Some arrived early, allowing Sam’s boys Stanley and Joe a couple of games before bedtime. We began with In A Bind or, as Martin described it, Twister in a chair.
Each player (me, Katy, Stanley, Martin, Ian and Sam) is given a card and has to adopt a pose that satisfies the instructions on that card. As the cards mount up, so the physical contortions get ever more absurd.
Sam was out first, and this allowed him to help the rest of us who were now unable to pick up the cards ourselves, thus prolonging the game until Katy complained about it hurting, yet refusing to give up. She was appalled, having come a very undignified first, when it was suggested that this game wasn’t leaderboard. So appalled, indeed, that I relented and wrote the standings down on the back of a bus ticket.
Martin struggles while Ian is more sedate
Next up was a quick game of pairs to 21. Perhaps because he had half an eye on the clock and a keen sense of parental duties, Sam scored in all four rounds, winning three of them, for a swift win.
So while Sam put the boys to bed, we decided on a quick game to play until he was back and Joe and Chris arrived. We chose Mord Im Arosa, the game of hearing accuracy. Was it possible for Katy and Martin to be quiet long enough to hear the cubes tumbling down the tower?
They almost didn’t need to as the moment the first victim was found, with four of my clues right next to it, I knew my game was up. All I could do was try to clear my name as best I could. I managed to last long enough that Joe turned up and got to watch a decent amount of the game. He seemed intrigued. But it was a hopeless task.
Katy was distraught when she was told it was difficult to get hold of, since she seemed to have her heart set on a copy of her own. Martin amazed everyone by telling us it this would be his 700th game rated on Board Game Geek (and by an amazing coincidence, this is the 700th post on GNN).
After this, Chris arrived saying the traffic was shocking, and we sat down to some serious gaming. Joe had brought Magnates, the fun game based around the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 17th century.
It’s territory control, as you bid for two types of cards to help you score points, gain advantages, and place estates on the map, and finally do battle against encroaching armies with whatever cards you have left. I enjoyed it, finding it similar to Chocolatl, but it didn’t find favour with Sam and towards the end, he decided to go Dirk (“Dirking his responsibilities,” perhaps?) rather than face reading more text on another selection of cards.
At the other end of the table it was Katy’s day to be introduced to two GNN favourites: Biblios and 7 Wonders. We were disappointed, however, to discover that it was not Extreme Biblios. Despite Martin’s use of the “Eat Shit” rule whenever offering up a One Gold card, they shuffled the auction pack (robbing the game of any skill) and then used money as a tie-breaker! How unoriginal!
Katy still seemed to like it, though.
Then she was introduced to 7 Wonders. Katy had already played 7 Wonders Duel at Novocon, so she wasn’t completely new to the concepts. It seemed at one point, though, that the game would end in a fight as Katy picked up two minus points in round three while Chris and Martin picked up five each for military. She did not seem happy about it.
The game ended in her favour, though, thanks to beating Martin on a money tie-breaker (see, Martin? Money tie-breaker’s are rubbish.) Katy scored well across all categories and was the only one to build her wonder. Chris went for blue buildings and, interestingly, yellow buildings. And Martin went for science and guilds, leaving his wonder completely unbuilt.
Katy 47 + cash
Then we were all as one once more. We chose Codenames as our night’s finale. First it was Sam, Katy and Joe against Martin, Chris, Ian and me. Sam and Martin were the spymasters. Our team got lucky as Joe and Katy were often quite convinced by their different interpretations of Sam’s clues. The clue “rich” made Joe think of “Boom” and Katy think of “chocolate”.
Our team had a smoother path, although Martin risked ire with “mouse-click”. It helped us win the game, although Katy checked the rules and say that hyphenated words aren’t allowed.
Another game was tried, this time with Joe as spymaster to Katy, Sam and Ian and on the other team Chris as spymaster to Martin and I. We shot into a 5-1 lead, only for them to pull it back to 6-6. It was tense, but slow and Martin found time to play Wir Sind Das Wolk! on his phone during the downtime. But on our last turn, Martin and I were pretty sure of two of the three we had to get and Chris set us up with a simple clue for the other one. We were done, bang, bang, bang.
On the division, Katy’s run of form (eight wins in the last ten games) means she surely has the medal table sown up, and the Points title is probably hers, too. Adam holds onto Points Ratio.