Saturday, 14 September 2013

Jonny finally showed

It’ll take a little more than steady late-summer rain to keep us gamers away from a table. Especially when it means a return for old-timer Jonny after a lengthy period of paternity leave from GNN. It was he, I, Sam, Adam and Hannah in attendance. We decided to play Ra, since Jonny had played it before and we wanted to avoid that old situation of Jonny having to learn a new set of rules every games night. Mind you, it had been so long since he last played that he needed a reminder anyway.

Adam brought snacks (or, more accurately, left overs) of ciabatta bread, and Sam laid on a small bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Jonny also brought sea salt and Chardonnay vinegar crisps. Horrendously middle class, but it did taste nice.

Ra began with a nightmare scenario. Ra after Ra was pulled from the bag, and before we knew it, the round was almost half done with most of us not having bid for anything. Thus, it was slim pickings and anyone who ended the round with more points than they started with was doing well.

Not nibbles: that's the discard pile

The second round, for me, was just as bad. I had weak tiles and came away with little. Hannah, though, noticed that there were far fewer Ra tiles coming out, so she hung back and waited until she was last. She had two tiles unused and so was able to take her pick of tiles that she drew from the suddenly very generous bag.

That was the turning point for her, and put her in prime position at the end of round two. And during the scoring I actually dipped down to having just one point, but I scrambled back some dignity with a nile. I was still convinced that I was heading for last place.

I did, however, go into the last round with strong tiles. I bagsied a bunch of buildings and Sam jealously guarded his lead on Pharaohs. Adam had a long Nile and buildings and this time, he was the one to have the auction track all to himself at the end of the round. But this time, there were fewer Ra spaces, and the round ended before he had a chance to pick up some final tiles. He then ruefully looked through the undrawn tiles, trying to work out where it had all gone wrong, and what might have been. Like a ruined man at a race course staring at the losing betting slips in his hand.

Of course Hannah won, and Sam a comfortable second.

Hannah 51
Sam 40
Adam 25
Andrew 21
Jonny 12

After this was a spell of everyone’s favourite battle against game theory The Resistance. The rules were explained to Jonny, but it was a strange introduction to the game. Sam spent most of the first round away from the table, making tea. Plus, Jonny himself was a spy, which is always difficult. It was made harder by Adam’s decision to put in a Fail in the first round, labelling either me or him as spies. This meant Jonny had to talk his way into the game and that was a lot to ask for a newcomer.

In the end, although I very nearly persuaded everyone that I was a spy, the Resistance won and the dystopian future was made all better. Nice to see that The Resistance is just as confusing for five players as it is for ten.

Winners: Sam, Hannah, Andrew
Losers: Adam, Jonny

One last game before we set out into the night. Tsuro was chosen as being quick and simple. I was in trouble early on, boxed in by Adam and Jonny but I lasted long enough that Sam was knocked out of the game first. Adam finished off Hannah and then he and Jonny found themselves face to face in a world without exits. If it sounds like a John Woo movie, it shouldn’t. It just means they came joint first.

1. Jonny
1. Adam
2. Hannah
3. Andrew
4. Sam

Adam now leads form table but it’s tight at the top. Jonny edges ahead of Quentin. Only a couple of weeks before the season’s end!

Adam1 3 2 2 2 10
Sam 3 2 3 1 1 10
Andrew3 4 1 3 1 12
Hannah2 1 3 3 4 13
Steve2 3 3 3 4 15
Anja3 2 5 1 5 16
Joe4 4 4 4 2 18
Miles2 3 5 5 5 20
Jonny1 5 5 5 5 21
Quentin3 3 5 5 5 21
Lizzy2 5 5 5 5 22

1 comment:

  1. Great night, great to see Jonny again. I forgot how much of a mind-meld The Resistance is, so apologies for foisting that on you Jonny! In fact I felt so bad that I neglected to send him off the board in Tsuro...

    Ra was a strange beast with that rapid first round and elongated 2nd and 3rd... Hannah played it brilliantly. Good fun. Thanks all.