Monday, 16 February 2015

One onesie, two humps

Monday. Shortly after sending out the invite for non-Tuesday gaming, I (Sam) conked out on the sofa in a fitful sleep. In my semi-lucid daze I did wonder whether drinking and playing was the best idea. Then I realised it was.

Come 7.45 Ian strode in to find me in my Everton onesie. I had elected not to get dressed again, thinking we were all friends. And sure enough Ian and - shortly after - Andrew shrugged off their surprise as we had more serious matters than my sartorial shortcomings at hand.

We started with A Castle For All Seasons. As I was setting it up Ian - possibly channelling Martin - said "this looked like one of those games where you get stuff to get other stuff" - and I had to admit it was. With the saving caveat that the main mechanic was card-play rather than worker placement. Even with Ian new to it, the game played fast - all the way through we kept saying how quickly the rounds were going. But we still managed to be surprised when the last round arrived. Andrew's end-game bonuses weren't quite enough to catch me; whilst Ian did respectably on a first play with a man in a romper suit:

Sam 53
Andrew 50
Ian 37

We moved on to Istanbul: the quick version. It wasn't as quick as all that, actually - all of us had our moments of staring at the board almost accusingly. Andrew was probably least guilty of this - but having played with admirable lassez faire, he was rewarded with a tanking. Mine and Ian's brow-furrowing was partly down to the fact we were playing a variant - each of us started with an extra neutral assistant. They could be dropped off at buildings and function normally - the only difference was anyone could pick them up. It was a game of surges - Ian burst into the lead but his method of accruing stuff to trade in at the Sultan's palace meant that he had moments of having nothing to do but collect more resources. I used one of these fallow moments - combined with a bonus card - to nab a sneaky win:

Sam 5 gems
Ian 4 gems
Andrew 2 gems

Next up was Camel Up. Andrew and Ian were keen and I was open to it, though having enjoyed the first few plays ever since I've found it a bit... faffy. I think for me it's just slightly too long and slightly too complicated for what it is. And I say that despite having pulled off the spawniest win ever - lagging in third, I catapulted myself to victory by virtue of being first to predict outright winner and outright loser. I'd love to say this was strategic genius, but I can't. I'm wearing a onesie.

We finished a rapid night of sparring with Love Letter. Ian proclaimed he liked this game because he "doesn't know" what he's doing; but whatever system he employs it serves him well. Andrew went into a 2-0-0 lead but Ian came back well enough to win. Although in the last round I was reluctant kingmaker - I knew I'd lost, but I was pretty sure that Andrew had the king. So I guessed correctly and knocked him out, by default handing the win to Ian! Sorry Andrew.

Ian 3 cubes
Andrew 2 cubes
Sam 1 cube


  1. Sorry to have missed the onesie! I'm stealing "one of those games where you get stuff to get other stuff".

  2. Tell you what - buying beer for a guy in a onesie just seems wrong.

    I was quite annoyed when Sam suddenly ended Istanbul, since I was sitting on a use-gem-dealer-twice card and a pile of money, and I'd just picked up a don't move card. I thought there were several moves left, and Sam's coup de grace left me stranded in the midst of the board with nowhere to go. I forfeited my last go, since there was nothing I could do.

    A Castle For All Seasons didn't really excite me, either. Despite me having dreamt about it being played recently, I was mostly quite bored by it.

    Camel Cup was more fun, and Love Letter never fails to entertain. And sorry to Sam for guessing his card when I was already eliminated, so Ian could pick you off.

  3. "Midst"? That was autocorrect thinking it was Shakespeare. I meant "middle."

  4. Sorry Andrew. I forgot to mention how close A Castle For All Seasons was - like Concordia, you enable actions by card play, and don't get these cards back into your hand until play a particular card (the Tribune in Concordia, the Master Builder in A Castle...)

    - when you play the Master Builder you score points if your opponents have built part of the castle that round; which thankfully both Andrew and Ian did in the final round. If either of them hadn't Andrew would have won.

    Also Finn's chickens came home to roost when I sat on him.

  5. Is it right to have LOL'd at Finn's misfortune?

  6. Sorry to hear Castle didn't get a great reception - I love the game and recently bought a second hand copy in hopes of getting to play it more often.

  7. I can sympathise - my chickens always come home to roost when someone sits on me.
    We took the girls out for a pizza last night, and I produced Pairs from my pocket while we were waiting for our food! Then I put it back again.

    Good story.

  8. You missed a bit on the middle Joe.

    Andy I still like A Castle. The building theme may be a bit meh but I think the card play makes it.