Sam was (is) unable to attend the usual Tuesday meet, so he sent out a call for a Monday get-together. Ian and I (Andrew) were able to make it.
First, we played Taj Mahal, a game of trick-taking set in the North-West of Iandia, although the map is somewhat lacking in detail or atmosphere and I noted it might as well be set in Staffordshire. It’s a game that doesn’t get to the table very often here at GNN towers but, when it does, it’s usually a treat.
Sam and I needed a big rule refresh, and Ian hadn’t played it at all, so Sam took the risk of getting Explainer’s Curse and went through the rules. It’s a nice trick-taking game of quitting while you’re ahead, but it would’ve been nice if it had been a little bit more in character. As we moved around the twelve unnamed provinces, taking anonymous cities and fortresses, it all seemed a bit shallow. Sam commented Taj Mahal would get played more if it looked nicer.
We also had to stop halfway through when we realised we hadn’t been scoring for links between provinces. We’d assumed that it was some big end of game bonus, but when Sam double checked the rules, he found we should have been doing them as we went. We spent a few minutes trying to recreate our moves, and readjust our scores accordingly.
In the end, it was the elephants what won it. Ian and I went for economic power, while Sam when for chains. Ian snuck it right at the death. Grrr.
After this, we wondered what to play to finish the evening off. We chose Citadels, figuring that with three players, it wouldn’t be that long. Sam explained the rules to Ian, and we were off. The assassin seemed to have quite a grudge against the merchant and, as such, it was not a quick game. Halfway through, I suggested we finish on the seventh building, not the eighth and happily, Sam and Ian agreed.
But eleven o’clock, I was in a position to build three shitty districts and trigger the end of the game. It wasn’t quite enough, though. Sam only build six districts but they were all high-scoring and he got the rainbow bonus, putting him in first and cocking a snook to Explainer’s Curse.
Three hours of play, and only two games. I won’t be fooled by Citadels again.
Hmm, the moment I get some free time, I’ll have to sort out the Form Table...