We began with The Castles of Mad King Ludwig, with the by now necessary disclaimer that King Ludwig may have not been mad. Ian got an explanation of the rules and we were off! I ran into an early lead, thanks to putting down an entertainment room that was immediately finished and next to a room that gave me a bonus for it, netting me a cool 13 points and putting me in the lead for one of the king’s favour bonuses. Sam called it a killer move. Yeah!
Sam and Ian both built hallways, although Ian’s didn’t lead anywhere. Sam’s castle was full of tiny rooms’ aiming for the tiny room bonus. He clawed his way back into the lead but in the end, I managed to get bonuses from three of my four bonus cards, putting me level with Sam, and I won because my castle was the biggest! Sam’s small room bonus came back to bite him on the behind!
Cloak room next to the foyer?
That's not very mad.
Andrew 80 wins on biggest castle
Then we played Black Fleet, the piracy game with the smart box insert.
It was my first game, but it’s not exactly rule-heavy. Each player moves there two ships and a shared navy ship and, occasionally, each others ship. Attacking others while trying to sell your goods is the basis of the game, and there was a lot of opportunism and even some apologising as we stole from each other in our quest to earn enough to flip over all the cards we had in front of us.
Sam flips all cards
Andrew 1 card left
Ian 2 cards left
Then we played No Thanks. Ian got hurt bad when he ran out of cash. Meanwhile, Sam and I were after the same card. I picked it up first, loaded with coins, even though I needed a 29 to chain it to another card. To Sam's dismay, the very next card was the 29. Wasn't enough to over take him, though.
Then we played Love Letter. At first Sam and I sped off into the lead, poised to win, but then Ian came back to level the game at 2-2-2. It looked like he was going to win the game from an unwinnable position again, but I took the last round thanks to Ian comparing hands with Sam and winning. Sam had had a king (value 6). I'd already played the countess (7). Even in my inebriated state, I was able to work out that Ian must have had the princess (8), and used a Prince to force him to discard it.
Shitty Baron: just kept getting in the way
Then we played Biblios. What an odd game it was. After the first phase, I still hasn't decided what colour to go for and I had lots of money. Imagine my surprise when the first part of the auction round was all money cards and church cards that let you change the values on the dice. I kept passing, hoping if Ian and Sam spent their money now, I'd rule the auctions later on. It almost worked.
Finally, we played Raj. Sam's really got this game sewn up. After his last 100+ points haul, he scored big again, thanks to an impressive second round where he and Ian tied on every red tile, handing me a whole bunch of negative points.
The whiskey macs we'd had gave use a warm glow but by now it was time to go home. The warm glow did not last long under the freezing rain that was falling outside, but it probably sobered me up a bit.