Last Wednesday Paul accepted my call to arriving a little earlier to try out Netrunner. After my inconclusive opening session with James I was keen to have another stab with the rules still fresh in my mind and that new game excitement still bubbling away. In the days since playing James I had been swotting up on the rules and trawling the forums to gain clarification on some aspects that had befuddled me.
Paul absorbed the rules impressively quick although an open hand set of turns was necessary to embed the process. I took the role of the Corporation as I felt it was a little trickier to handle first time round. My one game experience showed as Paul understandably hesitated over which cards to lay however the battle lines slowly drew up and turns rotated faster.
By now Paul was making frequent runs to search for my elusive agendas and coming away with nothing or only information on what my next cards were. Still I was getting stumped by exactly what some cards where telling us. In some cases it became clear, after a discussion, the appropriate action to take, others we left to be clarified later. In the meantime I was scoring agendas and had built a formidable defence. However, one area which I had left weakly covered was my deck of draw cards (R&D). Paul played an event card which allowed him to access the three top most cards on my deck on completion of a successful run. Swatting aside my flimsy protection he accessed the deck and revealed two agenda cards worth 3 points each. We were tied at six points each, the next score out would win the game. Two turns later I had it. 8 - 6.
The game was still missing something. Paul felt that a lot of his cards were too weak or too specific to be of any use. On my second game I still felt that it was crying out for a list of card explanations.
I'm going to give it one more go to see if I can get to grips with it. Last week I was excited to play again but after my second game a lot of my enthusiasm has wained.
We then had 30 minutes to squeeze a game in before the kids turned up so we opted for little Agricola. Paul's rustiness on this game was greater than mine coupled with a nasty tactic I employed where I nicked the extra expansion field and compacted his farm.
Chris - 50 odd
Paul - 40 odd.
After dinner had been eaten and children packed off to bed, James arrived ready to play our second instalment of Taj Mahal. This one was another nail biter with the scoring positions remaining close all game. James even admitted toward the end that he was actually pretty tense as we went into the final round. However James it was who had managed his hand, done the maths and made the special cards work for him the best at the end trotting out the winner.
James - 54
Chris - 47
Paul - 43
Paul was then offered the choice of games to play next due to his third place in Taj Mahal (Which we might make a thing). He selected a strong favourite of his Alhambra and showed why by wiping the floor with both of us. Scoring a wall of twenty plus in each scoring round is never a bad thing. I did my usual trick of walling myself in, using up vital moves in rearranging the tiles and James had one of those games where he just couldn't get started.
Paul - 178
Chris - 128
James - 98