"Don't pack any more games - surely that's enough" said Becky.
"But...what if someone unexpected turn up and all our 5P games won't be good enough?"
A good chairperson knows his club. Our unexpected attendee was Peter, who pulled the old 'you got filtered into my Spam folder' excuse. One of these days, we'll teach John how to use WhatsApp and leave email behind.
Luckily, Libertalia was among my 'just one more...' games, so we set up a full table for starters. A reasonably gentle opening week gave way to all manner of Brute and Beggar fun in the second, and a carefully strategic third. Having clocked up a whopper of a score in the opening third, it wasn't too hard for me to hold on for victory, but Dave pushed me very hard near the end. Ian, with his immaculate timing, has already sent me a request to play Libertalia next week, so we might end up with a back-to-back. But it's still an awesome game.
As nice as it is to stick with a table of 6P all night, sometimes circumstances (or Tony) dictate that we split into two 3s. John had shown quite the enthusiasm for learning Quacks of Quedlinburg. I suspected it probably wasn't really his thing, and the noises of vague disenchantment I heard drifting over from the table as he lost to a Becky/Dave joint win probably proved me right. Meanwhile, I had endeavoured to teach Keyflower for possibly the two-dozenth time at Ross. But it is a club favourite for a reason, and Peter picked up the essentials very swiftly, certainly enough so for him and Gerv to make my life a nuisance. I pulled through for a wood-hoarding win, but was run very close by Peter's swathe of autumn points-scorers and Gerv's collection of green meeples (no mean feat given that the base three green-meeple generators didn't come out). Keyflower, along with some good-quality opposition, generated genuinely difficult decisions throughout. I don't know of any game so rich in decision density, if I can coin a phrase.
We plumped for some light group fare to finish. The Cockroach series is only growing in esteem with us, and we followed Cockroach Poker with Cockroach Salad. Peter started his first game of Cockroach Poker like he'd been playing all his life, but soon encountered one of those immovable barriers - every time he tried to foist a card onto me, it got bounced straight back. He really should have tried to pick someone more gullible - I mean, Gerv was sitting to his direct left. Eventually, John and Gerv combined to pass him his third rat, and there was no way it was getting bounced to me.
Dave prefixed Cockroach Salad with "I wish Ian was here: I'd pay good money just to watch him play this game". He did his best to fill Ian's shoes while Gerv won, and then he didn't have to fill them any longer: Ian turned up and gave us his own unique demonstration of incompetent vegetable-naming while Gerv won again. Why he keeps shouting 'cucumber' remains a mystery as yet unknown.
Beer and Boardgames at The Plough Inn (formerly the Prince Of Wales, formerly the White Lion). "It's not F-ing Monopoly, alright?!"
- [+] Dice rolls