Wednesday, 15 June 2016

B-side babies

This week’s hosts were Hannah and Adam. Baby Arthur was safely tucked up in bed, but still audible on the baby monitor. This week’s other attendees were Sam, Ian, Matt (thanks to his new house, he’s now another gamer in the Easton bloc), Katy, Martin (with Effie) and myself.

Since Katy and Martin had both brought their copies, we began with eight-player Team Push-It. And, call us crazy, but we created a new house-variant, as we had both pucks in play at the same time. The began as a stack in the middle of the table, and once separated, being closest to either would score you points.

Adam and I sped off into a quick lead and we were soon just one point from winning, and so we became the targets for the other teams. Then Sam and Hannah also reached their penultimate point. Ian and Matt were still on zero, and promising that the comeback would start any second now. Martin and Katy did okay, but Martin couldn’t really bend down too far with a still-awake baby strapped to him.

Finally, Adam and I got the winning point as Ian and Matt got onto the scoreboard too.

Adam and Andrew 5
Sam and Hannah 4
Katy and Martin 2
Ian and Matt 1

After this, we split into two groups. Martin, Matt, Ian and I chose Imhotep, while Hannah, Adam, Katy and Sam decamped to the front room to play Fool’s Gold.

Imhotep was played recently at Martin’s, and it’s balance of when to use spoiling tactics and when to place your blocks on ships. Last time we played, we invariably put our blocks in first place on the ship, but this time we tried to be a bit more clever: placing them in the second or third spaces. So cunning.

It was a close game, and my end-of-game bonuses really pushed me up the scoretrack, only to be stymied by the game’s tie-breaker rule.

Ian 37+1 block
Andrew 37
Martin 35
Matt 30

Fool’s Gold was still progressing (we could hear the occasional whoop of excitement, and Sam drily remarking that “This is the wrong table cloth for Fool’s Gold”) so we tried In A Grove, a game from the publishers of A Fake Artist Goes To New York.

This is a simple guessing/bluffing game. There’s been a murder (in a grove) and we have to accuse the correct suspect. There are three suspects, made of cardboard, with numbers on their backs. And a victim. And the other four human shape things are dealt out to the four players. We can look at the number that we’re given, and the number of the player to our left. Then, in turn, each player looks at the numbers of two of the three suspects and makes an accusation of the murderer (which is the suspect with the highest number, except if there’s a five in the group – then it’s the lowest number). But you can’t look at the suspect that the previous player chose to accuse.

Then all three suspects are revealed. If you’re right, you get you accusation token back. If you’re wrong and your token is on top of the pile for that suspect, you get a bunch of liar tokens. Having more than eight tokens (or none at all) and you lose the game.

It’s a nice game. It’s certainly quite short. Perhaps too short to build up any kind of bluff. Although Martin and Ian tried to bluff in the last round, neither Matt nor I followed it. This meant Ian was top of the pile that was wrong, and he got enough liar tokens to lose the game.

There are no winners, apparently. After all, it is a murder scene.

At this point Fool’s Gold was entering it’s last round but we thought they’d want to play Gulo Gulo afterwards, so we decided to crack out Imhotep again.

This time, we played the b-sides: the other sides of the boards. Each part of the game has an alternative version. For example, on side a, cubes in the temple get you a point, but on side b the temple gets you points or blocks or a card. These changes were sometimes better, sometimes worse, but certainly changed things around. Matt got into a pattern of picking up and then using cards to devastating effect. It helped him to a sizeable victory.

Matt 45
Martin 39
Ian 36
Andrew 31

By now it was time for Martin to head back home. Fool’s Gold was over:

Hannah 35 + biggest haul
Katy 35
Sam 29
Adam 28

And they had also played Pharaoh’s Gulo Gulo while we’d finished Imhotep.

Which Hannah won.

Finally we all got together for a rousing game of A Fake Artist Goes To New York. There is still a debate about how to chose a word, what is too vague and what isn’t. But it’s still a fun game.

Hannah 6
Adam 5
Ian 4
Sam 4
Katy 2
Matt 1
Andrew 0

With two Tuesdays left to go before the end of the season, the Division looks like this:


  1. Interested to try Imhotep with 3, maybe a little more planning is possible. It's fun though.

    I missed Matt's news, whereabouts has he moved?

  2. Fool's Gold went down well; we all liked it. There's a lot of push-your-luck but it's not a complete lottery. I decided to wait for winter quite a bit and on another day it might have paid off... Not this time!

    Nice to play Fake Artist again.

    Chris and I bashed thru La Granja last night; 90mins including explanation! Good going.