Rushing out to a swiftly-arranged games night, I arrived on time with beer and chipsticks. Imagine my shock when I found Sam, hunched over the kitchen table, knife in hand, sawing a Take It Easy box in half! With Ian watching on as if this was the most normal thing in the world!!
It turns out that Sam hadn’t suddenly turned against one of his favourite games. Instead it was part of a new scheme to reduce the space taken up by of some of his games. Games which, he hastened to add, he would never trade away. Unless he tried to pass it off as a one-off limited edition customized release. The plan was that those games that live in boxes far larger than necessary would find themselves on a crash diet.
As for tonight, I had first choice and, although tempted by Railways of the World, I chose Istanbul. This time we went for the “Long” set up as suggested in the rules. This puts the gem dealer far away from anywhere you can make money, and the Sultan’s Palace was nowhere near the warehouses.
I did not start well, wasting a couple of turns getting from one place to another via a square that didn’t do me any favours, and then having to go back the same way. Ian used the Martin technique of ignoring the Wainwright and going to the Sultan’s Palace. It was a masterful plan and, unlike Martin, when Ian got his fourth gem, he didn’t struggle to get the fifth. He already had enough money to get his fifth from the Gemstone Dealer and there was nothing that we or anyone else could do to stop him.
After this we went for another recent arrival, Hyperborea. This game of pulling cubes from a bag and taking actions accordingly had been played before by all of us, so it was only a formality to set up and start, giving Finn the cat extra time to enjoy it’s roomy and spacious box.
Unfortunately, I cannot find the piece of paper I dutifully wrote all the score down on(it might be on Sam’s kitchen floor). Sam won thanks to his army of men spread out across the board, despite Ian’s glut of gems. I came last, with my woeful presence on the playing area undermining my collection of cards.
Sam 50 something
Ian 40 something
Andrew 20 something
My memory is no more accurate than that. I think I’m still in shock from seeing Sam slice a game box in half.
Finally, we went for a short game to finish off. 7 Wonders! The old regular. Sam went for military and a bit of everything else, I went for blue buildings (32 points for them – I do remember that) and Ian went for sciences. Sam won by three points, iirc.
More or less, anyway. I can always check later. On the Form Table, Sam leaps to the top and later that night he texted me the evidence of Take It Easy's new slimline look.