Sunday, 5 July 2015

Teabags of Fun

Saturday night rolled around like a fateful set of dice. With Sally out at a Germaine Greer talk, somebody had to play the role of the fools - that was me, Andrew and Ian.

First up was Darjeeling, the game of sitting-in-Sam's-cupboard for a year, unplayed. Upon opening it up we discovered it resembles tea-picking in the same way sandwiches resemble a radiator. It's a strange game of moving tea-pickers around a geometric country (ours allegedly resembled Sri Lanka), selling at a time when barrels were suitably arranged on a ramp, and piling up your crates of tea on boats so they continue to pay points until enough other people have shipped crates to denote your tea as 'old'.

I struggled to get into it but in the main that was down to the boys rolling back the years with a succession of sorties downstairs or shouting from upstairs with various accusations about each others' behaviour. So mainly I was travelling around the house, vacillating between threats or moral reasoning. Neither really worked.

 You lose points if you turn around!

Darjeeling meanwhile was a race - it's first to a hundred points and when that happens the game ends instantly, and any unshipped stuff behind your screens counts against you. Andrew found himself deliberately scoring minus points in order to avoid this - a strategy I perceived as dubious at the time, but only minutes later it paid off, with some aplomb:

Andrew 104
Sam 84
Ian 80

Tea shipped, boys settled and the evening rolling, we moved swiftly on to Quantum, choosing a layout that encouraged early interaction. As with my games v Ian recently, I was smiled on by fate when I rolled a decent set of starting dice, and even Ian destroying one of my ships before my first turn didn't stop me getting off to a flier.

fun x 3

Of course, they came back into it. Andrew managed to get his Dominance up to five but then chose to hold onto his ace in the hole, perhaps put off by my ability to win ties as defender (and destroy attackers!). It was closer than it looks but I managed a win:

Sam: all cubes down
Ian: 2 cubes left
Andrew 3 cubes left

Next up was Bullfrogs. Andrew and I have played it (and I've since played both Stanley and Sally) but this was its debut as a three-player. As anticipated, it did slow down and become rather thinky. I think the sheer amount of permutations with three meant planning your turn was fairly pointless and there was a not-ideal amount of AP. That said, we did enjoy it.

Sam 59
Ian 53
Andrew 43

Warning: Pond is deep

It was gone half ten so we went for a quick game of Love Letter to finish off. However, Ian finished us off so quickly that there was time for another game afterwards. I never even made it to the end of a round, being successfully identified twice and forced to compare cards by having two Shitty Barons in the other round!

Ian - 3 cubes
Andrew - 0 cubes
Sam - 0 cubes

We ended with Biblios. I opened with an uninspiring meal of shit for myself whilst handing out decent cards to my opponents. It was that sort of game - we all did a reasonable amount of cursing and at least two of us - myself and Andrew - swore we were on to a loser. Accurately, as it turned out:

Ian - 6 (Mr Biblios)
Sam - 5
Andrew - 3

Five games played and it was not even midnight! Thanks chaps, a good night!


  1. Darjeeling was interesting. Each one of us took a turn in building an insurmountable lead. I'm rather pleased with my strategy of slamming on the brakes before I ended the game too soon, and then successfully shipping the last of my crates, pushing myself past 100, and incurring no minus points. That sense of smugness was enough to carry me through the following four defeats. I greeted each one with "Remember who thrashed you at Darjeeling."

    Quantum, though, I can't seem to get a grip on it. Bullfrog is okay we three-players. A lot of downtime, though, and you can't really plan ahead much because the cards/frogs may have changed.

    We were steamrollered by Ian in Love Letter, and he expertly side-stepped our fighting in Biblios to take his two dice almost unchallenged.

  2. Oh, and let's not forget that Sam started writing this blog post during Love Letter, before the evening had ended!

  3. Yes I probably broke an unwritten rule. But there was just so much to write about! I forgot to include Andrews diabolical dice rolling, for instance. I'm impressed your dominance went anywhere at all.

  4. Sounds nice, it's been too long since I played Quantum. I've been playing a lot of the solo game Sylvion recently - it's cool!

  5. Played Quantum with the boys today too. It's weird how it's less accessible - strategy wise - than Eclipse! I guess the puzzle stuff is more grown-up than the exploratory stuff...