Wednesday, 21 May 2014


My first thought when I learned who was coming tonight was "We can play I'm the Boss!". This is not Sam's favourite game, but he wasn't in attendance tonight and there were six of us - the perfect number! 
It was only once we were all assembled; Andrew, Ian, Matt, Gonz, Martin and I, and I went to dig out the game, that I  remembered I'd loaned it to Sam on Sunday for set-dressing on Box Fresh, the board game sitcom he's currently shooting. Bah!

So we played Igloo Pop to warm up. This was new to Gonz and Matt, and it seems one's ears need time to attune - Ian had no such issues, presumably having used a Tibetan ear candle before his arrival in preparation.  

Ian 23
Joe/Martin 13
Andrew 12
Gonz 11
Matt 9

We then split in to two groups of three, and performed the obligatory 15 minute discussion about what to play, eventually arriving at Lords of Vegas and Manila, by way of Vikings anda brief flirtation with Mars, Red Planet. 

Andrew, Ian and Matt set up Manila, and Martin and I brought Gonz up to speed on Lords of Vegas. We had a custom dice-arena, poker chips and even proper Vegas-style dice for gambling; we were all set. 

Vegas as seen from the shores of Manila

Half an hour in, and I was absolutely dead in the Vegas dust. I often find with LoV, much like Settlers of Catan, one player is shut out early on, with no hope of catching up. Tonight this seemed to be my lot, as Gonz and Martin sped off up the scoreboard,and I languished at three points. It seemed to be a two-horse race, despite Martin's reassurance that the game has more swing than Sinatra at the Oasis. But two things happened that turned my game around. First Gonz reorganised a 6 point green casino on the strip, and after three re-rolls for conflicting bosses, I came out on top.

It was agony to watch, but the end-result was my first real showing on the board. And the second piece of luck was that my new shiny green casino paid out on the next three turns, or thereabouts. It was unbelievable, but I was suddenly back in the running. Coupled with this, Martin's game had stalled, after he painted several of his casinos a dodgy shade of pink, which resolutely failed to pay out. As soon as all the greens had come out, the game ended, which was frankly the perfect point of me, and after the strip paid out, we were tied for points, meaning money in hand was the tie-breaker. It was one of the highest scoring games I've played I think; and had I not wrestled control of that green casino, Gonz may have achieved the mythic insta-win of 70 points.

The amazing three-way tie.

Earlier in the game, when I had no chance of catching up, I'd counselled Gonz on the importance of holding onto some money at the end, as in my experience there was often a tie for points. That came back to bite me, as Gonz had a healthy stack of chips for the win, and I came second - I have never been happier to come second. It was an awesome, epic game, though had Lady Luck not shined on me in the second half it would have been an enervating 90 minutes that left me cursing the game. But that's Vegas, baby.

Meanwhile, Andrew had taught Ian and Matt Manila, and these were the scores - shaping up to be a good night for Ian:

Ian 122
Matt 97
Andrew 88

They moved on to TransEuropa, the sequel to TransFattyAcids, and these were the scores:

Andrew 2
Matt 7
Ian 8
The birth of the railways

Andrew, exhausted from his part in shooting Box Fresh, wandered off in to the night, and we remaining five had a quick game of Port Royal. Except we discovered that a five player game of Port Royal is not so quick. I think it took us about an hour. It was fun, as always, but my mind was still on Vegas; I was proudly standing in front of my huge 9 point emerald green casino, Danke Schoen by Wayne Newton ringing in my ears. When the music faded, Port Royal was over and Ian had his third comfortable win of the evening.

Ian 12
Martin 10
Gonz 9
Matt 8 (most money)
Joe 8

Everyone wandered off in to the night, and I settled down to consider a title for the blog. Yurt Cobain had come up in conversation last time we played Igloo Pop, in considering possible sequels to that game. It fits the bill particularly well I think, but if successful, the franchise could run and run: Tent Reznor? Marquee Mark? Caravan Morrison?

In the end I went for something a little more cryptic - there's a prize for the first person who can explain the relevance of word Aisha to the evening's proceedings.

Meanwhile, let's all raise a glass to a new name to top the form table: Ian's recent run of good form mean that he's the man of the moment right now.

Ian 1 3 1 2 1 8
Andrew 1 3 3 2 1 10
Martin 2 3 2 1 2 10
Sam1 2 3 3 2 11
Gonz 3 1 4 1 3 12
Joe 5 2 2 3 1 13
Matt4 2 2 5 2 15
Will2 4 23 5 16
Anja 2 5 5 5 5 22
Steve 4 5 5 5 5 24


  1. Death in Vegas!

    LoV was brilliant fun. The instawin is 90 though, so we were still a fair way off :)

  2. PS Camper Van Beethoven got in on this early.

  3. Any advance on Death in Vegas? There's more to it than that :)

    Yeah 90 not 70 for the insta-win, oops.

  4. Ohhh Death in Vegas feat. Iggy Pop. You're a clever man, Berger.

  5. I suprised myself in Igloo Pop.

    Manila was fun, quite intuitive mechanics. I guessed early on that Matt and Andrew had Jade, and I found myself with a large ammount of cash, so I could easily buy the harbour master auction and prevent Jade prices rising, whilst also allowing myself to stock up on coffee. Enjoyed Trans Europa too, and Port Royale is consistently fun.

    Cheers folks.

  6. Yeah! I was listening to Aisha on the way to the studio this morning, and it was almost creepy when the coincidence dawned on me. If it was recorded in Manila there's something going on . . .

  7. Sorry, I'm still reeling from that pun. YURT COBAIN!

  8. Heh heh - what can I say :) It was going to be the blog title, probably should have been.

  9. as soon as I saw Aisha I sang (to Andrew) "Aisha... I'm a murderer" - do I win a prize?

    little reminder guys extras needed at the shop tomorrow between 4pm and 6pm!