Wednesday, 17 June 2015

AP-ness Extension

Tonight eight of us congregated at Adam and Hannah’s place. Even Joe, who had sent emails updating us on his impending lateness, was on time.

We began with a nice little chat about what game we should play. It all seemed terribly civilised, and I was almost sad that it would end soon. Katy had requested that Sam bring The Castles of Mad King Ludwig, so that was a favourite for one table. Meanwhile, Martin corralled myself, Sam and Joe into a rematch of Tigris and Euphrates.

We set up in the front room, and as we began Joe sighed and said it had been a while since he’d played on his iPad. It had been a while, and I knew most but not all of the rules, with Martin giving a few reminders along the way.

The game went entirely as you might expect, with Martin as the confident harrasser of the rest of us. Sam won a few battles this time, and he and I had trouble keeping our leaders on the board. For my part, I barely bothered the pile of cubes used to keep score.

The most unexpected part of the game was when Martin got annoyed at Sam saying that red tiles are important for the win. He insisted that it wasn’t and that there was so much more to it than that. He did explain afterwards the “red tile” criticism was a sore point for him. I wonder if maybe we should’ve pushed it: a bit of sledging, try to put him off his game?

Martin 10
Joe 7
Sam 5
Andrew 3

When we’d finished, King Ludwig was still building mad castles so the four of us decided on a rousing game of Potato Man. Another chance for Martin to push us around, although Sam made the running early on with a score of ten in round one, he then failed to score another point. I just squeezed into third by winning the only point in the very short final round, which Joe brought to an end during the second trick.

Martin 17
Joe 15
Andrew 11
Sam 10

When we finished we went back into the kitchen to watch the points being added up on Mad King Ludwig. Adam and Ian were frowning at Ian’s castle, calculator in hand, trying to work something out. Martin didn’t seem impressed by the amount of effort it took to work out how many points people had got. Finally, with the count complete, we found that Adam had lost his 100% record on the game, and Katy chalked up her first win.

Katy 123
Adam 110
Hannah 98
Ian 95

Sam decided he was too tired to go on, so he set off home first and Hannah went upstairs to bed. Mad King Ludwig was put away in a bit of a hurry and perhaps not to regulation standards. Katy did worry that perhaps Sam wouldn’t be happy but, as Ian laconically pointed out “But Sam’s not here.”

It was only ten o’clock, so the rest of us had a quick non-leaderboard three-round game of Go Stop. Last time Matt had brought the game to a brutal end by winning the 10 card immediately. This time, however, it lasted a bit longer. Adam won round one (with a mere 4) over me (3) and Joe (2). In round two Joe won with an 8 and in round three Ian picked up a win, also with an 8, beating Joe who was the only other player to score. If we had gone with the initial suggestion and aggregated these scores into one, it would’ve looked like

Joe 13
Adam 11
Ian 8
Andrew 3
Martin 2
Katy 0

But we did say beforehand it would be non-leaderboard.

Joe then challenged us with a little maths quiz regarding the angle of the line running acorss the back of the cards. No one can say we don’t know how to have a good time!

As for the leaderboard, Ian’s two-month stay at the top is at an end, as Martin takes it from him. He also consolidates his grip on the medal table. Meanwhile, Adam’s second place in King Ludwig is enough to nab him the lead in points ratio with Katy just one hundredth of a point behind. Only two weeks left! What will happen in the closing stages?

And thanks to Joe for the blog title.


  1. Sorry about that :)

    It was a good night!

  2. To be fair I didn't even say red tiles were important 'to win' - I said they were necessary to fight an internal battle, and Martin agreed. I wasn't exactly picking up loads of them so my options were external conflicts or picking up the odd point... I wasn't confident of the former but I did start one or two bust-ups.

    I did find it slightly frustrating but I think it was down to tiredness. That's what I'm telling myself anyway...

  3. And despite my threats it's staying on my desert island list!

  4. One of the great things about Tigris is that there are so many ways to work around the tiles you draw. But like I said last night, I think that's something you only figure out if you get to play fairly frequently. It doesn't work very well as a 'once-in-a-while' game.

  5. I do love T&E, but I recognise the headache for new players. Can't think of another game that requires such effort to fully grasp the mechanics. It's not even very obtuse, there's just something in there that makes it hard to handle. Suppose it's probably the differences between internal/external conflicts.

    Lovely evening, thanks Han & Ad!

  6. Hmmm, do I avoid next week's games to make sure my ratio doesn't regress to the mean?

    T&E is one of the games I want to try (along with Caverna and loads of others) but it sounds like it'll need more than one play to grasp and Castles is always a satisfying game (even - I now know - if you don't win) so I had a good evening. Thanks for coming everyone!

  7. We should try and get some games of T&E in without Martin. It might seem mean to shut him out, but it's the only way we're going to learn.

    1. I think it's probably possible to learn by example too :) I'm always conscious of not wanting to play people's games for them, but I'd be happy to offer a few more in-game tips if it'd be helpful.

    2. From my perspective I think the odd flagging up of a completely idiotic move is appreciated. Nuances I think one has to learn. I don't mind losing (much) but I don't like feeling like a complete numpty, which is what I experienced in my first play of T+E. Less so on Tuesday. I remain probably more intrigued than enthused, and def up for playing again.

  8. *but* def up for playing again

  9. Castles of Mad King Ludwig has ruined my leaderboard position I see.

    I do like the game but I'm not sure I've gotten my head around it; trying to work out what the best purchase would be each round eludes me, and I'm too baffled by my own castle to focus on what others are doing doing so my auction pricing ends up a bit haphazard.

    Still, thanks folks, it was enjoyable.