Friday, 30 December 2011

"Hold on high their shameless heads"

After our Christmas meal the week before, only six people turned up for the meeting before Christmas. Light games were the fare.
Gloria Pictoria
Jon, James and me began with this fairly simple card game. Build up sets of cards in various colours, score points for having the most cards in a given colour during the 3 scoring rounds (whose timing is unpredictable), lose points at the end for cards in hand. The one complication is the fox, who prowls around rendering useless one set of cards. On your turn the fox starts with you and automatically joins your neighbour when your turn ends, however you can send him on ahead for a price.
In fact, the price never seemed worth having and, as chance would have it, the fox struck a different player each scoring round, roughly evening out the bad luck. Jon was ahead early but once I realised the importance of starting as many sets as possible I was able to take the lead...(scores may not be totally correct).
Philip 17 John 14 James I 12
From foxes to guns...

Ca$h 'n' Gun$ [thanks Andy]
Our festive funsters settled down for a game about shooting your friends and running off with all the loot. What could be more seasonal?
It quickly became apparent that if you want to do well at this game you should play with people that others would really like to plug with a bullet. So it proved as James, Jon and Gareth all found themselves staring down the barrels of numerous revolvers and the brave (Gareth) quickly found himself nursing injuries while the cowardly picked up shame tokens.
Paul's Bang Bang Bang card gave Andy a wound while he was preparing to finish Gareth off, thus saving Thomason's skin. But when it came down to the final reckoning Andy had kept his head down long enough to accumulate just enough cash to win.
Final scores: Andy $70,000; Gareth, Phil and Paul $65,000; James $50,000 and Jon $45,000
Not robbers but Indians next...(postive numbers in Coyote are Indians).

Coyote (thanks Jon)
As this was ‘party-game’ night, there wasn’t too much grumbling when Jon brought out a game that involved everyone wearing a headband to attach a card to their heads. Nice.
The game is basically a deck of cards which mostly have numbers from 1-5 on them, but also have some 10’s, 20’s and wild cards (-10 / - highest other card etc). Each player takes a card, and without looking at it, attaches it to his head, so that everyone else can see it. Therefore you can see every card apart from your own. Players then begin bidding an amount which they think that the total of all the cards doesn’t exceed, until someone decides that it is too high and challenges the previous bid ( a la Perudo). Players who have bid or challenged incorrectly then take a token (also attached to their head!) and when they have 3 tokens, they are eliminated. Last man standing wins. It sounds simple, and it is, but there is something very amusing about seeing another player with a “-10” on their head which they don’t know about, but something equally as frustrating about not knowing what’s stuck to your own forehead! Philip and James were the first to depart the game, closely followed by Gareth and then Paul. It was then left to a showdown between Jon and Andy, which Jon won in the final round.
This is actually a really fun game, and one that I enjoyed more than Perudo, as there is a lot more knowledge available. Definitely an enjoyable way to pass 20 mins, and worth it just to see Philip wearing a red headband.
Jon – won; Andy – 2nd; Paul; Gareth; Philip; James
Less bluffing, more fighting in our next game.... 

King of Tokyo (thanks Jon)
At the beginning of this game, there was a general rumble of discontent as several players appeared to be playing for the ‘points’ victory, rather than beating seven bells out of each other in Tokyo. However, this eventually changed when Andy was able to take out 4 other players in a single turn, leaving him in a fight-to-the-death with Jon, who was currently on 14 points and 3 health. However, a fortunate roll of the dice allowed Jon to pick up 3 points from rolling 3 two’s, getting another point for not attacking, and having enough energy to buy a card that gave an instant 2 points in return for losing 2 health. 6 points in one turn, and the victory was his. So much for having disdain for points victories……
Jon – won; Andy – 2nd; James; Gareth; Phil; Paul – all died

Linq (thanks Jon)
Trust James to bring along an obscure little word game that is actually rather good – although I’m not sure that Gareth was that impressed… Anyway, the concept is simple – players are secretly dealt a card, which either contains a word, or ??? on it (only 2 players have a word, which is always the same). Players then take it in turns to say a single word, and then a second word, and that’s it! The trick is that the 2 players with the words are trying to locate each other, whilst the others are trying to locate the ‘wordists’ whilst trying to get others to incorrectly identify them. Think - Dixit meets the Resistance (sort of….) We only had time (or the inclination) to play 3 or 4 rounds, but I really enjoyed it – a neat twist on word games. Can’t remember who won, but it wasn’t me……..

P.S "Hold on high their shameless heads" is from Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore

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