Early arrivals, Katy and Ben played Sam at Verflixxt. While the rest of the gamers came in, having done their best to avoid the football traffic.
Martin was keen to play Twilight, the non-franchise card game of moon cults and bad art. “Look,” he said, as he drummed up support for the game, “they’re burning a chicken on the cover!” Well, that seemed to swing it, and he, Joe, Ben and Katy adjourned to the front room.
Meanwhile, the five remaining players gave Chocolatl a spin. Chris looked offended when Sam started to explain the rules to him, forgetting that they’d played it together less than a week before. Andy listened to Sam’s explanation of the rules, and then double-checked a few things in the book, for good measure.
As for the game, there was bidding, as you’d expect, but I’m not sure it’s at its best as a five player. There was a lot to take into account. So much so, that it wasn’t worth thinking too much. Sam went for the +1 tiles in rounds one and two and, almost by chance, Ian was usually second in the city, so he ended up with a healthy collection of bonus dice to roll at the end. Neither tactic was enough to win the game, which went to Andy and his softly softly collectee pointy approach. What I mean was, it was hard to see his tactic, except avoid losing points. Maybe he didn’t have one.
During this game, Twilight ended in high drama. Joe and Katy made up the Moon Cult, against Ben and Martin in the Sun Cult. At the end of the third round, the Moon Cult lead 386-91. Amazingly, by the end of the fourth round, the tables had turned completely thanks to a total shut out by the Sun Cult.
Martin & Ben 397
Joe & Katy 386
Since we were still knee deep in Chocolatl, they began Can’t Stop, the fun dice rolling game. Katy managed to go through the whole game without getting a single meeple on the board.
And now our game timings were overlapping, so since they were halfway through Can’t Stop, we cracked out Samarkand. This is a game where your meeple moves around a board following arrows, having to trade with nomads, buy cards or trade cards for points. The trick is arriving at the nomad camp when the camp is full, so that you get all the cards. And then hot-footing it to the right city to sell those goods before anyone else does.
The most notable aspect was some confusion about one small icon in particular: a tunnel entrance. Was it a burnt mushroom? A man? A tunnel? Of course, it was swiftly dubbed the burnt mushroom man tunnel, and cue childish giggles every time someone went to exploit the man tunnel.
Sam didn’t seem to get to grips with it and gave a poor judgement of it by the end. Ian seemed much more favorable but, then again, he did win. I’m sort of in the middle, as my placing will testify.
Andy 405 (possibly more, can’t read my writing)
In the other room, The Last Spike was now on the table, with Katy seemingly taking her revenge for those two last places she’d had to endure.
So, with that going on, the five of us went for Celestia.
And with that, we were all together again, for a hearty game of 6nimmt (chosen in favour of Pairs, despite Sam’s new fruit version).
Cue the usual cries of agony and woe, as one piece of shitty luck gave way to something even crueler. It was close for first place, though with four players tying for first and second. (Or first and third, if you prefer).
A particularly nasty situation
On the division, Katy regains points ratio and top spot, while Martin keeps hold of the medal table.