There was myself, Andy and Martin. With just three of us, any discussion regarding what game to play was cut short with the idea that we all choose one. My choice was Metropolys, a new game to me, but one that seemed interesting enough.
And I was right. It’s a simple, yet deep bidding game. Everyone has the same bidding tokens of 1-13 to try and win areas of the map, but each player has their own objectives and, additionally, placing a valid bid in an area which is a dead end immediately wins you that area (since each bid must be placed in an adjacent area).
This means that Martin’s tactic of biding his time until the end gave him a sudden push up the score chart.
And Martin pointed out that during that game, he didn’t destroy a single archaeological site. “A lesson there for us all, I think,” he summarised. But I really enjoyed Metropolys. Given how simple the rules are, there are depths beneath depths here.
But Martin’s sensitive side did not last long. His choice of the evening was Impulse, and it was to be a battle-scarred game. Andy needed a quick rule refresher, as he hadn’t played for some time. For someone who didn’t like the game, he shot off into an early lead. Mostly thanks to Martin unsuccessfully attacking him.
I did an unthinkable thing: I retreated. Unsure of the intentions of Martin’s fleet of cruisers, I cowered in the corner until I was sure that the other two had weakened each other enough. Then I pounced. I ploughed into the middle of the board, reducing Martin to a single transporter. But even that is enough for Martin, and with his next turn he built up his forces and flew back into attack.
But Andy was too far ahead to be defeated. Even with a depleted army, he did enough to get to the twentieth point before too long, and I was quietly satisfied with my second place.
Finally, Andy’s choice was Istanbul. We went for a random set up, and at first I felt a familiar sinking feeling as Andy and Martin picked up some early gems while I had none. But I hung around mosques and markets and before long I was able to swoop on the gem dealer twice in a row to tie the game on four gems all.
Martin needed a lucky roll at the Tea house to get enough cash to get his last gem on his next turn. He didn’t get it. Andy got enough money from the market so he was poised for the win. But they didn’t reckon with me. Even after buying two gems, I still had enough cash to get to the wainwright and grab the fifth gem. I picked up three gems in two moves for a remarkable comeback, even if I do say so myself.
Andy 4 plus cash
And that was that. A quiet Tuesday... apart from all the bidding, battling, trading and gambling.