Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Trees are good! Trees are good!

It is Spring, and as flowers bloom and birds sing their mating calls, on Tuesday I received an email with those three words that everyone wants to hear:

"Games at Joe's"

We were six in number, the host and myself, with Sam, Ian, Martin and Katy. We fell into what can only be described as a "conversation" until we came to our senses and started to play. We promised ourselves some six-player parks at the end of the evening, and we began by splitting into two groups of three. Joe, Martin and Katy went for the leafy delights of Arboretum. Sam, Ian and I chose Stefan Feld's Bruges.

Bruges is a pretty typical Eurogame. You roll dice, move up tracks, hire workers, earn and spend money, and all the while you'll be having enormous fun.

On the other table, Arboretum seemed straight forward enough: play a card to the table, and then someone swears at you. That was pretty much it. Oh, and no one liked Dogwood.

Joe 24
Katy 16
Martin 13

We three were still up to our elbows in workers and aristocrats, so they played Botswana. Another game of things' values suddenly changing, only this time it was animals, not trees. I’ve no idea about how the game went, except for Katy squealing with joy at the plastic animals, and Martin’s amusing positioning of two animals trying a bit of, shall we say, hybridisation. I do know it ended, though.

Martin 78
Katy 71
Joe 53

By the time they’d finished Botswana, we had completed Bruges. It had been a relatively lightweight game, with plenty of options, but not enough to cause an unbearable block of AP. We wouldn’t go so far as to say even Martin would like it, but it was a pleasant game and not too long.

Ian had a Queen that scored a point every round, I had some people multipliers and Sam went for canals (and so did Ian, now I think about it). All hail the Queen!

Ian 59
Andrew 48
Sam 42

Then we joined together again and split up in a different formation like one of those fancy T-1000s from Terminator 2. Except one that plays games, not assassinates people in the past. First, during some toilet breaks, Sam, Joe, Katy and Martin played Rattle Snake. It was Katy’s first go, and it took her a while to get used to the awesome power of the magnets. And in the time it did take her, Martin managed to get all his magnets onto the board.

Martin 0
Sam 1
Joe 1
Katy lots

Then Joe, Martin and I played Basari, a nice little card game of bluffing and bidding. Similarly, Katy, Sam and Ian played High Society on the big table. Trying to capture that much game theorising and double bluffing into one pithy paragraph is impossible so I’ll just give you the scores and you can fill in the rest.

Martin 86
Joe 79
Andrew 60

High Society I:
Sam 26
Katy 12
Ian BUST!!

High Society II:
Ian 30
Katy 17
Sam BUST!!

Finally, the six of us got together to do battle in the fiercest arena there is: Take It Easy! During the game, Joe, Sam and I were the bingo callers. Sam went for the films of DeNiro, I chose defunct or obscure football teams but the award for style went to Joe who did the songs of Bob Dylan (suggested by Martin). After a while, he gave up since he was thinking about what to say more than the actual game. This lead to people just doing Bob Dylan impersonations, before Joe dropped the bombshell that his favourite Dylan album was Street Legal. To convince us he wasn’t mad, he put it on to show what a good album it was. If only it had helped his game.

Martin 498
Andrew 495
Sam 470
Joe 445
Ian 411
Katy 383

And that was that. Out the door, into the night.

I’m off on my hols now. I’ll be keeping an eye on the blog, so don’t go slacking off, now. You hear?

Meanwhile, on the Division, Ian remains clinging to top spot. Martin storms to first on the medal table and Andy regains Points Ratio.


  1. Arboretum looked lovely but turned out to be MEAN! I liked it a lot.

  2. Bruges also had the opportunities to be mean. As Ian noted we collectively chose to ignore those options. First-play caution or Corinthian diplomacy? Who knows?

    Great to play Take It Easy again. Truly one of my favourite games!

  3. Aye, lovely to play Take it Easy, really a one of a kind game. I want to be there when one of us makes the perfect!

    The next game of Arboretum will be a wary affair, I'm sure. I enjoyed it - and Basari Das KS. And I really enjoyed another evening of many games, thanks all.

  4. Oh and playing the 100m event in Decathlon made me want to play the whole thing - perhaps at the NSPCC all-nighter :-)

  5. I forgot about the 100m! I think Joe won that, with Martin and I in joint second. That really is a game tailor made for Das Exclusive. It has the required Olypmic Stadium vibe about it.