Saturday, 20 May 2017

On the Night of the Bunfight

Ian, Andrew and I gathered together in front of the alcove bedazzled by choices. Was it a Feast for Odin night, or a bunch of shorter games? Ian said he would prefer the latter, and despite him immediately adding "but I don't mind" we took heed of his unusual demonstrativeness by starting the evening with Flamme Rouge. I don't recall the name of the route we set up, but it was one of the games' own variations.

 blues making a break for it

Andrew shot off into the lead and seemed to spend the first part of the race picking up exhaustion cards as he led from the front. I panicked after a few rounds and shot into the lead, before dropping back again. If I had any strategy after that, it was to try and stay just behind the leader. Not rocket science, but it seemed to work, and on the final downhill stretch I made a break for it.

Sam - both riders home!
Andrew and Ian - joint second.

Staying with the brevity of shortish games, we set up King of Siam and I talked the guys through the rules, only missing out one or two finer details (by accident). I remain taken aback as to how playing eight cards apiece can amount to such a long (but not that long) game, and Siam's inscrutability was as evident as it was on Tuesday.

what the

I played what I hoped was the coup de grace in the penultimate round, but all I did was accelerate someone else's victory. In the final round Ian realised that playing his last card would only change the victor from Andrew to me, so he passed!

Andrew - wins!
Ian and Sam - lose.

Our ganders danders up, we broke out the perennial GNN favourite that is Quantum. Ian got off to a quick start, and I was hot on his tails. Andrew was slightly distracted by the capacity of the Void, and didn't seem to get much traction, even though he was researching like nobody's business... The game became combative early on and stayed that way.

Twice I was one move from winning, and both times I was stymied - in one turn Andrew built a spaceship and thus prevented my four-action turn (because I was arrogant) and in the next Ian came in and attacked me. I thought I could still win anyway until Andrew pointed out that you can't deploy ships where you have no quantum cubes! In the adrenaline of battle that cold hard truth had slipped out of my brain. And while I played for time, Ian swooped in to claim the win, pulling off an impressively convoluted attack by virtue of his being energetic. It was the grandstand finish our battle royale deserved, and we ended the night with one win apiece.

Ian - all cubes down
Sam - 1 cube left
Andrew - 2 cubes left

Ian (green) wins

A great bunch of games, and a classic to end on.


  1. Interesting auto-correct on dander!

  2. Well, my gander was up.

    A lovely evening. Pity we couldn't end with Love Letter, bit never mind.

    In Flame Rouge, I didn't properly assess how useless my 'nine' cards would be at the end of the race. I take my hat off to Sam who crossed the finish line with a 'three' card.

    I enjoyed King Of Siam, but I was disappointed by the end-game. In our game, it was clear to me that if both Ian and I played to benefit ourselves, then Sam (with the last move) would win. So I took the best move for me, leaving Ian in an impossible place. He only chose me to win, because that would get him second, and there must be a second, otherwise the final round is just an exercise in kingmaking.

    Finally with Quantum, I sent a die to the void early on, for research purposes but that put me on the back foot for the rest of the game as I was trying to play catch up. My best move was to attack Sam and then Ian, both successfully, which I think added another thirty minutes to the game. But to no avail. And we'll done to Ian for ending the game when I thought there were another couple of rounds left.

    Thanks all. It was fun.

  3. Sorry about vetoing Love Letter, I was exhausted!

    I forgot to mention my Friday might gaming with Sally, Mark and Katie too. We played Insider to great success (Katie and Mark both made for successful insiders, whereas Sal was found out) and Hit Z Road to less great success - I think we started it a bit too late in the evening, and the theme didn't really latch onto us. In fact there was an extended break during the zombie apocalypse to discuss meringue recipes. I think Mark might have won had he not died, Matt-style, on the final round.

  4. Ah Insider. Where did you get it Sam?
    I've been really enjoying Hanamikoji - I've taught it to Bea, Pascal and my nephew Jacob this last weekend.

    1. Through boardgameprices; I can't remember which retailer. The boys really want to play it (they love hidden role stuff) but we've not had the opportunity yet. Maybe we could start with it the next GNN night at mine...

      I haven't heard of Hanamikoji - what's that?

    2. It's quite a recent game - I've written up for GNG but not hit publish cos i was writing on the train and wanted to check it over. It's very good.

    3. Hanamikoji is a lovely 2p tug of war - like Battle Line but with added mind games.

      Insider is on amazon for 15.99.