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:
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.
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!