Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Full Steam Ahead

Adam and Hannah hosted, and six more gamer’s attended this week soiree: Martin, Katy, Andy, Matt, Ian and myself. While Adam and Hannah dealt with putting baby Arthur to bed, we discussed what to play and it was a surprisingly easy process. We knew that Adam wanted to play Railways of the World (we knew because Katy told us. Not because he always wants to play Railways of the World) and me, Ian and Matt were happy with that choice.

Meanwhile, Martin had brought the UK expansion for Ticket to Ride. Katy needed only a little persuading before they chose that as their game of the evening. And so with two train-based games in two rooms, we began.

We played a slightly different rule to normal: this time the bonuses for long links were shuffled into the pack and were only valid if they were dealt out, instead of the more normal rule of them being available all the time.

Railways started with one of Adam’s clever mind tricks. The railroad operations cards were dealt out at the start of the game. Adam mentioned the service bounty to Toledo for four bonus points, and then explained in detail the others. Such that, by the time we’d begun, the three of us had forgotten about the service bounty, allowing Adam to pick it up even though he was last to go.

Ian, Matt and Adam tussle on the East Coast

That was the end of Adam’s luck, as he and Ian then went head to head in the area around New York. I began in Louisville and was helped by (a) Ian misjudging how many moves he needed to get the four-colour-cube bonus, forgetting the rules, wasting a go and allowing me to swoop in, (b) Matt not noticing he could complete the three-link bonus before me if he used one of Adam’s tracks, allowing me to swoop in again and (c) two more service bounties to cities I was already connected to. Oh, and (d) I was the only player to complete his baron.

Ian and Adam crossed paths again as Ian blocked off Adam’s potential 10-point New York to Chicago route, and it was a frustrating game for the creeping custard who only had a three-link engine until quite late in the game. Ian went from miles in last, right up to joint second for one brief moment, before ending in third, which was commendable considering how badly he’d messed up his game near the start. Matt attached himself to my network, abandoning the East Coast, and hoovered up all the red cubes he could find.

Andrew 71
Adam 62
Ian 49
Matt 46

Stat-fans may be interested to know that this is the third game of RotW in a row that Ian’s scored 49 points.

While we played we could barely fail to notice the cries of joy and hilarity coming from the next room. Ticket to Ride UK, with it’s new rules, was clearly going down well with the previously hesitant Katy. Part of her enjoyment must have been due to her aptitude, even though she almost lost it at the end when Hannah built the 40-point link to New York. Not sure what Martin and Andy were doing while this clash of the Titans was going on.

Katy 123
Hannah 122
Martin 65
Andy 29

When this was over, we were still up to our elbows in rolling stock, so they began a game of Beasty Bar. As we played Railways of the World, we could hear Martin explaining the rules and it sounded like he was practising for when he has to read to his child at bedtime. He explained that “All animals have specials powers” in quietly soothing tones, and then went on to describe what each animal does (“Giraffes can hop”). I assume he made appropriate mime actions, too.

The scores were:

Katy 6
Andy 5
Hannah 3
Martin 2

They even had time to start a game of Twilight before RotW was over. But after my epic win, I was a bit frazzled and set off home. But the games continued without me.

Twilight ended:

Hannah and Katy 194
Andy and Martin 167

Meanwhile the rest of the RotW crew played No Thanks!

Adam 35
Ian 38
Matt 39

Katy remains toppermost on the division, apart from that pesky points ratio which has now been nabbed by Adam.

1 comment:

  1. I'd just like to go into more detail on how badly I messed up. I had already shipped three different colours, and upon seeing the city growth card thought "If I use that card I can build a red city and ship a red cube to get the four cube bonus!"

    For those who aren't aware of the rules: A city growth card does not let you build a new city. Furthermore, it's impossible to build red cities. Whilst chasing this strategy, I spent almost all of my cash in a bid to get first player.

    So not my best moment.

    Andrew omits my second rule failure, as later on I left a railroad incomplete between rounds, not realising that was an illegal move, and nobody noticed until I completed it at the start of the next round. Everybody was kind enough to let me carry on, but I can't help but wonder if that would have affected my score; should I have been in last place?

    Eclipse and Railways of the World in a single week though, good times!

    Thanks Adam and Hannah for hosting and thanks everyone.