Games, games and more games!
There were 7 of us, and a new box of games to try! Of course, we had to start with some of the new ones, so four of us took Seasons downstairs to try, while upstairs they played Tzolk'in (which we had already tried earlier in the day). We started with the trial game of Seasons, with pre-set hands, and only the basic level cards. It was some interest, but it seemed too easy to play all your cards, and too hard to acquire more. I've since played twice more, and discovered that drafting and the harder cards add a HUGE amount to the game, and that really isn't an issue. More of an issue 4 player, which has been a problem in all 3 games so far, has been the downtime. It can seem like forever for your turn to come around, especially when you have no hand, and aren't doing anything particularly interesting. I'm hoping this will speed up with more familiarity with the cards.
After that we pulled out Dominion: Dark Ages, another new purchase. This was my first time with the "Rats" card - and that card had us all laughing hysterically! We all bought one on the first turn, but then diverged rather. I realised that they'd rapidly take over my deck, so bought some way of trashing them, and also focussed on cash as well, for buying Provinces. Colin and Richard both went a bit mad buying Rats, until their decks started to be taken over. Colin stopped playing them, and just had a few dud turns while he tried to trash a few. Richard however carried on playing them regardless, until his deck consisted of just Rats, one copper, and one other card (luckily one that provided cash!). He did manage to claw back a position from there, slowly, but was well behind the curve. I was buying Provinces almost every turn by then, and no-one else could keep up.
We next had a quick game of The City - which was Martin's 6th that day - it was new to him, and he was more than a little excited by it!!
After that we were all up for something more familiar. After a very long play of the "What to play next?" game, three players vanished downstairs with TransEuropa, while the remaining four still struggled to find a game that suited everyone. Eventually Breaking Away seemed to fit the bill. I led a charmed life that game - every gap in front of my bikes got filled in; I always seemed to be at the back of large packs, and yet I was at the front for every sprint (or if I wasn't, the bikes in front didn't go past the line!). I finished the score with a ridiculous score, almost as much as the other three put together. James did well mid-game, keeping all three of his bikes together, but sadly they then dropped off the pack, and he was left with just one bike for the final sprint, which hurt his game badly. Richard had a tendency to fail just before each sprint, which netted him some late positions each time, but failed to get him any big points.
After that I suggested Through the Desert, a game which seems to get forgotten nowadays, but that is always enjoyable. It was a very close finish, with onlly two points between first and third! Richard however, forgot to play for longest chains of each camel colour, and missed out big-time on points there. We finished with a quick Burn Rate, and all went bankrupt very rapidly!