But first, a little background. There were six of us at Sam’s: the host, Ian, Martin ,Katy, Adam and myself, and we began with a little light introduction in the laid-back form of Take It Easy. A simple of where cruel fate twists the knife in your back in ever more amusing ways. Especially with our habit of calling out various words, bingo-style, of certain topics.
However, for a while, it looked as if there may not be a game at all. But Sam’s artistic skills came to the fore and he fashioned a remarkably faithful copy, allowing the game to progress unhindered.
But perhaps the most amazing part of the evening was that Martin realised the missing tile was 5-2-8 at exactly 7.55 (ie, five to eight). Amazeballs!
The first round (with Sam as caller, and the topic was “clothes”) was close: only 77 points separated first and last. But the second round (Ian as caller, topic: punk, rock and grindcore bands) had people grinding their teeth and cursing the heavens in frustration. Not Adam, though, who came first in that round, as he had in the first. In the last round (caller: Adam, topic: condiments and sauces) he was second after Martin, but by then, the win was sown up.
After all that, we split into two. Adam, Martin and I went for the cluster of analysis paralysis that is Five Tribes, while Ian, Sam and Katy chose Lords of Waterdeep with the new expansion. Of course, this expansion allows six players, but Martin would not be shaken from his belief that anything D&D related is as much fun as shaving with a cheese grater, so we had to split into two groups of three.
We set up, and Adam was told the rules. We played and we pondered. Adam noted that this game has pauses long enough for a comfortable toilet break. Martin said that was a weakness of the game just as I was saying that it was a positive part of the game. Despite our contrary opinions on the game, Adam cruised serenely (if a little baffled) to a win, having got a multiplier for his yellow meeples, and plenty of goods. Martin went for djinns, and I didn’t specialise in anything much.
The game ended with Martin deciding that, after several attempts, he really didn’t like it. Adam admitted himself bemused by the whole process, while I thought I’d like to give it another go or two before I decide if I like it or not.
Lords of Waterdeep Plus was still winding up, so we played Love Letter as a nice little filler. Adam said he wasn’t a fan since he didn’t understand the strengths of each card and how to play them. Nevertheless, he and I raced into a 2-2-0 lead over Martin in the first four rounds. Then Martin declared he’d win three in a row and take the win, and he came close. The score was 2-2-2 when Martin foolishly decided to compare hands with me when I had the Princess. Victory!
And so LoW+ ended. I’ll leave it to them to describe how the expansion changed things. The only difference I noticed was hearing the occasional reference to “dirty skulls”.
Then, since we were six, we decided on a final game of Tsuro. Martin claims that Tsuro is all luck, but that’s just a bluff. Everyone knows it’s a game of skill and bluff. I had no chance, stuck between Adam and Martin, so I was out first. Katy followed soon after and then Ian, Sam and Adam all converged on the same square with Ian doing the decent thing and killing them all off at once. This left Martin as the winner.
Sam claims top spot on the form table, with Adam in second.
And on the Lords of Waterdeep division, Sam sees himself on top on points and the medal table. Gonz takes points ratio with a record that probably won't be broken for some time. Steve lurks menacingly on the division, threatening to overtake me, despite having only played half as many games.