But Stanley had been promised a game, so whilst I brewed coffee he set up Raiders of the North Sea. As previous posts have elicited, the basic premise of Raiders is that you gather what you need to go and pillage: violent viking! But subsequent plays have shown there are other avenues of pursuit - staying at home to make offerings for the chief: Sycophantic viking! Or indeed, trying to build a quick lead and then hurry the end of the game before anyone catches you: Lazy viking. If you're clever about it you can even time the killing off of your crew in order to gain maximum points on the Valkyrie track (Psychopathic viking).
I went for the lazy option. Stan asked me to play at 75% (determination to win) but to be honest my head was pretty fuzzy at the start anyway. I tried a new tactic of not bothering with the far-flung, inland raid-able places such as monasteries and outposts, instead blitzing the harbors for a meagre two points reward per raid. Although this didn't build much of a lead, it did give me a shedload of resources. Allied to my Forager - who gave me a steady stream of provisions to raid with - I realized that I was well-placed to go Crap Raiding: taking my rubbish crew to fortresses, and emptying them of resources whilst scoring no points (- the stronger the crew, the higher your points reward for a raid)
Stan pretending to be sad
Stan's tactic was more honorable - if you can call raiding honorable - building a stronger crew, and sacrificing them nobly in battle before building them up again. But seeing I was about to end the game, he changed tactics and quickly made an offering to the chief at home, successfully pulling off the violent, psychotic, sycophantic, blend that marks the true viking.
But when I raided the penultimate fortress though, I'd done just enough to impress the chief. I hadn't killed anyone outside of the harbours or let any crew nobly die in battle but my three offerings at home were just enough to hold off Stan's surge up the track by virtue of all his dead raiders:
We shook hands as Stan resolved to get me next time.
Now Joe joined us for Trans America, which 2 or 3 years ago was the game of choice for the boys before Stan went heavy-Euro and Joe refused to play anything except Spyfall. Halfway through the first round I realized he'd forgotten you don't have to build track contiguously but can go from anywhere, and had to keep reminding Joe as his spirit of adventure saw him striving for new boundaries by himself instead of hitching the available lift.
But once he kept this in mind, he actually beat us. Stan won the first round, but Joe the second by a bigger margin, ending the game (we only played the two rounds) with Stanley and I joint second. Very nice end to a hectic weekend, and a taster for Tuesday...