We descended too soon, since Will’s family was running late in their schedule and I arrived just in time to see his family start their evening meal. We made small talk until they finished, and then the cutlery and crockery was swiftly put away and we were finally able to break out the games. Sam brought a selection, but after only a little discussion Tinners’ Trail was chosen. Will was given a rule-refresher, and we were off.
Will may have been rusty on the rules, but he came up with a strategy that we hadn’t seen before and paid off handsomely. Having bought up one mine in the not-very-promising East End of Cornwall, he then proceeded to bid for undiscovered mines for just one pound. Since they didn’t fit in with Sam or my plans, we didn’t contest the auction. In the second round, he forsook any real attempts at mining in favour of building up an empire of mines and, with some good dice rolls, he was soon sitting pretty on a pile of tin and copper.
It was a smart move that saw him safely into second. It wasn’t enough to trouble Sam, who played a solid game of steam-pumps and last-minute cheap mines. I came third, but can’t honestly say I was very disappointed at my score or my tactics. I was just beaten by two superior players.
After this, Sam suggested Take It Easy. He’d borrowed a copy from Joe and this light-but-agonising game is a perfect way to end any evening. We explained the rules to Will, and we began. We cursed and sighed when the tiles were wrong and we almost stood up and applauded if they were right. In our three-round game, only one point separated Sam and I (306 points to 305) at the end of round two but Sam had the best of the final round, winning his second game of the day.
We packed up and set off, satisfied in our hearts. I said "We should do this more often" before I had to admit "actually, we can’t do this more often."