There were seven of us: Sam (host), Chris and Paul, myself, Martin, Gonz and Adam. When I arrived, Paul and Adam were engaged in a bloody and brutal game of Cube Quest. Every shot sent cubes of into the darkest corners of Sam’s kitchen. It ended with Adam’s king stranded on the halfway line after a misjudged attack. Paul dispatched his opponent with distain, flicking the king into Adam’s plate of chips.
Paul and Chris had come down especially to play Railways Of The World. Adam and I joined them. Luckily, Sam had already talked them through most of the rules, which saved us a bit of time as Adam just filled in the final gaps in the rules.
Sam, Martin and Gonz went to the other room to try and work out a game that suited all of their tastes. This took a while, so while they thought about what they wanted to play, they played Hanabi instead. That’s an odd compliment for a game: it’s what people play when they don’t know what to play, but it’s good to see Hanabi get some table-time recently. They scored 19. I don’t know what that means. 19 out of a billion? It’s not leaderboard, so who cares?
In our room, we began RotW on the Eastern US map, since Adam and I thought it would give each player some space to establish a little network and get a feel for the game. Little did we know that within a couple of turns, Paul and Chris had invaded our personal space and threatened our networks.
Adam began with three single track lines, going after bonuses. Chris, too, went for bonuses. I locked into the New York/Chicago area, and I think I exploited it pretty well, but even so I started to fall away mid-game as Chris threatened Adam’s lead. At least, he did until Adam put together a huge 20-point bonus link. Clearly, Adam had something to prove after his previous defeat.
In the other room, they’d started playing a game called The Agents. I know nothing about this, except the scores.
After this, they played Sticheln.
By now, when I heard these scores, I was starting to think that Martin only payed games that his opponents hadn’t played much of. But they ended their evening with Love Letter which reassured me that wasn’t the case (although I did notice Palaces of Carrara in his bag).
By the time Love Letter ended, we were also just about finishing off. I’d made some foolish last minute choices, meaning a second place was out of the question. Adam, though, was off in the distance and couldn’t be caught. Although we did think about docking Adam some points after he miscounted his number of tracks, giving Paul a fleeting moment of satisfaction at having gained the bonus for most track tiles. In order for it to mean anything, we would’ve had to taken off more than twenty, though so we didn’t bother.
If that wasn’t enough, we all kept going! Gonz had to go, since he was off to Spain for the next three weeks and he needed to pack. So we six played Kakerlakenpoker! The simple version, without the Royals. It seems our constant mocking of Adam’s tactic of always checking the card and passing it on finally paid off, and he even challenged a couple of people. At least, I think he did. I may be imagining things. He didn’t actually lose, though. That honour went to Chris first and then Sam.
After that, we finally drew the curtain on this season. Thanks to the calendar, there’ll be no more leaderboard shenanigans, but hopefully something will happen between now and the new year to keep us going.
In the meantime, Sam tops a very close leaderboard. Well done, everyone!
And on the division, it’s all about a man called Adam. He takes the medal table, points and points ratio (Hannah's remarkable points ratio of 10.7 doesn't count since it was only one game, and I'm too lazy to do the table again). Let’s see if he can maintain that run of form when he has to look after a child! Ha!
And a look at a graph (mmm... graphs...) of the season shows that Adam lead from the very start. I was in sixth at one point and pulled myself up into third and so was Sam and he ended in second! Gonz is the first player outside the core four to finish above fifth! Aren't we all marvellous?