Contributors: David, Daniel
We started the evening with Rhino Hero. There's not much to say about this other than how much fun it is. I think we reached about 8 levels before the whole thing came tumbling down as Paul A tried to relocate the Super Rhino.
After that, Gareth, myself, Jon, Sarah and Philip moved onto Deep Sea Adventure as we waited on the last few people to arrive. Jon and I were routinely screwed over by diving too deep as Gareth, Sarah and Philip grabbed the early loot and then worked their way back slowly reducing the air each turn. I spent most of the game confusing Philip by moving his yellow piece (<--- I play Yellow).After the warm up games myself, Philip, James and Lucas sat down for a game of Troyes. James had owned it for a while but never got around to playing it and as I have played Troyes quite a bit as well as being one of my favourite games I set about running though the rules (With the help of Philip who had also played before). I'm probably not the best at delivering rules and it took a while to run through everything so hopefully it hasn't put James and Lucas off playing again as it truly is a great game. Each turn players assemble a workforce of dice by how many meeples they have on the board. They then use these dice to complete various tasks around the city such as earn money, victory points, complete events and gather more dice for the next turn. As the game progressed it was obvious that Philip and I were going for roughly the same strategy, exploiting the Goldsmith activity card that allows you to burn yellow dice for both victory points and money. I was fortunate to be first player on the last turn which allowed me to buy up as many yellow dice as I could which not only helped me score big but also prevented Philip from using them. When it came to the final scoring I just pipped Philip to the win by 45 to 42 with James and Lucas scoring in the 30s.
After the usual start of evening fillers, Paul and Peter joined me for another trip to revolutionary Mexico in Pax Porfiriana. The last time we played this as a trio I tilted my hand at two different VP victories but was thwarted and closed out of the running on all four occasions by some decidedly strongarm plays from my opponents. That game was eventually won by Peter after both Paul and I found ourselves staring into the abyss of what would have been a long and slowly crushing race to accumulate wealth that neither of us could keep pace on. As they say, a fool never learns, and so I decided to try my hand again at pinching a sneaky VP victory.
This time around I made sure to first of all shore up my income stream, which was my weak spot the last time. Despite being a cash heavy game, Paul was way ahead in getting his prestige out and some canny timings of headline play forced both Peter and I to discard significant fortunes. Speaking of headlines, there was an odd moment when almost all of the cards in the exchange were exactly that, backed up behind a couple of partners that nobody wanted to take, so there was some very careful cat-and-mouse play to maneuvre around the challenges that they were presenting. The slow play that resulted from this enabled us to regain huge amounts of wealth which became a pivotal factor as we were then able to comfortably buy cards from the top slot at sixteen coins each.
There was plenty of extortion going on in this game, and Paul took great delight in deploying his train-based machine gunners to chase enemy troops across the provinces. Peter and I traded the same partner back and forth, handing me an edge on Revolution in the process. I had been quietly gathering cards that would further this cause and careful not to give things away by putting too many of them into play, and when the regime changed to outright rebellion I spied my chance. A generous donation to the church got them on my side, whipping the population into a furore, and a straw man play on one of my own enterprises made me both the victom of a terrible injustice and the hero of the people at the same time. Using the last of my fortune I engineered the topple and stole the victory away by a single point. Utterly fantastic once again.
After filling in the gap with the ever-welcome Royal Goods, I counterbalanced the evening by going from the highly confrontational Pax Po to the rather more chummy Sentinels of the Multiverse. Chrono Ranger, Argent Adept, and The Naturalist went up against The Dreamer in the Tomb of Anubis and it did not go particularly well for us for much of the game! We were right against the wall when the villain finally flipped and then a rash of nasty cards incapped both the time travelling cowboy and the mystic spell-singer. With only The Naturlist left on a handful of HP we thought it was all over, but he somehow managed to stay alive for just one more round - with a little help from his friends the last couple of projections were destroyed and the day was saved once again! Two of my favourite games in the same night, it doesn't get much better than this