Friday, 7 April 2017

Choose your demise!

Chippenham, April. Paul Jefferies had made the long journey from Croydon to Chris' house, so I came the other way from Bristol, armed with a small selection of shortish games.

When I had arrived, they'd just finished playing Carcassonne, which Chris had won by a narrow margin:

Chris 120
Paul 117

And they were in the mood for something reasonably short, reasonably luck-driven, with a side-helping of watery death. So Deep Sea Adventure it was, which Chris roped Jacqui into playing. She liked so much, we played it twice!

 what a dive

first game:
Sam 16
Paul 6
Chris 4
Jacqui 3

second game:
Chris 34
Jacqui 31
Paul 16
Sam 10

After that, Jacqui retired from gaming for the evening to rustle the kids to bed, and the three of us played Sluff Off. This is a trick-taking game where it's all but impossible to finish with zero points - you'll usually have less. At the start of each round players take tokens (minus 2 points) showing how many and which colour tricks they think they'll win. Win the trick, and you get rid of the token. But win a trick you don't have a matching token for, and you pick up a -3 token.

what a card

But - one person can also play the Sluffer, who doesn't care how many tricks they do or don't win. Their role is to be Loki - making mischief, and trying to get the other players to pick up the -3 tokens. The Sluffer scores -4 points at worst at the end of the round - every -3 token the others pick up improves their play by a point.

Paul/Sam -7
Chris -10

Chris's old pal from the Reading Board Game Club, Laura, arrived, as we finished up; so we quickly explained the rules, and played again.

Sam -7
Laura -10
Chris -12
Paul -14

There was no plan for an epic game this evening, so we kept with reasonably lighter fare, setting up Flamme Rouge next. We went with one of the game's suggested tracks, only flipping the final stretch to give exhausted riders a nice downhill finish. I played a cagey game, never attempting to get into the lead, but my careful hedge-betting counted for nothing when I realised that Paul's exhausted roullier was about to freewheel over the line, and I was miles behind!

Laura leads, but Paul is in pursuit

Paul: triumphantly puffy
Chris and Laura: consolatorarily breathless
Sam: knackered and last

what Paul's winning rider had left in the tank

Chris bought in a selection of games but the general feeling seemed to be erring toward HitZRoad, the game of zombie fight or flight. I made the same mistake I made before by not bidding, and only broke this rule when I bid eight resources in order to pick up five. Not very good apocalyptic economising, and I was out first, eaten before we even reached the final third of the game. 

Laura made it a lot further, but couldn't quite reach California before being turned into a zombie pudding. Only Chris and Paul survived the trip alive...

Paul 10
Chris 8
Laura dead last
Sam dead first

rotten luck

We finished our four-player adventures with some Fuji Flush, in which your demise is more frequent, but less grisly.  Everyone professed not to understand it. But you don't need to understand Fuji Flush in order to win it...


Everyone enjoyed not knowing what was going on so much, we played it again:


Laura made for the hills - or Bristol - with the time now past eleven. But with nowhere to drive to, us boys were up for one last game or so, so after not much debate we ended up playing 6Nimmt. It might not have the utter chaos of an eight-player 6Nimmt, but it was still entertainly replete with wails of despair. My strong start disintegrated into a final two rounds of terribleness:

Chris 52
Paul 59
Sam 69

There was just enough space left before bed for Push It. So we pushed! Paul pushed rather hard, even flicking the jack off the table at one point, and it became a two-way fight between Chris and I, which I managed to finagle at the death:

Sam 11
Chris 10
Paul 2

With midnight approaching, the evening came to a close. Thanks all!


  1. Great Stuff. I truly am at a loss trying to fathom a strategy for Fuji Flush. I think I've now got the rules down to at least only one uncertainty but how to play.....Nah. Thanks all for attending Chippenham way and cheers for the write up Sam. I think we should now change the heading on the blog to Bristol and Chippenham since I left long ago......

  2. I'm not sure Fuji Flush even has a strategy. But fortunately, I don't think it needs one either!

  3. re Fuji Flush.I feel far more control of my own destiny playing Pairs. Or sticking my head out the window of a moving vehicle. But it's a lot of fun all the same.

    A nice bunch of games and nice to see the gang and meet Laura too.

  4. I wish I could've been there, but I think I was in bed before the first diver drowned.