Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Berger Interlewd

Seven hearty gamers descended on Joe's house to join him for this week's GNN - Martin, Matt (2), Katy, Chris, Laura, Ian, and myself, Sam. Katy met Laura for the first time and immediately apologised for "all that was to come", which meant she had plenty to live down to.

We had the perfect number of players for Captain Sonar, but Joe rejected the idea on the grounds his table was the wrong shape and size - more of a rubber ring than a submarine, and therefore not worthy. Instead we began with a rousing game of Fuji Flush. I didn't keep a tally of the dick points, but there were plenty to go around. Most of them were handed out by Matt, who seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of high cards:

Matt - out!
Chris/Sam: one card
Martin/Laura/Joe: two cards
Katy/Ian: three cards

After this, we split into two groups, with Martin leading the Flamme Rouge splinter - himself, Ian, Joe and Matt - and the rest of us left to stare in awe at Joe's rejigged games alcove, which he had arranged as most-desired: most-accessible. I asked if the ones out of reach were never to be played, but these were actually in another building. We settled on Castle Crush, as Katy said the rules were simple. Joe still had to explain them though, which may have affected his performance in Flamme Rouge...

I'd not played Castle Crush before but often wanted to. Apparently the original rules are ludicrously complicated and Joe had found a replacement set, which was pretty simple: build your castle, hope nobody knocks it over. Particularly your King and General. Your king needs to be high up, but on the other hand, he can lie down, whereas the General must stand. Having negotiated building, we then try and knock each other's castles down... Chris led the early running, but made himself a target by doing so. Before we knew it, it was over!

Laura 65
Sam 61
Chris 56
Katy 48

So we played again. And again Chris led early, and found himself targeted. I jumped into the lead as we entered the final round, but we neglected to pay attention to Katy's sneaky 2 and 3 level castle (more levels: more points) and she grabbed the slenderest of wins:

Katy 62
Sam 61
Chris 52
Laura 51

On the other half of the table, Flamme Rouge was still being contested, so we bashed out a game of Top Secret Spies, where you move whichever agent you like around the board, and score their positions whenever any of the agents reach the safe. You're trying not to give away which spy you are, as that would mean you get moved onto the shitty spots, but we almost disguised ourselves too well: I was convinced Laura was green when she scored loads of points for it, but then Katy moved it back into contention after it was subsequently ignored... hmmm. The one thing I was sure of was that green wasn't Chris. Except it was, and all my who-is-which-colour guesses at game end were utterly wrong. Katy fell foul of the same inaccuracy, whereas Laura got a couple right - and Chris every single one! He still lost, though:

Laura 48
Sam 42
Chris 41
Katy 39
Rogue Spy 38

And Flamme Rouge had come to an end!

1. Martin
2. Matt
3. Ian
4. Joe

There was now time for Joe's 'interlewd', whereupon he told a smutty joke he'd seen on TV. Katy did not approve, but the politics of it all is probably too complicated to cover in detail here. But after the joke, and the post-joke analysis, and Martin saying he knew another joke that was also about an elephant having sex with a lion, the hour was still early. So we split into two new fours, with Martin and Chris effectively swapping places. Chris, Joe, Ian and Matt went for Mamma Mia, while the rest of us played the trick-taking shenaniganiser that is Sluff Off: win tricks to lose minus points!

This was described in more detail in the last post, but suffice to say, fun was had, even though we couldn't quite work out why the third re-theme of this old game had taken a turn for the sluffy.

Sam -3
Martin -12
Katy - 15
Laura -26

Mamma Mia, meanwhile, had had a couple of restarts due to the disappearance of Joe, a misunderstanding of the rules, then the reappearance of Joe. Eventually though, Matt won:

Matt 6
Joe 5
Chris 4
Ian 2

I was out of the room when Joe jotted down the scores, so he'll have to explain why he added the note 'tactical pepperoni' in the comments.

Laura called it a night at this point, so down to a bare seven, we broke out Midnight Party and explained the rules to Matt. Hugo was a busy boy in the first round, snaffling up the guests like nobody's business, before having a quieter second round then a mixed third. Charlotte - who had banned the game previously - returned towards the end, but it was a mostly tense pessimism rather than the uproarious despair of yore, and we were able to continue. Katy and I rejoiced in our shared victory:

Katy/Sam -11
Joe -12
Martin - 14
Ian - 22
Chris -29
Matt -37

Chris now made for home too, which left the six of us to end the evening with Dead Man's Chest. For once, we didn't have to explain the rules - apart from what happens when you get handed Dead Man, which curiously enough, happened several times this evening! It was a game of a lot of high rolls, and one or two extravagant bluffs. We even had two Dead Mans in a row, causing much mirth for Martin, who Joe noted is blessed with the ability to find great humour in probability. Plus the immortal line "Who do you like to screw over the most?"

My evening of first and second places imploded as I was first out, followed by Ian, Matt and Katy, leaving Joe and Martin to face off for the win.

Joe handed over what he called 'double sixes' - Martin challenged, and then revealed: Dead Man! Which Martin pointed out Joe should have called himself, rather than undercutting, as Martin could have handed them back, successfully calling them Dead Man. But - it worked.

Joe - two gems!

A nice collection of games and people. Thanks all!


  1. Great set of games! Sorry for being mean to Joe about getting distracted by his phone - he did have a very reasonable excuse.

    Come to think of it, I think my joke was actually about a gorilla shagging an Irishman.

  2. I think it was Matt who mentioned that there are very situations in which you can utter the phrase 'tactical pepperoni' and be greeted with appreciative murmurs. It now sounds like I'm being lewd again. Maybe I am...

    Fun to host again, thanks all for coming, especially Chris for making the interurban trip, and to new faces Laura and Matt for putting up with us.

    As I raced to meet Bea I was feeling that the evening of games I'd so been looking forward to had been compromised by all the interruptions, but after the subsequent fun of Mamma Mia, Midnight Party and Dead Mans Chest it was fully redeemed!

    I liked Flamme Rouge but as I said at the time, I couldn't see really how to play strategically - beyond the timing of when to break away. Very clever game though, to feel so thematic from such a simple set of rules.

    A lovely evening, thanks all!

    1. [edit] Very *few* situations

    2. Joe, I felt a bit like that after my first game but saw a lot more opportunities for planning this time. Co-ordinating your two riders, figuring out what other people will try to do, anticipating potential blockages etc.

  3. Thanks too to Sam for such sterling and swift blogging.

  4. Yeah I can see that Martin - very neat. Wanna have another go!

  5. Fun evening everyone :) I liked your joke joe and your sheepish delivery....

  6. Oh, yeah.

    It also sounds like a Minor Improvements card from Agricola...