Monday, 20 March 2017

Survival of the Most Resourceful

Sunday night, and our grand plans for a weekend four-player had crumbled with Chris and Ian both unable to make it. Instead, it was a head-to-head between Andrew and I. Just like the old days, when we used to play chess every night in 1993...

But before we could start gaming there was the small matter of the wine bottle whose cork refused to budge. I'd been struggling with this when Andrew arrived. He too, found himself unable to coax it out. So we called on the internet for instruction, and discovered there are many ways to remove a cork with no corkscrew, but most of them involve a highly probable trip to A+E.

Furious, I picked up the bottle again, and with one heave, yanked it out. All it took was a bit of male frustration! Look out for my YouTube channel soon.

zombies edge closer to the Hula Hoops

Having resolved the booze situation, we got down to the nitty gritty, which in this case was barrelling across the states avoiding zombies in Hit Z Road. I've only played this four times, but each time it seems to reveal a little more potential for strategy - terrible strategy, in my case. I decided to avoid spending money on bidding, and let Andrew (usually) take first choice of route. But with first choice of route, he was picking up the most resources, which meant he could keep bidding the most comfortably... aligned with my crappy dice rolls, the game looked to be swinging his way already, but then I was caught by zombies and died anyway.

Andrew: wins
Sam: dessert

It was 8.40 by the time I was eaten by zombies, and we thought that was early enough to crank out a game of Viticulture. The game was notable, though, for its speed: the whole thing took less than an hour. Andrew was first to get an order filled, but my tasting room, selling a field (and a grape) and buying it back again all contributed in chiseller-style to keep me in touch, whilst I gathered enough grapes to fill some high-return orders.

Grande admires tasting room

Sam 21
Andrew 15

We followed this with Quoridor, the abstract race/block game Ben picked up in a charity shop. You're trying to get your pawn to the other side of the board, and on your turn you can either move it, or place a wall instead, hampering your opponent.

pawns eye each other up

But you only have ten walls to place, so the strategy is to try and manufacture a short route for yourself, and a long one for your opponent. Andrew began well but ended up with a bit of a trek for himself - too much of one, in fact.

Sam wins
Andrew doesn't

Finally we broke out the GNN classic: Take it Easy. Rolling back the years again, Andrew called Pink Floyd songs and I did Genesis albums. We ended up playing Who Dunnit? over the speakers, still in disbelief that it was considered worth recording, let alone playing to people.

decent, but no cigar

Anyway in this case it was Andrew who dunnit - despite my pretty decent score, he outplayed me in both rounds!

Andrew 397
Sam 372


  1. Sam's strategy of tours and selling grapes for single VPs here and there in Viticulture was the first time I've seen that work. It seemed somewhat counter to the ethos of the game, and I had visions of the designer crying out "That's not how you play Viticulture! It's all about beautiful wines!"

    But a win is a win and he stopped me from launching into my two orders filled in one turn (which still wouldn't have got me to twenty points, but I wanted to mention it anyway).