Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Everyone's a tinner, babe, and that's the truth

GNN tonight saw two errant sheep safely back in the fold, namely Quentin and Gonz. The rest of us sheep (me, Sam, Adam and Joe) were just grateful to have some new faces to look at.

We began with a big six-player game, Kakerlakenpoker. This game of bluff (simply hand a card to your opponent face down, tell them what it is, and if they can prove you wrong, you lose) is simple but also somewhat lacking. Adam simply sticks to the least-risk strategy of looking at the card and passing it on. Like always using the low leg sweep in Way Of The Exploding Fist on the ZX Spectrum. Sure, you win, but there’s no fun. Plus he always handed his card to Quentin who, after a couple of early bad guesses, was in last so he never challenged and handed the card on to someone else, leaving Adam safe.

I, meanwhile, found that everyone believed whatever I said which was annoying because I was always telling the truth. I started lying (and also, I started giving the card to Adam, since he never challenged) which helped a bit, but not enough.

Sam / Joe

After this, the six of us split into two groups of three. Gonz, Adam and Joe went for Castles of Burgundy since, according to Gonz, it didn’t take that long. Quentin, Sam and I chose the perennial favourite, Tinners’ Trail.

We shared Sam’s kitchen table and got to work. Quentin had played before, but got a quick rule refresher and before long, we’d begun! In the first round, Sam made the mistake of helping Quentin. Something he would regret later on. But otherwise, I started appallingly, having to pretty much write off the first round as a mistake. Copper had bottomed out at a miserable £2, and only tin was worth it at £5 a piece.

I came back into it in the second and third rounds, and by the fourth round, I was hoping for a more bouyant copper market to carry me to a decent score. Quentin, though, wanted both tin and copper to collapse, since he already had a commanding lead but no resources left. As it was, copper fell right back down to £2, but tin was back at £5 again. My plan was hobbled, but could Sam catch Quentin?

In the end, he couldn’t quite find enough. It was a close game and although last is still last, I feel like I almost came first. Sam must be kicking himself he ever gave friendly advice to Quentin.

Quentin 105
Sam 104
Andrew 99

It was a great game and we all sailed close to the wind in terms of cash balances. Twice during the game, all three of us were at £0 in our reserves. Given the prices available, I doubt we could’ve done much better. It’s impossible to tell.

By the time we’d finished, Castles of Burgundy was still slowly grinding its way through round three. We considered another game to fill the time until they finished, and chose Biblios. It had been a while since I’d played this game and, again, Quentin needed a reminder of the rules. And, again, this proved to be a mistake.

Like before, it was a close game, but with Quentin going for the higher valued brown dice, he scraped a win on a tie-breaker

Quentin 5 + browns
Sam 5
Andrew 4

Phew. After another close-run competition, we sat back exhausted and looked over to see how Castles of Burgundy was doing. They were just about to begin the final round. We stayed to watch. After all, after such a marathon, it seemed wrong to say goodbye as they were entering the final straight.

But it seemed clear that Gonz was going to win and judging by Joe’s dejected demeanour he was not expecting to snatch second from Adam at the last minute. And that is how it turned out. The game ended with everyone’s brain fried and Joe insisting that it’s a lot more fun as a single player game. Which it is. Gonz said he felt sad when he tried to play board games solo, but I reassured him that after a while you get over it.

Gonz 204
Adam 186
Joe 168

After this, Sam was keen for another six player game. Then Quentin left, and Sam suggested a five player game: Contract Whist? Or No Thanks? This second option got Adam’s attention, and Sam went next door to get it. While he was out, we all put our coats on. Sam came back in, taking off the box’s elastic band in readiness before he noticed there wasn’t the desire to keep playing. Especially with Roll For The Soul on Thursday and then Novocon on Saturday and Sunday. We set off into the crisp November air, our gaming thirst quenched.

For a couple of days, at least.

Adam rises to first on the form table, and Quentin leaps above me, despite still having a red five weighing him down.

Adam 2 1 3 1 2 9
Sam2 2 2 1 3 10
Joe 3 2 2 4 2 13
Gonz1 3 5 2 3 14
Chris1 1 3 4 5 14
Quentin1 1 5 3 5 15
Andrew3 3 4 4 5 19
Hannah2 5 55 5 22
Steve2 5 55 5 22
Anja3 5 55 5 23


  1. Lovely evening thanks chaps. Some lessons learned - don't help Quent (he doesn't need it), don't believe Gonz when he says a game is "not long" and don't top up your beer intake with Jaegermeister.

  2. Enjoyed Castles but got a trouncing - it is pure optimisation really, and thus merits deep consideration of one's options, which leads to chronic AP.

    Not sure it really needs to be played with more than two, and like you Andrew, I think it's a brilliant solo puzzle.

    Well done Gonz for showing us how it should be played, and Adam for coming a worthy second.