Friday, 15 November 2013

Once bitten, thrice die

No, that’s not the name of the next James Bond novel. It is in fact the sad fate of Joe this evening. But more of that later. When I arrived, the place was packed, due to a talk (probably about bicycles) upstairs. Good job I got my order in early since the cue at the counter didn’t go down for about half an hour. I mean, it’s nice that Roll For The Soul is getting popular, but we have games to play.

We (Adam, myself,Gonz and Joe) began with Hey! That’s My Fish. This caught the attention of two women sitting on the next table, and they asked what it was. Joe explained, and I silently wished that we were playing something with a slightly less absurd name. Still, they seemed interested, but they had wine to drink and choir to go to, so they politely declined Joe’s invitation.

After that (I won, hurrah!) a guy called James joined us for some Las Vegas. Joe went to get a drink, which left little old me to explain the rules. I did okay. Certainly, I think he got the jist. It was every bit as exciting and tense as you’d expect from Las Vegas. During the four rounds, Lady Luck flitted between us. She ended up in Joe’s lap, after some rolls by his opponents meant that they tied against each other, giving him first place in a couple of casinos without doing anything. This was enough to give him the win.

By now the crowds had thinned out and we moved onto a bigger table. James left us, and Katy arrived. We decided that Ra was the best five-player option we had with us. Gonz thought it was Agricola, but he kindly agreed to play a game that previously he’d been appalling at. We explained the rules to Katy, who seemed most excited about the opportunity to go “Raaagh!” every now and again.

But do not be deceived, she understood well enough what she had to do. And so did Gonz. His previous defeat was now a distant memory as he picked up exactly what he needed to avoid losing points, and more besides. Adam sat in the corner, apparently sulking, but in truth he was slowly building up his monument collection. Joe scored no points, overall, in the first two rounds, and I too found myself floundering.

In the end, Adam’s huge metropolis was enough to steal first place from Gonz by a single point. Katy was amazed that she came in third, with Joe almost equally amazed that he managed fourth, with me in last.

Then we decided on Incan Gold as a lovely way to end the evening. Another game that Gonz had been bad at the last time he played it, but again he didn’t veto it. Of course, this means we’re duty bound to play Agricola soon. I draw the line at Farmers Of The Moor, though.

And this game is what gave us tonight’s blog title. Joe sailed close to the wind, hanging on in temples until he was alone, at which point he was usually killed by a snake. Three times that happened to him. Three times! I don't know what the odds of that are, but Joe defied them!

Gonz and Adam never quite got going either, but Katy came second after being the only one to get a relic. I managed first thanks to a nice (but unintentional) bit of psychology. There were seven or eight gems to be collected for whoever left. When we placed our cards face down to decide to stay or go, Adam said something that made me state with confidence “Adam’s leaving.” This made Joe reconsider his choice, and he changed his card. In the end, the only one leaving was me! How I chuckled as I collected my gems on my way out and left the rest of them to the snakes.

And that was that. There were fifteen minutes more on the clock, which is barely enough to set up most of the games people had brought. We left Roll For The Soul as the people slowly returned from the talk upstairs.

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