The last day of the season was a hot and sultry evening. Joe gave me a lift to Martin’s place where Katy, Ian and Andy were also present. Martin had already wrapped up the points and medal table, and all that was left was for Katy to try and push her points ratio up by more than 0.01 and beat Adam to the title.
We began with Deep Sea Adventure, the game I’d brought back from Japan but still hadn’t played. I’d been a bit jealous of all the wails of anguish and hilarity, so I was keen to try it. It was also Ian’s first go, and he found himself in a number of difficult situations, dragged far too deep by a pair of suddenly generous dice and running out of air with only a space or two left before safety.
As for the rest, Katy began by saying she had a new strategy which is, apparently, rolling nothing but double ones. She got going after a while, though. Andy tried a mean tactic in round two has he loitered just below the surface, laden with cheap treasures, using up all our oxygen. Alas, all that treasure was too heavy and he was unable to get to the boat himself before the air ran out.
After this, we decided to try Hornochsen, the sequel to 6 nimmt. In this game, instead of four rows of endlessly regenerating cards, there are a number of rows in a circle. Instead of the sixth card taking the previous five, this time the fifth card takes the whole row. Add to this two bonus cards of x2 and +5 which can influence your score. The aim is to collect the scarce green cards (plus points) and avoid picking up the evil red cards (minus points).
It’s a nice game. A bit shitty and underhand, as your opponents invariably pick up the row of green cards that you have your eye on. Fun, but it’s no 6nimmt.
Next up, for some unaccountable reason, I felt the need for some Winner’s Circle. Last time I wasn’t impressed, but something inside me said that this was the right game for revisiting it.
Martin explained the rules for the newbies, and we began. First, though, he had to sort out the music. He asked for suggestions while admitting he’d only had the chance to unpack A-D of his CD collection. At first we went for Lexicon of Love by ABC, but Joe was being distracted by too many flashbacks to the eighties, so it was changed for The Band instead.
As for the game, twice I struggled to try and get a horse around having been the only person to bet on it (and I can’t believe there wasn’t more love for a horse called Colin) but I mostly did okay with other people moving horses that I’d bet on. Not as good as Martin, though, who must’ve had some insider knowledge of the form book (or whatever horse betting people say).
Finally, there was time for just one more game: the eternal crowd pleaser: Midnight Party! Poor old Andy was an early target of Hugo, and he picked up –36 by end of the second round. Katy, though, managed a plus score in her second round and, by sensibly avoiding risks she ended a pretty successful evening with another win.
With that, it was eleven o’clock and not even the offer of a final game of Pairs could keep us awake. We set off to our various homes, with Joe showing me some very steep back streets on our way back to my place.
Now all that’s left is the Division! Martin, as expected, won the medal table and points category. Ian, who led for much of the season, will have to be content with a creditable second place. Sam is runner up on medals. Katy’s haul of points in the final evening took her into first place on points ratio! Andy takes second place on that measure. Congratulations everyone!