Saturday, Sam and I met up for a quick evening of him versus me. It was not meant to be blogged, hence my lack of notes regarding the scores, but my remarkable performance on Take It Easy cannot go without mention. Luckily I’d been trying out the camera on my new phone this evening, so we have photos too.
We began at seven, with a game of Circus Flohcati. A simple game of set collecting. The main mechanic being a bit like Port Royal: keep turning cards as long as you want, but if you turn over two of the same kind, you go bust and cannot pick up a card.
Unlike Port Royal, though, only the last card goes into the discard pile. The rest remain on the table and your opponent can take one. And then you can take one. In fact going bust doesn’t seem massively punitive, apart from having one less card.
The idea is to put down trios (three of a kind in value) and with seven suits there were enough of each value for us both to complete any value of trios. I won’t go into the scoring system, but although Sam scored a “Gala” (got a trio of each value) I got points for unused cards in my hand.
Possibly Knizia’s simplest game. Maybe too simple? Looks nice, though.
Then Sam mentioned that he’d bought a number of games from Joe who was having a bit of a clear out. Among the titles was Russian Railroads! We got it down and, after some rule refreshment, we got going.
It’s all well and good remembering the rules, but I’d forgotten about the strategy. I went for the usual Eurogame thing of “a little bit of everything” while Sam focussed solely on the top track with its multipliers. It was a thrashing.
It was over rather quickly, so we played again. This time, I went for the Kiev track as the quickest route to victory and it worked. My margin of victory was small – less than ten – by a victory is a victory, right?
Then we played Codenames as a co-op two-player. We played twice, taking a turn to be the Spymaster, and both times we got a “Your watches are synchronized” rating on the chart of success in the rule book.
Sam knows me well, and went for a childish clue “Off” which I used to successfully identify “Mouth” and “Pants”. He needed to consult Google though, regarding a particular definition: Kiwi was a fruit but was it also a bird? When it was my turn to pick out the word, I also found myself hesitant over the definition of Kiwi in exactly the same way.
We both won!
Then we played Take It Easy, a game that I have difficulty with. This time, I boldly started by placing my first tile in the middle. After that, things started to go downhill and I ended the first round with what might be an all-time low score of 57.
Sam, on the other hand, got lucky in round two. He needed three five tiles in a row to finish and that was exactly what I chose.
So with the score tied at two wins apiece, we needed a decider. We chose Elk Fest, the game of shove ha’penny with massive ungulates using the pennies as stepping stones. Being quite drunk, the most difficult part was putting the elk on the stones.
Although I got almost within stepping distance of Sam’s base first, I couldn’t get that final stone to stop in the right place.
Then we played Push It. First to eleven and I had an end-game collapse, giving Sam an easy win to finish the night with.
Phew. What an evening.