For the third week on a row, Joe hosted Games Night. There were six in attendance, which made me worry we might end up playing Quartermaster General again. But we didn't. We began with Kobayakawa, the simple betting game. I played a cunning game. At least I thought it was. Everyone else seemed to find it funny. I wouldn't look at a new card, because I didn't want to give other players information as to what cards had been discarded. As it was, it didn't work at all, as I lost every bet until the last round when I won! The winnings from that were enough to send me from last into first!
So what next? Interestingly, I don't remember much talk about us splitting into two groups of three. Instead we (Joe, Martin, Matt, Ian, Katy and myself) decided that six players without Sam meant only one thing: I'm The Boss.
This game of luck-based negotiation is a rare sight at GNN due to Sam's lack of love for the game. It was new to Katy, Matt and Ian so they were easily swayed by us three experienced hands.
I hadn't played in a while, and I'd forgotten how emotionally exhausting it was. After successfully closing a deal, I couldn't bring myself to join in with the next, not because I had fewer cards, but because I needed a rest. In fact, at the end of the game Ian remarked that if that's what businessmen do all day, then fair play to them, they deserve their inflated wages and stupid bonuses.
Martin went through the whole game insisting he always comes last in I'm The Boss. He was right again! Katy won it by closing out a deal that got her $21m. This was enough to send her from last place into first! Another last minute dash for victory that paid off! (the scores below are in millions of dollars)
After this, we all wanted something relaxing. Igloo Pop was suggested but even that was considered to fraught for our nerves. Joe suggested Mysterium, the co-op game of crime solving. Described by Joe as a cross between Dixit and Cluedo, it involved a ghost (Joe) giving out clues in the form of seven Dixit-esque cards. From these, we had to identify five suspects out of an initial eight, and five potential location and murder weapons. Once we'd done that, we then had to deduce the actual killer from three more cards. And we only had seven rounds in which to do it.
Some of the clues were hard to get. Joe kept giving Katy cards that had little in common, except for having a woman in them. But none of the locations had women in them. We got it eventually, and after the game ended and Joe could speak again, he pointed out a tiny painting in one room that had a woman in it.
Anyway, despite all that, we managed it. Victory for us all! It was the teacher in the cellar with a clock. A heinous crime. You have to really hate someone to kill them with a clock!
We followed this up with some more non-leaderboard shenanigans: Spyfall! Martin was initially skeptical, but we convinced him. Or rather we set up the game in front of him while we assured him of the lack of shouty arguing that he was expecting.
Instead it was all about cleverly worded questions, trying to disguise the nature of the location enough to confuse the spy. We played four rounds. Ian and I both won as spies, Joe was outed as a spy, and Ian failed to identify our secret location (a circus tent). Martin did enjoy it. We knew his conversion was complete when he began the game grumbling that he was bound to be the spy because he always is, and he ended the game saying that he’d wished he’d been a spy.
We ended the evening with Martin remarking on what a conversational bunch of games we'd played. A very convivial evening. On the division, I think Katy has this all wrapped up with one week until the end of the season.