Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Dirky Chancing

Games at Joe’s. Not an affair for the faint hearted. Genial Joe’s hospitality is a trap, designed to keep people enthralled until long after their bed time, high on dice and towers and cards. This is exactly what got the tippling houses of Victorian England closed down in the Great Gaming Purge of 1867 (possibly made up).

During the day, it had looked like there’d be six in attendance, and Joe got excited about the prospect of playing Captain Sonar. However, perhaps Joe’s excitement was contagious, because in the end there were nine of us. We said that someone is bound to go home early, and then we can play it with eight.

Anyway, after a remarkably long time in deciding what to play we settled on Junk Art (for Ben, Joe, Katy, Sam Matt and, eventually, Martin) and Kingdom Builder (for Ian, Andy and me).

You couldn’t ask for two more different games. Junk Art prompted gales of laughter and curses against fate, which Kingdom Builder couldn’t compete against. Even the sight of two opposing scoring cards (one for large settlement areas and one for small settlements) couldn’t raise more than a wry chuckle.

In Kingdom Builder I went for one big settlement areas, Ian went for small and Andy went somewhere in the middle. It was a close game, with me just sneaking into the lead thanks to being next to cities.

Andrew 55
Andy 50
Ian 42

By now, Junk Art had ended with Ben a clear winner and Katy’s dream of a perfect fifth win in a row was in tatters.

Ben 12
Joe 9
Sam 9
Matt 8
Katy 6
Martin 2

They had begun a game of Team Play and so once we’d finished Kingdom Builder, we set up Forbidden Desert. This team game of survival and escape from a desert wracked by storms is Andy’s new acquisition (from Sam) and it didn’t take a huge amount of rules-refreshing before we were back in the fray.

We started off okay, with Ian excavating whenever he could, while I climbed over the huge banks of sand that kept building up. If only I’d done something while I was up there. Andy also excavated when he could, but accidentally uncovered a well when he was on his own, meaning that we’d exhausted all out water supplies. It was just a case of how long we could hang on.

I find the power supply. Mmm, how it glows!

Well, we were able to hang on for longer than it takes to play a game of Team Play.

That ended:

Martin & Matt 24
Katy & Joe 20
Ben & Sam 18

And they embarked on a game of For Sale:

Sam 51
Joe 48
Katy 46
Martin 44
Matt 43
Ben 37

And by now the terrible news was in: I died of thirst in the desert and our fate was sealed.

Never mind.

Next, since we were all together, some kind of big party-ish game was called for. We went for a single round, sudden-death game of 6nimmt. Martin wasn’t keen, saying it was just a luck fest which might have had more weight were it not for the fact he was suggesting Pairs. We jokingly decided that whoever came last would have to go home and then the remaining eight could play Captain Sonar.

Since there was nine of us, it seemed a shame not to invite Dirk to make it up to a round ten players. Katy shuffled and dealt and we were off.

For such a short game, a lot of incidents were packed in. Katy played for herself and Dirk and there was some suspicion that she may have been passing her losses onto Dirk. Joe kept trying to have conversations, meaning he was usually late in choosing a card. This annoyed Katy such that she threw a couple of things at him. First a bit of food and then the 6nimmt box! These are the kind of emotions that 6nimmt can conjure up. By means of punishment, she’s listed at the bottom of the three-way tie for 15 points.

Andy 6
Sam 7
Ian 9
Matt 13
Ben 15
Andrew 15
Katy 15
Martin 18
Joe 28
Dirk 53

Anyway, with Joe being the last among real players, we joked that he now had to go home while the rest of us played Captain Sonar.

Instead, Sam and I departed. I rely on Joe’s email for the scores of the rest of the evening which stretched out until eleven o’clock.


Katy 21
Martin 20
Matt 15
Ian 13
Andy 12
Joe 9
Ben 5

Then Ben left and we played Dead Man's Chest:

Katy won

Then Martin, Andy and Ian left, and we played Push It:

Katy 8
Matt 3
Joe 3

Then No Thanks:

Joe 45
Katy 51
Matt 72

And so to the Division: Katy leads, making a mockery of anyone else’s attempts at winning the medal table. She also has the highest points total, while I take Points Ratio by the thinnest of margins.

Oh, and after playing Team Play, people said what a pity it wasn't leaderboard because it's so much fun. You know, I think you guys may have a point!

Team Play Division


  1. Well I wasn't there until beyond ten, but it was a lot of fun! Thanks guys.

  2. Just noticed that regardless of our overall position, Katy finished one place ahead of me in everything. It's almost like beating me is all that matters to her ;)

  3. Is it too geeky of me to complain that I have a 1st and 2nd place in Team Play missing from the division table? Since Andrew was my partner for those games, I'm guessing that they haven't been included at all, so Andrew is even further out front...