Players: Scott, Steph, Vicky, Maynard, Daniel, Russ, James, Jim, Keith, Gareth, James, Paul, AN Other
Whilst Jon was sunning himself in Cornwall, 13 of the rest of the IBG'ers returned after their own summer breaks to play games. Including a very welcome return from our most prestigious medical professional, Russ, who, it had been assumed, had overdosed on one of his own anaesthetic concoctions, never to be seen at IBG again.
Anyway, here's what happened during the evening...
To start off, Daniel reports that - "Two games of For Sale were played as a warm up by the early arrivals. The most significant events were Daniel winning both games and Gareth 'unable to find a pen to write down the scores'. These two events are, of course, completely unconnected..."
While awaiting new arrivals, Scott, Paul and Steph decided to have a quick go at -
Bausack (thanks Scott)
This time, it was played with some new rules from James. Players started with 5 beans, and on your turn you pick two pieces and give one to each of your neighbours for them to place on their tower. If they don’t want them they pay a bean and you have to place it on yours instead. It seemed to work quite well but next time we will also add an additional rule of additionally being able to buy a piece you wanted for 1 or 2 beans to add to your tower as otherwise the nice pieces sit in the middle not ever being offered to anyone because they are too useful.
The game was going pretty smoothly - Scott was building quite a tall tower and at one point forced Paul and Steph to cry out at balancing a large red piece on top of two unstable pieces. It held, but not for long as Scott got too greedy and tried to balance yet another piece on top of it, saving his large patch of emptiness on his base piece. Paul had a pretty full tower, complete with egg cup and egg, but not how you would expect them to be placed. He was looking dubious towards the end but Steph got greedy as well and suffered the same fate as Scott, trying to balance pieces too precariously while still having safe places to fill. Paul was full of pride for his tower that has survived.
1st - Paul; 2nd – Steph; 3rd – Scott
And, as a first for the blog, we now have a report written in the style of a sea-shanty (by none other than Daniel, of course) -
Twas on the Santy Anno,
The rules explained by Daniel,
Jim was confused and Steph bemused,
Vicky, Paul our players
The task of colour matching,
Soon became real taxing
The drunken sots they lost the plot,
And fell over the rails
Playing Santy Anno
The game was won by Daniel
Jim came last and Steph was fast
But never fast enough
With Jim operating the simple game table, that had attracted Dan like a fly to a bright light, Keith and Scott awaited to see what game Maynard would like, easy or not so easy. He picked not so easy and choices looked like the giant boxed Planet Steam, Brass or Opera. Maynard liked the sound of Opera (no pun intended) and so we began -
Opera (thanks for this report to Scott)
From the outset, Keith was targeting Scott seeing as he had played it the most, while Maynard was new and Keith had only played once before. He made some early extra money for himself and Maynard as they both set-up in Wien while Scott focussed on Venezia. This quickly turned as Scott sold two works to the Palazzo in the first two turns earning him a cool 22 Ducats, which boosted him to a very clear money lead, and for the next few rounds was controlling exactly what was happening. After the first scoring, Scott was lagging as Keith and Maynard both had three Opera houses to Scott’s two but with his money lead he quickly rectified this in stage 2 with new Opera houses in London and Paris while Maynard took the other Paris and Keith the other London.
Scott then shot in to the lead on the score track with a special scoring in Paris but Keith and Maynard were now keeping up in income as their Opera houses were full and Scott was getting less control on where to increase the income. With the second scoring, all things seemed rather equal and relative positions remained.
In the last stage, Maynard got the full Opera house in Milano and got a big special scoring opportunity there which Scott leeched off having also got a foot in Milano, while Keith and Maynard also shared another special scoring as well. Going in to the final scoring, scores on the doors were much closer and Keith had done his best to destroy Scott’s composers, sitting on some works now worth one. However the final scoring had us all earn the same amount (as Keith and Maynard had sacrificed some VP’s for a few extra VPs earlier with the special scoring). This left the scores as follows:
Scott 120; Maynard 112; Keith 101
A lot closer than expected after the initial steam rolling from Scott during the first half of the game. Keith was less than impressed with how a runaway leader can occur (Scott has actually made almost everyone he’s played this with feel the same way...)
And next up -
Diamant (thanks again Scott)
With Dan on a roll from winning every game so far, the next game up would push his luck to the limit; joining him were Scott, Steph, Maynard and Vicky. The first game we played was quite balanced, a couple of people would grab a few extra gems one round to lose out by a few extra the next. Scott and Dan looked to be the favourites and with Scott gaining a small lead having been left to explore alone, however, a snake arrived and this scared Scott away (he doesn’t particularly like snakes). It came down to the last round and Dan stayed in while Scott did a Gareth and ran early, picking up a nice shiny 5 while everyone else stayed to be gassed to death or something, Scott didn’t care he was too busy counting his money. Scores being:
Scott 25; Dan 22; Steph, Vicky and Maynard somewhere below that but doing okay (this is what happens with no control from Jon or score sheets) - nothing to be ashamed of, except for the taunting from Steph, particularly towards Vicky and Maynard who were making a name for themselves in the wussiness department.
Everyone was eager to play again and with the first card drawn a 4, there sat four little gems, at which point Steph called out across the room to Gareth, just to let him know there were four gems she thought he might like to run away with. Everyone seemed eager to run this game, at one point Vicky was declared a girly girl that may have made her rethink the sort of name she wants for herself. The pickings were slim with everyone running for next to nothing.
We bowed to our great leader Dan when all of us had run at once leaving Dan to explore with no disasters even showing, he walked through the 15, the 11, the 9 and casually avoided the one disaster that showed up afterwards and left because he couldn’t carry anymore gems, his cart overflowing with them, this being round 4 and Dan just sitting in all the way through round 5 just because he could buy his way out of any disaster and no-one would be able to overtake him.
Dan 40 (all from that one round); Maynard 18; Scott 11; Steph and Vicky – significantly less
With Dan quitting while he was ahead, Scott, Steph, Maynard and Vicky remained for a quick go at -
Mamma Mia (thanks once again Scott)
Scott started off well with three pizzas in the first round but due to the big pepperoni shortage of 2010, could not complete anything in round 2. Steph was on fire for the first two rounds and was in to a commanding lead. Vicky was trailing just behind but doing well, Maynard was as yet not proving to be any better than last time, probably because we all kept stealing the ingredients he played.
In the last round, Steph struggled to get enough pizzas to keep up with the unstoppable force of Vicky, keen to show she wasn’t a girly girl by impressing us with her culinary skills, erm...wait a minute. Scott recovered a little but not enough to catch up with Steph and at least Maynard had some pizzas completed so it wasn’t an epic fail.
Vicky 7 pizzas; Steph 6; Scott 5; Maynard 2
Apparently, also played were Endeavour, Tichu, Savannah Tails and Airships, but until the faithfully-promised scores and reports appear, you'll have to guess what happened....