Wednesday, 24 August 2016

And then there were eight

GNN slowly digs itself out of the August lack of attendees, with a bumper crop of nine gamers. Adam and Hannah hosted (with Hannah arriving halfway through the evening) and Andy, Ben, Joe, Katy, Ian, Matt, Martin and myself were the eager visitors.

We quickly split into two thanks to the decisiveness of Martin who, with a tiny baby strapped to his chest, was painfully aware of the time. He, Joe, Adam and Ben went into the front room to play Tichu. The remaining five pondered what to play. Joe had brought Colosseum, but with five, it would be too long. It soon came down to Ticket to Ride or Ra. I was keen to play Ra again, to try and get over that drubbing I got from Andy the last time we played. People seemed amenable and, with Katy graciously agreeing to play although she preferred TtR, we set up.

Katy and Matt had a rule refresher and then we were off. Ian, Matt and I began collecting buildings early. I made an early decision to ignore pharaohs and take the –6 hit, hopefully benefiting in other areas. Andy and Katy both started slowly, with very few tiles. Katy didn’t even manage to use her 12 bidding tile before she brought the epoch to a close with an involuntary Ra.

It was around now that Hannah pointed out that Katy had inadvertently eaten Hannah’s supper earlier that evening. Katy was a bit embarrassed and apologetic and, while Hannah said it didn’t matter, Katy’s game seemed to go through a rough patch. Was she distracted? Who can say. But she ended up going through the second epoch with her 12 bidding tile still in front of her, unused.

Ian played a cautious game, calculating the points of each bid carefully. At one point he had two yellows and a red civilization and he had to discard two because of a disaster. He kept the red. And, of course, the next civ out was also a red. How annoying for him (but not us).

In the third and final epoch I kept my eye out for any buildings I could nab and hoped for a flood tile, too, but with no joy. Katy had, by now, remembered that she didn’t like this game at all (even though she won it the last time she played) and encouraged anyone who was thinking about calling Ra to do so, thus ending the game sooner.

It was a close run thing. My last round 20 point bonus on buildings was not enough to get me into first, but it was that old dark horse again, sneaking up without anyone noticing, who took the win.

Matt 42
Andy 41
Andrew 40
Ian 35
Katy 25

In the front room, Tichu ended at much the same time.

Joe and Adam 1,080
Martin and Ben 920

Post-defeat, Katy makes clear her feelings towards Ra.

Now, with all of us together, we decided on a big party game. Martin had to leave so we tried a nine-player game of Midnight Party, with promises to be quiet. Since it’s only made for eight, Hannah got the two pieces from Takenoko and used them. The panda was totes adorbs and I was quietly pleased whenever it was able to seek safety in a room.

But Hugo was in a mean mood. Even though he moved only three spaces, he made quick work of the dawdling party goers. Especially Joe.

Andrew –13
Hannah –14
Adam –19
Matt –19
Andy –26
Katy –26
Ian –29
Ben –32
Joe –34

It was still quite early. Too early to say good night, but too late to sit down for another full game. Andy left, so there were eight of us remaining. We decided on a single round of 6nimmt. Katy bemused everyone with her dealing technique: ten piles of ten cards, and then take back two piles and there’ll be one pile each. Or something. She asked everyone to count their cards, but since everyone else seemed to have ten, I didn’t bother. As I learnt when it got to the final round, I’d had eleven.

Didn’t help, though.

Hannah 0
Katy 6
Ian 11
Joe 14
Matt 17
Adam 18
Ben 25
Andrew 36

And so, the night was done. I gave Ben, Joe and Katy a lift back and during conversation it barely registered with me when Ben used a word like “mizzled.” Joe, however, was most excited to hear it because he said that word didn’t exist. The word in fact was “misled” which shold be split in half “mis-led” but Joe used to say it as Ben just had: like the past tense of the verb “to misle”. Joe was quite overcome to find someone else who’d made the same mistake he had.

Only at GNN, guys. Only at GNN.