It was to be my finest hour of the evening. In the last round, I noticed that everyone else had played their 15 cards very early, and the ten tile hadn’t come out yet. All I had to do was fend off minus cards, pick up a couple of lucky tiles thanks to other players tying, and victory was assured!
Gonz and Ian, though, had less luck. Gonz started making strange noises, which is his habit when playing a game he can't get a grip on, while Ian tended to start most rounds on the wrong end of a bidding war for minus tiles.
After this, Joe arrived and we split into two groups. Joe, Martin and I set forth once again into Russia to build awesome railroads. Sam, Gonz and Ian set forth into the future to fight over planets and dice in Quantum. I don’t know what happened there, since I was too worried about my game, but it ended:
We were still in the middle of building the railroad to St Petersburg, or inflating our industries, so they started on a game of Lords of Waterdeep. Before they began, Ian asked what a decent score was. Gonz said “100 something” and then Sam expressed surprise, saying he was about to suggest 80 something.
In Russia, I was ploughing through my new and extremely simplistic tactic: get those useless non-scoring black tracks out of the way as soon as possible, and start getting bonuses. It kind of worked, but towards the end, I took my eyes off the prize and wasted a turn building an industry that I never used. Was this the difference between second and third? We will never know.
The difference between second and first, though, was huge. Martin’s twin industries scored handsomely, and he was able to win with a one-level locomotive still on the board, and no tracks more advanced than grey.
What was most depressing that Martin said he didn’t enjoy the game. I mean, I’m sure he enjoyed the soul-crushing nature of his victory, but he didn’t care for the game itself. Still, two more weeks for the Abacus Of Fun we call Russian Railroads. Who’s up next?
Lords of Waterdeep was still in full swing, so Joe, Martin and I decided to try Quantum. I’d played it the day before, and Martin had read the rules on the internet, so we were confident that it wouldn’t be too much of a learning curve. As it was, Martin reading the rules trumps any other playing experience, as he hones in on misunderstood rules like a kestrel. Still, once I’d got used to the idea that Martin knew the game better than me, even though he’d never played it, everything went smoothly.
Meanwhile, on Lords of Waterdeep, it ended
Which is a very creditable result for a first go from Ian, especially against two old hands like Gonz and Sam.
After this, they embarked on a quick game of Timeline. It’s one of the few games that rewards paying attention at schoool rather than a idiot savant level of understanding of probabilities. Ian won. I will not be so cruel as to reveal which of those three uttered the terrible pun “Uranus was discovered after your Arsteroids.” What happens at games night stays at games night.
Back on our half of the table, Martin was ultra-aggressive right from the start of Quantum, attacking two of Joe’s cubes. I was on the other side of the galaxy and couldn’t help. Not that I wanted to. I thought, if they cancel each other out, I may squeak a first place here. But Martin’s combined skills of maths and luck are not to be underestimated.
He strode to another solid win. It was so obvious, that I spent my last move making sure Joe couldn’t place another cube, giving me joint second instead of another dismal last.
By now it was only half past ten, but by now people had to set off. We ended the evening at a sensible time, our gaming thirst quenching for another week.
Then, when I got home, I realised it was the last Tuesday of the season! A time for prizes and accolades!
The form table ends with Martin on top of the pile, narrowly beating Anja. It was a close season, though. Only five points seperated first from eleventh.
On the Division, after seventy-one games in total, Martin has a complete whitewash spoilt at the last moment by Sam winning on the medals table. Otherwise, Martin takes first in points and also, impressively, in points ratio by a mere three hundredths of a point. A comprehensive performance.
We still have any final results from Bracknell to come in, but other than that, it’s goodbye from us for another glorious season. See you next week for a brand new chance for glory.