Anja was expected to arrive later and Steve was finishing off family things, so the six of us played Pairs, the game where a doomed sense of inevitability doesn't stop the passionate gamer, as Martin demonstrated. He declared "These goddamn peppers will be the death of me," just before he drew another pepper to send him out if the round. Adam overcame his distaste of luck based games by clocking up a comfortable win.
Then we split into two groups: Ian, Sam and Andy played Rialto, while Steve, Martin, Adam and I chose Oregon. This game is a bit of a rarity at GNN, but we were pleased when we discovered that everyone had played it before. After a brief rules refresher, we got stuck in.
No, Adam's man hasn't just shot three of Steve's men.
They're just lying down because they've scored a bonus.
Steve went for mining in a big way, picking up coal and gold. Adam and I also dabbled. Martin used buildings to re-use his jokers, and I scored big when I dropped a church in amongst a group of my own men. In fact, I was doing well, until I went to the toilet. When I got back, I got confused, accidentally discarded the wrong cards from my hand, and generally wondered where my mojo had gone. I just did enough to cling onto Adam's coat-tails. It may have been last, but it was a respectable joint last.
It was nice to get this underrated game back on the table and, despite what I implied with the blog title, it's a fairly speedy game, packing in a lot of thinking into its forty-five minutes.
Rialto still had another half an hour to go, so the four of us played Potato Man. This was Steve's first go, and Adam's second. It looked like Steve's beginner's luck hadn't left him, as he shot off into an early lead. It was an odd game, with each round lasting much longer than usual. Martin reaped the rewards in rounds two and three, while Adam's late surge dragged himself from distant third to almost first, much to his apparent bemusement.
By now Rialto had ended, with Sam coming out on top without resorting to spamming the green building action, which had previously seemed like such an easy win. Andy seemed non-commital after his first playthrough.
Also, Anja had returned from her evening of politics and so was able to join us for one last game before the end of season firework display (in my head). 6nimmt was voted in, and so the eight of us began.
What a game it was. Steve appeared to be doing cow impersonations for much of the game, and Sam commented on the Mexican wave of curses and grumbles that went round the table every time a new round started. It was tense and quite painful. In one round, all of the rows ended with cards in their eighties.
But it was Sam who really suffered. One full row, ending in 89, had been on the table a long time. Martin said that there must be someone with a card in the nineties that keeps bottling it. Sam, as he later explained, interpreted that to mean that there was still a space on that row. Next turn, he was the last to put his card down, and he sighed with relief “I don't believe I got away with this,” only to realise instantly that he had to pick up the whole row, full of bad cards. It was a turning point: after a good first round where he was leading, he dropped down the placings. Meanwhile, Anja won comfortably.
And so, that was that! Despite Katy's absence, the gap to first place couldn't be bridged, and she wins on points and on the medal table. Big congratulations! Anja wins on points ratio, just sneaking in at the last minute. More congratulations for her!
Finally, it's a last hurrah for the form table, since it's too much of a pain to format. Well done to Adam who will, unless we have a change of heart and decide to bring it back, remain winner of the form table for all eternity!