Wednesday, 30 March 2016

What A Great Sense of Yuma

Tonight was the last evening of the season. Some weeks back, Martin had boldly set a target for the chasing pack to reach before April while he went of to do Dad stuff. The evening began with Martin only a 4.57 point lead over Ian and barely two points further back was Katy. A delicate situation. Martin needed us to play only a couple of games and for Ian and Katy to do badly both times to stand a chance.

The top four at the start of the evening

There were six of us: Joe (host), Ian, Katy, Ben, Matt and myself. We began with Birds Of A Feather, the simple yet charming game of birdspotting.

Joe explained the rules to newcomer Matt using, whenever possible, the actual names of the birds instead of just referring to the icons. A nice touch, but the educational aspect still eludes me. After four games, I still can’t remember a single bird’s name.

Ian 28
Joe 25
Ben 23
Andrew 23
Matt 22
Katy 21

And with that victory, Ian closed in on Martin still further.

Meanwhile, we played Birds Of A Feather again, reminding Katy that this was a new game and not the second round of the same game as before.

Andrew 31
Joe 27
Katy 27
Matt 26
Ian 23
Ben 14

At this point we decided to stay as a group of six for the rest of the evening. After a little discussion, we chose Last Spike as the evening’s not-too-heavy main course.

This game of placing track and buying stock in different cities (which only pay out when it is successfully connected to another city) is simplicity itself, if a little bit luck dependent. Ben started badly, needing to pay double for a piece of non-adjoining track. He then invested heavily in the city of Yuma (hence the blog title) which luckily paid out for him in the later stages of the game.

No one needed to sell any shares due to lack of money, although it was close at times. And Katy and Joe both got three free shares for being the first to build from a particular city. Matt, meanwhile, built up a stack of cash hidden behind a bowl of pretzels.

I was lucky enough to put down the final tile, getting me a $20K bonus, otherwise I’d have been left in joint last place.

Joe 71
Andrew 65
Matt 63
Ben 56
Katy 54
Ian 45

Another poor performance from Ian and Katy, but Martin’s title bid is over. I, on the other hand, may just force a late surprise.

Next game to the table was A Fake Artist In New York. I explained the rules and I began as Quiz Master. My topic (“xylophone”) was deemed too specific by Katy and she argued about its suitability throughout round one. Interestingly, Matt joined in with the debate. I say interesting, because he was the fake artist. Clearly, he was trying to look like someone who knew what the topic was. It worked, since he wasn’t chosen as the fake artist.

Joe turned out to be an excellent fake artist once he’d quelled his desire to draw something recognisable. Halfway through the round where he was the fake artist, he said “Surely, this should be...” and then turned the drawing up the other way. An audacious bluff, and a great success.

In the final round, Katy chose “Joe” as the topic and Joe as the fake artist. A bit of a giveaway, really. But we did end up with a nice piece of minimalist portraiture.

Ben 6
Andrew 6
Matt 5
Joe 4
Katy 2
Ian 1

More faltering stumbles from Ian and Katy, and I’m up into second!

As the night progressed, so we introduced Ben to the joys of Incan Gold. I say “joys”, but his inaugural game was notable for the speed with which enemies threw themselves in our path. Temple three may have claimed a record for brevity: zombie lady, rockfall, spider, zombie lady. Joe managed to make his way through a temple far enough to get plenty of treasure and one example of each type of danger. But he just had to push it one card too far.

Katy 13
Ben 12
Matt 11
Ian 6
Andrew 5
Joe 5

Did this result signal a change in Katy’s fortunes? Although we didn’t know it at the time (I wasn’t updating the division as we played), she had claimed top spot.

If she’d known this she may not have eagerly agreed to another game of Incan Gold.

This was a more entertaining game of Incan Gold. The temples didn’t fall down upon us the moment we entered. I had one of those games where you know whichever decision you make, it’ll be the wrong one. I leave: the temple is large and profitable. I stay: it’s hello zombie ladies.

A nice temple (me, absent)

Joe 35
Katy 30
Matt 28
Ben 16
Ian 15
Andrew 10

And so, the evening was done. The season was done. Well done to Martin for winning points ratio (the proper mark of a champion) and the medal table but also congrats to Katy for taking top spot at the last minute.


  1. Well that was exciting! I hope Leicester don't go the same way.

  2. 'Twas a lovely evening - nice to play all 6 player games. Last Spike was great with 6 I thought, but maybe not insignificant that I got 3 free shares and won.
    I suppose you could have a rule where if you fail to pick up any 1s or 4s in your starting hand you can redraw until you get one...

  3. Funny that it was bloody Last Spike that put the nail in my coffin!

  4. A lovely read and well done Katy! Hello to all from the Highlands! I have taught Stan Battle Line which he likes but the hit of the hols is Gobblet Gobblers. Surprisingly fun.