Friday, 30 March 2012

All the News You Didn't Know You Didn't Need

Work has been a little slack recently so between filling out applications and cursing perfectly innocent (but employed) third parties, I’ve had time to go back through the blog and assemble a comprehensive list of placings, from the very first GNN on the blog to this week's shenanigans - and here they are, broken up into seasons and unhelpfully resized by Blogger:

If we look at who has won the most games, it’s as follows:

Adam 50
Sam 46
Joe 31
Andrew 16
Quentin 15
Hannah 8
Steve 7
Jonny 4

- No-one else has really played enough to come under scrutiny.

No great surprises there. Obviously though, Adam has played a lot more games than Jonny, Hannah and Steve have, so how does the overall ratio look, in terms of wins to games played? That might be a little more reflective of overall performance:

PlayerGamesWinsWin Ratio %

Although Adam remains convincingly top, Quentin leapfrogs over me into second, and Hannah jumps over Andrew and Joe into fourth. Andrew drops like a tub of Neopolitan ice cream from a hot-air balloon to bottom, despite impressive wins in the likes of Serenissima and Taj Mahal.

But how to measure one victory against another? In the above table, a win in Poison counts the same as a win in Agricola or Caylus. To paraphrase Ann Robinson, who is this lazily generic summary doing a disservice to?

I went through the individual games and removed victories gained in the short-ish, filler games (Bacchus Banquet, Tsuro, Poison, Pitch Cars, No Thanks, Ave Caesar, Dancing Dice, 6nimmt, High Society, For Sale, Mord Im Arosa) and a couple of the longer games that seem to rely heavily on luck rather than strategy (Robo Rally, I’m the Boss, Roll Through the Ages, Innovations). I left in Citadels, Condottierre, Thunderstone, Blockers, Hey That's My Fish, and Trans America/Europa. Kind of arbitrary, but then I’m the one sitting here wasting my life away, so those are the perks. The results:

PlayerGamesWinsWin Ratio %

(Corrected from last week, when I had only subtracted wins from overall total instead of all-filler-games played) Congratulations to Joe, Steve and Jonny, who all improve their ratio. Quentin's ratio holds steady though, and and it's still very congested in the middle of the table. Mine is the worst affected, as clearly racking up wins in the likes of Poison had given me a false position.

It’s not good reading for Andrew, lodged convincingly at the bottom. But wait a minute – it’s not all about winning, is it? What about coming consistently high-placed, but forever just missing out on first? I’ve broken down the placings into a visual chart-type-thing to show the percentage ratio of final positions for each player, and they make interesting reading (click to view):

Obviously Adam looks the most impressive here, with a lovely 1-2-3 spread and then hardly any finishes outside the top four (bear in mind a few of these games will have only had 3 players, occasionally 2) but Andrew’s healthy spread of second and third placings put his relative lack of victories into perspective. Quentin also looks formidable in this light, but can he do it over 150 games? Over to you Quent!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Let's Splay!

Tonight was the final night of the season. A rip-roaring affair as the regular four met up in a last desperate attempt to fling themselves across the finish line in first. Me, Adam and Joe arrived on time, with Sam promising to arrive after football (playing, not watching).

We began with a bit of comedy. Rattlesnakes is a game where your pieces are magnets and you have to place them according to the colour shown on a dice, without disturbing the others. If the pieces suddenly join together, or are repelled off the board, you have to pick them up. The first person to successfully place all their pieces wins. And it was great. A bit tense and a bit silly and definitely a great way to warm up for an evening's studious gaming.

fully loaded nest!

Andrew 0
Adam 4
Joe 5

For the first main game, we chose Hansa Teutonica. When we'd played it recently, Sam remarked that it was the kind of game that Adam would be good at. However, not even in our craziest dreams could Joe and I have imagined how quickly Adam would get the hang of it. It was the gaming equivalent of being in a cement mixer with rocks and stones, as Adam quickly increased his number of moves and his number of men available, and before long was picking up points for fun. Meanwhile Joe and I were trying to find somewhere on the board where we wouldn't accidentally give Adam a point. Or two.

By the end, both Joe and I were feeling pretty beaten up, and Adam's margin of victory accurately reflects the dominance he displayed during the game.

Adam 53
Andrew 36
Joe 30

It was still early and so we decided on a new game, Innovation. This card game takes each player through ten stages of civilisation from the early ages (illustrated by sort-of-cave men with bad posture standing beside a henge) to Space colonies. We had barely started when Sam arrived, so Joe went through the rules once more (which I needed) and the four of us began to play.

The rules were a bit complicated, but once you understood the jargon, easy to follow. The cards you play have icons around the edges, allowing you to carry out certain actions. By "splaying" your cards, a player could increase the number of icons on display. The actions allowed you to add cards, take cards from other people or generally mess things about.

Due to the random nature of the game I couldn't plan ahead at all, since I had no idea what would be in my hand until it was actually my go. And I got lucky, since I had lots of crown symbols and I got an action that needed lots of crown symbols. This action was powerful enough that, if I did it a few times, I was soon in a healthy first place and able to end the game.

Andrew 4
Adam 3
Sam 2
Joe 1

I found Innovation to be too random to be much fun, and it felt like a card game version of Robo Rally. And those occasions that I succeeded just felt like stumbling into luck. Pity, since the illustrations are quite nice.

All of which leads us to the final leader boards on the season. Last time, the great big leaderboard took too much time to sort out, so I've streamlined things. First is the Form Table, which Adam takes right at the end, and I scramble into second, pushing Jonny into third. Congrats Adam! You see, the form table is a sprint, not a marathon.

Adam 2 1 2 1 1 7
Andrew1 2 1 2 2 8
Jonny1 1 3 1 3 9
Quentin1 3 1 13 10*
Steve 2 3 1 2 3 11
Sam3 1 4 3 3 14
Joe4 3 3 4 4 18
Anja3 5 3 5 5 21

Meanwhile, definitely a marathon, not a sprint is the old-style points ratio, which goes to Quentin. It's all about quality, not quantity with this guy and it's the second season in a row that he's won this particular category. And a quick tug of the forelock to Sam for winning most points overall.

The leaderboard...


A finally, the Olympic-style leaderboard, which is like a marathon with sprinty bits. Sam is a comfortable winner this season despite Adam's late run of good form.


And so that's it for another exciting season. It is Easter next week, so its still unsure if there'll be a games night next week, but one week off won't hurt us. Will it?

Not much, anyway.

* the decay rule – people with five results registered, after a while, will find their score go down one point per week if they don't attend for three weeks. It may sound harsh, but it stops the regulars getting resentful. If they attend another evening, all decay points are removed.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Farmers and the Moors

Tonight's games night was all about class warfare. When I arrived I found Chris and Paul (from the Bracknell branch on a special visit) playtesting Sam's game Luddites. With a new market system, it seemed to be moving smoother, except that the dice didn't seem as destructive as when Sam and I played it. Further tweaking required, Sam concluded.

Then, once Adam, Steve and Anja, we decided on a couple of high-stakes games of Tsuro. High stakes because anyone coming last risks a massive seven points on the form table. As it was, people tended to crash out in pairs (you know, like Thelma and Louise or Bonnie and Clyde. That's how cool board games are) so that the worst anyone got was five points.

1. Steve
2. Adam
3= Anja
3= Sam
4= Chris
4= Andrew
5. Paul

1. Adam
2. Andrew
3. Steve
4= Paul
4= Sam
5= Chris
5= Anja

After this, we split into two groups. Sam, Steve, Paul and Anja chose Alhambra while Chris, Adam and myself decided on old pre-blog favourite Agricola. And the set-up of the shared table reflected the social standing of the themes involved. The Moorish nobility one side, building their towers, arcades and seraglios, took up two-thirds of the table in spacious luxury. Meanwhile, us three poor farmers crammed our various boards and cards into what was left of the table top.

I'll leave it for someone else to fill us in with the details of the game of Alhambra, but it ended thus:

Sam 120
Steve 103
Anja 100
Paul 77

Meanwhile, in Agricola, I made the early running by playing a couple of cards which loaded the board with wood and clay for me to collect. In fact, I was the only one to really make use of my occupations and minor improvements. Adam, however, is an old hand at this, and his early statement of "I love it when you get rubbish cards because then you don't have to think about them" is not to be dismissed lightly.

I ran out of steam towards the end, relying too much on killing livestock to feed my family, so those points went begging. Chris seemed to be in a good position mid-game, with a bit of everything. But he seemed haunted by his last game of Agricola where he scored only one point, and didn't seem convinced by Adam's and my "advice" to avoid options that we so obviously wanted for ourselves.

In the final round, Chris debated whether or not to make a choice solely to stop Adam from winning, or go for maximum points for himself. Of course, Adam told him how he could get maximum points, which Chris then did. After the points were counted up, we did wonder if choosing to stop Adam might have put Chris into second place, because of the number of begging cards Adam would've had to take. But instead it ended:

Adam 39
Andrew 30
Chris 22

But Agricola is a great game, and it's been too long since I last played it. Chris and I were a bit rusty on the rules at first, but soon got into the swing of things. Plus, the "Wild Boar!"* joke is still as funny as it ever was. And always will be.

Meanwhile, Jonny holds onto first place, despite a spirited last minute dash up the table by Adam. However, there may be one more games night before the end of the month, so it's not over yet. Joe might be able to squeeze an evening into his busy diary. In the meantime, the Form Table looks like this...

Jonny1 1 3 1 3 9
Quentin1 3 1 13 10**
Adam1 1 2 3 4 11
Steve 2 3 1 2 3 11
Andrew2 2 4 2 2 12
Sam1 4 3 3 3 14
Joe4 4 1 3 3 15
Anja3 5 3 5 5 21

* said in the manner of "Wild Boys" by Duran Duran

** the decay rule – people with five results registered, after a while, will find their score go down one point per week if they don't attend for three weeks. It may sound harsh, but it stops the regulars getting resentful. If they attend another evening, all decay points are removed.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

"One Snack Rule" yet to catch on

After last week's games night both Sam and I said how ill we'd felt the next day. We didn't blame the alcohol, but suspected the salt-heavy, MSG-laden snacks may have been a factor. But this week, rather than restraining ourselves to one snack like sensible adults, we munched our way through chips, crisps (Kettle Chips, though. They're almost healthy, right?), and two types of chocolate. Oh well. We'll see how we feel tomorrow.

Thanks to Sally being on bedtime duty with the kids, we were able to start a little earlier than usual, and Sam, Adam and I chose Stone Age. Even though Sam and I had played it only yesterday we agreed since Adam seemed keen. And the best time to play a game against Adam is when you've practiced it in the previous 24 hours.

Playing with a third player changes the balance of power. I abandoned my usual hut tactic after Adam got an early multiplier, and for a while I was at a loss as to what to do next. In the end, I plumped for fields after I was able to pick some multipliers for cheap. Adam, however, struggled with some terrible luck on dice rolls. Ones and twos were the order of the day whenever he went looking for food or wood, which on two occasions left him unable to complete a hut.

I admit, with that display of misfortune, I thought Adam wasn't a threat and spent most of my time watching Sam. However, when the points were finally added up, the result was as surprising as it was close.

Adam 147
Sam 145
Andrew 145

If he wins when he has luck as bad as that, what would he have done if he'd rolled fives or sixes?

Towards the end of Stone Age, Jonny turned up. For our next game we decided on a new but simple game – Portobello Market. This game of setting up markets and manipulating the police is easy to learn but takes a lifetime to master. If you only play it once every few years.

Adam's tactic was simple – put markets in the way so anyone who wanted to move the Bobby had to pay him. I went for putting down my scoring tokens as soon as it was worth it. Sam specialised in customer placement. Jonny did a bit of everything, and towards the end, he put down an aristocrat that scored for three of his streets at once. When the game ended (rather suddenly. Very much an "Okay, that's it! We're done!" kind of moment) Jonny's lead was insurmountable.

Jonny 109
Andrew 98
Sam 71
Adam 70

It still felt quite early, so we had a game of TransAmerica. It'd been a while since I'd played it and I sort of remember it being quite quick and light-hearted. Not tonight, as we studied the map, lost in thought, and our tracks seemed to act like repelling magnets whenever they came close. In one round, all four of us built parallel tracks for the first few moves, waiting for someone else to make the first move across the map.

In the end, the game ended when Sam accidentally finished Jonny's network for him. That was enough to give him his second win of the evening, and leave Sam and Adam at the tail of the pack again.

Jonny 9
Andrew 13
Sam 15
Adam 15

This changes the complexion of the Form Table quite dramatically. Jonny leaps up the table with just one week to go with a great performance to steal top spot from Quentin on the "best most recent score" rule. Despite an indifferent performance, Sam gains a point and I am the new Mr Consistency, with an evening of second places, edging me ahead of the old Mr Consistency, Steve. Adam sees both his pride and his position dented. And it all started so well...

Jonny1 1 3 1 3 9
Quentin1 3 1 13 9
Sam3 3 2 1 1 10
Andrew2 2 2 3 2 11
Steve 2 3 2 2 2 11
Adam3 4 1 3 3 14
Joe4 4 1 3 3 15
Anja5 5 4 4 3 21

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Tower of Murder

Monday rolled around, I decided to skip life drawing this week, and so Sam and I sent out a (fairly optimistic) call for attendees at an unofficial Games Night. No one else could make it, so it was just the two of us this evening.

First, as a little warm-up appetiser introduction, we chose Mord im Arosa, the detective game with sounds for clues. As a two-player game, it plays pretty quickly, so we able to fit three in before the main course feature main event of the night. On the first go, Sam was a comfortable winner, thanks to finding four of my clues on the ground floor. Second time around I ran out a clear winner thanks to Sam's obsession with floor six which, no matter how often he checked, was always clear of any cubes at all.

For the third and deciding game, it was a Titanic battle with accusations flying back and forth, and the occasional bit of subtly removing our own clues. In the end, we were both poised on equal points and nine cubes each when Sam found some clues of mine on a floor entirely unrelated to the crime. It seems that that's enough to send you down in this kangaroo court, so Sam ended as the winner.

We had discussed the Gates of Loyang as a potential option for the main game, but in the end, decided on the warm comfy presence of Stone Age. We'd played only recently, and Sam had been a narrow winner. This time he tried to bluff me by saying he'd go for hut multipliers. Well, that's my territory and so, like a dog in the yard straining on an old bit of rope barking at people who were only walking past anyway, I was quick to pay over the odds for an early hut x3 multiplier. Ha!

The game was notable for a complete lack of civilisation cards in the first part of the game, followed by a surplus of them in the second part. Sam built up an army of meeples and had the farms to feed them, while I had my huts and my axes. In the end, it was down to the civilisation cards, and I had eight compared to Sam's seven (the last one was the only unused card at the end of the game) which just nudged me in front.

Andrew 280
Sam 272

A pleasant evening and a useful warm up to tomorrow's meeting, when Adam returns to the fray.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Chocolate on the felt!

No, this is not a new euphemism for really needing a poo, but is in fact a reference to Steve's giant faux pas as he clumsily broke an aero bar into splinters over Joe's smart green baize-substitute table cloth. The embarrassed brushing of crumbs off the table was as swift as it was apologetic.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Five of us arrived at Joe's kitchen and we tried not to be disturbed at the pile of girls' hair in the corner. Myself, Sam, Steve, Anja and Joe (of course) were in attendance. We decided on a game off Joe's list of games he'd bought but not yet played: Hansa Teutonica. This had been suggested as a gaming option so often it was starting to feel like an in-joke: Joe suggests Hansa Teutonica, we all chuckle and choose something else instead.

But this week, we decided to give it a go. Joe patiently talked us through the rules and, although we weren't quite sure of the right strategy, we set about building routes and taking control of cities in Germany in the olden days.

It was a lot of fun, and taking control of the right cities paid dividends to those with foresight. I went for biggest network and a multiplier which, luckily, no one noticed until the end. Steve complained a lot about not understanding the rules, but was quickly in the lead alongside Sam.

But although I got bonus points for a particular route, I missed out on some other choice pickings, which left me just short of first. Sam luckily asked for clarification of a rule as the points were counted up which gained him enough points to avoid a draw with me and claim first place all for himself.

Sam 51
Andrew 47
Steve 41
Joe 39
Anja 33

As a nightcap, we decided on a quick round of 6nimmt. We tried to spice up the proceedings by talking in Italian "goomba" accents, until Joe pointed out that the mafia almost never play 6nimmt. We complained when we were dealt high cards, and we complained when we were dealt low cards. In fact, the only way to win the game is to be dealt no cards at all. But that's not an option so we struggled on.

It turned into a very close game in the end. Steve came in a poor last in the first round, but played well enough afterwards to bring himself up to second. I looked like being stoney last until I managed a clear final round. On the down side, Anja went from challenging for first to ending in last in the space of one round. Such is the cruel nature of 6nimmt.

Sam 36
Steve 47
Andrew 51
Joe 62
Anja 69

Thanks to Joe for a very enjoyable night. Hansa Teutonica was a success, and worth playing again now we know what everything does.

Meanwhile, it's an increasingly congested form table this week, with four gamers on eleven points. Amazingly, despite Sam's great performance, he stays on eleven points, but creeps up a place thanks to having a better more recent score. By the same method, Steve and I leap over Adam into third and fourth respectively. Anja, meanwhile, manages to fall to the bottom of the class, even below the mostly-absent Hannah.

Quentin1 3 1 13 9
Sam1 1 4 1 4 11
Steve 2 3 2 2 2 11
Andrew3 2 2 2 2 11
Adam3 3 1 3 1 11
Jonny3 1 3 5 3 15
Joe4 4 1 3 3 15
Anja5 5 4 4 3 21

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

First we were Henchmen, now we are Luddites

Despite Sam's double feature of gaming over the weekend, the fact that this week's games night has been put back by one day clearly left a gaping hole in his game-diary. As such he texted me this afternoon for a quick evening of games.

I arrived after a disastrous attempt at life-drawing to find his kitchen table resplendent with his own creation: Luddites! It was a game of Sam's own making, using a tower to send players' dice scattering across the game board at random, either supplying bountiful crops, or knocking down any signs of technological advance (hence the title Luddites).

At first we played with commentary from Arsenal vs. Newcastle on Radio 5 in the background. But when we realised that one of the players seemed to be called Santa we decided the comedy possibilities would distract us from the game on the table, so we turned it off (actually he was called Santon but we didn;t know that at the time).

Luddites uses a rondel to limit player choices to the next three options around the circle. You have to build up resources for selling on the market and building factories that bring in extra goods, while at the same time trying to trigger a tax round to hurt your opponent*. The factories are actual wooden silhouettes of buildings that can be knocked down by the rolling dice. These buildings then need to be repaired which cost money, and so it goes on.

It was pretty interesting, with rules being changed on the fly, as we realised that triggering a tax collection should get people more victory points to make it more appealing, since nobody likes taxes. And also that the market didn't quite work. Either the market was too generous, or too stingy. This needs a little work, but it can be fixed. Also the tower needs a smaller gap to put your dice into. Since Sam and I are both honest gentlemen who equate cheating with murder, we dropped our dice in dead centre to optimize random results, but the opportunity for cheating is too great for other less upright members of society who may drop their dice in towards one side to favour a particular outcome.

With these issues faced as we go, it was an occasionally tense and strategic game with certain possibilities. The market is the major thing to be addressed and we discussed various options during the game. We ended the game with:

Sam 51
Andrew 43

Or something like that. Possibly 53 to 41. Not sure.

Then we played Stone Age. I thought it'd be quick with only two players, but it comfortably took us towards eleven o'clock. I didn't take a note of the scores, but both of us were in the two-hundreds and Sam won by thirty points. Points that I'd have gained if I'd got a 3x hut multiplier instead of Sam. He picked it up in a typical "Hillman" move, just to spite me even though it didn't help him. And it worked.

But Stone Age is a great game. Putting all your men on gold still raises goosebumps on player and opponents alike, and that's what this game is all about. Gambling, but with opportunities to change the odds. Roulette could learn a thing or two from Stone Age.

* And possibly yourself. Hey, that's taxes, man.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Life in the Hotel Arosa

You know if you can't get your wives to play games with open invitations, one must use subterfuge. To that end, Joe and I arranged a dinner on Saturday evening at my house and underwent lengthy nods to polite society in the form of conversation, food (cooked by Sally - I'm shameless), glasses of wine, et cetera. But of course at some stage we had to get a game on the table, and our pre-arranged plan* meant that Joe was the one to propose it.

*Our pre-arranged plan was actually Joe suggesting it and me being too scared to, suspecting Charlotte secretly loathes me for introducing Joe to Settlers of Catan about 5 years ago. You know the rest.

I would have tried to work up to such a daring proposal, but Joe, his self-respect long-since burnt to hell in a household of game-skeptics, just came out with it. But as it transpired both Charlotte and Sally had been primed, and were resigned to indulging their goonish husbands... And so we played Mord im Arosa, the game where players listen out for the sound of tumbling wooden cubes in order to solve a mystery, and then accuse each other of the murders.

I'm not great at this game, as my method seems to be instantly forgetting anything I've just heard and guessing wrong, meaning more of my cubes go in the tower, and subsequently being more open to accusation. Sally and Joe, having played before, were alive to this in-built ratio, but Charlotte blew us all out of the water by constantly predicting where her own cubes where and eliminating all but the most minimal suspicion of her on the investigation sheet. Sally came in second, Joe third, and I was last, implicated as the most inept murderer ever, leaving my bloody fingerprints on the banisters as I made my way down the fire escape.


On Sunday we had Mark and Katie over for tea, and so the games commenced fairly early. I'd been hoping to show them The Downfall of Pompeii, but Katie had a hankering for Trans America. As that's fairly quick, we managed to squeeze in two other games as well.

We started with No Thanks, which was new to everyone but me. The rules are simple, though, and everyone was quickly up to speed. Especially Mark, who ran out a clear winner. Tactics now slightly clearer, we had another game, which I can't remember who won (I think it was Mark again) but Katie played a very nice final round, letting the card she wanted collect about 20 coins before picking it up as everyone cursed her chutzpah. She and Mark both liked this, whereas Sally was less enamoured of it, being innately suspicious of numbers.

Then we played Trans America as agreed, and despite Katie's first-round error of announcing her connections when she still hadn't reached Kansas City, it was another strong showing from the Chiseller. We ended after two rounds with Mark beating Katie by one space on the score track, Sally third and me way out in last place.

My gaming chops feeling particularly droopy, I wasn't confident of winning Mord im Arosa but was looking forward to playing, guessing that Katie and Mark would like it. And they did, though with some reservations. There's something intangibly confusing about the rules that disconcerts everyone on first play, and that was the case here, but after an extended search for the second corpse (who still seemed curiously mobile) we slowly got to grips with it, and were soon accusing each other like old hands.

I finally won a game too, despite leaving several clues next to the victims. We had thrown so many cubes in searching for that second victim that we had implicated ourselves on almost every floor - though of course, we still managed to do the odd sloppy investigation too. Mark was second, Sally third, and Katie was the murderer.

So a weekend of gaming came to an end and I hadn't, as far as I knew, alienated anybody. Katie and Mark were even talking about buying Trans America/Europa for themselves - and Katie mentioned again her temptation to come to Stabcon in January. We must work fast, friends, as going to StabCon too soon might be a tactical error. She doesn't joke about meeples yet or know who Dirk Henn is. The best tactic is to let the geek grow from within, so confronting a hundred hairy fat men quoting Blackadder will seem an inconsequential side-show to the pleasure that is gaming...

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Pitch Cars and Jack Tars

Actually, Jack Tar is a sailor, not a pirate, but it's late...

As we enter the last month of the season, five eager players arrived at Chez Sam for the night's entertainment. Adam was to have been there but he had to attend someone's birthday do. A fact he only learnt during the email exchanges on Monday to ascertain who was going to turn up.

We began in a light-hearted mode with a game that Sam received as a birthday present that's suitable for small children as well as adults. Me, Sam, Joe and Quentin decided to play Pitch Cars while waiting for Jonny. In this game, you have to flick wooden disc "cars" around a track. It began jovially enough, but before long our innate competitiveness crept in.

Suddenly, we were lining up shots like snooker players and cursing our luck on unexpected kinks in the road or a crash barrier. In fact, during our two races Joe and Sam managed to get stuck for three goes in one place. The winning tactic seems to be get in the lead and then don't make any mistakes.

Race One
1. Quentin
2. Andrew
3. Joe
4. Sam

Race Two
1. Sam
2. Andrew
3. Quentin
4. Joe

During race two Jonny arrived so, after we finished, we settled down for something a little more involved. We chose newbie Rum and Pirates. Sam explained the rules – except for a brief interlude where he had to go and clean up some cat sick – and we leapt right in. To the game. Not the cat sick.

This game based around a pirate's life (beating up guards, politely declining invitations to the pub and having pillow fights for best sleeping places) is a lot of fun. When Sam and I played it a week or so ago, it did seem as if it would be more fun with more people. And it was, but perhaps five people was too many. It turned out to be quite a long game. I wasn't sure about any tactic, but going to the pub seemed to be a good move. Again, I did badly getting good sleeping berths in the ship, which might have been costly.

I miscounted the number of rounds and thought the penultimate round was the last. So I ended round four smugly with a move that completed a treasure map and set me up for a decent result. When I learnt there was another round, I didn't really know what to do. As it was, we ended with a dead heat, even after a recount. Joe scoured the instructions for a tie breaker, but none was forthcoming, so we rejoiced in their joint victory.

1= Quentin 73
1= Joe 73
2. Andrew 67
3. Jonny 61
4. Sam 53

It's a whirl of excitement on the form table as Quentin leaps from seventh to first. Adam holds on to second despite not turning up, and both Joe and I improve our standings. Jonny's score goes down by one because he got rid of that pesky decay point.

Quentin1 3 1 13 9
Adam3 3 1 3 1 11
Sam 4 1 4 1 1 11
Andrew2 2 2 6 1 13
Joe1 3 3 5 2 14
Steve 2 2 2 4 4 14
Anja4 4 3 1 214
Jonny3 1 3 5 3 15