The Ross-on-Wye Boardgamers

Beer and Boardgames at The Plough Inn (formerly the Prince Of Wales, formerly the White Lion). "It's not F-ing Monopoly, alright?!"
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Friday 25th April - Fifth Dan

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: Agricola fanMicrobadge: I put components in separate Ziploc bagsMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: I support the Iron!
We were joined online for the first time by Dan this week, although for quite a long time we weren't, given that he had enabled some Skype function that prevented group meetings. So, while I untangled the mess (by Skyping Dan first and then re-adding everyone else), we played a jaunty little Port Royal, replete with enough Pinasse and 'Two Anchors' jokes to keep Rik Mayall satisfied.

Having been favourably impressed by the implementations on Boardgamearena a couple of weeks ago, we turned our attention there as it boasts a rich repository of five-player games. There was still a little bit of uncertainty over whether it would kick anyone out, and the tension involved in starting a game AND making sure everyone was gathered up by the server rivalled The Blair Witch Project. But it all worked, and we decided to make the most of it by playing four whole games.

7 Wonders to start, and without all the fiddliness it occupies little more than a filler slot, so OF COURSE we played it twice. Dan has had some notably comic experiences with 7 Wonders at The Plough, so I was a little hesitant to suggest it, but he overcame his latent AP to win the second game (although he was a little miffed at having been dealt the same Wonder when everyone else got something new). I had taken the first round after a fairly orthodox blue-card strategy, but dive-bombed the second after being heftily beaten up by Ian on my right. I am starting to wonder whether sitting next to Ian is good for my sanity...

Libertalia was my next suggestion, met with unanimous approval. In a first round packed with night-time prowlers (indeed I think we played every night-time character in the deck over the course of the three rounds), Gerv got off to a mid-30s flyer, but then injured himself badly in round 2 with a single figure score. It was enough to maintain a lead, though, especially with the experienced hands of Becky and me lagging well behind. In a final round where the only sensible thing to do with the Surgeon was rescue the Parrot, Dan did just that, and crawled up to Gerv's shoulder for an outright tie.

Rather than starting with the heavy games and progressing to light fillers, we were going in the opposite direction tonight. All of the above had only taken about 90 minutes, so we settled down to a closing Puerto Rico. Teaching this was something of a trial (I have perfected my teaching art on Tabletop Simulator thanks to John Shepherd's 'press tab for a pointer arrow' tip), but Ian and Gerv both came through relatively unscathed (although the latter gave it a dismal review of being 'too dry') to tie in joint-third place. Becky ousted me for a tobacco storage early and the game proceeded her way. My achievement of note was building five (yes, FIVE, one more than is actually useful) quarries in a game where no-one else built a single one at all. It ended in a melange of nonsense where we alp pinched each others' premium buildings and no-one got the one they want. One of the more bizarre games of PR I've played, certainly. And we didn't even have time for our closing game of Las Vegas, either.
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