Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Form is Temporary

Tuesday. Andrew was away in Japan, and Joe had been enticed to play Bridge. Matt, Steve and Anja were also absent. But there were still seven of us gathered around Hannah and Adam's kitchen table - briefly, whilst we discussed this Friday's NSPCC day. Then we split into two groups - Katy and Adam were keen to try Atlantis and I was keen to play it again. The others - Hannah, Ian, Andy and Martin - eschewed Martin's overtures to play Witness, and plumped for Ra. I hope to hear the high spots in the comments, as due to the vagaries of gaming fate I never saw what they got up to in the kitchen...

After a quick conflab with BGG on the set-up, the Atlantis group were off. It's not a heavy game, but occasionally it can take a little while to work out your best move. Or what appears to be your best move. Adam's ingrained habit of keeping the rules handy was not negated by the fact they were in German. Worryingly, he took a long time over his early moves. Then equally worryingly, he sped up.

Save yourselves!

Adam's tactic was to race off for the mainland (see previous post for more on this) - Katy's was to lag and pick up points. Mine was somewhere in-between. But somehow Adam raced off with a phenomenal amount of points - even my ending the game and giving them both a 7pt water gap to cross didn't dent his score - it was a trouncing:

Adam 35
Sam 14
Katy 8

Katy announced she didn't like the game, and added that she didn't like losing. Especially to Adam.

In the other room Ra had already finished with Andy the victor:

Andy 39
Ian 33
Martin 30
Hannah 29

Tidy gamers

They had finished just before us, in fact, and never a group to stand on ceremony, they were out of the blocks on another game already: Basari. So we played Pickonimo. I've been playing this a fair bit recently - it was a hit with my brother and sister-in-law at the weekend - but I'm not sure that experience was truly brought to bear. It feels like a game of luck.

Sam 13
Adam 6
Katy 2

Katy clarified that she didn't like losing to me, either.

In the other room they were still playing Basari (I think; it's all a bit hazy now) so we started on
Red7.  For anyone unfamiliar with Red7, it's a card game where you can either play a card to the table in front of you or play a card to the centre, which changes the game's rules. Or you can do both - although I get the impression you want to avoid playing two cards if possible. Either way, at the end of your turn you need to be in the lead, according to the current rules. Katy scored a whopping 25 points in the first round, and though none of us reached the official 35 points to 'officially' win, it was enough for our agreed three-round game.

Katy 25
Adam 23
Sam 16

Basari had finished by now. I have no idea what this game does other than accrue a large amount of numbers on the score sheet. Looking at the bottom, it seems (unless points are bad) that Hannah won:

Hannah 65
Ian 64
Andy 40
Martin 39

...and they were now playing Love Letter. We just couldn't get our tables to co-align. I missed all of this and kept forgetting to take photos, but Ian's good form in the game was brought to bear on the final standings:

Ian 2 cubes
Martin/Hannah 1 cube
Andy 0 cubes

Hannah came into the front room and said she didn't like Love Letter. Adam said he didn't either. Eastonites eh? Don't let them turn you, Martin. We hoped to finally play a game with all of us, but before that could happen the kitchen group needed to finish their game of Dobble. Martin took the honours:

Martin 20
Andy 14
Hannah 13
Ian 8

Despite the relatively early hour, Hannah was threatening to go to bed and I was threatening to leave; my foot had started playing up and I was keen to lie down. However, who can resist Martin at his most bonhomie-ish? Like a cross between Oliver Reed and someone who plays a lot of board games, he cajoled us into our seats for a game of Pairs. His reward from the gaming gods -possibly tired also - was serial punishment, as he took hit after hit and ended on zero points. Adam took a miserable score on the last round just to ensure he didn't finish last.

At the other end of the scorecard it was close between myself, Hannah and Katy. As we entered what would prove to be the final round any one of us could have won it - but as Katy and I both went bust, Hannah did. Somebody (Andy?) went bust on a pair of peaches.

Hannah 23
Katy 17
Sam 16
Ian 13
Andy 10
Adam 5
Martin 0

It was only half ten but we'd played a lot of games, so we drew the curtains on yet another episode of GNN.

I don't have access to Andrew's underground spreadsheet vault, but as a blast from the past here is a one-off form table - for last night only!



  1. Gosh what a lot of games!

    Bridge was great, very interesting and tense, though we didn't play a whole proper game.
    We played a few open hands to get a grip on the bidding, though we were using two different conventions, it turned out.

    We then played a few closed hands but without scoring, and finally two hands with scoring. So no real winners or losers yet - but we intend to meet in future on mondays or thursdays, so I should be able to keep tuesdays free for REAL games.

    Talking of real games, we rounded off the evening with a couple of games of For Sale, which was well received. I want to get these guys playing Tichu, or 99 if there are three of us. They'll never look back!

  2. Ra was interesting. It seemed that every time I pulled a tile from the bag, it was a Ra. And a strange pattern emerged where whenever I pulled a Ra, Martin, whose turn was immediately after me, would also pull a Ra tile. The first round was awash with floods. Quite a strange game of Ra, but as enjoyable as ever.

    Basari was enjoyable. I'll attempt a brief explanation: Each turn you opted to play one of three choices - get workers, get points or get gems. The number of gems or points you could receive is determined by a card drawn a pack. At the end of the round you get points for having the most gems of each colour, or for having over 15 ( I think) workers. If two people chose the same option they haggle over who wins the right. So it becomes mathematically interesting as you try to work out how giving somebody x gems effects the scores. (I think my explanation makes some sort of sense).

    I had an early lead in the first two rounds, but Hannah amassed a large collection of gems that gave her the majority of points in the final round, allowing her to take the lead.

    I still really like Love Letter. Playing the Japanese, original version, is slightly baffling, with the different names for the people. No shitty baron. I think it's a case of what you're used to. Better artwork though.

  3. Need to amend the form table, my scores are back to front...

  4. Form is temporary - and back to front!

    I love Ra.

  5. From the brink of a perfect five to the bottom of the form table in one fell swoop! Fun night, thanks all.

  6. Sounds like a great night. I wish I'd planned ahead and put the division's spreadsheet on my phone, so I could tell you who's top, but judging by the form table, Ian is probably still holding on.