The first games night of 2016 arrived this evening at my house (Sam's). I'd managed to get Stanley to play Macao on the first of January, mainly by repeatedly saying "Macao" in the style of a deranged parrot, but despite winning (80-79) Stan was not taken with it. After a Christmas of Codenames, Spyfall, King of Tokyo and Dragon Run, the Feldian mechanics probably seemed rather dry.
Chris arrived early and we played Spyfall with himself, myself, Sally, Stanley and Joe all in the mix. I don't remember everything at this point, but I do recall being the spy a couple of times and figuring out where we were. Joe pulled off being the spy and voting out other people. Then whilst Joe and Sally danced upstairs the three of us played King of Tokyo, the game of fighting beasts. Stanley's dice rolls let him down and Chris led for a while, only for me to pip him to the post:
As we finished Andrew, Katy and Ian arrived en masse and we embarked on a game of Dragon Run. This game is similar to Incan Gold in the push-your-luck sense; as the players represent adventurers trying to escape the dragon's fiery breath, having stolen his gold. On your turn you have three choices - charge recklessly ahead, hide in the shadows, or cry like a baby. Charging is high risk, hiding is a calculated risk, and crying is no-risk but no reward. Chris played the Psychic and despite his psychic powers letting him down, he did enough to claim the win:
As we ended Joe arrived! I had missed his texts and assumed he was out of the picture, but he was merely fashionably late. We broke into two parties of three, with Joe and Chris teaching Katy Alhambra and Ian, Andrew and I playing Railways of Mexico. I have to say I was pleased with my first round - not only did I deliver the first cube, I also (thanks to the Railroad Executive) completed one of the long-distance routes!
However, it was a bond-heavy strategy that ultimately would count against me. First Andrew the Ian overhauled me and Andrew, thanks to his leeching off Ian's delivery route, surged into the lead whilst Ian and I fought over second. It remained competitive throughout, but to win I needed Andrew to have failed his Baron - he hadn't:
I didn't witness much of Alhambra, but that girl Katy did it again:
Joe unfortunately was not feeling great and now retired, despite the early hour. Hope you're better Joe. The rest of us played several rounds of Spyfall, much of which has now faded from view in my memory. I think Chris and I were the spy quite a lot though.
Sticking with the clandestine mood we broke out a long-forgotten favourite: The Resistance! Chris and Ian were the spies in the first game and we, the resistance, foiled them. Then Andrew and Ian were the spies and we foiled them too! I was bamboozled by Chris and Andrew in the second game: Chris seemed so set on me being the spy I thought he must be one himself, but I'd forgotten about my drunken proclamation of the resistance cards being green, inadvertently implicating myself.
Finally we played Yardmaster, my new game of train-loading. In a yard. I have to say, having played it with Stan and now a bunch of GNNers, I don't massively rate it. With five players especially you're often just waiting for your turn in order to pick up Cargo cards so later you can (hopefully) buy Railcar cards which need to be a certain colour or a certain number to add to your engine. But Katy and Chris liked it, and Andrew won, so he might look at it favourably too:
I will concede the game does look lovely though.
So! The first games night of 2016 came to an end. Let's hope for many more that don't have the headache the following day like I'm going to have tomorrow. Best wishes for the new year all!