With Chris yet to arrive, and both boys theoretically involved, we began with Stanley's choice of Sheriff of Nottingham. This game is all about bluffing, double-bluffing and triple-bluffing. Everyone takes a turn being the Sheriff and everyone else hands him a bag of goods they want to bring within the city walls: they can tell the truth or fib, and it's the Sheriff's job to work out what they're up to. Stanley proved to be rather adept at the casual smuggle of contraband, Andrew found himself serialising paying punishment payments, but Ian sailed rather serenely to a commanding win:
Joe hadn't been very interested in the comings and goings of Nottingham trade, and had tried a variety of distraction techniques before finally retiring, post Sheriff, to bed. With Chris now here he, Ian and Andrew bashed out a game of Love Letter whilst I read stories upstairs. I'm not sure what happened, but having completed the game we tried Chris' new purchase of Nations: The Dice Game.
This is a dice-management game with custom dice where you can go a variety of ways in terms of strategy. I couldn't remember what it reminded me of until just now, when I recalled Tiny Epic Galaxies. Except although I think TEG is an ok game I preferred Nations. Not a classic maybe, but a solid game we can bash out in under an hour that balances tactics and luck quite nicely.
Next up was Istanbul. This game needs no introduction, especially to us as we've played it before. It looked like Ian was leading the charge but, in contrast to my experiences with Tales of the Arabian Nights, my repeat visits to the Great Mosque brought reward:
Sam 5 gems
Ian 4 most cash
Andrew 4 next most cash
Chris 4 least cash
At this point I also managed to win Pretense, the game with the largest gap between sounds-shit and is-actually-fun. I doubt the game has a huge amount of replayability, but the concept is that whilst playing other games, everyone is also trying to fulfil their games-related moments on their hidden cards - if you do so, flip the card over. First to flip all their cards wins.*
*The official rules are slightly more convoluted but I like the simplicity of our house version
At some point during Istanbul the blog title surfaced with Andrew excusing a fart with the comment "It's just a moth at the window". This sent me into hysterics, that kept returning throughout the remainder of the evening whenever I remembered it.
With everyone now willing we began playing one of the old classics: Tsuro. This path-making game is so simple it's almost not a game. Except it is a game, and I won it:
At this point I was wondering why I can't bring this type of form to Tuesdays, but hubris was waiting just around the corner in the form of Bandu: I managed to accrue five coins and had plenty of passes in the bank, but like Joe (Berger) and myself before me, I couldn't resist the urge to build, and my construction didn't have the foundations to withstand my ambition and optimism. While Ian built a kind of dainty Barbican, Chris held on for the win with what Andrew dismissed as a low-rise block of flats:
Sam and Chris AE
My impossible structure and Ian in the distance AE
I managed to put an egg cup above an egg! What larks! AE
With the evening closing out we just had time to play Push It. Andrew and I established a big lead but Ian came back into it, the Chris threatened to, before fate smiled on me with some deflections and I grabbed a fortuitous win:
Sam's winning move
With 11 o'clock looming we called it a night. Lots of fun, thanks chaps.