First five, then six and finally seven eager gamers congregated at Joe’s house for this week’s leaderboard shenanigans.
We began as a five (me, Joe, Ian, Sam and Andy) with Kobayakawa. This betting game is simple but complex. I remained true to my strategy of (mostly) doing nothing, thus starving the other players of vital information. And it worked. Or, at least, I won the last round, which was enough to push me into first.
During this game, Joe’s friend Andy arrived for his first experience of the GNN lifestyle. No doubt he was impressed by our skill at guessing what cards other people had, and was keen to get started himself, but first we had to wait for one more: Matt. Until he arrived, we chose two games and then Matt could decide which he wanted to join.
Joe, Ian and new Andy went for the Downfall of Pompeii while me, Sam and old Andy chose Pergamon. Both thematically linked in the sense that the events of one game may well have been what was being dug up in the other game.
Sam hadn’t played in a while, so he got a quick rule refresher, and he was out of the blocks very quickly, posting a long exhibition made up of stuff from the upper levels which, nevertheless scored highly and kept scoring points until the end of the game. I was cash-rich halfway through the game, but not at a time when there was much to dig up.
In the final round, both Sam and Andy had plenty of money for some frantic last minute buffing to get their exhibits as far up the score track as possible. At the final scores were totted up, Sam had done just enough to win, beating Andy by a single point.
Meanwhile, in Ancient Rome, the final resting place that we archaeologists were desecrating ended:
Joe 9 (wins on tie-breaker)
Andy 9 (2nd on tie breaker)
Ian 9 (3rd on tie breaker)
Happily, the two games ended almost at the same time so we were able to join together for a rousing game of Incan Gold. Joe quickly explained the rules to Andy and we began in high spirits, only to be burnt badly by fire in the first temple.
Well, not everyone. Sam decided on a tactic of getting out the moment there was some treasure worth getting in the temple. Not so much Tomb Raider as Foyer Raider. It did well for him, though.
Meanwhile, in the second temple, for the second time fire was the disaster that ended the expedition. At least now, with two fire cards gone, we were all immune to fire! That was nice.
As for the game, Regular Andy only did well in one temple, but he did very well indeed, going it alone through corridors or treasure and artefacts. Matt managed to pick up a couple of artefacts, too. New Andy, though, just seemed to be jinxed, and ended the game empty handed.
Joe was keen for one more game: 6nimmt. Sam decided his evening was at an end and, just like in Incan Gold, he was the first to bow out and go home. Us remaining six diced with lady fate in an hilarious game of 6nimmt.
It was new Andy’s first, and with six players it can be especially cruel as it seems very easy get get stuck in a spiral of doom, picking up cards every round. It happened at least once to everyone called Andrew who played, but it happened most often to the least experienced one and it ended with him being the first player to hit triple figures. He made history in his first evening at GNN! Ian, meanwhile, got two clear rounds on his way to an impressively easy win.
New Andy 106
On the Division, Ian clings on to top spot and Andy takes the medal table.