Sam had some free time this Saturday and, with Everton drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace, he wasn’t about to waste it on reading and re-reading football reports on the internet. SO we met up for a quick game or two. At first we had a look at Sumeria, a new game picked up for cheap second-hand, but the cardboard bits still hadn’t been un-popped. That’s as close to pristine as a board game gets.
It wasn’t designed for two, but we had a go, anyway. It’s like a mini-Taj Mahal. Winning iin the top three areas gives you the chance to pick up tokens. Collect sets of these to win. But by entering an area, you can push it up the list, so that it may become one of the top three areas, displacing others as it does.
It’s okay. Very hard to tell. It clearly isn’t for two, since the order of areas doesn’t move around enough. But it showed promise. Sam won by 50 something to 30 something.
After this was Lords of Waterdeep. An old favourite, and one that I did terribly at last time. And I got that sinking feeling early on again, as Sam immediately picked up the Lieutenant, effectively giving him an extra go each round.
I went into panic mode which, it turns out, is the correct mode to play LoW in. I pretty much ignored my bonuses and instead went for more quests than Bilbo Baggins on crack. I was helped by completing the quest that allowed me to use an area already used by opponent, somewhat lessening the Sam’s numerical advantage.
Sam obviously had the lord that gave him a bonus for each building, so I was even more keen to put a distance between him and me on the score-track, since I’d been paying no attention to my own bonuses. I managed to pick up 50 points in round seven, and then I breathed a huge sigh of relief as the new quests in the last round all needed money: something Sam had none of. In the end, it was close, but I kept my nose in front.
Then we had a little under half an hour. An akward amount of time, especially with the few games we had to chose from, so we went for Contract Whist. Sam decided to make it more interesting with a pound stake.
It was a lot of fun. There’s a reason why these old games haven’t disappeared, and I think I appreciate the clever balance of risk and reward in Whist even more now that I’ve played some Eurogames.
Especially since I won, 73-43. Or, in other words, £2- £0. Oh ho ho ho.
And so the evening ended, and as Sam set off, I still had the tune in my mind of that eighties power ballad that we changed the words so it was a little more... about anal sex. I'm not proud of it, but that’s what board games, beer and Saturday nights will do to a man.