Adam and Hannah were hosting again, and myself, Sam, Martin came in one car, Matt arrived on his bike while Ian sauntered over from his house just five minutes away.
While Hannah put baby Arthur to bed, the six of us decided on a stirring game of 6nimmt. Adam has The Walking Dead-themed version, and I commented during the game that most of what we were saying could easily work in the setting of a zombie apocalypse. “This is brutal,” “I hope this works,” and “I think I need two people to die if I’m going to survive.”
A terrible second round put Ian on the brink of extinction, and with just thirteen points between the rest of us, it was a tense third round. But Martin cleared it with just one bullet.
Then we split into two groups. Me, Martin and Matt decided to brave the final frontier with Impulse, while Ian, Adam, Hannah and Sam were debating between Tinners’ Trail and Macao. In the end, TT won the vote because Ian didn’t want to learn any new rules tonight.
Meanwhile, in outer space, Martin walked us through the rules. And there were plenty of them. Cards have actions, colours and strengths on them, and these can be used in a variety of ways. Cards can be activated by moving your spaceship onto them, by going through the communal group of four cards, by actioning one of two cards you have tucked away in your player area, plus a number of cards you’ve managed to stash away as part of a plan. On one move, Matt managed to put all of these together to produce a leviathan of a move that went on for card after card.
But it was Martin who won by picking up points for shooting other ships out of the skies, and suddenly ending Matt’s reign of power as hit reached 20 points and suddenly ended the game. My good showing was solely due to me picking up a load of points after a round or two, and then being attacked by Martin and then not doing much else until the game ended.
I’m unconvinced. I have a mistrust of games with cards that have rules on them. It seems like a very easy way to build up a complicated game. It certainly wasn’t what you’d call elegant, but it might have its attractions if we played it a few more times.
During this, Tinners’ Trail ended with newcomer Ian picking up a very respectable win against some tough opposition. Hopefully he’ll tell us his secrets in the comments section.
Ian 108 (wins on money tiebreaker)
Since our games weren’t syncing up properly, they’d already begun on Port Royal by the time we’d finished Impulse, with Ian reminding Sam and Adam of the rules. So Martin introduced us (matt and me) to another new game, also by the same designer as Impulse (although he didn’t mention that until we’d started playing and we’d said how much fun it was).
This game, Red, is a sort of game of trumps, but the rules for winning hand can change each time someone puts a card down. During a turn, a player can either add a card to his showing hand, or put a card on top of the current “rule card” in the middle of the table OR do both. A pile of cards builds up in the middle and the topmost card’s rule is the won that everyone has to obey. For now. Happily, each card has it's new rule (one for each colour) written on it.
The trick is that you have to play cards such that you are winning at the end of your turn. If you cannot, then you are out. It seems amazing that such a simple game came from the same designer as Impulse (Carl Chudyk), but it’s true.
I enjoyed it a lot. Perhaps because I won. By a lot.
We finished when we did because Port Royal was over, and it was time we were heading off, despite the relatively early hour (not even eleven). Port Royal ended:
With Sam declaring that, after three attempts, Port Royal would remain in his bad books as far as games were concerned. On the Form Table, I remain top in what is looking like my best season ever! Still a long way to go, though.