Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Playing nicely at IBG
Contributors: Daniel, David
A quiet night with only two tables on the go, but plenty of fun had by all!
An early start with Show Manager for myself, Tomtoo, David, and Raj, meanwhile Tom got his Dragon Eggs out at the other table to occupy the later arrivals while we finished up.
Tom and David seemed to be trying to outdo one another for the theatrical equivalent of a Golden Raspberry, both managing to attract a critical savaging and first night closures with their debut productions. Raj looked like a early bet with a tremendous performance of Moonlight that wowed audiences in the theatre capital of London, but financial struggles meant that he was unable to repeat that success and went into a slow decline. I coasted into a comfortable win by being the bridesmaid in the biggest scoring cities and raiding the coffers from smaller locations where the point spread is less brutal.Noel brought along Vegas Showdown and it would have been rude to refuse a game, so we settled down with the two Toms. Stone Age or something was on the other table, could have been Mombasa/Caylus/Cuba/etc. I really cannot tell just by looking these days.
Noel went straight for the mantle of Slot King with row upon row of shiny one-armed bandits, and Tomone managed to resist the urge to turn his casino into one giant food hall this time around with a more balanced build. Tomtoo fell in love with lounges, later bringing in some restaurants to feed the corpulent slouches infesting his premesis. I competed for a short while with Noel on Slots before swagging the first Table Games tile that came up, which took me in another direction. Noel ended up coasting to a very comfortable lead and spent the end game adding Lounges to keep his score moving forward - in retrospect we could have been more competitive against this but were all so wrapped up in angling for the bonus tiles that we wanted that he rolled us over, like a true Casino boss oughta.
Screwage, bluffing, guile, and more screwage in Intrigue, which then spilled over into No Thanks! I managed to play the temporary alliances in Intrigue against each other pretty well I think; Despite screwing Tomtoo over very badly in the first round I got him onboard with Team Dan by then offering an Olive branch while the other guys were kicking him while he was down. In response, Noel and Tomone formed an uneasy alliance that fell apart with some careful prodding; it was particularly flaky as Noel didn't do himself any favours by adding plenty of 10k notes to his hand while only handing out 1k ones in his bribes, and Tomone seemed determined to burn bridges on every side. With a smidgen on cajoling I got Tomone onto my side, ditching both Noel and Tomtoo into exile in the process, setting myself up nicely in incontestable positions. The hammer dropped in the final round - as the last player to make appointments I kicked Tomone out of my tallest tower to even out my opponents earnings in the final round, preventing anyone from lurching ahead with their final income. At the final countup I was ahead by some margin, my realtively low earnings throughout the game allowing me to fly under the radar with the strong final positioning giving me a massive payday that sealed the deal.
No Thanks! ended up being almost an extension of Intrigue, with enmities from the previous game encouraging cards to be passed purely for the sake of dumping a bad score on someone else. I picked up two cards fairly early that were around twenty odd points each then eventually fluked into connecting them together in the last couple of turns, once again coming from a seemingly untenable position to swipe a sneaky victory.
Noel was then coerced into Magical Athlete against his will, not sure if he's recovered from the expereince yet. Making a correct guess with the prophet was pivotal in keeping me on a winning streak, then we finished up late with a round of Epic Spell Wizards (Raj replacing Noel for this one - I don't think we could have got away with getting him to join in on this one), it did it's thing with a tense finish where Tomone managed to hold on tightly for several rounds despite being right on the edge, ending in a grind of single-card spells that should have been strong enough to finish things off but always seemed to fall just short.
The game on our table was A Council of Four, Phil, Raj and I had all played this before a month or so ago, so thought we would give it another go now that we knew how to play. Last time I did incredibly poorly so was out to make amends this time around. Both Phil and I went for the same opening moves of building in the two blue cities and claiming the early victory points and related bonus. I was luckily enough to beat Phil to this by a single turn which then allowed me to link a number of cities and claim a few of the extra bonuses. Raj meanwhile was working towards the larger city objective and scoring well from his connections. At the end it was a race between Raj and I, my early move putting Phil a bit too far behind to catch up. When it came down to final scoring I had just managed to pip Raj to the win by a single point thanks to the various end of game bonuses. I enjoyed both games of this even with a few of the production issues it has a nice balance to it. After that we played a quick game of Meteor. A bit like Spaceteam but with a lot less shouting and musical chairs. The objective is to destroy 7 meteors before they hit earth, working together as a team to construct and launch rockets. There's a lot of communication required as you only get 5 rounds at 1 minute each but we still found time to destroy all the meteors with time to spare. We did play the easy version though and I can see this being a lot of fun and more pressured with five or six players.
I ended the evening with a couple of games of Council of Verona. Raj won both games and the second game was notable as I ended up with a hand of 'move' cards which swung the game this way and that