Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Bacon doesn’t breed

Another week, another GNN. Martin hosted and, for much of the evening, he had a sleeping baby in a papoose around him. The early arrivals (Martin, Katy, Ben, Sam, Ian and myself) whiled away the time with a little conversation followed by some Kakerlaken Poker. At one point, it seemed like Katy vs. Sam as they targeted each other in a series of tit-for-tat exchanges.

Sam lost by trying to bluff with a cockroach, but was found out and the card was handed back to him, to go with his other two cockroaches.

At around half past seven, Adam and Anja arrived and we split into two groups of four. At the hard-working, industrious end of the table, they chose La Granja, the new flavour here at GNN.

At the light-hearted end of the table, Martin brought out his new purchase Imhotep. This is a simple game of loading up boats with your cubes which then get delivered (in order) to various areas of the board which score differently. In one area, each players’ cubes are stacked, and the player at the end with the highest stack wins points. Elsewhere, they are laid out along a grid and points are gained for having cubes next to each other.

Martin introduced it by saying that there was plenty of opportunity for screwage, but I think that most of the whole game is about stopping your opponents doing what they want. The only down side is by doing that, you have to postpone whatever your plans might be.

It’s a smart little game, and Martin was appalled that his last minute theft of the tallest tower bonus wasn’t enough to stop Katy from winning the inaugural game.

Katy 34
Martin 33
Ben 31
Andrew 24

At this point, La Granja was still only one third done. Sam had steered Anja and Adam through the rules, even to the point of explaining how two pigs would give you a third pig, but not if you turn one pig into bacon, because bacon doesn’t breed.

So we started another game with chunky wooden pieces: Origin. This is a game of evolving and expanding across the planet and picking up bonuses for hunting, crossing straits, for innovations and for achieving certain criteria as given to you on cards.

I wasn’t in the mood for a battle and Katy and Martin were in their finest rutting stag pomp, clashing antlers at every opportunity. I thought the game was okay. I’m surprised how well I did, having collected a handful of cards which didn’t help me during the game: imagine how surprised I was when I found that each unused card was worth a point!

Martin 59
Katy 41
Andrew 36
Ben 34

As La Granja still had one more round to go, we four filled in the time with a few rounds of Martin's original copy of Love Letter. Katy won the first, Martin won the second and Ben won the last. By now, the scores were in from La Granja, and Sam deftly avoided Explainer’s Curse for once.

Not enough to stop Adam from winning, though.

Adam 65
Sam 61
Ian 53
Anja 46

And so we were done. As we walked back to my car, we reflected on an evening where Adam, Martin and Katy all won. I suggested we hadn’t needed to come out at all – we could’ve just stayed in and guessed that would happen.

Sam also told us about how, during the time when he was describing the rules, he suddenly realised he was sweating. Maybe he was afraid he’d suggested a game too far. Also, there is always the fear when describing the rules of a game to newbies that they will stop you mid-sentence and say “Are you kidding me? How is this fun?”

But they all seemed to enjoy it.

Monday, 30 May 2016

La la la la la la Granja

With Sally and the boys off camping and me (Sam) unable to take tomorrow off work and join them, the silver lining to this lonely cloud was that Andrew and Ian could join me for the debut of La Granja, the game that Cuz talked me into buying but has sat fallow in my cupboard for a couple of months. As it was a bank holiday, we convened around the table at the shockingly early time of 2pm - a full two hours before Ian opened his first beer.

In La Granja you're building a farm a lá Agricola but collecting points a lá almost any Stefan Feld game you care to think of (exception: Rum and Pirates).  There's four phases that, simplified, consist of playing a card - they can be played four different ways - collecting income and sprouting crops/pigs in your fields, collecting revenue via dice, and haggling over turn order and deliveries in the central board, which represents the market town where you're selling or trading your goods. I thought Joe would like it, but I could feel the very idea of La Granja making Martin's blood pressure rise, even though he was miles away.

We got a couple of rules wrong (we would have all scored quite a few more points, we subsequently discovered) but there was no arguing with the winner: Ian ran away with it at a canter, and Andrew and I fought it out over second place.

Ian 25
Andrew 21
Sam 20

Then we broke out the perennial murmured suggestion of Ian's, Lords of Waterdeep. This has been away from the table for a good while, and since we'd never played the Undermountain expansion before we tried it out. The main difference appears to be that the quests score a lot more points, with Andrew surging ahead and staying there throughout. Suspicions that I had the building Lord were unfounded - I just didn't have any better ideas. But I managed to pull off a mini-coup in the final round, completing three quests in total to nearly catch Andrew...

Andrew 210
Sam 202
Ian 158

Sam tries to palm me off with a dodgy cube

Real life intervened at this point, and Ian had to go off to something called a barbecue. Not sure what that is. Andrew and I broke for tea, with Andrew calling out crossword clues while I rustled up some fish and rice. Then we elected to try La Granja again as a two -player, discovering our scoring errors in the process. We both did a lot better, but I snuck my first win of the day:

Sam 68
Andrew 56

It was only 9pm but we'd been playing for a good while now, and Andrew fancied something simple to finish off. I suggested The Duke, which is new to him but very easy to pick up rules-wise. It reminded me of our times at college, when we played something like sixty games of chess over an academic year... facing off over a gridded board, waiting - essentially - for your opponent to make a mistake. That was some 23 years ago! And with the trip down memory lane ending with honours even at a game apiece, we called it a night. Thanks chaps - see you all (I hope) tomorrow!

Andrew here. Just to add a note (along with some photos) that Sam and I also played Letters From Whitechapel. During the first two murders, Sam/Jack got back to his hideout quickly, while I/police slowly narrowed down the options as to where his base could be.

Then, suddenly, Jack the Ripper gave himself up, saying that he'd been cheating! He'd chosen a red circle (ie, a potential murder location) as his base, and this was against the rules. What an honest murderer!

Friday, 27 May 2016

Full Meta Boardgames

Tonight's Kubrick-esque post title comes courtesy of Andrew, commenting on my  (Sam's) Take It Easy choice of tile-calling. I'm pretty sure that sentence has never been written before and never will again.

But I get ahead of myself. We began, Andrew and I and Little Joe, playing Timeline. Stanley decided to watch/roam the house, and while I helped Joe as much as I could, we were no match for Andrew, who came through a solid winner on a game he has long professed to admire, but rarely gets to play:

Andrew - all cards out
Joe - one card left
Sam - two cards left

Now it was Stanley's turn, and we played Love Letter. It was, as ever, a feisty affair, and at one (late) stage it looked as though we might be tied on two cubes each. But I saw off Andrew's levelling efforts and secured the win:

Sam - 3 cubes
Stanley - 2 cubes
Andrew - 1 cube

I now packed the boys off to bed and returned to find Chris had materialised - or at least, come through the front door - and he and Andrew had set up Nations: The Dice Game. A quick rules-refresher and we were off.

To be honest I don't remember a huge amount about it now. except Chris's appalling luck with re-rolls. It's one of those games were you can theoretically counter your shitty dice rolls by making sure you have enough re-roll tokens in hand, but every roll Chris did saw him subsequently worse off. It was quite astonishing. Meantime I managed to see of Andrew and nab first place:

Sam 28
Andrew 25
Chris 22

We then played a game that I cannot recall and seeing as I can't read my own writing, will have to remain a mystery, unless someone enlightens us in the comments. But well done Chris on a fabulous victory!

Chris 109
Sam 72
Andrew 39

OK I've remembered it now - it was the Road to Canterbury (or Caolby, going by my notes) which we went for after a lengthy discussion that resolved in us choosing the game I'd suggested ten minutes before. Unusually for me I wasn't pushy - not that much anyway - but nobody seemed able to make a choice, and we kind of ended up with it.

Andrew was unimpressed at best (scores above) but Chris seemed ok with it. I really like it, but maybe that's because I shelled out for the thing, as nobody else seems to think it much cop. Oh well.

Fortunately for us we moved on from the slightly-damp squib to trusted favourite Take It Easy. And despite the ribbing about my apparent imminent win, it was Chris who ran away with it. The game was notable not only for his three straight victories in each round, but also Andrew's choice of racial stereotypes - I hasten to add, he was mocking casual racism rather than races themselves... I did boardgames (see above) and Chris did "depressing English towns" which he seemed to know an awful lot about, even if one of them was Penrith.

Chris 475
Sam 412
Andrew 293

We ended with a slightly mad game of Raj - the last four bids of the last round saw Chris and Andrew bidding the same card each time, and me picking up two positive and two negative tiles as a result. IT wasn't enough to get me anywhere near Andrew, who had scored an unbelievable 36 points in the first round (when I got zero and Chris got 6)

Andrew 66
Sam 39
Chris 30

Andrew headed off into the night and Chris and I played a couple of games of The Duke, which I believe has been described elsewhere in the blog but is a fun and fast distant relation of Chess. Chris won both times, which for me was fast but not quite so much fun. A good game, though.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Berger’s Last Go

Games! Tuesdays! Joe’s!

This week, we numbered six: the host (Joe), Sam, Ben, Ian, Andy and me. Joe, Ian and myself were first to arrive and swiftly grabbed a one-round (and, surely, non-leaderboard) game of Tumblin’ Dice. This game got its debut recently at our NSPCC event (sadly unblogged, but Sam and I were too tired) and was a big hit.

For some reason, this game reminds me of the hang-gliding Monkey Target mini game in Super Monkey Ball. In Tumblin’ Dice, you flick a dice off a slightly raised platform and send it down the board, hopefully picking up multipliers as it does. Much like SMB’s flying, bouncing ball that you hope ends on a multiplier.

Super Monkey Ball: Monkey Target

Not during the game, alas.  We're not that good.

It’s a huge success and endless fun. A dexterity game that even Andy likes. Is there any higher praise?

Anyway, like I said, it was only one round before other people arrived, but I’d like the record to show that I got twenty points with one die, and ended as the winner.

Andrew 25
Joe 13
Ian 10

When all six of us were present, we played Team Play. Again, non-leaderboard, but who’s counting? The teams were me and Ian, Joe & Andy and Sam and Ben. I’ll be honest, I thought Ian and I had it sewn up. We were first to eight missions and nabbed a ninth mission card in the final round. Sam and Ben were nowhere to be seen when both got stuck, unable to complete their missions, but I hadn’t reckoned on Joe and Andy’s canny reliance on big scoring missions. The final count was:

Joe and Andy 30
Andrew and Ian 28
Ben and Sam 23

The game did, at least, give us our blog title. When I triggered the game end with my eighth mission, Joe dolefully sighed “This is my last go,” sounding as if after this, he’d stop playing games completely. This prompted Sam to liken it to a Beckett play, which lead to the blog title.

After this we split into two groups of three. Sam, Joe and Ben played The Road To Canterbury. This game, recently blogged about, is all about selling fake pardons (as if there was such a thing as real pardons) to Pilgrims on the way to Canterbury.

Ian, Andy and I played Port Royal with a few extensions thrown in. Ian needed a rule refresher and, as with Russian Railroads, new rules are no barrier to Ian. Despite Andy leading for most of the game, Ian cashed in his relics at the last minute to take the win.

Ian 12
Andy 9
Andrew 7

At this point, those on the road to Canterbury were still somewhere near Maidstone, so we got out Kodama. I find this game of tree growth quite relaxing and I sort of wafted through it quite happily.

Perhaps this sense of detachment was helped by Joe generously pouring me a shot of some Italian spirit which, apparently, contained myrrh. And, judging by the aftertaste, also quite a lot of aluminium.

Then Road to Canterbury ended, with the scores at:

Joe 86
Ben 65
Sam 51

And they started to play Can’t Stop, which I admit, I found rather distracting. Especially when Joe did crazy things like going bust when he rolled four ones, or deciding to do the entire six lane in one go and almost made it before he went bust with two sixes and two fours.

Kodama ended as

This photo is actually from the NSPCC evening.

Andrew 147
Andy 128
Ian 122

And Can’t Stop finished

Sam 3
Joe 2
Ben 0

Now we were all together again we ended with For Sale. Joe is now duty bound to pick up the one card since he said that it was a viable strategy.

During this game, Ian told us how he’d drawn a sad face on his toaster, and now making toast made him really depressed. Not depressed enough to give up on winning, though.

Ian 51
Ben 47
Andrew 47
Joe 43
Andy 42
Sam 38

And with that, we were done! And it all seemed so painless.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A Road Paved with Corpses

Last night Ian and I (Sam) bashed through a couple of games of The Road to Canterbury. This 2 or 3 player challenge sees the players as a bunch of ne'er do wells conning pilgrims out of their money, and the most successful con merchant wins the game. You are rewarded for tempting the pilgrims to sin in the first place, for pardoning them, and even for killing them off by adding the seventh sin - an indulgence too far in the eyes of God.

There are three pilgrims around at any given time, joining the players on the road from Greenwich to Canterbury. Each player begins with five sin cards and on your turn you can tempt any one of the company to sin. Because they are pathetically weak, they always succumb, and when they do you can add a cube of your colour to the matching sin on the circle of sin to show how dastardly you are - the point of this is that the first player to tempt pilgrims into the seven different sins gets a bigger reward than the second, and so on.

circle of sin

But obviously, you want to pardon the sins too, as that's where you make your money. So at the end of your turn when you replenish to five cards, you can forego another sin cards in favour of a pardon card. And on a subsequent turn you can pardon any of the pilgrims for their transgressions, as long as your pardon card matches at least one of their sins. How many of the matching sins you pardon denotes how much you make on the deal, as you count up the amount of matching sins, and the parson if appropriate (he spirals around the circle of sin, preaching, and if you forgive the sin he's currently fixated on, that's good) and square the total: that's your cash reward. You also get to put a corruption cube on that pilgrim to show your responsibility for their fall from grace.

pardons, sins, relics

If you play the seventh sin to any one pilgrim then they die. At this point the player with the most corruption cubes gets a reward; placing one of their cubes on the road board and getting a windfall - these get bigger the closer you get to Canterbury. They also take a Last Rites token which they can add to their score at the end, or cash in for an extra turn. As soon as the last pilgrim dies (filling the Canterbury space) the game is over.

Finally there are Relic cards to be had that do all kinds of nonsense but if you pick up a less effective one then it's kinda taking up space in your hand. They can be very powerful though, a fact which is slightly undermined by the appalling puns they contain.

dead pilgrims

We really liked it. There is a lot of room for chicanery here - you can see when your opponent is gearing up for a juicy pardon and beat them to it; either pardoning the sin yourself or even killing the Pilgrim off. There are Death cards hidden in the sin deck to expedite deaths unexpectedly and Last Rite tokens - which we kept forgetting to use, but could see the potential in them - to swing the majority on pilgrim corruption your way or grabbing some quick cash by taking two turns in a row.

There's also a nice balance between spreading out your temptations (for that juicy 20 gold reward on the circle of sin when you complete all seven sins) and focussing on pardons instead, which can get you up to 16 gold when timed judiciously. And majorities on the dead pilgrims can be a deal breaker too - at the end of the game the amount of cubes you have on the road gives you cash, as well as the amount of cubes on the surviving pilgrims - there are always two who make it to Canterbury. So there's a balance between hanging on for a big cash reward pardoning, or just making a bunch of small pardons for a smaller return, but - you hope - a bigger presence in majorities.

Deadly for everyone - Ian won the first game something like 50-40, and in the second familiarity made a huge difference to the scores, as I won something like 140-110.

We moved on to Quantum, and at Ian's suggestion removed a central planet on an already fighty board to add The Void - the expansion where any ships in the void at the start of your turn add a point to your research. Placed dead centre, it was to prove a gladiatorial arena. If the road to Canterbury was bumpy, this was like climbing in the ring with Tyson and getting repeatedly punched in the face. I started on the offensive, but that lasted about as far as my first turn as I spent the next half an hour being blown to shit, over and over again. My constant rolling of fives and sixes didn't help, but it was an awesome performance by Ian, who practically sashayed his way to a 5-2 victory. Even invoking the spirit of Katy with some well-aimed name-calling made no difference.

evil red

So a small measure of comfort was derived from beating Ian all ends up at Elk Fest, after which we rounded off the evening with a game of Diamonsters, which I also won. But I will be smarting from that Quantum result for some time!

not space

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Discharge Pile

This week, a mere (mere in quantity, not in quality) five gamers arrived at Sam’s house for their weekly dose of board games: Apart from the host, we were myself, Katy, Ian and Joe.

Joe was the last to arrive, and while we waited for him, we played Rhino Hero. Another reading of the rules gave us a method of grading us as 1st, 2nd, 3rd... instead of just having one loser. It would be leaderboard! However controversy reigned as the tower collapsed several seconds after Katy had completed her move and just as Ian was poised to put a card on top of the tower. Who was responsible for the fall? Arguments raged for tens of seconds before we agreed on joint third. Or joint last. Whichever you prefer.

1. Sam
2. Andrew
3= Ian
3= Katy

Then with Joe on his way, we discussed what five-player game we should set up. Viticulture was considered, but instead we chose Istanbul, because Katy thought she remembered liking it. Joe seemed happy with our choice when he arrived, and once he was taught the rules, we were off!

Katy went big on the black market, trying to stock up on gems. I went for a card-heavy tactic, but as a consequence had too few goods or cash and when I did have some goods, I kind of wasted them on an expensive gem from the Sultan’s Palace. Everyone chased the governor and the smuggler around and visited the mosques.Katy lead from the start, and swooped to a swift win by buying two gems from the gemstone dealer in one go. Ian snuck ahead of Sam by one coin.

Katy 5 gems
Ian 3 gems and 4 coins
Sam 3 gems and 3 coins
Andrew 2
Joe 1

Next, Joe introduced us to The Grizzled, a co-op game set in the trenches of the First World War. And, I have to say, it succesffuly recreates the confusion and feeling of bitter fatalism that I assume real trench warfare had. At least it did the first time we tried it.

In this game, we are all French soldiers, making our way through missions by playing cards from our hand while avoiding three-of-a-kind in anything, such as terrain (rain, snow, night) or threats (gas mask, shells, whistles).

Also we need to support each other in case one of us gets too many “hard knocks” – a kind of status change that makes the game more difficult. If anyone has four at the end of a round, the game ends in defeat. But if we can support our comrade, then they can discard two hard knocks. The simple aim of the game is to reduce a stack of cards until the dove at the end is revealed, while trying to avoid cards being taken from the other stack of cards which has a war memorial at the end.

The first game was confusing, and difficult to know what was going on or what was a good move. We didn’t do very well. But were we downhearted? No! We tried again, and this time did somewhat better. There was a brief moment of debate over whether Sam’s misunderstanding of a rule meant he could take back a turn even after Ian had taken his. In the end, we did, with Joe mumbling about “hollow victories.”

As it turned out, though, we didn’t even get that. With the dove card in sight we were unable to clear the final mission with everyone intact: Ian had five hard knocks and not enough people could support him so he couldn’t discard any.

Four of Ian's hard knocks

Next, we had a quick game of Tsuro. During this game, Katy (perhaps still thinking about WWI) called the discard pile “the discharge pile” Oh, how we laughed (quite drunk by now, you see). As for the game, I killed Ian, Joe killed me, and then Sam and Katy couldn’t do anything but throw themselves off the board, leaving Joe as last dragon standing.

1. Joe
2. Katy
3. Sam
4. Andrew
5. Ian

And we ended with a lovely game of Spyfall. And I’ll tell you what: we did not hang about with our accusations. In the first round, we accused Joe (can’t remember why) but it was Katy who was the spy. Next game, Katy made a fatal blunder. She was the spy, and she relied on her old familiar “What’s the atmosphere like in here?” except this was an outdoor scene. Sam drew attention to her gaffe and before long, she was voted out.

In the third round, Katy decided to bluff and brought suspicion on herself deliberately. But there’s no point in bluffing in Spyfall (unless you’re the spy) and she was voted out, giving the real spy Sam an easy win.

In round four Joe stopped the questioning and revealed himself as the spy. He almost won, too. He guessed we were in a circus tent, but we were actually in a theatre.

Then in round five, I was (rightly) accused as being the spy from very early on, and was voted out. This was annoying, since I’d worked out the location from only a few questions – a passenger train.

And with that, we were gone. Ready for Friday and the NSPCC big games bash thing in an art gallery. Possibly with no chairs. We shall see.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Short Report

This Sunday, Sam, Ian and I met up for some board games. Sam and I discussed Russian Railroads while Ian was on his way, and when we suggested it, he seemed amenable so Sam talked him through the rules. Once we were underway, I took a photo of the board, saying it was just in case something happened and we had to blog.

Well, something happened. Ian happened. He ploughed through the Trans Siberian to a clear victory, beating out my three-pronged attack and Sam’s... can’t remember his strategy. Anyway, Ian used his own track-moving engineers so efficiently, sometimes he was hardly using the board at all.

Ian 433
Andrew 366
Sam 320

Then we finished off with a mad blur of games. Ian won Heck Meck, too, after I ended the game picking up from the centre instead of rolling again to see if I could steal from Ian. Sam was disgusted by my lack of courage. And by my sneaking into second.

Ian, then Andrew, then Sam.

Next up was Push It. I won with a two pointer, pushing me to 8, and Ian and Sam came joint second, but I don’t remember how much they had. Five?

Finally, we chose Love Letter. All my best bluffing came to nought in this game, as Sam clocked up his second win in a row in Love Letter (which may go some way to compensating for his recent defeat at the hand of his son).

Sam 3
Ian 1
Andrew 0

Another evening done.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Against the odds (and evens)

This week’s GNN saw a welcome return to Easton, with Adam (without family) hosting. I gave Ben a lift and as we pulled up near Adam’s house, the car was at such a tilt that Ben learnt a new word: “camber”. As in “The camber near Adam’s house is so severe you need ropes and crampons just to get out of the car.”

We were ten in total. Well, eleven to be exact, since Effie was strapped to her father. But she showed little interest in playing, and slept through most of the evening.

We began the evening with Chinwag, a game of conversational gambits about what people had been up to, etc. Some of us thought this game went on far too long, and a call to finish it quickly was made.

Martin was keen to try Medina before Effie woke up, so he, Katy, Sam and Matt went into the front room. Us remaining six went for Team Play, a simple game of set building, but with the added twist of having a partner to who you could give cards to help them complete their sets.

The cards came in two suits, red and blue, and ran from one to eight with four examples of each. The sets that the players had to build were drawn at random from a stack of cards and had things like “Collect two pairs of consecutive numbers” or “Collect 1, 3, 5, 7 of any colour.” All of this was denoted in easy to understand logos, where straight lines meant even and squiggly lines meant odds.

And each set had a number of points attached to it, depending on how difficult it was. There was also another set face up in the middle of the table that anyone could complete.

The teams were Ben and Adam, Joe and Ian, and Andrew and Andy. In order to complete sets you can pick up two cards, you can complete a set, or you can hand cards to your partner. Simple enough, but I was confused enough to ruin my final go by picking up two cards from the deck hoping for a red four or seven, only to notice afterwards that there was a red four already face up. If I’d noticed, it would’ve got six points for the team. Luckily, it made no difference.

Ben and Adam 34
Andy and Andrew 25
Joe and Ian 24

Since the end of Medina was a long way off, we decided to play it again. I went in, determined not to make the same mistake again. This time, Ian and Joe quickly picked off easy sets, trying to trigger the end of the game by getting eight sets. However, Ian got bogged down with a 5-pointer, and the rest of us had the chance to catch up. Ian and Joe still got the eighth set, but by now their low value counted against them. Andy and I, on the other hand, seemed to get everything we needed.

Andy and Andrew 31
Joe and Ian 22
Ben and Adam 19

Medina was just finishing. Halfway through, I’d gone in to check on their progress, and Katy said she was enjoying it. By the end, we could see why, as she built and claimed her way to a win.

Katy 46
Martin 41
Sam 37
Matt 26

Which is all well and good, but it does mean the search goes on for a game that Katy likes but is bad at.

With us all ending at the same time, and Effie still asleep(ish) we joined together for a big old game of 6nimmt. With ten-players, there are no missing cards where a player can hope for a brief respite, and it was brutal. I thought I was doing well to keep my first round score down to 18, but in fact I was in seventh!

The was no time to improve matters either, since Andy went on one spiral of death after another. He picked up 55 in round one and then 52 in round two, bringing the game to a swift end. Perhaps just as well, since Effie was beginning to stir. The final few cards were played in a state of high tension as to whether or not Effie would wake up properly. We made it just in time!

Martin 1
Adam 6
Ben 16
Katy 18
Ian 22
Matt 23
Andrew 34
Joe 36
Sam 45
Andy 107

So Martin set out into the evening, with a win under his belt and a grizzling baby in his papoose. I’m sure if Effie had known about the lovely present Katy had made her, she might not have been so upset.

Or maybe she would have been, since it was food she needed, not needlepoint.

Meanwhile, us remaining gamers pushed the envelope of what was suggested on the side of the box and played a game of nine-player Dead Man’s Chest. Adam, the newbie, got a rules rundown, and at first he couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t always call 31, and then he wondered what the point of calling low was. This confusion showed in his play, and he was second to be eliminated.

Other notable events were Sam first three dice results: 33, 33, and 44.

The players fell as follows:

Matt, accidentally bid lower than the previous player, so had to shake and bid again. Was challenged.
Adam, Andy called 62 and Adam wrongly challenged.
Ian, called 65 and Sam challenged.
Andrew, Sam called 65, I called 11 without looking and Ben challenged.
Joe, Katy called 53 and Joe was cajoled into calling Dead Man!
Katy, she called 11 and when Andy challenged she said “Really?” in a slightly incredulous manner.
Andy, challenged accidentally by Sam when he opened the box without realising.
Sam, challenged Ben’s 65 and it was 65.
Ben wins!

And with that the night was over. I sped Ben back to his house where he had a pie waiting for him that had an hour and a half before its expiry date! I hope he ate it in time.

Meanwhile, on the division, we’re halfway through the season and it’s a close battle on all fronts! Ian is still top, but Joe and Katy are in close pursuit. Katy has taken back the points ratio lead, but with Joe and Martin mere fractions behind her. And Martin now leads the medal table, but he is one of four players (along with myself, Ben and Katy) with six wins.