Games, games and more games!
We started with just 3, and a quick game of The City. Bizarrely at end game we all had exactly the same number of VPs. With no set of rules in the box (both German and English copies seemed to go AWOL), we couldn't check, but Sami thought the tie-break was number of cards in hand - my income was so much lower than the other two, that that shunted me into third, while the others shared the victory.
James arrived just as we pulled out Love Letter. James won, yet again - he seems to have a pretty good knack of guessing what players have (whereas I stupidly guess a card that's already visible on the table - doh!).
While we were playing Marion and Richard arrived, and Marion presented me with a birthday present, a game called Coup. She'd actually told me she'd bought this on Monday, and I'd researched it on BGG as a result, but she hadn't told me it was for me then!!! We pulled it out. It is primarily a bluffing game, and Marion at least was unsure what to bluff early on. We rapidly realised that the idea was to get money, to either assassinate, or have a coup, to lose player's influence. Eventually, after a few failed attempts, it was just Marion (as she hadn't done anything to lose influence, just taking a cash each turn) and James (who'd been lucky and also not lost any) left in. James's cards were strictly better than Marion's, and he had more cash, so he quicky finished her for his second win of the night!
Next I suggested Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, which quickly found two takers in Marion and James. We chose the advanced version for speed. Marion got off to an early VP lead, and a slight military edge. I got slightly messed up early on, by taking the first iron card and then realising it was a 4+ card, I backtracked by taking Code of Laws, which was next to it, but it messed me up slightly as, with Pyramids already in play, I wouldn't have spent so many actions on it normally. However, I picked up Libraries, and then early in Age 2 picked up the leader that scores points for Libraries, as well as Taj Mahal (the others were both already doing Age 2 wonders), and I was soon getting 10 VPs a turn to the others' 2VPs! The last couple of turns before the game ended I steamed past Marion, but she had the highest VPs at end game, and the highest military. There was slight amusement on the last turn, as I increased my military past Marion, but she put a card in as usual without noticing, only to have it hurt her for not being the strongest - oops! At end-game Marion nearly caught me, but I was able to keep a couple of points ahead of her for the win.
The others were partway through the third round of Drum Roll, so we played a quick filler while waiting - Fleet. I hadn't realised it was new to James though, and having to do a rules explanation meant we weren't finished before they were, so they ended up waiting for us - oops! Marion had an amazing game, with her income ramping up very early on, and at end-game abe to buy all the high VP contracts. I got stalled mid-game through lack of cash, and James was somewhere inbetween!
Marion suggested Vikings as the next game for one table, and eventually Sami picked Agricola for the other one. Richard opted for Agricola, having not tried it for a while, and I joined him too, as I do love Agricola and haven't played it for a month or so. Richard managed to mess up the timing of the first feeding round, and took a begging card. Meanwhile he was also taking all the reed, while Sami and I took all the wood, so no-one ws building extra rooms, even though the family growth spot came out on round 5. On round 6 I maanged to get the two reed I needed for a room, but still didn't family growth until round 7. The late family growthing made for some very good actions available at all times, and Sami early on playing a card that gave 5VPs to anyone with no negatives meant everyone was focussing on that. I had lots of cards that got me resources and food every round, which helped me end game to build a large fence and renovate to stone, and to get a very early clay oven to bake all my grain in, and luckily was able to get the animals I needed for Sami's card. Richard played a fairly solid game, but with two begging cards at end game couldn't hit the magic 30. Sami and I both had scores over 40 at end game, especially when Richard pointed out that one of his cards gave us all 3VPs for the largest house (we all had a size 4 one!), but I was a few points ahead for the win.
With just half an hour left it was filler time - Marion chose Pick Picknic first, which turned out to be new to James. Then Colin chose The Resistance, and Richard and I as spies were just able to be victorious, although at one point it was looking unlikely. I suggested Jumbo & Co as a finisher.