Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Floody Hell!

A new season began with erstwhile Bracknell regular Chris making his first appearance as a regular in the Bristol branch of GNN. He was joined by Sam (the host), Matt, Ian, Katy, Joe, Martin, Andy, and myself.

At first there were five of us, so we indulged in a little non-leaderboard Pairs until everyone turned up. It was during this game that Sam got a score of 37 in one round, which got us thinking about what our record score for this game was. Sam also came joint first with Joe, Chris was second, I was third and Matt fourth.

Then, once most of us had arrived (with Katy still twenty minutes away), we decided to play a proper game of Pairs. In theory, a card-counter would have an advantage in this game, but in practise it’s fairly common to go out to impossible-to-predict low cards. Those blueberries are deadly.

Andrew 24
Matt 23
Andy 17
Joe 16
Chris 15
Ian 12
Sam 11
Martin 0

Since we’d been talking about record scores, it’s interesting to note that in the final round Joe’s cards added up to 38 points.

Then we split up into groups of five and four having ignored Joe’s repeated offer of a two-player game of Tides of Time. The four group (Joe, Martin, Chris and Andy) played Njet, a card game that looked very complicated. Meanwhile, the five group (Katy, Ian, Sam, Matt and me) played Mystery At The Abbey, the new flavour of the month at GNN Towers.

With five players, trying to keep things a secret proved tricky. Sam would often leave the table completely to contemplate his findings elsewhere.

Since everyone began with less information than they do in a three-player game, I thought it would be longer but just as Sam told the Njet players that they’d be another half hour, Katy sped to the Capitulum to accuse Brother Malachi, and she was right! We hadn’t even reached the end of the second round.

Katy 4
Sam 2
Matt 2
Ian 0
Andrew 0

You know, Brother Malachi was the killer last time, too.

Njet had finished by now

Andy 23
Joe 19
Martin 13
Chris 9

And they’d begun on another card game called Beast Bar and that ended

Martin 4
Chris 3 (wins tie-breaker)
Andy 3
Joe 3

While we five played an epic game of Bandu. Sam, Ian and Katy just kept building and building until they ran out of blocks and had to use the ruins of Matt and my fallen towers. It was a tense affair, with the whole room gripped by the unfolding drama. In the end, the collapse of Sam’s set off Ian’s downfall and Katy won.

1. Katy
2. Ian
3. Sam
4. Matt
5. Andrew

And it was still early. We split into groups again. Sam finally gave in and played Joe at Tides of Times, with Joe winning by 86 to 58. Katy, Matt, Martin and Ian gave Beasty Bar another outing.

Katy 4
Matt 4
Martin 4
Ian 2

But the real excitement was kept for the far end of the table, where Chris, Andy and I played Ra. Andy twice got into a position of having the chance to pull out tiles from the bag with two bidding tiles left. And did he take out any disasters or a sudden run of Ra tiles? Nope. It was a consummate victory, with Chris not even bothering to watch the final stages, his attention caught by a non-leaderboard game of Go Stop at the other end of the table (which Martin won).

Andy 87
Chris 19
Andrew 17

After Pairs, Bandu and now Ra, it was an evening of astonishing performances. Well done, everyone.

Katy sits atop the fledgling division.


  1. Wasn't there another game of Pairs at the end?

    1. Yes, there was.

      Matt 24
      Katy 16
      Ian 14
      Joe 14
      Sam 9
      Martin 4

      It was already in the division. Somehow that spreadsheet knows more than I do.

    2. I gave Martin a lift home, so does that mean that he played telepathically? Would explain the score... Or maybe that was really your score, Andrew!

    3. Or was that game while we were playing Ra? Colour me confused.

    4. Yeah. it was during Ra.

    5. Seems Martin's "at the end" threw me, since I knew Go/Stop had been on the table at the end, so thought there must have been another end that ended in Pairs.

  2. Apologies for my disinterest at the scoring of Ra but I was nosing up the table at Stop Go.
    Such was our beating in that game that if it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped in round 2. Ra still remains a mystery to me.....

  3. lots of fun. I think Martin's right, we did play Pairs again at the end. I don't remember what happened... Bandu was a classic though, and I enjoyed Mystery of the Abbey even though I don't think we should attempt it again whilst seated like that!

    I wasn't crazy about Tides of Time. It was one of those 'these are the mechanics' games where playing it was about managing them best - though I think it's clever (You need to think about what your opponent wants) it didn't grab me. But Joe says it improves with familiarity.