Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Winging it

This week, with James and myself a lot better a regular dosage of games was in store. James had only just recovered from coming off large doses of steroids and therefore didn't fancy challenging his brain to learning some of the new games I had awaiting introduction. We settled for the mind-bending, if easy to remember, Mr Jack as James had really enjoyed his last session with it.

It's not really a game that allows you to be too rusty though, especially if your opponent has had some recent games. (As I had). Therefore after the first round my detecting skills had reduced Mr Jacks alibis to three. And by round three I had him bang to rights and off to county jail along with Sally Decker.

On the return bout I managed to stubbornly keep at least four suspects in the light until the last two turns when it whittled down to two. James was stymied even further as I kept all of the other characters so far away that he couldn't even make a guess. Turn 8 finished and Mr Jack had eluded capture!

We then broke out Carcassonne : Discovery, where scores became tight right at the end but James had done enough to pip me 94 to 86.

Then to Tuesday night. After showing Paul all the new games I had we decided to play last weeks hit Thurn and Taxis. Paul was fast out the blocks again taking the first carriage cards and plopping down post offices in good strategic places. I had opted for a different tactic and began to link up some of the more tricky to get locations and generate longer connections. This paid dividends for me when by a stroke of luck I made a chain from Saltzburg to Lodz and suddenly realised I could take the top bonus for all outside territories. After that I didn't look back as Paul's routes began to look a little more meandering.

Chris - 40
Paul - 29

Although this game took longer than we thought it would we still attempted to learn a new game. Airlines Europe was given to me by my good lady wife for my birthday. A recommendation that that came from Sam (And Joe by extension).

This is an old game brushed up and made new. Designed by Alan R Moon of Ticket to Ride fame, it's a game that takes place over the skies of europe. Because of the Moon connection and the map with interconnected cities some people mistakenly believe this game to be TTR with planes. It's not like that at all. This game is all about buying more stock of an airline than your opponent and pushing up the price, hoping they don't then obtain more than you do. The map and the little planes serve nothing more than level indicators to show you how much you now have to pay for stock.

Aargh! Look at that massive hand!

There are a few similarities to TTR; like the stock deck which functions in the same way as the carriage cards, but all in all very quick to pick up and fast to play. And it needs to be because there a few stock cards to get through before the final scoring card comes up (In a Alhambra style the 3 scoring cards are placed in the deck).

The components are lovely even though I had to mark the wings of the orange planes because they looked like the red and the money was a bit thin.

We quickly ran out of time and didn't do the final scoring correctly but Paul pipped me in the end and we resolved to play it first next week.

Paul - 89
Chris - 85

Troyes, Troyes again

This evening we had six gamers around the kitchen table. Despite our recent extra-curricular games, Sam and I were still excited at the prospect of another games night. Joe, Adam, Steve and Anja made up the rest of the gang. Jonny was going to be here, but couldn't make it at the last moment.

With six of us, we played Mord Im Arosa. This game of gravity-based sleuthing was new to many of us, but it was swiftly explained and before long we were hunting up and down the seven-floor hotel looking for clues or trying to cover our tracks. With more than two-players, it's quite a different game and does need a little more concentration that before. However, late in the game a detached flap on one of the floors caused a blockage which made sleuthing easier than you'd otherwise expect, which pushed someone over the "ten suspicious cubes" limit and ended the game.

1. Anja 10
2= Sam 11
2= Andrew 11
3. Adam 14
4. Steve 15
5. Joe 16

After this, we split into a group of four and a group of two. Joe and I played Troyes (and I found out that the only reason he gave it to me for my birthday was so he'd have someone to play it with) while the others settled down with Portobello Market. I'll leave it to them to fill in the details of their two games, but the scores were

Adam 105
Steve 95
Anja 82
Sam 65

And in the second game...

Sam 106
Steve 84
Adam 82
Anja 79

Meanwhile, Joe and I reintroduced ourselves to Troyes. I discovered a couple of rules I hadn't got right first time round, but I think my recent practise helped me. Joe started by pushing me out of my positions on the buildings, so I got fewer dice, but with only four rounds it didn't seem to make too much difference. And even if I do say so myself, I made some canny decisions in the final round. When the victory points were counted up, I found that I'd won by the slimmest of margins.

Andrew 33
Joe 32

Since it was still early(ish) and we'd all finished our games at the same time, we reconvened for another six-player game. This time, 6nimmt was brought out, and despite its confusing rules (at least until you play it) and Sam's instance it should be called 5nimmt, since you take five cards and leave the sixth, it was a fun game.

Despite his previous good form, Adam did badly from the start but quickly recovered. My form dropped dramatically after the first round, while Sam managed to dodge most of the damage being given out to the other players. By the end, we admitted that no one really had a strategy and Adam said that he did worst when he tried to plan ahead.

Sam 20
Steve 31
Adam 45
Anja 47
Joe 49
Andrew 66

So five games and four winners. And hats off to "Second Place" Steve for his consistency, which sees him up to third with Anja hot on his heels. Despite picking up a sixth place, I stay on the same number of points, while Joe falls due to his habit of coming in fifth.

Sam 1 1 4 2 1 9
Adam3 3 1 3 1 11
Steve 2 2 2 4 4 14
Anja4 4 3 1 214
Andrew6 1 2 3 3 15
Jonny1 3 5 3 3 16*
Joe5 2 5 2 4 19

* the decay rule –people with five results registered, after a while, will find their score go down one point per week if they don't attend for three weeks. It may sound harsh, but it stops the regulars getting resentful. If they attend another evening, all decay points are removed.

Meanwhile, I've been keeping the old style leaderboard up to date. To be honest, it's suffering from the same trouble as last season. Sam is leading with 101 points, Joe is second with 86, Adam has 78 and then I'm fourth with 65.5. After that it's the usual large gap to fifth (Steve, 38.5).

However, the Olympic style leaderboard is looking much more exciting, with a real three-way battle for supremacy. Joe may have fallen to eighth in the form table, but he's still in the running here. And form is transient. Medals last forever. If we gave out medals, that is.

The Olympic leaderboard...


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Beer and Home-Taping

Having missed last week's regular Tuesday meeting, and with unsullied cardboard in the cupboard, I was unwilling to wait another night for my regular fix and wanted to get sullying. Andrew was similarly inclined, and joined me for a game of Rum and Pirates last night as we, slightly illegally, listened to Andrew's birthday mix CD.

Rum and Pirates is a Stefan Feld game but not one of huge regard - it doesn't even make it onto his wikipedia page. That's right. I checked. Perhaps that's because it's extraordinarily silly theme - not the Pirates themselves, but the fact that the game takes place in a kind of pirate retirement village, where they all get drunk, fight with the guards and piece together treasure maps whilst following the Red Corsair around the place like a bunch of besotted schoolboys - then fight with each other over who gets to sleep in the hammock on the ship, despite there being numerous hostelries available onshore.

The other reason might be the badly written rules, which are so repetitive they feel like an experiment. We started fairly late, and when we turned to the double-page spread on how to fight over the sleeping berths (which is actually quite straightforward), I was ready to pack it in and play Stone Age instead.

But I'm glad Andrew persisted, as the game, for all it's fiddly bits, is actually rather simple and quick-moving. On your turn you move the Red Corsair to an intersection on the map and, as long as you have enough pirates in your supply to follow him there, you pick up what he finds and keep it for yourself. If you want to pay a gold coin you can repeat the action, as many times as you have coins. The resources at intersections might be part of a treasure map, or a gold coin, or a fight with the guards, or a few other options including inviting all the players for a drink and squabbling over the available 'honour points'.

For honour points, not treasure, is how you win this game. Pirates, of course, don't actually have much use for treasure when they have it, as the most they'll ever do with it is buy a round in the pub before starting a punch-up. But the getting-of-it is obviously important to them, in one of the silliest games I've played in a while.

After the initial disdain of the rulebook, and the slightly underwhelming board not winning our hearts, this was actually a lot of fun. Heavy on the luck, to be sure, as combat is down to the roll of a dice - which in most instances favoured me last night, as I ran out the Most Honourable Pirate with 72 points to Andrew's 61. But as Joe keeps saying, "dice are in!"

Let's play it again! Tonight!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Four games in a day, and not a leaderboard in sight

I spent a tranquil afternoon as I played through a game of Troyes by myself, just to get an idea of how it works, with Final Score on the TV to keep me company. And, despite Garth Crooks' increasingly theatrical sighs of dismay at Newcastle vs. Wolves or whatever, I enjoyed my first walkthrough of this dice-based game (but in a good way) of disaster-management.

Soon after that I got a text from Sam about a impromptu games evening, and so before long I was sitting at his kitchen table, complete with red and white polka dotted tablecloth (not a patch on Joe's green felt, frankly) learning another new game.

We began with Portobello Market. In this, one has to build up market stalls along streets and then score them according to the customers (normal, aristocrats or the baron) with an option to score districts, too, which scores big but can reduce the number of actions you can do in future turns. In the first game, we were just warming up, unsure of any tactic.

Sam 195
Andrew 180

On the second go, we were a little more canny. We paid more attention to the position of the policeman (which lets you place market stalls) but it was still too early to fully compute the role of the baron, who appears automatically when the last customer is placed on the board. Is it worth leaving a space on the board where you are strongest, hoping that he'll drop into your lap on the last go? Or should you play safe, use an aristocrat and get the points early? Such is life for the Portobello market-stall holder circa 1901.

Sam 209
Andrew 200

After this, we decided to squeeze in one last game. Mord im Arosa. In this game, players have to solve a murder using only their sense of hearing. Cubes are dropped into a cardboard tower and by listening, each player has to guess where the murder took place. A wrong guess means the player has to add their own cubes to the murder scene, which increases the odds of them being unveiled as the murderer.

It's a silly game and a lot of fun. I turned out that I have quite the aptitude for this game, as my guesses regarding the location of Sam's suspicious cubes was unerringly accurate. The game ended with a large enough margin of victory for the heinous crime to be solved.

"Solid Alibi" Andrew 5
"Blood on his hands" Sam 14

Both games were a lot of fun, although would probably be more so with more players. Especially Portobello Market which has potential for quite a bit of Analysis Paralysis if four are playing, I think.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Through a Brass Darkly

When I arrived, I was given pancakes and a seat at the family table. What a happy start to what was to be a long evening. Since we were just three (Joe, Adam and myself) we chose our favourite on-line distraction: Brass. Although Martin Wallace's game is more like a collection of rules that don't fit together properly, we still found it had an allure that we couldn't resist. And so we donned our imaginary stove pipe hats and mutton chops and stood around, clutching our lapels and moaning about price of building t' cotton mill.

The first thing we noticed was how rusty we were regarding the rules. We were used to the internet dealing out cards, giving us money and telling us when we couldn't do things, so it took a while to get going. And then, once we were going, it took a while to keep going.

I went for my usual shipyard tactic which I think I've got down to a fine art (three out of four shipyards built). That fact that I still came last is the final nail in its coffin. It don't think I'll be going for that strategy again.

Really, the evening was between Adam and Joe. I wish I'd taken notes of what they were doing because, thinking back, I have no idea. They looked at the rule book a lot. Maybe that helped.

At the halfway point, I was in the lead, but that was thanks to my network of canals which get removed at that point. I started the second half with few industries on the board, while Adam had plenty of buildings scattered about. Joe trod a path somewhere between us throughout the evening.

By the end, Adam must've been confident in winning since he was giving both me and Joe advice so we could end sooner. Even with that help, we completed the game at quarter past midnight. We were a little older (by four hours, to be exact), a little wiser and quite a lot puzzled as to how it took so long.

Adam 204 (a new high score!)
Joe 184
Andrew 165 (and a personal best for me)

Adam leaps up the form table thanks to losing a fifth place result and replacing it with a shiny new first place.

Sam1 2 1 3 2 9
Adam1 2 1 4 2 10
Joe2 4 3 3 1 13
Steve 4 4 112 13*
Jonny1 3 5 3 3 15
Andrew3 3 4 2 3 15

* the decay rule –people with five results registered, after a while, will find their score go down one point per week if they don't attend for three weeks. It may sound harsh, but it stops the regulars getting resentful. If they attend another evening, all decay points are removed.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Still in the Dark...

On Thursday night I found myself at Chris' house, breaking the journey on an early start in London the next day. As we're both grown-ups we spent at least 8 or 9 minutes catching up before breaking out a nice two-player, Mr Jack.

This Jack-the-Ripper themed filler (filler in the sense of duration rather than frippery) was a big hit with us at StabCon as the ease of learning/substantial depth/clandestine nature combination seemed to stack up into a hit, a palpable hit. The game is usually fairly short and as I was yawning already (it was 10pm) we agreed to a couple of games, so each of us could have a turn being Mr Jack, and a turn catching him. Thematically that's about as chillingly hedonistic as you can get.

I was Mr Jack first and I was stumped from the first turn, when - Chris having taken one of the four available cards - I was left with two that it made sense to take together, and the third being (unbeknownst to Chris) Mr Jack - in his day job as Dr Watson. I'm not sure why I couldn't see a way out of this initial predicament, but I never recovered my sense of evil cunning, and Chris closed in for a third round arrest.

Swapping roles for the second game I felt the tension lift slightly - it's still a game that requires a lot of concentration, but it feels marginally less stressful as the detective. However, having made 99% certain that I knew who Mr Jack was (or Ms, in this case, as Mr Jack was spending his days in drag as Ms Stealthy) I paranoically hung back, obsessing over that 1%, and made the novice policeman's mistake of leaving your prime suspect over an open manhole at night-time. Sure enough, Mr Jack - or whatever her name was - made his escape, and Chris picked up another win.

After my 4-game salvo at StabCon I was disappointed to be twice turned over, but I was reminded what a brilliant two-player this is - like chess, as Chris' friend James pointed out, it has few rules but immense depth in terms of the possibilities (for error!) in each round.

I wonder if we could come up with a four-player variant...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A Thurn for the Wurst

Seeing as it is the vogue to try and make the report fit the title I thought I'd give it a go. This week Monday games night was shelved due to James' and mine separate illnesses. Tuesday games was also in jeopardy as it fell on Valentines and I still hadn't fully recovered. A combination of delicate negotiations and effective cold cures saved the day. Poor Jacquie you might be thinking, and yeah you're probably right.

The "Thurn" of the blog title does indeed refer to a new game for us Thurn and Taxis, which had a little history to it before I could get it to table. I had wanted this game for quite a while. Good reviews, Spiel des Jahres winner, high Geek score and playable with two made it a nailed on purchase. However when I did get to the shop I managed to somehow walk out of it with the expansion instead. Undeterred, I quickly logged on to Amazon and ordered a copy. Unfortunately this time I didn't play close enough attention to the description and ordered the German version. Luckily the BGG has wonderful people that supply the rules to these things and I was able download one.

I'm glad I had Paul with me when I went through them though. The second line on the translated rules was, "A rough translation" and that proved to be the only really accurate statement on it. Somehow however Paul managed to pick his way between my confused utterances to work it all out claiming, "It's a bit like a cross between Ticket to Ride and Web of Power."

Paul's understanding of the rules appeared to help him. As I was tentatively making my way from Stuttgart to central Germany and claiming a nice little route I suddenly noticed Paul had Post Offices everywhere! He started off in front and never looked like slipping behind.

The final tally was closer than I expected
Paul 32
Chris 26

After having low hopes reading the rules I found I really enjoyed the game and I expect it to have high replay value.

This was our second game of the night as we started where we left off last time with a game of Alhambra. With the scoring rules better understood Dirk didn't stand a chance. This game we also made better use of our reserve which allowed me cement my first place by adding another tower right at the death.

Chris 160
Paul 143
Dirk 78

Take that Dirk.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Nein Danke please, we're British

Due to Valentine's Day, games night was moved forward one night this week. This meant for the first part of the games night, I was absent. So while I was struggling with some life drawing, Joe, Adam and Sam struggled with Condottiere. Although I wasn't there, Sam told me that he blames his poor showing on a mistake. After Joe had passed Sam believed he'd won and withdrew a card. But this then left him weaker than Joe, allowing him an early win. As it was, this was enough of an advantage for Joe to continue his run of good form and take the win.

1st Joe
2nd Adam
3rd Sam

Then I arrived at just the right time, and I sorted myself out while Adam was taken through the rules of The Downfall of Pompeii.

We began by suspecting that Adam's innate gaming sense would give him an advantage with this game's unique "populate, then de-populate" mechanism, so he was the initial target of any sacrifices to the volcano. Then we noticed Joe had a lot of people on the board, so he became Public Enemy Number One. After a short while, we saw that Sam was in a strong position, but by then it was too late to do anything about it. I snuck by without anyone noticing.

Sam 9
Andrew 8
Joe 7
Adam 6

After this, a new game was brought to the table. 6Nimmt (which means "Take Six", according to the internet) which is a cross between Poison and Sevens. We tiptoed through the apparently simple rules, but Adam obviously had a better grasp than the rest of us as he ran out as a winner with perhaps the largest winning margin that GNN has ever seen.

Adam 1
Sam 50
Joe 61
Andrew 70

With three games under our belt, we were keen for a fourth game to be played. So, as a nightcap, No Thanks was brought out. The predominant feature of this game is for other people to mock my apparent lack of understanding of the strategy of the game, as I happily pick up low-scoring cards with coins on. But this time, for once, someone else had a weaker plan than mine. Which means, of the three players that laughed at me for picking cards up voluntarily, only two had any justification. To avoid any shame on his part, the name of the third player will not be revealed.

Sam 27
Adam 39
Andrew 46
Joe 62

On the form table, Sam reclaims top spot, while Adam is in serious danger of dropping a place down to an unthinkable fifth.

Sam1 2 1 3 2 9
Joe4 3 3 1 1 12
Steve 4 4 112 12
Adam2 1 4 2 514
Jonny1 3 5 3 3 15
Andrew3 4 2 3 4 16

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Up Pompeii

Tonight was all about Italy. I arrived early, and was introduced to a quick two-player game called Ponte del Diavolo. This simple game of bridge building and land reclaiming is simple to learn but difficult to master. There's plenty of scope to stymie your opponent, while trying leave yourself with enough options so you don't become the stymee to your opponent's stymer. For the record, Sam squeezed past for the win, 21 points to 18.

By this time Jonny and Joe had arrived and a new game, The Downfall of Pompeii, was unveiled. This was Joe's birthday present from Sam, and with a pedigree like that hopes were high. We got the Frankie Howerd impersonations out of the way early, and then Joe talked us through the simple rules. The game goes through two phases: re-populating the city of Pompeii after an earthquake that struck in 62 AD, and then evacuating the city again after Vesuvius erupts in 79 AD.

All through the game, each player has ample opportunity to cast other players pieces into the plastic recreation of the volcano, through various Omen cards, or by drawing out lava tiles in the later stages of the game. This was a lot of fun, even if it was a shame that lava didn't flow diagonally.

The first game was a closely fought affair, possibly due to us not knowing the correct strategies. Joe came out first on a tie-breaker, and Jonny snaffled third from me in the same way.

Joe 8 (6 in the volcano)
Sam 8 (8)
Jonny 6 (12)
Andrew 6 (13)

On the second game, we were all a little better prepared, but the random ways of lava cannot be predicted. At the risk of sounding like a moaner, none of my lava tiles hurt my opponents. Meanwhile, a well-drilled lava-aware population were able to get out in greater numbers than before. And this time, not even a tie-breaker could separate Joe and Jonny, who took joint first place.

Jonny 11 (8)
Joe 11 (8)
Sam 10
Andrew 8

An excellent game, accompanied by Sam's generous helpings of cheese on toast. I enjoyed this evening a lot. Even Finn the cat kept his plaintive mewing to a minimum. Meanwhile on the form table, Joe advances to a commanding lead, while Sam falls to joint second with Steve. Jonny leaps two places to fifth.

Joe1 1 2 1 3 8
Sam2 2 1 5 2 12
Steve 4 4 112 12
Adam5 311313
Jonny1 3 5 3 3 15
Andrew3 4 3 2 4 16

Friday, 3 February 2012

Ripping Yarns

So the bi-weekly Bracknell meet ups arrived again as had the promised new games. This week us board gamers had the new titles, Mr Jack, Thurn and Taxis and Alhambra to choose from. It would have been four with Mammut but that hadn't arrived yet.

I was really eager to give Mr Jack a try after reading so many good reviews and I quickly read the rules and took a mock turn before setting off to James' house. One good aspect of the game is that it is relatively rules light, although it takes a turn or two to get your head round what is happening (Like pretty much all games I guess). In our first bout I took the reins of the detective and James, Mr Jack. In the early turns Jack managed to stay in the light (witnessed) along with most of the supporting cast until the detective realised that it might be a great idea to whittle down the suspects. At this point Jack changed tack and went to the dark side (No Witnesses), thus giving him the ability to escape if he could manufacture the chance. The cat and mouse antics continued until the 7th turn when the detective, with only one option left, managed catch him and reveal his identity Scooby Doo style .

In our second game we fell foul of not noticing one of the characters special abilities, with me as Mr Jack, had wandered into Dr Watson's lamplight. When the call for witnesses was made neither of us noticed and an incorrect call was made. The error was noticed next round but it was too late. It was a bit blooming obvious who Mr Jack was now, so we started again.

This time, still playing Mr Jack, I started appallingly and by turn 3 I was down to 3 suspects and turn 4 down to 2. I changed my tactic and drove both unseen characters to the exits. The dilemma was enough to let my Miss Stealthy nip down a drain and out the unblocked exit. If Mr Jack had been any other character he wouldn't have had enough moves to escape and that would have been it!

Overall a very enjoyable experience, although James noted that the game played out in a similar fashion to chess with each player deep in thought or waiting, not wanting to distract the other.

On the following day Paul arrived without his usual funny observation of something that happened on the journey in. Not letting this get us down we proceeded to peruse the new games. Unfortunately Thurn and Taxis would need to be left for another day as I had contrived to buy the German version of the game and didn't want to hunt around for the English rules. I pressed forvMr Jack again as I could relate the rules quickly due to last nights gaming.

The first game Paul played detective and straight away seemed to have got the hang of it. Mr Jack was left clinging on until the 8th turn when he could do nothing to escape Sergent (sic) Goodleys draw. In the return fixture the detective managed to eliminate most of the suspects by mid game however Mr Jack had adroitly managed to escape being further whittled down, until 7th turn when Doctor Watson dobbed him in.

Then onto Alhambra where it seemed like Paul and I were in a battle to beat Dirk (The 3rd non player). There wasn't much in this until the third scoring round saw Dirk disappear into the distance with his Kew sized garden. Paul then employed Dirks help by giving him Towers, which I was ahead in. The subsequent tie meant that second place actually scored more and Paul cleaned up.

Paul - 122
Dirk - 102
Chris - 81

Beaten by a Non playing character. Balls. (We may need to look that rule of second place up, it seemed unfair but we played it consistently through the game and couldn't change).

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Help me, Rondel

The Stabcon Five (me, Sam, Joe, Adam and Steve) reconvened for a mini-games convention at Sam's house this week. With this line-up in mind, Sam and I made an executive decision to choose Navegador as the evening's main course. This game of opening trade routes to Japan was a hit at Stabcon, and I was certainly keen to try it again. As people arrived, no one complained about the choice, but Adam did have to sit in the corner so he had enough room to put his chips on the table.

In this game, your choices are made according to a rondel – a circle divided into eight sections, around which you can only move three sections at a time. Therefore, you have to be careful you don't go past an option if that's what you need in the next turn.

My tactic for this game was simple: To go around the rondel as slowly as possible. I suspected that there was a logic behind the arrangement of the sections, so I only went one or two spaces at a time until the very end. Joe played an intriguing game, barely having any ships on the sea at all, he capitalized on churches, workers and factories (obviously a Portuguese Protestant). Adam seemed to do what I was doing a lot of the time. Sam complained about having no money, while Steve tried to spread his influence across many categories.

The game ended when I discovered Nagasaki (in my black ships! Hurrah! History is vindicated!), and we found that Joe's strategy paid off, giving him a clear first place. I came in second, just ahead of Adam. Steve snuck past Sam on shipyards, but neither seemed terribly happy with their strategy. Sam especially rued his lack of money early on in the game.

Joe 112
Andrew 88
Adam 83
Steve 75
Sam 61

After this, a game of High Society was suggested. Given that two people present – Adam and Steve – have never been totally au fait with Reiner Knizia's counter-intuitive bidding game, but we decided it should be a leader board anyway. Early on, Steve picked up a –5 while the rest of us paid big to avoid it. For my first card, I chose to go for a "lose card", hoping for a bit of luck in future cards. That luck didn't arrive, and Sam and Adam were able to get 8 and 9 cards respectively. In the end, Steve scored in the minus points and Joe and I scored no points at all, but despite that, we didn't come last thanks to Adam's lack of fiscal prudence.

Sam 8
Joe 0 ($28m)
Andrew 0 ($26m)
Steve –10
Adam $least

On the form table, Sam and Joe battle for first place and, despite a middling performance, Steve edges ahead of Adam.

Sam15 2 2 1 11
Joe2 1 3 3 2 11
Steve 4 4 112 12
Adam5 311313
Andrew3 2 433 15
Jonny5 3 33418