Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Quantum Beery

This week’s Tuesday saw a slimmed-down GNN, after last week’s bloated extravaganza: six eager gamers sat around Sma’s table. At first, though, we were just five. Joe wasn’t expected until eight, along with Russian Railroads. We (myself, Sam, Gonz, Martin and Ian) filled in the time until his arrival with a little three-round game of Raj.

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.

Andrew 60
Sam 30
Martin 26
Gonz 12
Ian 4

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:

1. Gonz
2. Sam
3. Ian

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.

Martin 388
Joe 307
Andrew 299

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

Gonz 158
Sam 136
Ian 128

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.

1. Ian
2. Sam
3. Gonz

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.

1. Martin
2= Joe
2= Andrew

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.

Martin 1 1 3 2 2 9
Anja2 1 2 3 2 10
Andrew2 3 1 1 3 10
Hannah1 3 3 2 2 11
Sam2 2 2 2 3 11
Gonz3 1 1 4 2 11
Steve3 2 1 4 1 11
Matt 1 2 2 5 2 12
Joe2 2 4 3 1 12
Adam3 1 1 4 3 12
Ian1 3 3 5 2 14
Will3 2 5 5520
James4 5 5 5524
Charlotte4 5 5 5524

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.


  1. Yay! I win medals. Thank God for Timeline - just snuck it in at the end there. Well done Martin though for points ratio AND points total. The man's a machine...

    Our game of Timeline was, a couple of erroneous rules aside, quite fun. Gonz straight away went very aggressive (that's clearly key to this game) and started punchign my spaceships in the face. Meanwhile came up to the side of them and kicked them in the shins. No matter, I thought, whilst they are busy fighting they're not getting cubes down.

    Except they were. Gonz especially. Though I had the 'Dominance' rule wrong (I thought it was a tie-breaker in battle, which as Ian said made sense, to be fair) it was more about Gonz sneaking up to four cubes already placed and getting his fifth down by reaching six on his Dominance score.

    Whew, I hope I never write anythign like that again.

    It was fun. And Lords of Waterdeep also, though I shot myself in the foot by searching for Warfare quests and in doing so, discarding a zillion Skullduggery quests that would have helped me. Ian got it straight off - as Gonz says, everyone likes Waterdeep!

    Except Martin and Adam.

    Great season all, looking forward to next week already!

  2. whoops I meant Quantum in that second paragraph

  3. Jesus it's typo morning (or mornign)

  4. I just checked and the final table for March 2014 contained seven players. This time there are 17. That's an increase in 243% in three years. If this rate continues, then in 66 years GNN should include about 5 billion players.

    I hope they all bring snacks.

  5. It's all about the quality reporting Andrew

  6. If only I'd known that a quick win in Love Letter could have taken me to the top of the medal table! :)

    I *really* liked Quantum. Such a clever design! Hope we can try a 4p game next week.

    This designer diary is interesting:

  7. That's very interesting Martin.

    (I wonder if you would have liked Castle Dice...)

  8. Who invited Martin anyway? I mean, congratulations Martin! I couldn't have missed out on my first points ratio victory to a more worthy gamer: or indeed by a narrower margin :)

  9. Who invited Martin anyway? I mean, congratulations Martin! I couldn't have missed out on my first points ratio victory to a more worthy gamer: or indeed by a narrower margin :)

  10. I really enjoyed Quantum too - dice done clever! It reminded me of Municipium more than anything, with the very tactical play, manoeuvring and combo-ing. And great to see that Game of the Month can be played alongside so many other games new and old.

    Now that Martin's properly grocked Russian Railroads it's a bit like being bludgeoned with a railroad tie. How can he be stopped from winning the game he hates!? We must gang up on him - it's only fair...

  11. Clearly we need you and Martin to fight over Industry whilst I specialize in tracks.

    Good effort Steve, btw