Friday, 26 August 2016

Boarding nine to five

Just holed up for a week in Wales with Mark, Katie, and their kids. I brought a big bag of games knowing that if Scythe didn't get played, we would at least get through some lighter affairs. As it turned out, though, 8 and 9-year-old children seem to adore Scythe...

I've not written down all the scores but outside of a smattering of Love Letter and Pickomino and a one-off Lords of Waterdeep, the hits of the holiday were Bandu (grown-ups), Scythe (kids), and O Zoo le Mio (both). The days were spent body-boarding and sandcastle-building at the beach, and the evenings playing boardgames at the house. On the first night I introduced Katie and Mark to Bandu, which they liked a lot. I think we played it every night bar one, with a variety of winners. Most notable, however, was the night we broke Bandu - running out of pieces with everyone's tower still yet to crumble.


The kids enjoyed Bandu too...

Peppa verges on winning

...although what Peppa and Stanley wanted to play on a regular basis was Scythe. We played it a couple of days in with me facing off against the pair of them in a team, and although I sped to six stars to trigger the game end, I was a vastly unpopular leader with the locals, and came a desultory second. For our second game I managed a win. Finally we played individually, and as the game progressed towards its close it was between myself and Stan. Not wanting to damage my (much improved) popularity, I demurred from knocking Peppa out of the central hex. I should have been a bit more hard-nosed:

Stanley 67
Sam 66
Peppa 53

The game that was a hit with everyone was O Zoo le Mio, which I picked up very cheaply from Area 51. It's a cross between Carcassonne and something a bit more screwage-y. Everyone is building their own zoo (laying tiles a lá Carcassonne) but the tiles are flipped over five at a time and everyone makes blind bids for them. What's on the tiles defines how many visitors will be attracted to your zoo, which in turn defines the winner. Over five rounds the points rewards escalate, so starting poorly doesn't write you off, but finishing strongly is a must. You're juggling a number of things - how the tiles fit into your zoo, how much you spend, and keeping track of how much everyone else is spending.

Just like a real zoo, you secrete your cash in the entrance

Just like a real zoo, visitors are attracted by bushes

On the last night we also played a few games of Knit Wit, where Katie insisted that "you're always safe with lard" and Mark said lightening is "tall" which, despite the seeming incongruity, you can't really argue with. I somehow smuggled pygmy soup through as a definition for organic, coarse, flavourful and wild. Again, a variety of winners, but the game was mostly notable for Katie's answers usually involving food in some way.

And in the morning it was time to go. Despite my occasional proffering, Lords of Vegas never got played! Sorry, Joe.

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