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.


  1. A very close set of scores in For Sale. I picked up the £4,000 cheque with my 1, which might be a personal highest, but with clear room for improvement.

    Road to Canterbury was fine - mechanically nothing particularly interesting but nicely designed and didn't drag on too long. How's that for damning with faint praise? I'd play again though - perhaps more strategy would emerge on a second play.
    Interesting that your game of Port Royal included 'relics' as well - can anyone name four more games with relics in?

    In Can't Stop I took a run at the 6s and the 8s late in the game, trying to win them both from scratch, and got to within one roll before going bust. Deeply frustrating, but deeply entertaining too.

    And Team Play I like for the partnership aspect and the fact that it accommodates 6 - it's a bit more zingy with 4, and all round fairly light, but I like it.

    Thanks Andrew for speedy blogging, and remind me of the excellent Super Monkey Ball, and thanks everyone for a fine evening.

  2. This is the toaster I mentioned:

    Team Play is great. Like Andrew, I was sure we were going to win, especially after the ninth card. Oh well, at least it isn't leaderboard!

    I used to quite like Port Royale but I had grown a bit of tired of it, but after a break I found it quite enjoyable again. I'd like to try it with the expansion contracts we decided to leave out too.

    I do like Kodama; the tree growing aspect just appeals to me as a mechanic but the Kodama cards still seem quite unabalanced. If you get dealt a poor hand you might only be able to score single digits bonuses, whereas a good card can see you reach 20 fairly easily.

    For Sale was great as always.

    Thanks Joe for hosting and everyone else for the fun!

    (I'm struggling to think of games with relics, can think of lots of games with treasures but not many relics...)

    1. I didn't realise you were a mechanic, Ian :-)

  3. On the subject of that crossword clue: waggle dance also fits. But still can't make sense of it...

  4. Does Pillars of the Earth feature relics? Looking through the list of games played I presume Relic Expedition does. Can't think of any others.

    I love monkey target.

  5. There's also Relic Runners, a Days of Wonder title from a couple of years ago that failed to do much business. There's also Relic. But as far as I know none of us have played either . . .

  6. There's Relic Expedition, which isn't very good.

  7. Could we say Tikal has relics? If so we could also include Incan Gold.

    1. I think they're officially 'treasures' in Tikal. And 'artifacts' in Incan Gold. I'm splitting hairs.

  8. Thanks for an entertaining evening.

    We got a rule wrong in Kodama - you only score for features on the card that you played if they are on the next part of the tree as well.

    1. And I've just realised that I had three of the Kodama Sprout cards that are designed to be used when children play!