It was a bit like some kind of 70's war film, where a disparate band of heroes - probably featuring an aging Gregory Peck and under-40-possibly Roger Moore - attempted to negotiate their way to a hideout in the Alps before sabotaging a Nazi rally. But just as in war there were casualties and members of the crack gang who couldn't make it - Matt was tied down by family and Steve literally was in hospital; thankfully with a short-term treatment for a relative.
While real dramas played out elsewhere myself (Borgnine), Andrew (Bronson) and Gonz (Kinski) did make it to the secret hideout. Gonz was first, and - I'm giving up on that analogy now- the first thing he witnessed was me dropping my dinner on the floor in the front room. I've only met Gonz once before and I was conscious that as first impressions go this wasn't ideal. However we laughed it off and, having put some tired kids to bed, played a couple of warm-up games before Andrew arrived.
Gonz was intrigued by Biblios so we did that first. He focussed entirely on browns and blues and, having won the tie-breaker on the latter thanks to the alphabet, wiped the floor with me 10-5. We then played Tsuro and I exacted some measure of revenge, winning once by default and once again by dastardly tile placement. But these were mere fripperies of course and the meat and drink of the evening began when Andrew arrived.
Gonz gave us the hard sell on Dungeon Petz, but though it did appeal I wasn't feeling energised enough to take on a big rule-learning session for a fairly long game. Instead we perused the cupboard and after a matter of seconds agreed on Lords of Waterdeep - which needs no introduction. Everybody knew exactly what they were doing and we were off. I was fortunate enough to be dealt the mission-that-gets-you-the-leiutenant at the outset and by round three had him up and running. Andrew was leading the field for three-quarters of the game, but fell away at the end as everyone struggled for money and I in particular for rogues. You'd think with no rogues there'd be money about but Waterdeep's a strange place. Before we scored our Lords bonuses I was 1pt ahead of Gonz - and thankfully for me we both scored 28 points for our seven valued missions:
Next up was 7 Wonders. Again, a friendly face. But our universal perception at GNN (and Area 51 as I recall) of the sciences being over-rated was turned on it's head by Gonz, who specialised in science to a degree I have never seen before and scored 36 points from them. Allied to little bit of military might (11 points) it was enough to give him a comfortable win as well as opening up a real pandora's box:
Finally we played Portobello Market, which is a bit of a sleeper in GNN world. It only takes about 40 minutes to play and I think the fact it feels a bit in no-man's land between filler and not-filler means it doesn't get to the table verey often, but it's very nice; very strategic. My early lead seemed to stagnate though and I was overtaken by my sparring partners:
I could have done one more game myself but it was half-ten and the others decided we could blow up some Nazis another day.