Thursday, 17 September 2015

King Bib

Thursday! It's now so well established we almost don't bother emailing to confirm any more. Except we do just in case, like last week, Thursday is on a Sunday. Luckily this week no such chicanery was at play, and Andrew, Ian, little Joe, Stanley and I sat down to play Safranito at 6.30pm. This was Joe's choice and he and I played as a team. Joe began as designated thrower but halfway through changed to designated fidget as he played with the box and the cards and I took over. Neither of us was really producing the goods, though, and like Stanley, we struggled. On the other side of the table Ian and Andrew had their gaming caps on and soon put and end to proceedings:

Ian 3 recipes
Andrew 3 recipes (2nd on turn order)
Joe and Sam 2 recipes
Stanley 1 recipe

The boys retired to bed with You Choose and half a chapter of The Hobbit. I came down to discover Ian had beaten Andrew so comprehensively at Biblios that the moniker Mr Biblios didn't really do it justice. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

Ian (King Biblios) 18
Andrew 0

I'll leave them to explain this alchemy in the comments.

Andrew here. I won't use the comments, since photographic evidence is needed for this event.

History, they say, is written by the winners. Not this time, though. This game of Biblios will live long in the memory as the perfect gaming example of a fly being hit by a high speed train.

I started off okay but after a bunch of church cards, I panicked and changed tactics. Far too late, since we were halfway through the gift stage. This was followed by an appalling auction stage, where we were both low on money, except Ian didn't need it and the colours I wanted never came up.

I ended with a terrible hand. No card higher than a one.

Ian, meanwhile, swept the board. When one is beaten so badly, one can at least take solace in the old saying "where everything is bad, it must be good to know the worst."

We decided to play Macao, the weird cross between a standard euro and slightly convoluted roulette. Andrew started very confidently, clearing his tableau of cards whilst Ian and I picked up penalty chits for having too many. But Ian and I had a stronger second half of the game; Ian at one point delivering three tea tiles for 23 points to surge into the lead.

cubist panting

However my presence in the city quarters - and bonuses for them - saw me claim the lead:

Sam 75
Ian 72
Andrew 64

I remain very fond of Macao, even if the last couple of rounds are fairly head-scratchy. In fact we all enjoyed it.

It was only half-nine so, having failed to tempt Sally into a 4-player Codenames, we played Raj. Andrew suggested a variant where Dirk got involved - a fourth deck was randomly shuffled and a card turned over at the bidding stage. This came through for me at one stage when Dirk and Ian drew and my paltry 2 bid picked up a 9 tile...

But overall, Dirk didn't impress the way he's done recently at 7 Wonders. Maybe he needs more practice:

Sam 81
Andrew 39
Ian 18
Dirk 1

Andrew was threatening to leave but we cajoled him into a couple of rounds of Take It Easy - I called chocolate bars and Ian went full-nerd with Deep Space Nine characters. Andrew is probably glad he stayed, and his theory of losing at Take It Easy because of "always being shitfaced" was blown out of the water:

Shitfaced Andrew 297
Fairly drunk Sam 266
Inebriated Ian 214

It was not yet 10.30 but we called it a night, reminiscing already about Ian's masterful Biblios performance.

Andrew again. Just a quick mention of the weird rainbow over Bristol this evening as I walked to Sam's. I swear I will never play Biblios when there's a rainbow ever again.


  1. An amazing game of Biblios. I may never be the same again.

    Still no good at Macao, though. I was somewhat worried when Ian and Sam busied themselves with buying up city quarters at the start of the game, but I thought my plan would work. Once again, I was hoping the tribute track would be expensive, so I'd be the only one who could afford it. Once again, it wasn't.

  2. It was only super-cheap once. The first part of the game Ian and I had no money but after a while we'd engineered ways of picking up gold. I love the different ways Macao can play out - Ian at one stage had so many cubes he was dumping them. To many I guess that's reasonably perceived as a design flaw. But I like the chaos of it, whereas the chaos of card games with loads of rules on (sentinels of the multiverse, for instance ) I do find rather boring.

  3. My Biblios result surprised me most of all. I was quite lucky in the gift phase, picking up decent cards for myself. The last few cards in the auction phase had to be discarded as Andrew and I were both out of money. It's probably a never to be repeated performance.

    Was the stumpy rainbow a bad omen for Andrew, or a good omen for me?

    I expected to lose Macao; throughout the game I thought the three punish markers I picked in the first half were going to, well, punish me.

    I could have done a bit more with my surplus cubes, but I didn't want to risk sailing away from the the tea delivery port until my double-point card was built as I was wary of not being able to get back

    Cheers guys!