Monday, 14 September 2015

Whisky Remorse

The weekend started badly, with Stanley taking a tumble at school and a Friday night trip to A+E diagnosing him with a 'buckled' bone - the bone compacts on impact and bulges out to one side. Forced to wear a cast for 6-8 weeks, Stan does at least live in a house that's coming down with boardgames. So after some weekend Safranito, Pairs, and Codenames, on Sunday night Andrew and Ian rolled up for our belated 'Thursday' session, and the boys joined us for a game of Love Letter. Joe and I made a team, whilst the others played solo.

The patient

Stanley got off to a good start, winning the opening round. I recalled our Love Letter session over the holidays, where Stanley correctly identified we had the Countess after Joe said to me "I can see her boobies". No such mistakes from Joe this time, who successfully eliminated Andrew's King. Ian, the expectant winner going by previous form, accrued two cubes and in a game of first-to-three things looked ominous. But Stanley knocked him out in the final round and Joe and I were lucky enough to have the Princess:

Sam and Joe - 3 cubes
Stanley - 2 cubes
Ian - 2 cubes
Andrew - 0 cubes

I took the boys up to bed, whilst Ian and Andrew debated which two-player game to bash out. When I returned 20 minutes later, they were deep in a gripping game of 7 Wonders with Dirk, who appeared to be outscoring at least Ian, possibly both of them. Ian's lack of resources hadn't worked out for him, whereas Andrew had plenty to choose from. It was tight, and Dirk *almost* took his first outright victory. As it was, he shared the honor with Andrew:

Dirk - 38
Andrew - 38
Ian - 30

It was time for Safranito! For those not yet in the know, this game is like a cross between Istanbul and bowls. Rather than a race for rubies, the first to complete three recipes wins. On your turn you throw coins onto the board, hoping to A. grab the spices you need by landing your coin above the correct bowl and B. knock other people's coins into shitty non-productive areas.

I started badly, at one point with a solitary spice in front of me compared to Ian's 3 and Andrew's 4. So I was pleased as punch to engineer myself into a winning position half an hour later - with a secret recipe in front of me, all I needed was a bit of cinnamon. There was loads out there, and I didn't even need to worry about turn order. But my three successive throws were all diabolical, meaning I missed out on my lovely cinnamon - and the win, as Andrew completed his secret recipe as well!

Andrew - wins
Ian - 2nd (two recipes)
Sam - 3rd (two recipes)

What now? We nearly played Africana but I think the shelf being so high put us off. Instead we played Bruges, Stefan Feld's possibly most point-salad-y game after Bora Bora. Build houses, put characters in them, build canals, improve reputation, fend off disasters... I nabbed majorities in reputation and canal (points!) early on, whilst Andrew grabbed majority in characters (points). Andrew's tactic seemed to be build as many characters as possible (points!), and in this way he stopped Ian and I ever flipping our character majority markers. Ian built some canals and got a statue (points!). Andrew built some more characters, including one who gave him money every time Ian or I built a character (money!)

Where's the balsamic?

To me it seemed Andrew was going to walk away with it - but come the count-up my two majorities (the others only had one apiece) and maximum reputation clinched me an unexpected win:

Sam 57
Andrew 55
Ian 50

By now it was fairly late, and we'd started drinking whisky. Possibly this contributed to our insatiable appetite for Pairs, as well as our inability to find anything to record the scores on. They started on my hand, but I ran out of room, and said I couldn't write on my right hand because I'm right-handed. So Ian found a Tesco receipt in his pocket and Andrew recorded the scores on that. I kept going bust on 7's. I think we all twisted at times when sticking might have been more sensible. Andrew's view on the game with three players changed from "It's not the same without Martin hassling me" to "This is brilliant. Why don't we play Pairs with three more often?". His head may tell him why this morning.

Beyond the general chaos and plaintive crying it's all a bit muddy now - but Ian won two games whereas Andrew and I picked up a solitary one. And with that, the weekend came to an end. Unless Stanley demanding Codenames at 7.10 this morning counts?


  1. Poor Stanley! Though I suspect it's quite cool to have to wear a cast.
    So you bought Codenames too Sam? I think it's going to go mainstream, this one!

    We played Codenames on friday with Claudia, Alex and Will. I found it very slightly difficult to explain, though we were all quite drunk, and Alex and Claudia find a fair amount of sport in antagonising the rules teacher. There were two teams of four, and we played four games so that everyone could have a go being Spymaster. Oh hang on I already mentioned this in another comments thread. I shall now stop.

    I have been thoroughly addicted to one player Fields of Arle - there are no special rules for one, just try to get the highest score you can. A score of 110 points is suggested as 'exceptional'. I've played 7 games, and only on my last did I (just) break the 100 point mark. Henry is coming to stay later this week, and very keen to give it a go, so I should have a two player game or two under my belt before the week is out.

  2. Yeah, afer a stressful Friday Sally said I had carte blanche at Orc's Nest. Just like Larry David having a free pass to cheat on his wife (only more exciting) I found I couldn't do it, and Andrew and I went for expensive meatballs instead. I carried the indulgence over to Saturday though and picked up Codenames at Area 51. Stan and Joe both really like it.

  3. Pairs was a very strange game without hordes of cursing players to distract you. It took me a while to realise it was almost like a real game. It was nice having time to weigh up the risks of being in first or getting nothing without having Martin staring you down.

    Safranito was fun. My winning move was to ricochet two counters into the desired bowls. And well done ot Ian for cleverly balancing two of his counters on the edge of the board.

    But that game of 7 Wonders was weird. We didn't notice that there was no parchment available as we began the last round, which made things a bit tricky. If I hadn't built up my army to defeat Dirk, it would've been a different story.

  4. Maybe Dirk has been playing us all this time