Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Colt Calling

Christmas is time of cheer for many but, for boardgamers, trying to arrange a weekly event is fraught with difficulties. This week it looked like there would be hardly any attendees but in the end we were eight in total: Martin (the host), Katy, Hannah (a surprise late entrant), Andy, Ian, Sam (feeling ill but trying Ian’s “beer cure”), Ben and myself.

We split into two groups of four. At one end of the table Discworld: Ankh Morpock. This caught Ben’s eye as a fan of Terry Pratchett’s work and Martin was keen to get it to the table. Ian and Katy were recruited to complete the quartet.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the table we considered what to play. Nothing seemed to appeal to everyone, as various options were mooted and objected. We chose Oregon.

I’ve played Discworld once before, a long time ago, as a two-player game with Sam. It didn’t really grab me, but judging by the whoops of surprise (Katy) and melodramatic reading of various cards’ powers (Martin) they seemed to be having a rare old time of it.

Oregon, however, was proving to be a sterner task for our brain cells. Sam was a newcomer and had to learn a new set of rules at less than 100%. The other newcomer, Hannah, seemed to have no such issues and focused on mining, building up a large pile of gold and coal.

This proved to be pivotal as these meant she was able to overtake Andy in the final round of scoring. I got into third by going where Sam was about to go, thus ruining his chance of a 12-point move.

Hannah 69
Andy 68
Andrew 61
Sam 60

Over in Discworld, there was last-minute hilarity as a series of unexpected events ruined Martin’s strategy. “All my buildings fell down” he complained once the scores had been added up. No one seemed very sympathetic, though.

Ian 70
Katy 65
Ben 58
Martin 30

Happily, the two games ended at around the same time, so before Sam and Hannah called it a night, Martin went for the old faithful, Pairs, to tempt them into one more game.

The game had it’s usual round of coincidence-defying defeats. Katy and Andy went out in the same round with pairs of grapes, despite their being only four in the pack. And in one round, a desperate Ian (on 16 points) dealt a card to Sam (on 17 points) yelling “Lemon” as he did. And so it was, sending Sam crashing out of the round.

Three pumpkins in a row!

But despite getting so close, neither Ian nor Sam finished the game that round. There were two more rounds after that: enough for Martin to overtake and claim the win.

Martin 25
Ian 23
Hannah 22
Andrew 19
Sam 17
Katy 15
Andy 14
Ben 8

We should note Ben’s interesting tactic of never sticking, unless he’s in first. This man is goal-oriented. All of his eight points came from just one round.

Then Hannah and Sam left, so the remaining six of us played Colt Express. This 3D Robo Rally-ish game without the grim tedium and with a dash of Loony Tunes slapstick seemed like the perfect way to finish an evening.

Martin was a little put out that he wasn’t green for a change, but he was comforted by the fact that he was Belle: the character that is never shot if there is another legitimate target available. As he noted, he would always be chosen to be shot, if at all possible.

I was Doc, allowed a hand of seven cards instead of the usual six, and my coup de grace was to nip past the Marshall and grab the briefcase for $1000. For the rest of the game, Doc must have looked a bit odd as he ducked from roof to carriage, swinging punches at random in a desperate attempt at hanging onto his swag.

Everyone took turns shooting each other, with Andy mostly on the receiving end. The Marshall was also instrumental in shooting people up through the roof, thus spoiling the rest of their plans and they usually took out their frustration by shooting anyone within range.

Ian was the mysterious Ghost, whose first move is always a mystery. And his enigmatic ways worked best as he scooped up gem after gem, sack after sack of money. Ben’s ability to punch and steal at the same time didn’t do him much good, though.

Ian $2950
Andrew $2000
Katy $1800
Martin $1250
Andy $1250
Ben $750

And with that, we were on our way. Another evening done.

I noticed a couple of mistakes in my spreadsheet from last week, so this is definitely the proper standings at the moment. Not much has changed, though. And with one week of the season left, there’s not much left to play for.

Apart from fun, of course!

1 comment:

  1. I suspected Oregon would be a game I'd struggle with (even at 100%) and Andy would win easily, so well done Hannah!

    I did enjoy it, and would like to play again. Feels like you could bash through a game quite quickly once you know it.

    Thanks for hosting Martin and everyone for great gaming in 2015. Won't be there next Tuesday, so have a good Christmas!