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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.