Friday, 7 August 2015

The Unassailable Doubt

Friday! Night of bursting free of the chains of the week, into the liberty of the weekend. Some folk take drugs. Others head for the hills. We buy Pringles.

Andrew arrived at my house just after 7pm and me and the boys already had Lift Off! Get Me Off This Planet set up. I'll be honest, we'd had a quick run-through the day before and Martin's portentous description of Scoville ("Kickstarter crap") had echoed in my head. But inevitably we'd played it slightly incorrectly, and tonight that was remedied.

Lift off!

The game sees you trying to get as many of your aliens off the planet before it explodes. On your turn you can move one or two of them and play as many cards as you want to: cards both get you onto the various launchpads and cause it to launch. They can also do a couple of other things too but basically it's a race, and how effective your cards are depends quite often on the position of the moon, which orbits an eighth of the planet after everyone's turn, and every full revolution is a new day - and the planet is closer to exploding.

Trampolining to safety is an option

I was just thinking "It's good for the kids, but it's a bit long" when Joe terraformed the surface, building the Stargate, which causes a die to be rolled at the start of every new day. This may have a good effect (ideally all the aliens at the Stargate are saved) but equally it may have a bad one. That's Stargates I guess. Anyway it was an interesting twist that gave the game an added zing.

The final end of the final day resulted in a tornado and my distant chances of claiming a debut win were shattered:

Stanley: 7 aliens saved
Joe: 6 aliens saved
Sam: 6 aliens saved
Andrew 5 aliens saved

- Andrew in mitigation had moved more aliens to the surface of the planet than anyone else. But that's no safer than the core.

Two bricks, three cloth

The boys retired to bed and Andrew suggested Concordia. This hasn't been out of the box for a while and I was certainly rusty. Twice I played the Mercator and didn't use him in the way I'd planned; and the second time was particularly galling. I spent the rest of the game bemoaning my idiocy, only to find I'd won. Games, eh?

Sam 123
Andrew 121

It really was a surprise to both of us. I didn't realise how good my endgame bonuses would be, and Andrew could have played the last round differently and denied me a few points. We had bamboozled ourselves, leading to Andrew's description of the game as the post title.

Game Of Thrlicks

After that fairly heavy beast we fancied something light, and broke out Cube Quest. One of my grunts made a series of spectacular raids in Andrew's territory, but my supposedly superior Fighter panicked at the sight of Andrew's Grunt near my King, and flicked his own leader into oblivion:

Andrew: wins
Sam: doesn't

We moved swiftly on to Take It Easy, although our calling was fairly erratic. Andrew claimed he could name 27 women from his college days he was attracted to, but clearly this was not the case, as he started repeating himself and claimed any 1 tiles "didn't count". I tried calling authors that I had knowing or unknowingly mimicked in my fledgling writing days, but this literary bent soon lapsed into Everton Footballers From The 90's. I held that up pretty well, and also won the two-round game:

Sam 321
Andrew 231

We finished off with Biblios, or bi lips as my phone likes to auto-correct it. Surely there's a game in that title? Andrew went big on blues and browns, but not quite big enough: despite him picking up the greens I reclaimed Mr Bi Lips - for now, at least.

Sam 8
Andrew 3

I tried to tempt Andrew with a game of Pairs (a big hit with the boys and Sally) but we'd finished the Pringles and he sensibly headed off home.


  1. I'd got a text from Sam that day saying he was keen to try Lift Off! When I looked it up on BGG, I found a Hig Frontier-esque game of flying to the moon and back with a recommended playing time of 3 hours. I was impressed by Sam's commitment. Not so impressed by the game that I played, though. I guess it was okay.

    Concordia was... I can't say fun, but... it was good. Take It Easy, well, I never win it anyway. And I was hoodwinked on Biblios, overloading on blues when Sam didn't even have one.

  2. In fairness to Lift Off Get Me Off This Planet it was bought with the boys in mind rather than GNN. And as such it was a success I think... But thanks for your patience Andrew!