Monday, 6 April 2015

Geography, History

It seemed like a nice way to round off Easter. I imagine when Jesus came out of a cave, way back when, he might have appreciated just sitting down with a couple of mates and breaking out Tinner's Trail along with a beer or two. So that's what Ian, Andrew and I did this evening.

For a long time TT was my favourite game. I'm not sure I even have such a thing any more, but it remains a classic to me. Andrew was designated starting player, and he established a 4 point lead in the first round - a lead I thought was catchable, but I was to be proved wrong. Andrew played the game like a master, knowing exactly when to adit and when to sell a pastie. It was all Ian and I could do to stay on his trail, and Ian's fight for second place deflated when he tried to force up the auction price in the last round, and was left with the soggiest mine in Bodmin Moor.

A very damp Cornwall

My grand plan to have a shedload of cheap stuff to mine in round four didn't quite pan out, as Andrew had done exactly the same thing. Although I managed to get an extra £5, it wasn't enough to catch him:

Andrew 133
Sam 128
Ian 83

The night was still young, so we perused the cupboard and went with one of last year's hits, Istanbul. Andrew announced before we even started that he would finish last, as he had 'no mojo' with the game. He was as good as his word, as Ian and I surged to a 3 gems apiece with Andrew stuck back on one.

The guard outside the police station

We'd set up the board in the 'fast' layout, and I found it was so streamlined I didn't even have to travel west. I spent the whole game on the eastern end of the board, shuffling around the Tea House and making money. It was enough to secure the win:

Sam 5 gems
Ian 3 gems
Andrew 1 gem

I'd mooted Take It Easy but as we'd now gone past ten pm and Andrew and Ian - in a kind of forlorn competition - both claimed they always came last at it, we elected to go with Love Letter instead. I volunteered that I always came last at that, which is to my memory reasonably accurate. This time though the game turned on its head: after Ian won the first round, Andrew won the next two rounds and it looked like I would be, at most, an unwilling kingmaker. But thanks to a large portion of luck I got back in the game, winning three rounds in succession to claim an unlikely win:

Shitty Baron

Sam 3 cubes
Andrew 2 cubes
Ian 1 cube

Eleven o'clock wasn't far off so we decided to finish with Timeline. I got a nice easy set of cards, and noted at the outset that the formation of the Knights Templar was probably before the final crusade. But having got the latter down, when placing the former I completely ignored the events on the cards and only looked at the numbers, guessing incorrectly that it came later! What a fool! Andrew profited from my idiocy with his Cleopatra-Pompeii one-two and took the first game:

Andrew - no cards
Sam - one card
Ian - two cards

It had all happened so quickly, we played again. I confess I got another easy set - having got rid of the invention of glasses and some other card that now escapes me, I had the simple task of getting shot of Australopithecus (which despite being 4 million years out, I succeeded in dumping) and the invention of the wheel. Ian had a chance to claim a joint victory, but he couldn't quite nail the discovery of anaesthetics (or something).

Sam - no cards
Ian - one card
Andrew - one card


  1. Ah, Istanbul. I was enjoying it until I noticed that Ian and Sam had two gems and I hadn't got a single one. I had thought that my Istanbul mojo had gone, thinking I'd come last in every game I'd played recently, but looking back on the blog I see that I won the last time I played it. I wish I'd known that when I played it tonight - I might have had more confidence.

    As for Tinners' Trail, I must admit to a certain smugness about how it panned out. The last mine I wanted was only profitable at a price of one pound, so when Ian offered two for it, I let him take it. I did think I was ahead by a safe distance, so I was surprised when Sam was just five points behind me. Still a great game, though.

    Love Letter was amazing and baffling and beautiful. Just like a real princess.

    In the first round of Timeline, my cards were too easy. In the second round it was more of a challenge, which is why I lost. But what a nice little nightcap of a game.

    And what a nice night.

    We should do this again sometime!

  2. I hope it doesn't seem like I was comparing myself to Jesus. I was probably a bored Roman legionary.