Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Fun With Dead Civilizations

Tonight Chris was in town, and so an APB was sent out from GNNHQ for any willing and able-bodied gamers to rendezvous at Sam’s. To play some games.

Chris, Sam, myself and Ian were tonight’s brave players. When I arrived Sam was showing Chris the basics of Five Tribes, and as I walked into the kitchen Sam looked embarrassed and declared “We’re not playing it” in exactly the tone of voice the people usually use for “Mother, I’ve never seen those magazines before in my life.”

That was put away and Ian arrived. Chris suggested we play his new copy of Timeline: the general interest edition. I usually do well with Timeline, but it’s usually about inventions. This edition had things like The Introduction of Clementines and The Domestication of Cattle. It also contained the curiously but vividly illustrated Invention of Hypnotism.

I had no chance with trivia like this. I’m used to historical events, not stuff like “First person to balance on the two back legs of a chair” or whatever. Chris fared better.

Chris 0
Sam 2
Ian 3
Andrew 3

No one seemed to be in the mood for anything long, so a pile of hour-long-ish games was produced, and from this Ra was chosen. I don’t have a great record at this, and Chris hadn’t played it in years. Surely, this would be a walk in the park for Sam. I went for monuments early and Sam’s first round collection of Niles looked like it would pay off, were it not for a conspicuous lack of floods in round three. Chris went for a little bit of everything and ended up with a large bit of nothing. Ian wrestled with several inner demons while choosing whether to bid or not, and in the end he seemed quite happy to not come last. My magnificent megopolis was not enough to overturn Sam’s lead.

Sam 39
Andrew 30
Ian 18
Chris 13

What next? Well, in the face of a ticking clock and terminal indecision, you can always rely on 7 Wonders to be the right decision. I got a very ordinary Wonder, which only got me money for my troubles. It was so bland, I’ve forgotten which one it was.

I played a fairly simple game, avoiding war and scoring a bit in each other category. Chris was scuppered as his initial plan of going ballistic with guns and bombs was undone by Sam and Ian having exactly the same idea.

Ian had good guilds and Sam scored almost everywhere.

Sam 55
Ian 50
Andrew 47
Chris 37

There is a 7 Wonders division, and I’ll be honest it’s a little embarrassing. Sam and I have played so often that we’re over forty points from each other and our nearest rivals. Is Sam’s score of 150+ points a sign of genius, or a signal for help? Gonz wins points ratio with another high score that will probably stay for a while.

Next up was Poison. Another Knizia, and another interesting game. Ian went for the unique tactic of trying to score most in all colours. And, surprisingly, he did it! Alas, there were four poison cards to drag him back in the first round. Otherwise, a sterling effort, and one that I didn’t think was possible!

But it’s a high risk strategy, and Ian’s eagerness to pick up cards was easy to exploit. Both Sam and Chris got through rounds picking up no points at all but it was yours truly, Mr Consistency, who took first place.

Andrew 15
Chris 16
Sam 18
Ian 26

Finally, there was room for one more light game, and Camel Cup had been mentioned throughout the evening. Clearly an irresistible treat, especially after all those savoury llama snacks that Chris had brought with him

Once down on the table it teased us with its probabilistic delights. Was it really possible for Orange Camel to piggy back on other camels from fourth to first? Well, anything is possible in this game. Just not very probable, that’s all. Why on earth did Ian bet on it, then?

Sam 37
Andrew 30
Ian 30
Chris 26

So... to the Form Table!

Not much has changed, not even after five games in an evening. Oh well.

Sam 1 3 1 1 2 8
Adam 2 2 1 1 3 9
Martin 1 2 2 4 2 11
Andrew 2 1 3 2 3 11
Katie 3 2 6 1 3 15
Ian 3 4 2 3 3 15
Chris 4 2 4 4 1 15
Joe 3 3 1 3 5 15
Matt 1 3 2 5 5 16
Stanley 4 1 5 5 5 20
Hannah 2 5 5 5 5 22


  1. Nice set of games. Those are some impressively awful Ra scores, given you start with 10!

  2. Ten?! We started with five. Should've checked the rules. Or called Martin first.

  3. I blame not being very good at Ra for my low score. I have a good knack of making timid selections..... It's a tricky game.

  4. Yes you can add on five to all the Ra scores.

    Ian came up with some mad strategies last night. I was already impressed with his grab-all-the-cards technique in Poison - on another night it might justa worked - but to then twice bet on the camel in stony last place was… well, I take my hat off to him. He deserved better than the shite dice he was served up.

  5. I was confused for a while before I realized Poison is now defaulted to Friday the 13th on BGG.