Tuesday, Sam’s. Eight players in attendance, and Midnight Party was on the table, ready to be played after its tantalising cameo last week. In this game each player (myself, Sam, Ian, Matt, Anja, Andy, Joe, and Martin) gets two meeples, who are then placed in a corridor along which a ghost will soon travel, eating all in its path. The only way to escape the ghost is to duck into a room, but the rooms are available until Hugo the ghost reaches the corridor. Players roll a die to either move their meeple or the ghost.
It was a fun game. Once we got used to the idea that the point of the game is to avoid getting minus points rather than scoring points, we all stopped trying to get into one of the two rooms that actually got points, and instead flung ourselves through the nearest door to safety. It still wasn’t enough, and the Hugo is fast when he wants to be. I was especially keen on the number of times a player rolled the die, only to have one of their own meeples eaten by Hugo. Martin captured the mood when he wailed “what is probability doing to us?!”
Sam –12 (and he scored +3 in the third round)
Actually, we had played one game before that before Anja arrived. It was a single round of Go Stop, which Matt won immediately since he got the 10 card (which can’t be beaten) in the first auction. Bit of a damp squib, really.
But after our midnight party, we split into two groups of four. Andy, Anja, Sam and Martin chose Municipium and Joe, Matt, Ian and I went for Lords of Vegas. It was Matt’s first time, so we talked him through the rules. However, it can be a ruthless game for a newbie, especially against three players who’d all said they’d bring it to a desert island with them.
It was a very swingy game. I went from thinking I was definitely third, to hoping for first place if the game ended soon, back to thinking I was in third again. Joe battled with Matt over control of a six-tile casino, as its ownership c hanged hands. Luckily for Joe it was under his management when the strip paid out and also when the game ended. This was enough to edge ahead of me.
But it was all about Ian, who got an early five-tile casino (was I wrong to sell him that plot of land early on? Oh well) and it paid dividends. A late four-tile casino also kept him ahead when Joe and I were at his heels. He kept his cool though, to hold out for the win. A great game.
I was especially proud of my early tactic of sprawling into a neighbouring lot that I didn’t own. It remained unclaimed for most of the game, getting me a decent amount of points. As I said, “That was a game-winning move, if only I’d won the game.”
While we’d been living the high life, not wanting the evening to finish, the other end of the table had got through three games. Municipium (which I still haven’t played) ended with Martin as the winner
Then they played Pickomino with, apparently, a whole bunch of rules that Sam didn’t know about. Didn’t seem to put him off, though.
And finally, after Anja left, they waited for us to finish Lords of Vegas with a tense game of Love Letter. After two rounds, Andy was ahead 2-0-0. It ended:
“Joint second,” said Martin, phlegmatically. “Joint last,” I insisted, clearly addled by my time gambling on the Strip.
We set off home, weary but amused.
On the Division, with three Tuesday’s left to go until the end of the season, it’s between the top four for the three titles. Ian is still top, but only by two meagre points. Martin is still ahead on the Medal Table, but for points ratio Ian and Andy are locked in a duel, neck and neck.