This evening almost ended before it began for me, as I got into my car and found that the interior rear mirror had fallen off. Quickly I strapped it back in place with some masking tape, just enough to get me to and from Martin’s place for this week’s gaming goodness.
At first there were six of us: Martin, myself, Ben, Katy, Ian and Andy. While we waited for Sam and Chris to arrive, we decided to have a game of Why First? This game rewards coming in second and, as such, we did wonder if it was too unthematic to play it first. But that didn’t stop us.
Andy shot off into an early lead, and then tried very hard to make someone else do better than him. In fact, both Katy and Ben scored more than him, but Ben was just too good at being second and so he lost. We ended with Martin muttering something about stupid random games.
By now, everyone had arrived and we split into two. Martin, Katy, Ben and Ian quickly decided they would like to try Discworld again. The remaining four debated our options and I mentioned Tigris & Euphrates. This got a certain amount of guarded interest but perhaps it was Martin’s anger at us playing his favourite game without him that helped us decide.
And so it was, four players sat down to a game that they barely remembered. Martin kindly stopped setting up Discworld long enough to explain the rules to us. Once we were going, it was a slow thoughtful process. We vied for territory and struggled to remember the difference between an internal and an external battle.
I played quite badly, never getting anywhere near a temple, and I sealed my defeat near the end of the game by taking on Chris in a hopelessly misjudged battle. He won easily and picked up a load of points in the meantime. Sam was first to get a temple down, which meant he ended the game with 17 points in one particular colour. But it’s your weakest colour that is scored, and in the final tally Chris had the best all round game.
And with that done, Andy was satisfied that at least he now knew for sure that he didn’t like T&E and he could trade it away.
As it happened, Discworld ended at the same time:
With Martin especially keen that I should note “piss poor” next to Ben’s score.
At this point, the teams shuffled. Sam, Martin, Andy and Ian went for Neue Heimat, an abstract-looking game with coloured blocks and hemispheres. Ben, Katy, Chris and I went for Safranito: the fun game of spice mixing.
There was a distinct lack of garlic throughout the game, which made things difficult to finish those garlicky recipes. Chris went for the secret recipe option twice, but seemingly had little luck. I was the first to complete three recipes, thus winning the game. The final places were decided by a money tie-breaker.
Andrew 3 recipes
Chris 1 recipe and $220
Katy 1 and $160
Ben 1 and $70
And also at this time, Neue Heimat ended. Martin worked out the scores and they sounded more like something you’d get at the end of an episode of QI.
I’ll leave it up to them to explain what went wrong or, indeed, if this is a normal spread of scores.
And with that, the evening was done. At the last minute, Katy said we’d forgotten to play a game in Joe’s honour (since it was his birthday, hence his absence). So, as a last minute substitute, we put Martin’s table back the way it was in honour of Joe. Hope he appreciates the gesture.
And this is the Division