When Sam found out he was unable to attend Tuesday’s meet, he sent out a call to any available gamers for a Bank Holiday Monday meet. Ian, Adam and myself answered this call.
At first, we began with Pantheon: chosen because its author was the same guy who created Stone Age. But before too long, however, we gave up on it. A mix of odd terminology and a twenty-page rule book meant that it just looked too much like work.
Instead Railways of the World was brought out. This classic has everything a gamer needs: tension, bidding, territorial struggles and tiny hexagons with railway track on them.
At first, I went south to try and pick up an early delivery bonus. I wasn’t too happy about this, because it meant building in the area around Mexico City which usually gets pretty clogged up with competing players.
Instead, though, Ian, Sam and Adam all went north. Ian played very aggressively from the start, apparently going head to head against Adam. It wasn’t until Ian revealed his baron at the end that we realised Ian was simply trying to link two towns for points.
During the game, with alcohol flowing, Sam and Ian got into a bidding war over a Engine Upgrade card. Higher and higher it went until Ian was bidding $12,000 to upgrade to a $15,000 engine. Sam was about to bid, until he glanced down at his engine card and realised it only cost him $10,000 to upgrade normally. He quickly passed, grateful that Ian didn’t call him when he offered to pay $11,000 for the card.
Sam and Ian went for a high bond strategy. Ian, though, was shipping goods around for four and five points far sooner than the rest of us. Adam started with two separate networks that he joined up mid-game, and he had two depots working for him. I had my network in the south and, despite Ian nicking all my black cubes, I did pretty well for myself.
In the end, Ian saw his bonds drag him back, while Adam and I both completed our barons for that last points-push into first and second.
What a game! And it was only nine o’clock. Next we introduced Adam to Bruges, the game that we’re pretty sure Martin wouldn’t like. You roll dice and play cards to acquire workers or influence, build canals or houses, recruit people and fight off threats.
It may have been only nine when we started, but Adam felt his energy levels drop off a cliff midway through the game. He yawned and blinked and asked how long was left. Afterwards, he admitted he played most of the game in a haze. All of which doesn’t explain how he managed his second win of the evening. I scored my second second place, while Ian got his second third and Sam picked up his second fourth.
Andrew 47 and cash