Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Moth at the Window

Saturday! With Sally away on an extended trip to London, I sent out the word to gamers that the table would be free. Flying the flag for GNN were the trusty extra-curricular stalwarts Andrew, Ian and Chris.

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:

Ian 177
Stanley 129
Sam 123
Andrew 64

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.

Sam 29
Ian 23
Chris 21
Andrew 20

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

Sam 7
Ian 6
Andrew 5
Chris 3

With 11 o'clock looming we called it a night. Lots of fun, thanks chaps.



  1. A lovely evening. Two things to point out: I won Love Letter with the score at Me 3, Chris 2, Ian 0. And the fart I described as a "moth at the window" was not my own. I won't name names, preferring for the waves of history to wash over this particular episode.

    As for the games, Nations was good but I want to try it again to see if I actually like it rather than being interested in something new.

    Talking of which, The Sheriff of Nottingham doesn't really do it for me. I don't really think the bluffing is very risky or interesting, which bluffing should be.

    Good to see Tsuro on the table again and Istanbul was nice, even if it always end before you expect it.

    1. Sorry Andrew I phrased the fart moment badly. It was indeed not you, and your excusing of it wa most charitable (as well as most surreal)

  2. Oh yeah we nearly played The Lying Cheese as well, but I didn't have the wrappers and didn't know what they were. I guess we played The Honest Cheese, where you trust they won't kill you, and everyone wins.

  3. The cheese definately won! I like Nations the dice game because I see it as a simple game that doesn't over stay it's welcome. There's not much down time between turns which is good for a game of this level. It's nothing that new in terms of mechanics and feels like a mix of several games you've played before.

    Not sure why food is depicted as a fern but hey ho.

  4. I'd play Nations again for sure. The original (longer) version has never tempted me I must admit, but then again I didn't have the shelving then...

  5. Sounds like a super night chaps.
    Charlotte and I got together with Tim and Harriet, and we played some light after-dinner games. Dead Man's Chest was found to be a little bemusing - the hierarchy of bids particularly; but Birds of a Feather was roundly enjoyed. Next time we will play with the dastardly raptors rule. I think this will go down well at GNN for an end of evening digestivo (plays up to 7).
    And last night, Bea, Martha and I played classic sailors gambling game Crown and Anchor, from the sailors dice box I found in a charity shop last weekend.
    We played with 15 chips each, and after everyone had two turns as banker, Bea was wiped out, I had 16 and Martha won with 29. Good fun!

  6. Sounds fun Joe.

    Thankfully Stanley seems to be back on the boardgame wagon after a couple of weeks off. We went through my collection yesterday and realized he's played 70 of them! No wonder he needed a break...

  7. I don't think I have 70 games!