When I had arrived, they'd just finished playing Carcassonne, which Chris had won by a narrow margin:
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
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.
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.
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...
Laura dead last
Sam dead first
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:
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:
With midnight approaching, the evening came to a close. Thanks all!