Thursday, 6 August 2015

Going Underground

This week's extra session was going to be at Martin's house but a last-minute change of plans meant he and Ian made their way to mine (Sam's). I warmed up by introducing Stanley and Joe to Pairs. Joe took to it reasonably well:

Joe 10
Sam 2
Stanley 1

We started with one of our favourites - Quantum, and went for a fairly tight board. I have a reasonable pedigree in this game so I felt confident. However it was hard to concentrate with Stanley and Joe flagrantly disregarding bedtime etiquette and roaming around the house. What I should have done was let them stay downstairs for a bit, but in the moment I was trying to keep to established boundaries. They clambered all over them, and I did not have a clue in Quantum - Martin and Ian shot off ahead and Martin wrapped up the game inside half an hour:

Martin - all cubes down
Ian - one cube remaining
Sam - two cubes remaining

After a last round of corralling, bottom-wiping and duvet-wrapping (of the boys upstairs, not downstairs) I could finally concentrate on the game. And the game in this instance was On The Underground, a slightly Ticket To Ride-esque game of building routes under London. Each player in a three player game starts with three colours - lines - that once they have started have to continue with, like a linear Trans Europa - unless you manage to get two 'branch' tokens, in which case you can go off in one or more other directions as well. There's bonuses for linking certain areas together, but the main thing you're hoping to do is get the Passenger (we called him Hugo) to use your routes to get to his next destination, as he meanders haphazardly around town.


I decided to establish a circular-line type presence, hoping to pick up regular points from Hugo. But quite often he was out in the sticks, and - somewhat infuriatingly - I regularly began a turn with Hugo certain of using Martin's North London line. My "shitty black line" (© Martin) did pick up a few points though, and as the final round was triggered I saw a way to get myself joint first. Ian blocked that, but I could still get joint second... Martin blocked that. The final scores say it all:

Ian  59
Martin 58
Sam 57

A really good game, though my one criticism is it felt a little long. But it was a first play for myself and Ian.

We - by now reasonably well-oiled - moved on to Biblios. And what a firecracker it was. I was picking up so much blue that having put some in the auction for later, I started giving them away. Then I panicked, and having put up the Blue die value, started lowering it again. I had Reds sewn up but just couldn't get any traction on another colour. Martin meanwhile went head to head with Ian on browns and came out worst:

Ian 9 (Mr Biblios)
Sam 5
Martin 3

Your browns are not fine

By now Sally had returned and we thought about packing up, but she insisted we keep playing so we broke out Love Letter and Andrew's Japanese whisky. The latter was to prove an unlikely saviour for Ian later... in the first game (first to 2 cubes!) though I pulled off a win:

Sam 2
Ian 1
Martin 0

Then in the second game I was correctly guessed in quick succession and lagging behind as Ian and Martin won a cube each. In the third round Ian and Martin swapped cards; Ian handing the Priest to Martin. Martin used the priest and Ian - by now somewhat drunk - missed this fact and played a guard guessing Martin was the priest. And because he had another priest, Ian guessed correctly and won!

Ian 2
Martin 1
Sam 0

Oh, Love Letter. You are silly.


  1. Did anybody get to call Mornington Crescent?

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  3. Cheers folks, was an enjoyable evening. I was incredibly jammy in Love Letter, and I'm not entirely sure how I won Biblios. Shame it's not leaderboard!

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  5. Not sure how I managed to triple post :s

  6. Love Letter was hilarious. Even Sally was laughing. It's such a good one to end on.

    Chris sorry that reference is sailing over ma heid. Is it something to do with the film?

  7. Mornington Crescent is sailing over your head? You philistine Sam!

    I have to admit the whisky may have been a mistake.