Wednesday, 26 August 2015

“Don't concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all that contagious glory”


Contributors:  Dan, Peter, Tom One

Blimey, it's getting a bit crowded upstairs these days isn't it?
What with having to elbow my way through a crowd and everything I completely lost track of what was going on last night. Up in the far corner we enjoyed Dark Moon, a game so good we played it twice, Fake Artist, a game so good we played it twice, Escape, a game so good we played it thrice, and Masquerade, a game so good we played it... well we only played that once.

Also seen doing the rounds:
Troyes (or twoiyais, or whatever)
Too Many Cindafellas
One Night Waste of Time
Castles of Ludmadstein
James repeatedly asking everyone if they want to play Firenze
Probably some other games, there must have been with four or five tables on the go!


Firenze was played. My first time and what a great game it is. So many opportunities for screwing your opponent, a rather unusual attribute for a Euro. And the card pricing system is oh so clever. James, playing like a Gentlemen amongst 3 new players, avoided the temptation to play the nasty cards on us unsuspecting wide-eyed novices. A great game indeed.
Mascarade earlier in the evening was an unusually long game. I have not played with as few as six before and it is a slightly less random experience - even my limited memory can keep a vague idea of what is where. Strangely, as there is more memorable info, the game seems to lasts longer. This time, by the end, we had almost all the six players around 9-11 coins so it was anyone's game to the end. Tom stole it with a sneaky Queen if my memory serves me correctly.


As Pete said, we did manage a six-fer take on Mascarade with relatively old hands David, Pete, Philippe and me plus Karolina and newbie Anne.
I was allowed to sit on a Queen for an entire round without anyone swapping it out of my hand. Not good business when I was holding 11 coins! I think that quite a few of us have the game down now so would be interesting to throw in a few of the more exciting characters. For example, the 8 layer game we managed a couple of weeks ago was elevated somewhat by the introduction of the Fool and the Peasants. Something to think about.

Dark Moon was held with 7(seven!) players: me, Dan, Tonio (a wonderful sight to behold), Tom II, James III, Alan and Raj. A triumph it was although not for the uninfected with Tonio revealing himself at the perfect opportunity having been issued orders by James III (all his fault - nothing to do with anyone else at the table *cough*). Tonio chose to put pressure on the mining outposts already beleaguered shields. Unfortunately, after reading through his lovely new powers, he then decided to further test the mettle of our commander, Dan. At which point, Dan promptly failed his roll adding a further token to the shield count which bled over to the Outpost.
At this point, James had the sparkling idea of the group trying a malfunction task that would finish off the outpost if we failed. We of course failed with both Tonio and Dan adding as many negative dice as humanly possible to the count. At which point, Raj (and not the highly suspicious Alan), revealed himself to be the Third Zombie/Alien/Whatever. Still waters etc. etc.

After this, the boys (except for Alan who bemoaned his not getting "a turn") decided to give the game another go, especially considering the one hour run time. At which point, Mr Agapow was duly collared to get us back up to our full complement. This time, the final event was Enter Self-Destruct Codes which requires that the commander cannot be infected or fatigued if that event is completed otherwise the infected win. This event is brilliant as it really encourages a lot of table talk and focus on who is the commander, voting for quarantines and managing the life support systems.

Of course, James III pulled the task which required him to ask for another player's status card. He chose the commander, Tom II, and declared Tom to be infected. Both were promptly thrown in quarantine but otherwise things were moving along relatively with all tracks having zero to one token. Commander Paul was forced to pass command upon completion of the third event and this went to Raj. However, soon afterwards, Paul played a task that would effect the life support if failed. Tom II (in quarantine) was the last to add dice with the total 2 above what was needed. He then promptly played -3 dice to tank the mission - the classic soft reveal.
The next mission failed again with Paul again tanking the task with a flourish. This meant that two infected were revealed but who was the third man this time? In the meantime, the life supports had been pushed up to four tokens - leaving a large number of the crew fatigued. This was bad news both in terms of the final event and passing tasks (malfunctions being the only cards left in the task desk for the final push). It was now my turn and I had to do my best to repair the life support. I rolled by three dice: +4, +3 and -1. I promptly submitted the -1 with a shrug. Now for the task draw, good news: a ??? malfunction with 2 consequences. I promptly selected the life supports (failure would make us hit the magic number of 6 and win the game for the infected). The four uninfected players howled with rage - Tonio pointing at me, Tom II and Paul with a "I knew it was you!"

Unfortunately, for the uninfected, both Paul and I were not fatigued (I was Daniel, the android whose special ability is to avoid fatigue) whereas they all were. Fatigue means that they can only submit one dice to any task. I started thing off with a cool -5 and the task didn't get out of the negatives. Victory for the infected for the second time on the bounce!
After this: Fake Artist (good fun: Tom II showing his uncanny ability to turn any drawing of a penis into a top hat wearing cat) and Escape (lovely stuff - much better than I remembered perhaps because everyone at the table knew what they were doing having all played before).
The best night at the club for me since the magic 11 games in an evening a couple of months ago with Cinderfellas and Pictomania. Cheers boys.

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