Players: Paul, James, Woody, Scott, Keith, Andy, Maynard, Tonio, Gareth, Ian, Vicky, Shirief
Relegated to downstairs in the conservatory with the normal folk, there was still plenty of room for gaming and not too many distractions (apart from a girl with a very annoying laugh....) It was a very welcome return to Maynard and Vicky after many weeks away from IBG, which helped bring the total up to a very respectable dozen.
Jon was again absent this week (instead preferring to wield an electric guitar at his church) so has relied upon the remaining IBG'ers to cobble together an account of this evening's proceedings. Which may be the reason why they are slightly lacking in quantity...
Egizia (thanks Paul)
Both James and Woody had played Egizia for the first time last week, with Woody being last all game only to carry out a barnstorming final scoring turn in order to swoop into first place. One of James' tactics from the get go seemed to stop that particular occurrence from repeating itself.
Paul had played once a few weeks ago and this was only Shirief's second time at IBG, let alone playing Egizia, although being from Cairo might have given him some slight clue as to what the game was all about.
Woody seemed to be content with sitting back as he had done previously, although as the game gradually progressed he seemed to be dropping out of the back door, being in negative points for at least the first two rounds. James was making sure he collected as many final round scoring cards as he could. Shirief was deep in contemplation. Paul was pretending to be in deep contemplation.
After round two, the order had established itself as Shirief in front, Paul in second, James pretty close to Paul in third and Woody, the rest of the players weren't sure that they'd seen Woody recently.
With more rounds gone, patterns were repeated, which didn't change the above order very much, but did mean that those players in first and last place were even further in front and behind. Shirief did lots of building whilst collecting scoring cards, Paul concentrated on pushing down the brick and victory point tracks while trying to build a bit too, James was still after more cards and on at least one round he mercilessly send the whole table into famine (although kindly didn't at another stage when he could have done - not sure where that left him on the karma scale, although that isn't measured in this game) and Woody was telling the other players that he'd left it too late for a momentous comeback, but none of them quite knew if they believed him or not.
At the end of the game, Woody was first to score and it transpired that he had indeed been very honest all game long, meaning that he stayed resoundingly in last place. James was next to score, which took him past Paul, but when Paul scored he then jumped into the lead. It was then up to Shirief to reclaim his leading position which he did quite easily having racked up loads of points during the game and then also loads more at the end, eventually lapping everyone apart from Paul. The losers were scratching around for some clichéd excuses such as 'beginner's luck' or 'homefield advantage' but actually had to concede that they were outplayed.
Shirief 115; Paul 83; James 62; Woody 57
Tichu (thanks Andy)
Having given their brains a pasting with a bout of Agricola, Scott, Keith, Maynard and Andy plumped for the card game Tichu. It's played in pairs and players try to win tricks and empty their hands as quickly as possible to score points for their team. The deck is similar to a normal pack of playing cards plus four special cards that each have a unique effect.
Scott teamed up with Keith, who said he wasn't very good at it, and Maynard partnered Andy, who were both new to it. Scott rattled through the rules with nary a pause for breath and play began with a a couple of practice hands.
These don't really warrant mentioning aside from the fact that Scott and Keith usually went out first and then it appeared as if there was some kind of rule dictating that anyone with the letters Y, D, N or A in their name must pass any tricks they won to their opponents and score no points.
When play began for real, Andy and Maynard still had rather puzzled looks on their faces and S&K won the first round without A&M troubling the scorers – 100 to nil. Keith's earlier claim of mediocre ability in this game wasn't proving entirely consistent with his play and after Scott went out first in the second and final round all things pointed to another whitewash when Maynard valiantly emptied his hand. However it turned out that Keith had a low single card left that he was unable to play and Andy was able to put down pairs of cards to just edge him out. This meant the team could finally keep some hard-earned tricks and thanks to the cards won by Maynard pride was restored with a 65 to 35 victory.
Final scores over the two rounds were 135 to 65 in favour of Scott and Keith, or 435 to 65 if anyone insists the practice rounds counted for anything.
This was the first outing for Tikal as Game of the Month. It was played using the non-auction rules and it looks like the 3 gentlemen were not very gentlemanly to Vicky on her return...
Tonio 112; Gareth 108; Ian 103; Vicky 81
Apparently, there were also games of 6 Nimmt, Agricola and The Resistance, but with no scores or reports, you'll have to guess what happened....
Jon should be back next week, so hopefully he will be able to bully everyone else into revealing what happened in every game played.