Adam and Hannah were there, and so was Ian, Matt and Katy who was keen to make a larger impression on the various leaderboards and form table. At first, Hannah was putting baby Arthur to bed so the six of us played 6nimmt. All eyes were on Martin, as he had three consecutive first places in the bag and was keen to get two more for a Perfect Five.
He started well, getting no points in round one, but after round two was in close competition with Adam and Matt. The final round was tense, especially since it was Martin’s worst. But he did just enough to steal the win from Matt by a single point.
But the best performance (at least, the most symmetrical) was Katy who scored 21 in her first round, then 21 in the second round before getting a single point in the last round. With the card 21. Poetic, almost.
Then, with Hannah joining us, we split into two groups. Hannah, Katy and myself played Takenoko while Adam, Martin, Matt and Ian faced off over Kingdom Builder. Would their collective might be enough to stop Martin’s fifth win in a row?
In our room, we explained the rules of Takenoko to Katy. At first she was a bit confused, but soon powered into a mid-game lead. But, then, this game was notable for each player suddenly scoring plenty in a single turn. Also, I found a rule that had previously gone unnoticed: that in order for a set of tiles to score, they all have to be irrigated. Unfortunately for Katy, I found this rule just after Katy declared that she’d scored a set of tiles.
But she wasn’t to be put off, and when I finished the game, she powered past both me and Hannah with a final turn that clocked up 14 points.
I enjoyed it. I found it strangely relaxing, in a way. Although there’s a lot going on, it all seems very sedate, especially at the beginning. A lovely little game.
Before we’d even got halfway through Takenoko, the kingdom in the other room had already been built. I’d heard wails of anguish from Martin earlier about a tactic used by Ian that screwed him over. Perhaps that was pivotal, since the final results couldn’t have been closer.
One point away from the perfect five! How cruel life can be.
Since Takenoko was nowhere near finished, they began another game of KB. This time, there was no nail-biting finish, as Matt used a bonus to score point after point during the game, meaning his lead was unassailable by the time the end game bonuses were added up.
After this, we decided to squeeze in a very quick game of Kakerlakenpoker. This time, though, the loser was the first to get two of the same insect in front of them, instead of the usual four. I was out first and, even if I say so myself, I finished myself off in some style. A card had been passed around to three people, all of whom said it was a fly, before it came to me. At the time I had a rat in front of me (as well as others), and I said “I think it is a fly!” But then just as I was about to turn it over, I said “Unless it’s a rat.”
It was a rat. I lost. It took three of them to gang up on me, though. I guess that means they respect me.
Then it was time to go home. I got lost in Easton’s labyrinthine streets, finally got to the M32, only to discover the slip road was closed. Instead, I tried to emulate Sam’s weaving through darkened back streets and luckily Martin recognised a bus in front of us, so I just followed that back to the centre.
On the form table, Martin rules the roost by a mile.
Finally, we have a division for Kingdom Builder. Gonz is still top, but it’s only a matter of time before his sterling efforts are eclipsed. Amazingly, I win on points ratio.