Friday, 25 September 2015

Princesses, Adventurers, Grunts

The planned Saturday for Matt, Ian, Andrew and myself (Sam) had to be cancelled due to life getting in the way. So Andrew wandered over to my house the night before the day that would have been, for some gaming.

Joe and Stanley joined us early on for a couple of games of Love Letter. Joe and I played as a team, but basically although Joe doesn't realise it, he actually plays solo, as I let him make all the decisions. And as such we won the first game 3-0-0, though admittedly Joe was upstairs poo-ing when we won the last cube.

The game flew by so fast I felt we had time for another. This one was a more protracted battle, with various parties picking up wins as people were knocked out left right and centre. In the end, though, the honours went to Stanley:

Stan 3 cubes
Andrew 2 cubes
Joe and Sam 1 cube

I packed the boys off to bed and told Andrew to set up whatever game he felt like playing. Imagine my delight when I returned to find Caverna spread out across the table! I love this game. It's like an Agricola theme park, where feeding your family can be an afterthought, taken care of by a nearby fast food stand.

 who knew fun could be so meepulous?

I went for a lot of adventurers, but forgot to buy the building I needed to maximise my bonuses. I was only reminded of this when Andrew bought it. Andrew seemed to get his engines going sooner than I did, but my four dwarves all adventuring kept the stuff coming in, and my yellow rooms got me a shitload of points at game end:

Sam  75
Andrew 43


I should point out however that we agreed early on to play our house rule of adventurer dwarves picking up duplicates of things on their adventures (in the official rules they can't do this) which definitely helped my score.

It had taken us less than 90 minutes to dig out two mountains and plough a dozen fields, so we breathlessly looked for something lighter and picked out Cube Quest. It's heavier in theme of course - armies killing each other - but in terms of the mechanics Cube Quest is pretty much as light as it gets. We played best of three - I won the first game handsomely, despite flicking a cube into a chair...

Safety first

...but spent the latter part of the second with my king perilously close to tragedy.

What the Bee Gees were really singing about

And in the end I pushed my luck too far.

We began the third with the tension palpable. So palpable that I flicked my Grunt all of 2millimetres as the opening move. Andrew snorted derisively before pulling exactly the same failed move with his own Grunt. After that it got messy. I forget how brilliant Cube Quest is until every time I play it:

Andrew 2
Sam 1

We moved on to Codenames, playing co-operatively. Our challenge: to identify nine correct words in each round, giving a maximum of five clues - whilst not turning over more than three wrong guesses. Andrew decided the best way to keep track of our clues was with the crab-apples harvested from Purdown.

The danger of having no silica gel

We failed miserably. Neither of us truly convinced as Spymaster, though I think I was some degrees worse than Andrew.


Finally we blasted through 7 Wonders with the ghostly Dirk, listening to Billy Joel as we constructed the Gardens of Babylon with a make-believe German. Dirk's upward momentum shows no signs of abating, but we managed to see him off:

Sam  58
Andrew 53
Dirk 46



  1. I'm still not sure where I went wrong on Caverna. Not having a real plan, perhaps. Sam, meanwhile, has tried the adventurer route so often that he's got it down to a fine art.

    Cube Quest was as Cube Quest does. My best move was in the second game with Sam's king teetering on the edge, and no other cubes on his team. Rather than waste a cube of my own trying to hit him at distance, I just gently flicked a grunt to nowhere in particular. Sam had to come out and fight, and he didn't last.

    I'm glad I beat Dirk, though. We have to make sure he doesn't get Olympia again.

  2. Were the actual 2p Codenames rules not good enough for you? :)

  3. Replies
    1. Heh, fair enough. The rule that lets the spymaster cover up one of the 'opponent' words each round is quite good because you can tactically clear the words that were getting in the way of your good clues.

  4. Too easy! I like the fact I can clue sunburn for nurse and mole....