We began with a game of Tsuro while we waited for Anja to arrive. Perhaps we were all too aware of the leaderboard, but it seemed more cagey than usual. I was able to wipe out Joe and Sam in one go, but then spent the rest of the game running parallel to Adam, hoping to find a path to escape down that didn't send me skittering off the board. No such luck.
Then, after some heavily self-conscious conversation about board games while Adam's non-gamer housemate did normal things in the background, the doorbell rang and it was Anja. We decided on the brand new experience of Airlines Europe. This game involves building routes across Europe which only score you points once you've got shares in them. Similar to Chicago Express, this can mean that you spend time and money on an airline only for someone to swoop in as majority share holder and take most of the points.
I got grey shares early on, and concentrated on those. Adam hoarded some cards, and sprang a last minute attempt at taking over purple. Anja had a portfolio that had a little bit of everything, whereas Joe specialised in only about five different companies (out of sixteen. Or fourteen.) Sam cleverly went for shares in a company that had no planes at all! Sounds like a money laundering operation to me, but it was enough to give him a tasty 16 points at the end.
There was lot of thinking and downtime between goes, which allowed us to enjoy Sam's range of unhealthy nibbles and Anja's liquorice (Sometimes sweet, sometimes salty! Try your luck!) and it also gave Sam enough time to take a photo from a chair and then bump his knee heavily into the table as he nimbly leapt off the aforementioned chair. The game was fun in a brain-melty kind of way. As the game came to a close, I had no idea who was first. But I soon discovered...
The end of the evening loomed, but we convinced ourselves that one more game wouldn't hurt. So we chose 6nimmt. This game of bluff, double-bluff, counter-double-bluff and plain luck is a cruel slave and a terrible master. I don't think anyone's quite worked out the strategy, as shown tonight when everyone had a poor round. In the end, Sam squeezed past to score his second win of the night, to send him home rejoicing in his two victories!
The Form Table shows Steve sitting triumphantly atop the charts, and congratulations to him! I sneak back into second with Adam a solid third and Sam in fourth despite that seven-point millstone around his neck. Meanwhile, Anja can reflect on her choice of that final game. As she ruefully said, you should never accept a game of 6nimmt at the end of an evening, which made her sound like an alcoholic blaming her hangover on that one last drink the night before.
Finally, the other scoring systems show that I was the winner overall on the old system, with Steve coming top of the pile in points ratio. Adam takes top spot on the Olympic-style leaderboard with Sam's late burst pushing him into second.