The oft-discussed Game Of The Month did not happen this week, mostly due to a freakish occurance: while debating what we all wanted to play, we happened upon an agreement after only a few minutes! Amazing. Before anyone could change their minds, we split into two groups.
At one end of the table was myself, Gonz and Steve. We didn’t have the nerve to learn anything new so we chose Village as our evening’s entertainment. The others went for Municipium, the Reiner Knizia game set in Rome. I know nothing about it, except that the meeples can gain tiny green circles that sit on top of their heads, like laurel wreaths. Martin likes this and he proudly demonstrated it for everyone.
In our Village, we needed a little refresher of the rules before we set off. My initial plan was to try and maximise Politics, but it wasn’t quite the advantage that I remember it. I did a bit of everything, and this is not a game that rewards diversification.
Steve played his game, as usual, with all the bemused confusion of a man who’s just wandered into a room full of optical illusions and disembodied voices. But I wasn’t fooled. Behind every tentative move was a sharp and cunning mind.
Gonz, meanwhile, seemed to know what he was doing. He barely killed anyone at all, and by the end hadn’t used a single third generation meeple. The game was a long and thoughtful one. I looked across the table, a little jealous at Municipium and how relatively quickly it passed by. Although I wasn’t sure what to make of the rule where you get bonus points for being second in the bath when the prefect arrives. Kind of hard to visualise that, thematically. We were still mid game when they ended.
Sam: 5 coins
Martin: 4 coins, 4 workers
Joe: 4 coins, 1 worker
Matt: 3 coins, 3 workers
They then chose a Tournament game of Raj, the excellent game of bluffing and luck. We ploughed on with our game, made all the more difficult by the fact that, after two hours of play, the score was Gonz 10, me 7, Steve 4. I know that there are big end-of-game bonuses, but after all that time, it felt like a very small return fro all that effort.
Before long, they had finished their four-round game of Raj. It was noted that, despite everyone starting with the same cards, the results were so different. Sam played an excellent third round to put himself in pole position but Martin still had enough gas in the tank to push him into first. Joe and Matt finished some distance behind them.
We were still knee deep, wading through Village. We began one round, quietly convinced it would be the last, but then we couldn’t kill off enough villagers and so we had to begin another round. Then the game ended and the points were added up. Steve’s presence in the market saw him past the well-travelled Gonz.
Even at this late stage, the other four had squeezed in another game. This time, it was Love Letter.
After this, my brain was completely fried, so I got lift back while the remaining five played Take It Easy. I got a text later telling me the scores.
On the form table, several players hit the reset button, being able to play five games in one evening. This means Joe’s table-topping form has now vanished. Also, Adam is getting perilously close to being in last place. Is the world coming to an end?