Friday, 9 January 2015

Hit for six

Ian, Sam and I met up at Sam’s place on a mild turning cold winter’s evening. Ian and Sam were keen to cram five games into an evening to rid themselves of the 8 and 7 they had respectively picked up on the Form Table on Tuesday. In the end, we tore through six, and Sam was even suggesting a quick game to end the evening once we'd done that! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

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
Sam 80
Ian 64

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.

Sam 26
Andrew 33
Ian 63

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

Andrew 3
Sam 2
Ian 2

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.

Sam 8
Andrew 6
Ian 3

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.

Sam 88
Andrew 27
Ian 23

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.

Sam 1 1 2 1 1 6
Andrew 2 2 1 2 2 9
Ian 3 3 2 3 3 14
Andy 6 2 3 2 2 15
Katy 1 1 5 5 5 17
Matt 5 1 1 5 5 17
Steve 3 3 4 5 5 20
Joe 2 4 5 5 5 21
Anja 6 5 3 4 5 23


  1. A fun night, if populated by one too many whiskies for my head's liking this morning. Nice to shed that rotten 8 as well. Shame to break the uniformity but I think one of Ian's 3's should be a 2?

  2. Sorry I couldn't make it last night, a couple of friends came round for our own, less organised, semi-regular board games evening.

    Incidentally the game of the evening was also Castles of Mad King Ludwig so we must have been playing it concurrently. I'd not played it before but I really enjoyed it. I won with 84 having focussed on completing Activity rooms (which the king favoured) and getting bonuses from all three of my bonus cards. The other two scored 76 and 68.

    After that our number dropped to two so we played Jaipur, a game I bought over Christmas but had yet to play. Not sure if any of you have played it but it is a very nice game of exchanging/selling goods and camels for money. I lost two rounds in a row and thus lost the game.

  3. Both sound like bonza evenings.
    I got Jaipur from Sam a while ago - Bea and I have played it, and she consistently wins. I like it.
    Speaking of camels, Bea and I played Through the Desert last night - those ice-cream flavoured camels really brought on the nostalgia - this was one of the first games I bought and played with my girls, though we've never gone a bundle on it at GNN - too much set-up probably.

    We could have a camel-themed evening what with Camel Up, Five Tribes, Yspahan and the above. Whilst smoking Camel Lights.

  4. And getting the hump when we lose

  5. Nice to hear Ludwig is getting a good workout. My foyer led to a pantry, a larder, and a meat locker. Then stairs to the fungus room.

  6. Concurrent games of Castles of Ludwig! That's great. I'm tempted to enter it as six-player on the Division, but that'd mean I don't win, so I won't.

  7. So close to a perfect five on a single evening Sam! Has that ever been achieved?

    Meanwhile I was playing solo Onirim while recuperating from a cold.

  8. Oh, I just noticed I used this title before. Only one month previously. Oh well.