With Joe and Sam off on holiday somewhere (with their families too, I guess) and Matt having to be at someone’s birthday again (were all his friends born on Tuesday or something?) we were six at first. The aforementioned Adam, Hannah, me and Martin, as well as Ian and Katie.
We began with a jolly six player: 6nimmt. Martin had brought the classic cow-themed version, so we were not distracted by visions of zombies while we played. Nevertheless, the result was remarkably familiar. Ian got locked into a spiral of picking up cards in both rounds, and ended the game. It did seem a lot like Hannah and Katie were picking on him.
After this, Hannah decided she was too tired to play, but she stayed around long enough to watch the opening stages of the dramatically titled Google Datacenter Manager. This is a re-themed version of Palastgeflüster, and the idea is to get six different cards from your hand down onto the table in front of your with no duplicates. To do this each card has a special action (swap, discard, show hand etc) that will allow you to change your cards.
It’s a nice game. There did seem to be a lot of downtime between turns, especially since the next player is determined by the colour of the card just played. This means it could be a long time until your next turn. Mind you, Martin did say we were playing a lot slower than was usual. But there’s plenty of opportunities to try and ruin your opponents game, so there's some potential for some back-stabbing fun.
After this we played Mamma Mia, the card game of pizza creations. The game involves playing ingredient cards from your hand onto a steadily increasing pile and, optionally, playing a pizza card too. The idea is that the ingredients of each pizza can be made up from the ingredient cards in the pile below (and in any left over cards you have in your hand at the end of the round). It a game of memory and some gambling, too, as you can play a pizza card hoping that the previous pizza cards failed, leaving you with enough ingredients to succeed.
It was a fun game, but the most fun was seeing Adam fail to make pizza after pizza. Cruel, perhaps, but we’ve all had games like this. Which is why it’s alright to laugh when someone else has one. Katie, meanwhile, played well and ended with a comfortable lead.
Finally, we ended with two rousing games of No Thanks! Both were pretty strange. In the first game, I got lucky early on with chaining together 35-34-33, which left me with lots of coins. I effectively just watched the rest of the game. Ian nearly got minus points with a series of short runs, which would’ve joined up if only he’d picked up that one card instead of sending it round.
After this, we figured we could squeeze in one last game of No Thanks. This time it was a closer affair. Ian astonished us all with another chain of cards. Katie did much better in her second time playing and Martin came last with a usually respectable score of 25.
I thought I'd done pretty well with this...
... until Ian did this!
And with that, we gentle knockers sped off into the night.
On the form table, despite his appalling start to the evening, Ian rises up to second. In fact, I think most people have improved their standing thanks to Adam tumbling from top to second from bottom in one evening.
And on the Division for this month, Martin is sitting pretty on the Points and Medal Table. Hannah takes first place in Points Ratio.