Andrew - 2 cubes
Ian/Sam - 1 cube
We debated what to play but with Andrew keen, Ian curious and Matt amenable we elected to play K2 - unlike Tuesday's gentle sortie, we went for the brutal(er) winter side of the board, replete with shitty weather. I left one climber behind and with the other surged to the summit. I'd erected a tent just off the peak and planned to return to it to see out the winter - but I'd reckoned without Matt and Ian following close behind me - as the top of the mountain only allows one climber per space, I was stuck, and eventually expired.
How I laughed despotically when Matt and Ian's climbers suffered a similar fate!
How I didn't laugh when Matt's remaining climber reached the near-summit and survived until the spring!
But it wasn't enough. Andrew's softly-softly approach had kept both his climbers alive, and even though they were the least daring, being alive apparently counts for something in mountaineering:
Gone... all gone
We'd blasted through the Himalayas in short order, and if a few people had to die for our fun it wasn't going to stop us jumping into our board game time machine and travel back to ancient Egypt, for Matt's first play of Ra. We had an almost Ra-free first round, where everyone had time to consider their bids without the pressure of the auction track imploding. Matt carefully made sure he had high bidding tiles for round two - were they too high? He did seem reluctant to play them. Andrew meanwhile cursed his luck - especially on round three which saw his low bidding tiles abetted by a surfeit of Ras. At least he got the highest-bidding-tiles bonus, having gotten rid of his low bids...
It was still not yet half past nine, so having all already played it, we broke out Beowulf. The risk option in this game is really what makes it - even when you play the rules all wrong like we did. We weren't out of the bidding when a risk failed (as we should have been) and we picked up scratches when we should have been picking up wounds.
Note the thematically empty crisp bowl
Oh well - a fun romp anyway, and one that we took a break from to sample Sally's home-baking. How Norse we felt - and must have looked - surveying the board in tense silence, eating raspberry muffins. I thought I might have won, had I not been hit with a double-wound from the dragon late on... but as it turned out, Andrew had the win sewn up either way...
For the third time on the night Ian and I tied for last place!
We finished off with Pairs. This is already a classic at GNN and even my crappy Professor Elemental deck didn't ruin the game for us. Matt - at one stage at least nine points behind everyone - almost staged the greatest of all great Pair comebacks... but on the last round second place was enough for me, and when Ian and Andrew went bust I heaved a raspberry-scented sigh of relief.
And that was that.