Friday. Ian and I cracked into Hyperborea, the game with possibly the most teenage box (fantasy, weapons, mountains) and certainly the silliest title of 2014. However hearing good things I rose above my snobbery and traded in... er, Terra Mystica for it.
But at the same time there's a really nifty mechanic at work - terminology allowing. It's been christened bag building or something on BGG. Basically you're generating movement up some advancement tracks as well as on the board, and the more you do this the more options you have in your exploring/fighting and the more gems (victory points) you generate. And how this happens is by pulling three cubes from your bag and seeing what you can do with them: certain combinations allow certain actions, and you can get cards that give more options and rewards too - although the cards cost you in grey cubes, which are mostly worthless.
As the game goes on you populate your bag with more cubes and have more options. It's reminiscent of the card-play in Dominion - not a game I'm fond of, but I found this more engaging. There are options - do you take an instant reward or gamble on setting a few possibilities up for your next turn? That part of the game was a very intriguing element.
4-player set up with invisible table
Although it took us two hours that was a first play and I think the alleged game time of 25 minutes per player isn't too far off, assuming all players know the rules. I also think plain wooden discs rather than designed plastic pieces would have been preferable to me - there's something about bright plastic that turns me off. But these minor gripes aside I think we'd call it a success - Ian would, too: he wiped the floor with me.
I then introduced Ian to 7 Wonders for two plus Dirk - it's really underrated as a two-player I think. The ghostly Dirk adds an extra dimension as you dump cards your opponent (Ian) wants and get Dirk to buy stuff from you. I exacted a small measure of revenge for my trouncing in Hyperborea...
And with that we called it a night.