Wednesday, 14 May 2014


Six fine gentlemen of stout heart and mind and (increasingly) belly congregated in Joe’s kitchen for their weekly dose of awesome gamingness. The only certainty tonight was that the Game Of The Month would be on the table, while anything else would be decided on a whim.

We were six in number, so we began with a 6-player 6nimmt. And what a cruel, bruising game it proved to be. In the first round, three of the rows became unusable due to the close proximity of the numbers. In the end, it was the guy with the highest numbers who got hit hardest, which turned out to be me: 44 points in one round.

But I battled back, and managed to avoid last. Ian played a serene game, calmly watching as other people were stung by unlucky cards.

Ian 16
Martin 22
Sam 25
Joe 55
Andrew 77
Matt 78

Then we split into two. Martin said he’d be happy to play Pergamon if he wasn’t keen on the other choice. Then Ian said he’d be interested in trying it, so that was us three sorted. Then the other three decided on Quantum, especially with Martin absent, it meant someone else had a chance of winning. So we had one half of the table dreaming about the stars, while the other dug into the dirt.

Although Martin was a little put out that he wasn’t playing Quantum, we soon got stuck into Pergamon. We explained the rules to Ian, and got right to work, applying for funding. Digging up artefacts, sticking them together and putting on a exhibition. What larks!

We all got stung by the mean old German authorities when they refused to had out funding to those last in line, but I got hit twice. I thought that was the end for me, but I could take some comfort in my old bracelet and amphora which got me big bonus points in the last round. My win was as welcome as it was comfortable.

Andrew 38
Martin 33
Ian 23

Quantum was apparently in its last stages, so the three of us watched what we thought were the final moves of the game. But it was not to be. Sam, Joe and Matt cancelled each other out, and the game continued. Rather than watch, we decided to start another three player game and hopefully end at the same time so we copuld all join up for a six-player game of Igloo Pop.

Martin suggested Port Royal and, since the three of us all knew it, it was accepted. I went for cutlasses again, and it seemed to work. I repelled shitty little money ships, and was able to get more money. Martin built an impressive set of cards: money bonus for 5+ cards, two chances to buy per turn and a discount fraulein. The only trouble was, he got it all in place a little too late. I got my twelfth point and had to watch in agony as Ian turned over card after card, trying to get a two-buy bonus to boost his points. Luckily for me, he went bust, robbing Martin of the chance of beating my score.

Andrew 12
Martin 11
Ian 7

But during this game, Quantum finally finished, with Joe using a method that Martin had mentioned while we were watching it. Joe remarked that it didn’t feel like a proper win, but everyone knew about it and no one tried to stop him, so a win is a win.

1. Joe
2= Matt (1 cube left)
2= Sam (1 cube left)

Since we were playing Port Royal, they began Mammut, a game which briefly saw favour in Bristol GNN about two years ago before being traded away. Well, Joe regretted that decision and now it was back. I paid less attention to this game than I did for Quantum. There was a lack of caveman noises for a start. In the end, Joe found himself having to gamble on some tiles and hope to sneak first or go for the safe option and guarantee second. He went for the safe option which, in the end, didn’t turn out to be that safe.

Sam 76
Matt 51
Joe 50

In the meantime, Martin Ian and I dug out Vegas and were having a fine time, rolling those bones, casino-style. Unfortunately Das Exclusive was too large to fit on the table, so we used the smaller more practical circular dice arena (Das Inclusive?) instead.

After round one, it was close. Then round two ended with a glut of tied casinos. Almost no money got paid out. Amazingly, the same happened again. At the very end, I had a chance to score big, if only I didn’t roll a two, which would leave me tied in every casino. I rolled a two.

Martin $300,000
Andrew $250,000
Ian $190,000

Martin 1 2 2 2 1 8
Gonz 1 3 1 1 3 10*
Sam1 2 3 3 2 11
Ian 3 3 3 1 2 12
Andrew 2 1 1 5 4 13
Matt2 2 6 2 2 14
Joe 3 1 4 5 2 15
Will2 4 23 5 16
Anja 2 5 5 5 5 22
Steve 4 5 5 5 5 24

Gonz has been away so long that the barely-remembered decay rule comes into play: three weeks without attendance and, if you don’t have any red fives, your score goes up by one a week.


  1. For the record, sneaking first was never an option for me in Mammut - and sneaking second didn't work out too well either. I think it may be a game where you have to absolutely ensure the spoils are divided as evenly as possible, since any lead will quickly become unassailable.

    Which makes the "I cut - you choose" mechanic more fraught than fun. But perhaps we're approaching it wrong - being too polite and not grabbing other people's stuff.

    It may be simply inexperience - I blew both my 'most tusks' cards on the first round, and didn't have the most tusks, so that can't have helped!

  2. Mammut is peculiar mix of quick, fun mechanics (grabbing stuff) that slow to a grinding halt when you actually have to consider what you're taking. I've no idea how I got so far ahead in that first round, but having done so I basically just tried to balance the books from then.

    Apologies you Joe for going after you so much in Quantum. It wasn't quite as arbitrary as it looked - I had longer term plans - but I think being battered by Martin in previous games has taught me that aggression is really key to winning. I was guilty of not realizing how close Matt was to winning though - and made the same mistake you did of not picking up the Aggression card - not a winning move for me but would have got my penultimate cube down much earlier.

  3. Absolutely no need to apologise Sam - as I said last night, I was even unsure of the etiquette of pointing out when other players needed stopping. This is, of course, an essential part of making games like this fun, but without the ground-rules in place, or at least not fixed in my mind, I wasn't sure of what was was okay.

    Every- and any- thing is okay!

  4. Good night guys, thanks for hosting Joe.

    I enjoyed Pergamon, but I don't think it's a game I'd want to play all the time as there's not that much variation from one game to the next.

    Andrew - I don't think Ian's performance in Port Royal was quite as poor as you made out! He had 7 points at the end, and was hoping to get an expedition to take him up to 11.

    Vegas is just brilliant.