At first we all played Incan Gold since that’s a game that works well with some many people. Although we were frustrated when turning over high cards, only to have to share all that treasure with plenty of other players. It was all about getting out while the getting was good. Sam played it cool at first, nipping out of the first two temples early on, and picking up what hadn’t been shared out. But Adam faced down fickle fate and stayed in a temple until he had it all to himself, including two relics.
After this we split up, with three playing Agricola (Adam, Gonz and Quentin) and five of us choosing Santiago (me, Joe, Martin, Hannah and Sam). We even had to go into different rooms, there were so many of us.
Santiago may be visually bland but with five it’s at its best. There always someone who suffers and that’s what games are all about! And that’s how it was from the beginning. The canal overseer may have been the guy who got the worst tile in the bidding round but, more often than not, there were few bribes on the table to fill his or her pockets in recompense. It was harsh. Sometimes the bribes were so low it was more like an insult. Like a Hollywood version of Santiago where mean-looking guys in dramatic lighting slap down single notes and yell “This is what I think of your stinking irrigation system!”
Martin played a tough game, but he was stymied when his field of choice didn’t come out when he needed it. Plus, he was the only one not to use their emergency canal. But Joe played it cool. Neither tortoise nor hare, he diversified, picking up scores for every crop. Santiago as it should be played.
During this game I often popped in next door, partly to admire Gonz’s laminated cards and partly because they still had crisps on the table. It seemed close halfway through, but Gonz ran away with it at the end with his extra family members. Adam ended in last, muttering something about having forgotten how to play.
While they finished off Agricola, Sam set off home and us four had a quick game of Timeline. The game of historical fun! It was short and sweet, and I do know enough about history that I feel at least fairly confident when I play this. I knew that the diving suit was invented in the 1600s, for example. Meanwhile, Joe’s last card was The Formation Of The Earth, which obviously came before everything.
After this, we wended our weary way back home. The end of the season draws near. Not completely near, though. There are a few days left, which leaves the Division in a precarious position...
I’m top in Points and on the Medals Table, which is nice, and the gap is big enough that I hope I’m not in danger of being overtaken. Currently Joe is second by a knife edge. But the Points Ratio also delicately poised. Adam leads at the moment, but will the Thursday meet at Steve and Anja's be leaderboard? Will he risk it, since James from Bracknell is hot on his heels? Did the Berkshire bunch get together for a three-player evening? Is there one more twist to this season? We await news from both camps...
On the form table, it’s a hard introduction for Gonz, with that eighth place in Incan Gold weighing him down. But hats off to Joe who timed his run of form to perfection, as he glides into first place.
A great season (if it is over. There may be more.) and hopefully we’ll see plenty of you next week for the start of another exciting new season! No break for us hardy gamers. Those cubes aren’t going to push themselves.