I arrived at the opening week of the season a little late, and found Sam's kitchen crammed with eager gamers. Nine of us were present: Sam, Matt, Ian, Joe, Katy, Chris, Martin, Andy and myself. Also joining us for the first game was little Joe, Sam's youngest. We chose Pairs and Sam teamed up with his son.
There were hardly any occasions when people went out on their second card and, indeed, most people lasted three or four rounds. This was bad for me since my strategy relies on other people being unlucky quickly.
In this race to twenty one, little Joe called the shots in the father and son team, and he made the early running, too. Only a poor third round for them allowed other players to catch up and eventually overtake.
Sam & Joe 21
After this we split into two groups. Flamme Rogue was still in demand, and Katy , Martin, Matt all joined Andy in a game. The rest of us pondered. Watson and Holmes was mentioned but received a guarded response. But five players is a difficult crowd, and after some umming and ahhing, Chris decided that we should play Watson and Holmes after all, reasoning that if we can't decide what to play then we may as well play something new.
We set up in the front room so we could deduce in peace, away from the rowdy rabble of cyclists.
Sam explained the rules and read out the opening scene. Mr Porterfield was murdered! During a piano recital at his mansion, no less. Whodunit?
I got off to a good start, visiting a location that was dripping with clues. After that, though, I mostly wandered about aimlessly, learning very little. The most exciting moment involved the character cards we're dealt at the start of the game. I took great pleasure in announcing that I was Lestrade! And was therefore able to move all the police tokens currently in play. Didn't help much, but felt good.
Joe was the first to go to 221b Baker Street, and he checked his theories against the game, but turned out to be wrong. Despite still technically having a role in the game, he was tempted away by the other group who'd finished Flamme Rogue.
Katy credited her win to a cyclist she'd christened Rob, after her better half but then, in case I misunderstood, she specified that she had won, in case I gave Rob a win on the leaderboard.
We remaining four kept deducing until Ian made his move by going to 221b Baker Street and successfully answering all three questions.
Joe, Sam, Chris and Andrew don't.
Once the murder was solved, Sam commented that all three of his guesses would've been wrong. I only got one right - the murder weapon. It was fun, but it did feel a lot like we were all playing the same solo game at the same time. There was a little more interaction than in the three player game, but nothing pivotal.
In the kitchen, the group that stole Joe was playing New York Slice. I didn't pay it much mind, but it ended:
While they played that, the four of us returned to the kitchen and perched on the end of the table and played Cosmic Run. During this game, Chris and Sam both tweeted almost identical photos of the game. A special treat for anyone who follows both accounts.
I kept losing points for planets, but conquering the five dice planet and having aliens made it respectable. Chris clocked up his first win thanks to a last minute grab for treasure.
As we finished, the others played For Sale. The 30 came out in the first round (along with two other cards in the high twenties) and Martin made a big bid for it, prompting Joe to ask if he was spaffing his wad in the first round. If I remember right, Andy took the thirty. It didn't seem to help.
And so that meant they wee packing up For Sale as we were ending our Cosmic Run. Which meant only one thing: 6nimmt!
During this game, our collective astonishment at the cruelty of the cards was summed up in the phrase “Like... Wow.” Which Joe had learned from his daughters. Joe had special reason to utter these words as he went from first to eighth in the space of a single, terrible round. Martin also suffered a collapse in form, picking up 37 points in the final round.
And so, we bid farewell to our host and took turns in the toilet before going back home. For some reason, Joe, Katy and I talked about Coldplay. Perhaps we will never know why.
There’s no Division, what with it being the first week and all, so instead I leave you with the 6nimmt Division, ordered by points ratio. Thanks all!