Monday, 23 February 2015

Stars on 45

Sunday was my 45th birthday, and having spent the previous 48 hours either throwing up, or sleeping, or feeling like I was about to either throw up or fall asleep, or possibly both, I was in a fairly self-indulgent mood on Sunday morning, and roped Sally and Stanley in to a game of Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Sally's games antennae must have started tingling as without even knowing we were setting it up she embarked on a lengthy phone call in the front room, and I played her first few moves for her. Not very well, either.

On Saturday I had, in the latter stages of convalescence, taken on and beaten Stanley at Lords of Waterdeep (181 to 162) with a Griffiths-esque strategy of taking lots of debt (skulls rather than bonds) in order to realize lots of short-term reward. I ended the game with the skulls taking 45 points off me, but I'd done enough to hang on to the win. Yesss! I hissed, before falling asleep again.

Sunday in Bavaria and it looked like Stan was out for revenge, as he started chaining noisy rooms and gardens together like there was no tomorrow. Or like tomorrow was a long way off and anyway we could spend it in the garden. I concentrated on getting the King's Favour and points for my own bonus cards, which meant I built a lot of circular cellars. Sally had no strategy whatsoever, except to profess an indifference to winning or losing and a lassez faire attitude to staircase placement. "It's my birthday!" I yelled, vainly. Little Joe erected a miniature cafe around the table and plied us at first with plastic snacks, then latterly interpretive dance and bird noises.

As Sally and Stanley got more and more hysterical at Joe's antics I elected to take advantage of their frivolous fun-having by scoring shitloads of points. That would show them whose birthday it was!

However Stanley's meteoric surges up the scoretrack were uncatchable. Especially as I pointed out in his last move he could score 13 points instead of 5...

Stanley 103
Sam 100
Sally 79

Mad Prince Joe not pictured

After a fairly relaxed day involving Stan and Joe lobbying for a Yo Sushi lunch just so they could watch the conveyer belt and refuse to eat the food, we reconvened in the evening with Mark and Peppa. They (plus Stanley and I) played a couple of games of Verflixxt, or That's Life as it's better known. We played a slightly abridged (less tiles) version, and Peppa won the first with 23 points. I had 21 and Mark was in the red, I think by 7 points?

However the second game - which Peppa set up - was more interesting. She put the clover tiles at the very end of the track, so basically whoever picked up red tiles was then racing to get there first and claim the clovers. Mark took a high-risk strategy of picking up high reds and ignoring the green tiles. I applaud his spirit, but not the result:

Sam 27
Peppa 15
Mark 7

There was still time for Sally, Peppa and I to play Stop Spot! The game of measle contagion amongst unsuspecting children. Over the course of a round players flip their way through a deck of cards and take whatever the card shows - usually, it's more spots to add to the cardboard children's head in front of you. Sometimes, it's cream or medicine to remove some. At the end of the round, the person with the fewest spots wins! It's the sort of thing Martin Wallace might come up with if he teamed up with David Cronenberg. Over four rounds Peppa was the least spotty, winning 2-1-1 over myself and Sally.

And with that, my 45th year came to an end!