Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The thrill of the hunt

Contributors: Daniel, David

San Juan and Deep Sea Assclowns with Philippe and Tomtoo, then a couple of rounds of Codenames. Deep Sea was amusing in that absolutely nobody brought back even a single treasure due to everybody starting on the heavy breathing every time anyone looked even remotely likely to make it back to the boat. Andy's Codenames clue of "Street" was fabulous seeing as there were two cards labelled 'Wall' and 'Bond' right next to one another; unfortunately, neither of these bloody cards were ours and he was trying to hint at something else entirely. Despite a catastrophic start in both games the trinity of James, Philippe and Tomtoo won both games handily (we blew up on the assassin in the second game but they would have cantered to the win anyway).

We followed all this with a spanking new (and probably KickStarted I'm guessing) game of Sneaky Alien Battleships (probably not the real title, which I cannot remember). In this one you track your movement in secret with the twist that everyone is moving in secret. Some areas on the board require you to draw a card which will do one of three things - either you will be quiet (meaning you don't have to say anything about where you are), you will have to report your exact location, or you can report any location on the board. This leads to all kinds of hi-jinks where the other players can't be sure whether you really are where you say you are or you are yanking their chains, a little too opaque in this area I would say. Players are divided into two teams, fleeing Humans and rampant Aliens intent on devouring them as fleshy treats, and of course nobody knows exactly who is on their side.

Tomtoo went too far in protesting his innocence and was mercilessly hunted down by his own side for looking too Human, resulting in him having to sit out the rest of the game. Meanwhile I confused the heck out of Tomjuan, convincing him that I was everywhere other than the bee-line I was making for one of the escape pods. Not sure how you quantify winners and losers in this game, but as both Phillippe and myself were the only ones to make it off the beseiged base I am going to count that as a victory for us. Quiet in all Sectors!
Good Cop Bad Cop was next, I nearly shot Paul in error but avoided doing so as I felt it would be a dick move to take someone out of the game after only one turn; when Andy later switched the roles belonging to Jon and myself it turns out I probably should have done it anyway. C'est la vie.

A little flurry of Fake Artistry followed, in both games the fraudlant finger-painters flummoxed their foes, but on neither occasion could they work out what the blooming heck everybody else was trying to draw - ahh, the sweet feeling of winning due to the incompetence of your opponents was in the air.


James B, TomToo and I began the evening early with a game of Shitenno or 'Shite-No' as James likes to call it, making it sound more like a blaxploitation movie from the 70s. Anyway the game is about Japanese generals competing for control of various Japanese provinces. Each round the first player gathers that years selection of troops and money and offers them to the other players in order. If he makes an offer too worthless the others can decline and he'll end up with it, if he makes it too good the other players will accept it. There's a really fine balance between dividing up the perfect slices of cake so that everyone is a winner. TomToo won this one comfortably by maximising the bonuses for overall control on over half the provinces. I followed up in second having wasted a couple of turns due to James offering me a worthless slice of cake and me foolishly accepting it and then James ended last.
Next was a game of Trains using the Trains: Nagoya Map with Jon, Paul, Philip and I. It was quite a tight map with a lot of mountains and other obstacles. Jon started at the top right cut off by a large mountain range, Paul position himself right in the centre of the map whilst Philip and I chose different corners at the bottom. I went for a strategy of building as many stations as possible early to try and make it more expensive to move into cities near me whilst working towards one of the easier bonus routes. Philip went straight for completing as many routes as possible and completed a couple whilst Jon pipped me to one of the routes as well as buying a lot of the victory point cards. Paul meanwhile built up a lot of cities and also collected quite a few victory point cards. It was quite a close game but Philip managed to win thanks to his routes with Jon a close second and Paul a close third. I was then about 10 points behind. I scored well on the board but not well enough with the cards.
To end my evening was 7 Wonders with 7 Wonders: Babel. I play a lot of 7 Wonders and it was nice to see an expansion that changes the way you play and creates a bit more interaction with your neighbours. The tower of Babel has three face up pieces at any one time that changes various conditions in the game, such as not being able to utilise the market cards, or military losses giving out two -1 tokens instead of one. At the end of the first round Philip played the tower piece that compounded military losses that really hurt Paul and I as both our neighbours went down the military route. I worked my way back from this setback by building as many civic buildings as possible, it wasn't a planned strategy it just so happened that no one else was building them and they kept coming around. Paul meanwhile went for science which didn't pay off quite as well as I believe Jon was putting them under his wonder and discarding as many as possible when building his tower pieces. At the end Jon won by about 8 points with me second, Philip third and Paul 4th. My last wonder level allowed me to copy a neighbours guild, only Jon built a guild and it gave me a grand total of 1 extra point. I should have chosen the other side...

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