and consistent points in every category except science.

Next Mü & More was suggested. We reminded John of the rules, and then told him he had to start! He ended up over-bidding on turn 1, missing by 4 levels, and taking Sami with him - Simon and I won most of the points! Next James picked Sami and pretty much single-handedly won most of the points needed, which brought Sami back in contention. Then John proceeded to show us he knew how to play with an amazing round where he chose trumps, then just drew them, and with them being 7s that was an awful lot of points - 36 from just him!! James then failed a contract, when I turned out to have an amazing hand, which meant going into the last round Simon, James and I were all on the same number of points, with the other two both about 40 points behind. James and Sami teamed up for the last round, and although I won the most points myself, their team collection got enough points to complete their contract putting James in the lead, and me second.

James chose Ave Caesar next. I managed the impressive feat of coming second in every single race, which obviously won me the game. There was a remarkable lack of people failing to finish - James failed to pit in one round, and on the last round both John and Sami ran out of spaces, but every other round everyone finished. We finished with a round of Knowing Me Knowing You.
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Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:44 am
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Friday 11th November 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday there were just 5 of us. We started with a short filler, in case a 6th turned up - Timeline: Music & Cinema. Hannah needed a rules explanation surprisingly, which Simon had to give as my throat was bad and I was avoiding talking. Sami and James both proved to be very good at this, both going out without making a mistake. Simon however was incredibly unlucky, being wrong by just a year every time, and Hannah was just looking at her cards saying she didn't know when any of them were! In the end, after many rounds, I did just beat Hannah to go out third, with my easy card that I'd left until last finally going down.

Outpost was the next game of choice. This was also unfamiliar to Hannah, so she asked for a rules refresher. James had the most amazing early game income - producing 10 water cards what seemed like every round and this got him off to a start that was clearly going to be unbeatable. I instead managed to get a 1 ore card 4 turns in a row!!! Sami had the highest expected income for most of the early game, but was shut out of the key buildings by James having more actual cash, and this didn't help. Simon got the double data library, while James and I went into titanium. The first buildings in the second phase turned up as two laboratories and two outposts, which meant those people without nodules were struggling a bit to increase their income. James and I both managed to pick up an Outpost fairly quickly, and Simon a Laboratory, and this did clear the path, but it too a few turns. Going into the third round I had the most cash, and was able to pick up the first large building, but James romped to a quick finish with 81 points, while Sami and I tied on just 63 points, but me having spend just 20 more cash.

James then chose Peloponnes - another game not familiar to Hannah! I was struggling all game from my lack of stone, unable to buy buildings, just land tiles, which meant my points were lower than I liked. However I had no shortage of grain, or wood for that matter, and this meant when the grain shortage, luxury goods tax and resupply all happened on top of each other I was in a good position, while Sami and Simon both lost pretty much all their population! Hannah and James were similarly ok for grain. Hannah had the highest score, 24, with James just behind on 23, and me on 20, while neither of the other two could do better than 9, keeping just 3 people alive!

Hannah wanted to leave early, so just had time for one more quick one, which was chosen as Take it Easy!. It was a fairly high scoring game all round, as every but me scored 7s, 8s and 9s (and I only missed 8s because I scored two rows of 7s instead). Sami was the winner with an impressive 193 score, thanks to two rows of 9s and 4s, and only missing the lower numbers. After that we were all within about twenty points of each other, with Simon in second place with 164.

Sami suggested that we just had enough time for a Terra Mystica to finish with. James drew Chaos Magicians. I drew Cultists, and then Simon said that as long as it wasn't Fakirs he was happy. Sami offered to play them if it was - and then Simon drew the yellow tile out of the bag!! It was however on the Nomads side!! Sami then drew Riverwalkers. It was the new map, so we all struggled to find good places to start, and ended up with all four of us in a clump in the middle, with Simon having an outlier on the top right and me on the bottom. It ended up with Simon and Sami building round each other, while James and I built round each other, giving me lots of cult upgrades! Sami proved that Riverwalkers on the new map can actually work quite well, and got a nice set up, spreading along the river, then round to connect in. He ended up with a score around 130, which is certainly the best performance I've seen from that race before! Simon and I managed to tie for second place, with Simon just winning on the tie-break.
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Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:59 am
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Friday 4th November 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with 9 of us, needing to split into two tables. I suggested Chronology and found four people to join me, while upstairs started Ra. I had a terrible start, while Colin to my left managed to get most of his cards in the 1960s - by the end he nearly had every year in that decade. John got off to a great start early on, but later it all went wrong and he ended up last, Colin winning, with Gill and I in joint second place.

We finished and Sami was due to get back from his delayed train, so we played two hands of Spyfall. Both games the spy was caught fairly quickly.

We then split into two tables of three - Sami, Richard and I played Acquire. I had a very lucky start, having four hotel founding tiles early on, being involved in all the early mergers, as well as being able to control which way they went. Sami in particular was struggling to get any cash at all after the early game, although he did manage to build up minority control in both the two safe chains, both of which I had majority control in. All the others hotel chains gradually merged in, and I was a clear winner, with Richard just beating Sami for second by a few hundred pounds.

At this point the other table had also finished, so we were merging and splitting again. Colin suggested Urban Sprawl, which I was a bit sceptical would finish in time as it can be a 3 hour game, and it was already after 9pm, but John was keen to try it, so I joined them. Actually we zipped through the game - and I had my usual disaster, although this time it was definitely the game that didn't like me - after the 12 money token was put on the board Colin had the majority in that row, with John second, and the deck kept drawing 12 cash payouts over and over again, until Colin had about 90 cash, and John about 40, while I was struggling to get into double figures! Colin had so much power with that much cash that he was able to get all the most valuable buildings, while I was struggling even to get anything on the board! I was lapped at end game, with John just avoiding that, but comfortably in second.

We managed to draw the end-game scoring card while the other tables were still discussing what to play next, so they held on while we scored up, and we merged and split again. As Gill was here Sami suggested Time's Up!, despite the late hour. Again I protested on length, but we tried it anyway, and I joined them with Hannah. It definitely overran past midnight - we had only just started the second round at that point, as it was a terrible selection of cards - most of the names we hadn't heard of, and not easy to describe either - Kareem Abdul-whatever it was being the worst, but a few others almost as bad!
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Mon Nov 7, 2016 1:45 pm
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Friday 28th October 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Games, games and more games!
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We started with a couple of games of A Fake Artist Goes to New York while people were arriving. I kept being chosen as the Fake Artist - grrr! The first time was clearly a face, but Sami threw me off with some odd additions. The second time it was Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Ellie not knowing who he was saved me from being exposed, although I had a fair idea who it was.

After that we split into two tables, with one table taking Terra Mystica downstairs, while upstairs we played Power Grid (having already played TM that day, I chose Power Grid). It was the Central Europe map, and the mixed power plant deck, and it produced a ridiculous number of oil and coal plants, and early on we had some quite valuable ones, and then in the mid-game the really useless plants came out that no-one wanted. I picked up a uranium plant early, but it turned out not to be such an amazing buy when everyone else got good plants too, and it put me a good two houses behind everyone else for the early game, which even with my reduced costs, did start to bite eventually. Marion was clearly doing really well, and on the turn we hit phase 3 was able to buy to 17 houses, powering more than anyone else. Sami was the only person who could have blocked her, but chose not to buy houses as he was already powering more than anyone but Marion. I was safely in third, as James had been lagging all game in power plant productivity.

I then suggested Himalaya, as the other table was still only halfway through their game. I had a great start, getting down a few stupas, and so many men that I actually ran out on turn 8, and from then on was just collecting yaks! Marion had the best board position in people, and tons of yaks, but unfortunately had hardly any stupas, and was eliminated first due to that. With her removed from the board, I did just manage to squeak through on board position, but it was close (I was the only person not competing with her, so Sami and James had both had a bonus and I hadn't!). Sami was hoping that James would have eliminated me, but it turned out that James also had more yaks than Sami, so he was doomed to second either way!

We then merged and resplit with the other table, with me suggesting Agricola for our table, which Marion and Sami joined me for, the others taking Lords of Waterdeep downstairs with James's new expansion. I had lots of cards that helped me feed, so went for an early stone house so that then I didn't have to worry about food, but then was slightly behind on actions compared to the other two, which hurt me a little at end-game, as I wasn't able to grab as many late-game points.

We then played Grand Austria Hotel, where I was able to get a nice line of scoring rooms for the in-game bonuses, but then ran out of cash and struggled in the late game scampering for cash to do what I needed to do, while Sami opened a ridiculous number of rooms and flew past me at end-game scoring as a result.

We all joined together for an Apples to Apples at the end - although Colin and I didn't actually manage to win any apples!
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Tue Nov 1, 2016 2:06 pm
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