It was back to drawing games out of our mini league tub for this week's entertainment. Only we cheated a bit because we all had a desire to play something substantial, and on a board.
Ticket to Ride and El Grande was nudged to the front and as two titles that hadn't been unboxed in many a Bracknell moon. TTR is not my favourite game as I feel it's a bit too light weight for it's length but James and especially Paul, regard it with much fondness.
Everybody plumped for a regular style of play whereby you do a little bit of card hoarding, then get a little bit worried someones going to go in your place, then stick down some routes and then hoard a few more cards. Only Paul's strategy varied from mine and James. His experience playing my iPad app had taught him that lots of short routes interlinking creates more possibilities when picking up extra route cards. At the end his routes were many and completed which meant that my longest route didn't affect him. Or James for that matter as I had forgotten to finish one of my routes.
Paul - 146
James - 124
Chris - 118
On to El Grande the old lady of Euro games. It was only James that needed a few prompters so ingrained that it is in Paul and my memories but we were up and running pretty quickly. Paul's general advice of "get men distributed on the board early" was heeded by all bar himself, and as James and I stretched our leads after the second scoring round he never recovered. In the final third it became nip and tuck between James and myself as he steadily ate into my lead and eventually passed it. All of the tricks were being adopted, moving each others men into useless places, usurping each others home territories, and out guessing everyones placements with the wheels. All the while Paul played catch up whilst admirably not becoming kingmaker in the process. My penultimate move where I moved 5 of James's men into one low scoring territory seemed to be enough to nudge me ahead as he wasted his final move repositioning them.
Chris - 154
James - 146
Paul - 109