Wednesday, 3 June 2015

An Acquired Taste

I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t make it tonight. I was tired and I wasn’t giving anyone a lift, so I was tempted to bow out. However, I wanted to see Martin’s new place, because it was his first time hosting. I got there a bit late though, so I suppose I missed the opening ceremonies, the cutting of the ribbon and the Reiner Knizia shaped cake.

Anyway, I was thrown headlong into a game of Pairs. I missed the first two rounds, but that was a mere technicality to Martin who dealt me in just as I was sitting down.

Around the table were: Sam, Katy, Martin, Hannah, Andy, Joe, Matt, Ian and myself. Pairs was its usual self, handing out the cruelest of defeats to the most undeserving of people. Joe was singled out for some particularly bad luck, as he was dealt two peaches in one round to send him out without dignity or honour.

Matt 24
Hannah 22
Ian 21
Sam 16
Katy 16
Martin 12
Andy 9
Joe 8
Andrew 6

I did think about leaving myself off the results since it’d damage my points ratio on the division, but then I thought differently. After all, if we let the division rule our gaming, then we just reduce ourselves to the levels of animals.

Not sure what animal plays board games and cares about spreadsheets, though. Possibly an okapi.

Then we discussed which games we should play. During this, we were treated to a display of Andy’s magical game sack, where Joe mentions a desire to play a really obscure game that no one had heard of, and then Andy says “I just happen to have it here!” and pulls it out of his bag of games. The game in question was Midnight Party. It looks rather good. Why didn’t we play it?

Unfortunately, Andy's Magical Game Sack only worked once.

Eventually, we split into two groups. Hannah was enticed down to our end of the table with Atlantis, and it’s fairly short playing time. Her plan for the evening was to swap halfway through and let Adam join in while she took over baby duties.

So Ian, Hannah, Sam and I set up Atlantis. Katy wanted to join in too, until the saw the game, remembered that she didn’t like it and joined the rest of the group for a game of Acquire (Joe had brought Caverna, but Martin insisted it wouldn’t fit on the table).

I don’t know what kind of game Acquire is. There was a sort of plastic bingo card where players put black tiles with letters on. Then they’d buy shares, or curse at each other for buying shares. And then Andy won.

Andy 47,000
Matt 43,000
Joe 31,900
Katy 29,000
Martin 22,500

Meanwhile on Atlantis, any initial similarity to That’s Life goes pretty quickly, replaced by a slow thinky game of trying to maximise limited resources. Guide you meeples from the sinking land of Atlantis to the mainland, picking up points as you go, and leaving water behind if you do.

Ian 21
Andrew 17
Sam 11
Hannah 6

I’m not sure what to make of it. I went from thinking it was quite exciting to thinking the game was far longer than it needed to be. There seemed to be a lot of down time. Perhaps that was just us, I don’t know. I’d need to play it again.

Hannah set off home, with Adam replacing her after a short time. While he walked the short distance from his house to Martin’s, we set up a game of Metropolys. This game if bidding and (a bit of) bluffing is fairly new to me, but I was the one who’d played it most recently so I had to explain the rules to Adam. I think I did okay. Adam did ask to see the rules halfway through, but he always does that: he knows it scares us.

Towards the end of the game, Adam had just one building left to place and therefore end the game. Although it was a fairly good one, he hung onto it, perhaps hoping for a better bet next turn. He waited too long, though, as Ian got all his buildings down and notched up his second win of the evening.

Ian 37
Adam 35
Andrew 29
Sam 27

In the meanwhile, the other half of the table had played a couple of rounds of Go Stop. I haven’t had a chance to look at the Japanese rules yet, but it looks like Martin’s got a firm grip of what to do. He asked Sarah to join them to make it a six-player game, and she and Martin both won one round each before they decided to try something else: Deep Sea Adventure.

This game of comedy drowning (or not) has been a big hit since its introduction on the NSPCC day, and so it was again. And Katy didn’t come last this time.

Andy 43
Katy 40
Sarah 37
Joe 35
Martin 33
Matt 25

I left during this game, after we’d finished Metropolys, even more tired after two quite thinky games. The last three of our half of the table stuck around for one final game of No Thanks!

Adam 36
Ian 73
Sam 83

A lovely evening, and it’s great to have a new venue on the map. Katy was so pleased with the way the evening went, she even sent an email out to everyone thanking us. This lead to a veritable e-group hug amongst the GNN regulars. Bless us, one and all!

Ian, meanwhile, stays top of the Division on points, but he loses points ratio to Andy. Martin keeps control of the medal table.


  1. It felt great to finally host after nearly two years hanging out with you lovely people. Thanks all for coming - now we know 10 people can fit round my dining table, there's no stopping me :)

  2. Thanks for hosting Martin (and Sarah!). V enjoyable.

    I get what you're saying about Atlantis Andrew; I prefer it to Verflixx/That's Life but it can feel a little draggy, especially when you make a plan and then new colours harpoon it. Maybe there's a case for dealing a few less tiles, or maybe three players is the sweet spot. I do like it though.

    I wasn't hugely enamoured of Metropolys - I liked it at the start but the close of the game felt rather closer to frustration rather than fun. Not the funny frustration of say 6Nimmt either. I think the bidding adjacency thing is clever though.

  3. Sad to hear that Sam, I think Metropolys is wonderful. I do like it best as a 2p game though.

  4. I think I'd enjoy it more with less players to be honest

  5. Yeah, it's strange, some swear by it as a 4p, but I like 2p best, then 3p. Control is good in a game like that.

    It was great to get Acquire to the table. A veritable classic - over 50 years old and still feels fresh.

  6. Yes very glad to make it, and to bless the new Griffiths abode with the gift of gaming.
    I've finally played Acquire! And much fun it was too - a graphical overhaul wouldn't go amiss, but looks aside its a very elegant, clever game, deserving of its classic status.