Thursday, 26 February 2015

Don't go Dirk!

Tuesday. Games. Joe's. Seven gamers attended: Joe, Martin, Andy, Matt, Ian, Katy, and myself. When I arrived, people were discussing a new game, Kobayakawa. This is a painfully simple betting game, whereby players bet on whether they have the highest card. The twist being that in the middle of the table whose total is added to the score of the lowest card. On your turn you can do nothing, change your card or change the card in the middle of the table. Very interesting. It plays up to six, but we couldn't think of a reason why seven couldn't play. Until we tried it. If seven play, then there's a good chance that all the cards are used. As such, whoever has the winning hand knows if they've won, and those that don't know that they've lost. We decided to stop playing and split into two groups.

Joe, Martin, Katy and Ian chose Members Only, a game making its GNN debut. It was all about recreating the refined atmosphere of a gentleman's club and their propensity for betting on various things, like hats and cups of tea.

Matt, Andy and I also played a new game: Empire Engine, a small game of few options, but a clever way of choosing those options. To choose an option you have to rotate your cards. It's simple to understand, but hard to explain succinctly.

Matt 15
Andy 13
Andrew 11

Then we played Port Royal, and Matt gave us a real lesson in how to play successfully. He doubled up on cash bonuses for 5+ cards, and it paid off handsomely.

Matt 13
Andy 6
Andrew 5

Since the gentlemans' club across the table were still knee deep in wagers about Big Ben, we continued our little run of short games, deciding to give Kobayakawa a try with three players. I enjoyed it. There's room for bluffing and a bit of manipulation, but mot so much that it gets bogged down in AP. I was in first until the last round, when both Andy and Matt were close enough behind me that I had to bet or I wouldn't win. I bet. I didn't win.

Matt 10
Andrew 6
Andy 3

Finally, the league of extraordinary (the swearing, that is) gentlemen finished. And as you would expect from a modern progressive society, this game of masculine conceits was won by a lady.

Katy 31
Joe 21
Martin 20
Ian 14

Now we were all together as a band of seven. After a little discussion, Igloo Pop was chosen, while Joe and Martin decided to try Patchwork, the rough and tough game of quilting.

I described the rules, while Andy said it seemed a lot like a game he'd sold once. We shook our igloos, we guffawed at our guesses and then were amazed by the result: Andy's first win of the season. Obviously, he'd sold that other game, not because he didn't like it, but because he'd become too expert in it.

Andy 22
Katy 19
Ian 13
Andrew 13
Matt 12

Meanwhile, Patchwork ended:

Martin 11
Joe 6

No idea what kind of game it is, but Katy did note that there wasn't much swearing.

Finally, the seven of us got together for a big old game of Incan Gold. And what a game it was. The first temple ended immediately after two rock falls. And with the laughs of incredulity still audible, the second temple was stuffed full of Zombie Ladies. Surely we'd be able to at least get through the door in the third temple.

And so we did, and the game played out as it should do. Matt demonstrated his expertise in getting out alone when there was an artifact to be had. At one point Martin, baffled as to what to do, decided to Go Dirk and chose randomly. This caused an outcry, as everyone beseeched him “Don't go Dirk!” It then caused a series of copycat threats as Joe and Ian also threatened to chose randomly. This caused Martin to reconsider. And then so did Joe. Only Ian was true to his word and, as it turned out, he left by himself, taking all the loot with him.

Additionally, Joe dazzled us all with his steely nerve in refusing to back out of a temple until he's hit the jackpot. What a shame his plans never panned out. Andy, though, took advantage of all the excitement on the other side of the table to sneak unnoticed to his second win of the evening/season.

Andy 26
Matt 22
Ian 22
Andrew 21
Martin 21
Katy 8
Joe 2

It was now 10.30. Andy and I called it a night, but the remaining five ploughed on, giving Kobayakawa another turn on the table. The results were:

Ian 11
Martin 8
Matt 6
Katie 3
Joe 0

On the division, Katy rebuilds her lead to over ten points again and, just to rub our noses in it, she takes the medal table too. Joe hangs on to Hannah steals Points Ratio from Joe.


  1. According to the table Hannah bears me on points ratio Andrew...

  2. A great night's gaming. Thanks to Joe for hosting and everyone else for playing.

    Incidentally, the game that I sold with bean counting by shaking was Zapp Zerapp.

  3. "And as you would expect from a modern progressive society, this game of masculine conceits was won by a lady."

    What a great line :)

  4. I really enjoyed Members Only - it really shouldn't take as long as it did; which was mainly due to our inability to predict the weather, amusingly!

    Though the spaces feel quite open - 4 or less, 5 or more, etc - by the time you come to which card from your remaining three to discard and which two to play, the exact number of cards in each column is often critical in terms of you scoring while others don't.

    Which makes that decision agonising, as you try to work out what the other invested players will play. Typical Knizia elegance. Want to play again!