We began with a new game, Guildhall. This card game was recommended especially to Joe by the guy who works in our regular games shop. Whether this is a good thing or not is still undecided. The illustration on box of the game does not scream “We’re gonna have a good time tonight!” according to Joe. Unless board gamers are supposed to identify with a Peter Postlethwaite lookalike holding some pigs.
There are six different types of cards, and five colours of each. Each player has to get sets of five that they can then cash in for a Victory Point Card which is sitting in the centre of the table. First to 20VP wins.
But each card (even some of the VP cards) gives extra bonus actions when it is played. Careful timing and chaining of these actions is essential for success. It’s an odd game, sometimes a little counter-intuitive (it’s possible, for example, to discard no cards as part of your go).
Maybe it’s a grower, but it didn’t shine on it’s debut. It’s also quite confrontational, which is a fine line to walk here at GNN Mansions. We like our combat to be snide and as undetectable as possible. I was first to twenty points, thanks to picking up a “9 VP” card, and having enough to get another card the next go round. Sam spent most of the game using the word “shitbox” when looking through his cards. Joe went for farmers in a big way. Each to his own, I suppose.
After this, with Adam absent, we broke out the High Society! This slightly-too-random game of trumps is high on our list of greats, even if it is an acquired taste. Like caviar, or the smell of the carpets in Harrod’s Executive Suite.
The first card turned over was a “x2”, and I went for it big time. It looked like I spent too much, though, since two times nothing is still nothing, and Joe started to pick up cards of his own. Sam played it safe and steered clear of the red bordered cards. Meanwhile Joe’s investment on a “x2” card was undone when he found himself picking up a “1/2” card putting him right back where he started. As it turned out, he scored fewest points and had least money. Talk about riches to rags!
Joe OUT! (but he had 12)
After two light-ish games, we next decided on Africana. This game is a madcap romp back and forth across a continent. Sam went for early assistants, hoping the –5 damage would pay itself back. Joe got one and I foolishly got none at all. Any mojo I once had with this game has long since vanished, since I felt myself falling further behind. Sam scored in most bonus categories, but Joe’s specialisation in trinkets got him 18 points right there, which was enough to see him past Sam.
A lovely evening, complete with “burnt toffee” flavour chocolate. On the form table, Adam still sits in pole position, but I reckon I can take him! He ain’t all that! Someone hold my coat!