Games, games and more games!
This was our Christmas session with mulled wine and mince pies (of which I ate far too many!). We were about to start a 3 player when the last two arrived, so instead needed a game for 5. I pulled out my list, and at the top was Medici, which we hadn't played in a while. Marion and Richard needed a quick refresher, having only played it once, then we started. Richard managed to get the highest boat tota all three rounds, which put him in second place at end game. James was second all three rounds, and also had a much better selection of cargo, so won. Sami was slightly unlucky with his top card from the deck in one round, woth a 0 putting him in joint 3rd, instead of solo 3rd, and that ten points put him in 4th behind me, who had collected just two types all game, which was slighty odd for me!
James suggested Peloponnes for the next game, after his first two suggestions were shot down. This time, unlike the game earlier in the month, my game went brilliantly, and I got one of the highest scores I've had for ages, keeping 11 people alive, and having almost as many points from buildings. James starved badly in the first resupply, and was unable to recover. Marion got stuck with an early grain land producer, than meant she was unable to buy any more lands pretty much, and also stuck for buying buildings, as she didn't have the resources, but despite that did manage to pull into third at game end.
I then suggested The Princes of Machu Picchu, which we hadn't played for a while, despite playing it a lot when it first came out. I hadn't realised it was new to all three of James, Marion and Richard. With a rules explanation for them, and a refresher for Sami and I (although I could remember the basics, I was hazy on a few details), it took a little while to get started, and the first round was a bit stop-start (and I don't think the mulled wine and Sheridans!). Eventually the game started to flow, and people started moving up the mountain. Sami and I were doing this at the greatest rate, and at end game had 6 cards to everyone else's 4, mainly due to slightly earlier purchases of priests, and not running out of llamas at inopportune moments! It could have gone either way in the last round, but was a Spanish victory, which meant our two scores were the ones to get the bonus multipliers. I just beat Sami on gold, by 2, with my first three cards being two 7s and a 6, I knew I was fairly safe for that!
By now we were all in the mood for rather lighter fare, and with Christmas coming up I suggested that GiftTRAP was probably an appropriate option. I had a total disaster early game, and didn't move off the start with either parcel for the first two rounds. Marion meanwhile was great at getting presents, but not so good at giving, while Sami was the other way round. However, late game everyone was competing for the win, with the possible exception of James, who did have an unfortunate knack of picking "No Ways" when giving presents. It ended up with a joint with for Marion and I, with James and Sami both having one parcel on the end, and Richard being close with both, but not on the final square with either (thanks to a No Way from Richard to Sami in the last round).
We then went for Apples to Apples on Marion's suggestion, as she hadn't played it in a while. James and I seemed to be doing well at this, while Sami's "funny" answers weren't getting much love. James and I both managed a full round with only one apple to go, before I finally got the last one I needed.
We finished with Midnight Party, which seemed appropriate for the time, and had been discussed earlier in the evening as something we hadn't played in ages. Marion was initially playing by a slightly different ruleset from the rest of us, which didn't help her in the first round. James had an even worse first round, which was hard for him to recover from, although his later rounds weren't that bad - he had more points in the first round than any of the rest of us but Richard had at end game though - almost hitting a maximum negative score that round! We finished on the dot of midnight!