We chose Concordia, Sam’s newish game that has already had two trips to the table with fewer players with decent success. How would it fare, pushed to its maximum five players? Well, the game needed a bit of patching together, since the blue player was missing his three ships. Joe got some plastic blue trains from Railways of the World, and so Ian was blessed with some Roman Sea Trains to get his game started.
Sam explained the rules and then Explainer’s Curse struck early as he proceeded to forget most of them. Joe, Matt and Ian were all new to the game, and there was a lot of lengthy deliberating right from the start. We all used our architects at first, except Joe who postponed building in favour of some extra cards. He later expressed dissatisfaction with this choice, and he more than made up for it by building everywhere. In fact, he triggered the end of the game, by building his fifteenth settlement.
During the game, there was a moment of ghastly realisation when we discovered we were an hour into the game, and all the end game criteria seemed like impossible dreams. For most of the second half of the game, Joe would encourage other players to buy up cards to finish the game sooner, whilst never actually buying any himself. Did his cunning plan work? Only the final count could say.
As we totted up our multipliers, I had a distinct sinking feeling. Having put my all into meeple multipliers, everyone else shot off without me. But then my 6x8 score put me right back in contention. Not enough to overhaul the final winner: Matt’s focus on silk was to be his saving grace, keeping his head above water. Sam, though, ended the game cursing his lack of progress in the final two rounds.
After that epic, lasting almost two hours, we went for something that we thought would be light and enjoyable to end the evening. We chose 6nimmt. You’d have thought, after four years, we’d know better. Igloo Pop, maybe. Or Dixit. But 6nimmt is fun only a certain amount of the time. Otherwise it’s hell.
But we chose it. Matt started well, while Sam flopped to 25 points in round one. Then we all took turns in doing badly. It was the best of games, it was the worst of games, but in this high-scoring 6nimmt, Matt took first place by a comfortable margin.
1. Matt 44
2. Ian 63
3. Joe 74
4= Sam 80
4= Andrew 80
And that was that: the opening day of the season had opened! Matt takes an early lead.