Saturday, 12 October 2013

Straight to Video

Saturday night, my place. A quarter of a century ago that meant cans of Heineken and watching Animal House (again), but one kind of societal non-starter has been replaced by another - games.

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:

Sam 156
Gonz 155
Andrew 124

 courtesy BGG

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:

Gonz 59
Sam 54
Andrew 40

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:

Gonx 111
Andrew 109
Sam 99

 courtesy BGG

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.

Adam 2 1 1 1 2 7
Gonz1 1 2 3 3 10
Joe1 2 3 3 3 12
Andrew2 3 3 41 13
Sam3 215 5 16


  1. Hey, sorry I couldn't make it in the end. Leisure Prevention Officer strikes again.

  2. Wow spam comment? Does that mean we're, like, popular..?

  3. Nice write-up Sam. I'm intrigued as to what game would constitute blowing up Nazis as an end of evening filler... Anything by McQueen games I guess, or Merchants of Amsterdam-busters?
    Surely not... Downfall?

  4. I have killed the spam!

    LoW was tough. I don't think I've seen it with so little money around. That's what ruined it for me: plenty of people in the tavern but nothing to pay them with.

  5. yes very unusual. Glad you liked the write-up Joe; to be honest writing it is a slightly hazy memory after a few glasses of red. Fun times guys!

  6. Monks, dragons, rogues,wonders and markets! All in one evening!
    And Sam, I dont see any future for you in the waitress business, but I was impressed by your parenting skills! Your dad-fu is strong, indeed! Your gaming is not bad, either (cant believe I lost by one point in waterdeep)
    Thanks for the invitation.

  7. Thanks Gonz. I'd tired them out with a couple of big scooter/bike rides!

    I'm interested to try 7 Wonders with you again Gonz where we don't simply hand you all the science cards! It did occur to me later that we played into your hands (literally) because previously - when more than one player has been trying for them - sciences have proved a bit of a dead-end. I think if two of us had been going after sciences the third player would have won... though that's just a theory of course.