Saturday games at Sam’s. Ian and I arrived at 7 for a quick run through some games with Sam’s kids. Spyfall, Cardline and Riff Riff were squeezed into something like half an hour. Cardline is the only game that needs an introduction: it’s basically Timeline but with Marvel super heroes and instead of years, you have to place the cards on the table according to statistics: either intelligence, strength or something else.
I did badly, not recognising anyone on the cards and, for some reason, Joe didn't do well either. Ian won the game, showing just how much of his youth he spent immersed in the world of super heroes.
Stanley won Riff Riff thanks to his technique of calmly putting things on the boat without really thinking about it.
After this, the boys went to bed and we decided what to play. We knew Chris was en route and I mentioned he’d be keen to play Caverna. Sam wanted something a little shorter, so we considered others. But when Chris turned up, the ill-disguised excitement he displayed when Caverna was mentioned meant we couldn’t turn him down.
We unpacked as quickly as possible and got Cavernaing. I got off to a flier, being the first to get a new family member. But Sam soon overtook me in the baby business, eventually ending the game with a family of six. He also got some choice bonuses, as did I. Ian went ruby mining in a big way while Chris went down the vegetable route.
We all ran into trouble early on as one harvest followed another and we struggled to feed our families while trying to plan for the future.
The game was notable for me getting in people’s way. It seemed no matter what I did, I had ruined someone else’s plan. I apologised but secretly I was quite happy about it.
Chris complained about too many inefficient moves and Ian was last to expand his family. As such, despite some high scoring bonus rooms, they came third and fourth. And everyone completed their farms and caves, which I was impressed by. I didn’t note the scores, but it was something like:
Then we packed it away. After Thursday’s debacle with leaving an essential part of Railways of the World unpacked, Sam was keen to double check. And, indeed, the lid came off and went back on again twice as we found stray parts of the game (including, shamefully, part of the playing board!). Finally, we got it all away, and Sam picked the box up to take it into the next room.
And in doing so, uncovered yet another counter from the game!
Well, with Caverna finally packed away, we moved on to lighter fare: Tsuro. And what a game it was. All four of us were still alive and fighting with only five spaces left on the board. Impressive. Then, like dominoes, we all died one by one as our last tile inevitably finished us off.
Finally, Sam dug out Sumeria, the game of meeple placement and movement that effects a city’s standing. Move into an area, that area shuffles up on the list, with only the top three cities scoring any rewards per round. It’s a short game. At least Sam thought it was. Then he saw that the rules suggested six rounds. We played three.
I think Sam won. Then Ian, then me. I know Chris came last, because he commented on his evening of fourth places as we packed up to leave. Than made it easy to remember, at least.