Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Division for July

No games night tonight due to holidays and me feeling below par. If I’m going to go head to head against Adam, I want to be 100%. But I do have enough strength to one last post to July. It's the monthly Division!

It’s tight at the top after one month, and don’t you just love the Division and it’s inscrutable declarations? Like the player who tops the medal table has one of the weakest points ratios, or that the player with the highest points ratio has only made top three twice in four games. I checked: it’s all kosher. Meanwhile, Joe is top of the division as we head into the peak of the summer.

[EDIT: Joe should, of course, have two wins, not just one.]

Saturday, 27 July 2013

While the cat’s away

... the cat will play.

Sam’s on holiday, but left me with the task of feeding his cat, Finn, for one day until his neighbours can take over. I decided to take the opportunity to peruse the games cupboard and look for a little gem for solo play.

Lords of Waterdeep was sadly missing, but I checked on BGG and saw that Macao had a one-player version. I downloaded the rules and sat down to play.

Instead of having some kind of AI or rule-set guiding a dummy player, it was a version of Macao where you had to score as high as possible. In your way is a number of new conditions and rules to bear in mind. It really is a terribly boring experience. Macao already has quite a lot of rules, and it really doesn’t need any more. Playing this was like listening to someone trying to convince you that the 100m sprint would be better if everyone had to wear a duffle coat and corduroy trousers. It was just a series of annoying new obstacles to overcome. I gave up in round four after I had that epiphany that all board gamers dread: the realisation that I was just moving bits of wood and cardboard around a table for no good reason.

After this, as an antidote to Macao’s regophilia (love of rules? Is that right?) I got down Ascending Empires and played it, removing all of the rules completely. The idea was to hit each planet once (flip it over once you've hit it). If you hit two planets with one flick, score a point. Miss a planet, or go off the board, minus one point. Hit a friendly spaceship, and you upgrade to a bigger spaceship - all the way up to using a home planet as a ship (or a Death Star, as I imagined it). Hit an enemy ship, and go down to a smaller ship.

It was simple and fun and my best score was minus 1. You see, rules turn toys into games, but too many rules will turn toys into work.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

One Wonders

Has anybody ever won this game without playing The Palace?  It seems like the game could go either way until the players pick up their hands in the third round and the future winner builds The Palace. Simple as that. Job done. Game won.

Or is it? In their first game, using the A-sides, James beat Chris. Narrowly. By having the most coins having tied on points. So, what magnificent strategy did he employ? He crossed his fingers he’d get The Palace. He got it. He won.

James 49, Chris 49, Dirk 39. James won on coins.

 So in the second game, they did stuff. Stuff was done. A bit of stuff happened. Then came the third round. James fanned out his hand. There it was. The Palace. Victory.

Who lives in a palace like this?

But hang on. What was that guild card there? The Craftsmen’s Guild. 2 points for each grey card one’s neighbours have. Both having lumbered Dirk, (the ghostly third player) with lots of greys, that card scored 10 points. But what about The Palace? It only scored eight, but its totemic value was astronomic, surely. It’s the game winner, the kingmaker...

James winced, played the guild card and passed The Palace over to Chris. So then Chris had The Palace. And victory, surely. Or was this going to be the day? The day someone could win the game with another player having built The Palace? Could James let Chris build The Palace and still win? We’ll never know. Chris couldn’t afford it. He burnt it. He didn’t dare hand it back.

James won. But in this game, nobody built The Palace. So can you win 7 Wonders without The Palace?

One wonders. Still.

James 55, Chris 46, Dirk 26.

Pre-holiday fun

The day before Sam heads off to lovely Cornwall with the clan, he and I met up at my place for a little two-player gaming. He brought the games and some milk. I pushed my cardboard boxes further into the corners of the room and made the place presentable.

Sitting at the bottom of Sam’s games was Lords Of Waterdeep. I’m always keen to get this onto the table, if only to enjoy the economic ergonomics of the box design. Having set it up, we got stuck in, running through the streets of Skullport, recruiting rogues, wizards, whoever we could get our hands on, really.

I noticed a lack of buildings being built and, for me at least, a lack of money. Sam built up on plot quests early, giving him a series of bonuses so complicated he should’ve written a flowchart. During the game itself, I kept pace quite easily, but when it came to the Lord bonuses I saw Sam shoot off into the distance.

Sam 211
Andrew 172

After this, we pondered on our next choice. Sam had brought Trans America with him and, since it had been a while, we decided to give it a go. Sam has said before that he doesn’t do well at this game, but tonight must’ve been an all time low. Call it fate, call it karma, call it civil engineering, but I polished off my network first each time, leaving Sam one or two cities behind.

Andrew 0
Sam 15

Sam cursed Trans America for being too luck-based, even though only half an hour earlier he’d tried to downplay his win on LoW by saying there was a lot of luck involved. And with that, the evening ended, and Sam will head of to the south-west for the next week or so. No Sam, no Joe. If it’s just me and Adam at the next games night, I’ll be impressed if I manage second!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Critical Mass

Tomorrow I'm off to France for a couple of weeks, and Henry and I are planning many a game session, but I'm under strict instructions not to fill the car with games. "Why don't you just pick one game, and really get stuck in to it", says Charlotte.

And I agree with the sentiment. But that one game would have to be a long and complex one to warrant such attention, and there are bound to be lots of times when what is called for is a shorter, lighter game.
What I wouldn't be able to bear is the feeling that I know just the game we should be playing right now, only to realise that it's sitting at home on the shelf.

But she's right, I can't take them all. Enter the magical shoebox . . .

I decided to decant a few games in to this sturdy shoebox, since as we all know, modern board game boxes pack far more atmosphere than is generally needed for play - in case you lose some, presumably. But this box seems to have magical properties - it's like the Tardis! 
Believe it or not, it's holding:
6 Nimmt
Love Letter

All small card games, I hear you cry. But wait, there's more - it also contains . . .

7 Wonders
Panic on Wall Street (inc. egg timer and pens)
Saint Malo (plus more pens!)
Race for the Galaxy
and Vegas!!!

And there's still the odd pocket of air in there, I reckon I could squeeze Pickomino in . . .

I am taking a few big box games too: Through the Ages, Steam, Warriors of God, Taluva and Hammer of the Scots, plus a few small faves: Modern Art, Incan Gold, Magical Athlete and Lord of the Rings: Confrontation. But even so, it feels spartan! I'll let you all know how I get on. Have a good couple of week all - I will be checking the blog, and I might even be able to post. JB

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Inglorious Pasties

Since Joe was unable to make the regular Tuesday meet, and he was keen to squeeze in one more games night before his family holiday, he sent out the call for gamers to congregate at his on a Monday.

The air was heavy and full of the promise of a thunderstorm, but we weren’t to be deterred. Myself and Sam were in attendance. We began with Ra, one of the old favourites. Sure to bring a smile to our face. A smile that turned sour in round two as floods and civilizations became notable by their absence, and on Ra after another were pulled from the bag.

But as the second round came to an end, Joe hung on until the last, and gambled on a decent spread which he finally got. This put him in a commanding position for round three, which he exploited with aplomb. When the scores came to be counted, though, Sam felt sure he’d done better than he had. We tried to remember his scoring throughout the game, but we’d all started drinking by then and it was a hopeless case.

Joe 43
Andrew 26
Sam 14

Next up, with the atmosphere still muggy and close, I wanted something familiar to play. So we opted for Tinners’ Trail. A classic that has stood the test of time. And as we played, we could finally hear the first sounds of rain outside. I walked out to greet the oncoming storm, only to discover it was the next-door neighbour watering his plants.

As for the game, copper prices stayed high throughout, which was nice. If there’d been a bonus for longest adit, I would’ve won it, as I had four of them in a row. I think my use of adits was a definite help, as I was able to scrape a win, despite wasting time and money on a new mine in round four that I didn’t even use.

Andrew 131
Joe 127
Sam 120

By now, it was only ten past ten. Sam was keen to salvage something from the evening, so a light game of 6nimmt was suggested. I think the heat finally got to us as we (well, Joe and Sam) descended into hysterics over jokes I can no longer remember, and got increasingly concerned about putting the cards the right way up. As it turned out, Sam did end with a win and we went out into the night rejoicing into our shared victories!

Sam 54
Andrew 61
Joe 71

Andrew 2 1 2 4 1 10
Joe 3 2 1 1 3 10
Adam2 5 2 1 1 11
Sam 1 3 3 5 2 14
Hannah3 4 1 4 5 17
Miles2 3 5 5 5 20
Lizzy2 5 5 5 5 22

Monday, 22 July 2013

Wall or Nothing

A freakishly torrential teatime downpour soon sizzled into heatwave steam and James stepped out of this odd mist as he arrived for Games Night. Films have taught us that anyone stepping out of the mist means business. And it seemed to be playing out, as James snapped up a good start in Alhambra. All the towers came out early and both James and Chris bought these up in a race for walled-in supremacy. Paul tried to quietly amass the middle-ranked buildings.

James was winning after the first scorecard, helped ahead by his lengthy wall. Plus, everything looked neat. He was quietly confident, even though he and Chris had almost entirely walled themselves in, each looking to break out of a small gap. Paul’s Alhambra was much more open-plan.

The patio doors were wide open and waves of heat-addled and rain-battered bugs flew in to attack Chris and his Alhambra. They died as quick a death as Chris’ chances. It was all going haywire. Chris seemed forced to overpay for everything and had to watch all the cards and tiles fall for James and Paul.

As the totals were totted up, James won fairly convincingly with his wall as joined up as a swotty kid’s handwriting. 23 points worth of it. Paul’s wall was a bit more dot-to-dot. Chris came third.

He used to be good at this.

James 166, Paul 147, Chris 116.


The night had been deemed to be “Paul’s Choice” night. It was always going to be Lords of Waterdeep.
Lovely. A favourite game.

And instantly tense as it became immediately clear the trio were all after skulduggery quests. James snatched up the plot quest that gave him a further 2 points per skulduggery quest completed and everyone wanted an inn full of thieves. The rules needed a check. What happens if there are no thieves left in the pile? Tough luck, was the answer. This had never previously been an issue.

James and Paul scurried off around the score-track. Chris lagged behind. James grabbed a plot quest that gave him an extra two gold each time he picked up a thief. He was soon rolling in it. There was quite a lot of real estate business going on. James tried to set up shops that would provide extra thieves and wizards, also chasing arcane quests as he was. Paul seemed to be up to something. But what? The need for thieves never quite reached crisis point as the trio seemingly swapped to their second set of bonus-driven quests.
Paul buys a house

Then it happened. Chris went into super-speed mode. He slapped down quest after quest after quest. Like Tommy Cooper. Now you see it, now you don’t. He forged ahead and when the game ended, Paul had been left lacking. James and Chris nervously examined each other’s piles. Quest cards, adventurers and gold. James had 15 points to add for his unspent dosh alone! But ultimately, Chris had done it. With more completed quest bonuses, he was that night’s Lord of Waterdeep.

Chris 153, James 146, Paul 133.   

Friday, 19 July 2013

Jonny didn’t show

Tonight saw an extra games night on a Thursday, hoping to lure ex-regular Jonny back into the fray. Alas, it wasn’t to be as something came up to keep him away. Hopefully he’ll read this, and it’ll tempt him to turn his back on important things like family and work, and embrace the trivial!

At first, it was Sam and I. We played Cube Quest. We flicked with all the accuracy of a firework falling down some stairs. In the end, it was mutually assured destruction, as a flick from Sam sent all cubes off the table for a draw. Then Joe arrived, and he and I played a game. After a short while, quite against the run of play, I fluked a ricochet onto his king to take him out. Then Joe and Sam played and Sam scored a quick win against Joe’s unprotected king. It was all so quick, they played again, only for Joe to fall prey to some sniper-style flicking from Sam again.

Then we decided to bring something more substantial to the table. With Adam and Hannah half an hour away, we chose 7 Wonders. It’s amazing to think that once this game fell out of favour with us. It’s a perfect short, yet deep, game.

Sam started wars, I built up on sciences, and Joe built blue buildings. It was all pretty close. Despite the lack of parchment, I built the talismanic Palace with my wonder’s ability to build one building for free. This, and the fact that Sam paid me a lot of money in the final round gave me a narrow win.

Andrew 47
Sam 45
Joe 43

Then we ate some lovely chorizo stew and Hannah and Adam arrived. We discussed what to play, and during this discussion, Railways of the World kept being mentioned. Then, when we discovered that Hannah had never played it, any discussion ended as RotW was immediately brought to the table.

Five-player RotW may be a beast of a game that eats up entire evenings, but I for one was happy to see the eastern seaboard of the US spread out across Sam’s kitchen table. While Hannah learnt the rules, I looked over the cubes and cities and I formulated a plan. A plan that Sam swiftly squashed with his first move. So I decided to go head to head against Joe around the north-east.

At first it worked, and I sprang into an early lead. Sam piled on one bond after another, as he went for lengthy connections and their bonus points. Adam was in last for much of the game, but that doesn’t mean anything, as we all know by now. Hannah played a solid game for a first-timer.

But halfway through the game, my options dried up. Joe was able to put together long deliveries of cubes right up until the end, and Adam, too, put his network to good use. By the end, Sam was sunk by his bond addiction, and I found myself falling back to fourth.

Joe 81
Adam 72
Hannah 68
Andrew 66
Sam 58

Disappointing to come fourth, but despite that, I really do enjoy RotW. I know exactly where I went wrong, and it was nothing to do with a roll of a die or picking the wrong card. It was totally my fault, and that’s what I like in a game. As we walked home, Joe and I admired RotW for it’s thematic qualities, and whether or not we could ever go back to Age Of Steam.

On the form table, Adam reclaims top spot. Jonny, are you going to let him get away with that?

Adam2 5 2 1 1 11
Sam 5 2 1 1 2 11
Joe1 3 3 3 3 13
Andrew4 1 2 3 3 13
Hannah3 4 1 4 5 17
Miles2 3 5 5 5 20
Lizzy2 5 5 5 5 22

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Colonel mustered

In the middle of a heatwave, five plucky gamers arrived at Joe’s for some Tuesday combat. I arrived just in time to watch Joe and Sam get up a pre-game sweat by moving a heavy wardrobe up some stairs. And then, as if nothing had happened, the two of them plunged headlong into a game of Cube Quest. Now, that’s stamina!

This game has been played so often that Sam believes it’s already paid back its price in sheer fun. Sam and Joe went head to head, with Sam taking the victory in a game where Joe left his king undefended, tempting Sam into long-range attempts which usually ended in Sam’s piece flying off the table. But Joe, too, found his aim lacking and in a war of attrition, Sam had enough to hold on.

Then Adam and Hannah arrived. I played Adam at Cube Quest, which was pretty even until Adam scattered my king’s defence with one flick, leaving my monarch alone in facing the enemy. In a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-style rampage, he lasted about one flick before being sent off the table.

So the five of us sat down to play a new game, 1812: The Invasion Of Canada. Because it is co-operative, it doesn’t lend itself well to leaderboard type statistics. But we tried it out, anyway. My initial impression wasn’t good: Cubes on a rather serious-looking map.

1812. Note the Canadian dice, top left, poised to flee

However, once it got going, it turned out to be much more fun. The game encourages collaboration, but with no way of maintaining secrecy, you must be careful with your words. The rule book promised lots of “fun tension”, but instead me and Joe soon started bickering. We were the Americans, and Joe suggested that we block the way to Pittsburgh: one of the towns where we can muster new troops. So I did that, and Joe immediately decided that he’d rather do something else. Like an old couple who can’t decide which tourist attraction to visit, our strategic meeting descended into “no, but you said...”

North of the border, Hannah, Adam and Sam were the British. Sam found himself with the Canadians. Their dice are loaded in such a way that “run away” is the most likely option. And so they did. Very funny, but a bit rude towards Canada. Their dice are even yellow. (I keep forgetting: Most people associate yellow with cowardice, unlike us who associate yellow with tactical nous.)

In the end, I played a truce card, triggering the end of the game, and Joe and I tried to win enough battles to take the win. But we were undone by Adam’s clever thinking. We left one road clear to a town, meaning he could simply march up and raise a British flag without so much as a scuffle. That mistake meant the whole war ended honours even.

Finally, we chose a game that was leaderboard: Las Vegas! And since this game was all about dice, it meant a welcome return to the table for Das Exclusive. Hannah was taught the rules, and we began rolling dice and betting on casinos. Joe mentioned that Vegas makes you feel like your making decisions, but really you’re not. It’s impossible to plan ahead, so you just have to hope for the best.

Sam took the win, and Adam found he’d used up all his dice-luck on 1812.

Sam $390,000
Andrew $360,000
Joe $280,000
Hannah $260,000
Adam $250,000

Sam heads to the top of the leaderboard, despite still having a red five weighing him down! To do so this late in the season must be some kind of record.

Looking forward to an extra-curricular GNN on Thursday!

Sam1 1 21 5 10
Adam5 2 1 1 1 10
Andrew2 3 3 2 2 12
Joe3 3 3 2 3 14
Hannah4 1 4 5 5 19
Miles2 3 5 5 5 20
Lizzy2 5 5 5 5 22

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


Last night Andrew and I had one of our pretend meetings where we say we're going to write and instead we play games. To be fair we did talk over some stuff but after a short while we felt it was really time to play Cube Quest, seeing as I'd set it up on the table before he arrived. This game has been out of the box so many times, if I labelled every game I ever played (which has an appeal) it would have ousted Biblios already in the stats department.

It does divide the genders, however. Hannah last week was unwilling to try it at all, and Sally was exactly the same; when I suggested it on Friday she proposed something "a bit more intellectually stimulating". I don't know what's shocking here, Cube Quest appalling her as it did or Sally foregoing a short game for a longer one. (We ended up playing Biblios)

Anyway I guess flicking just satisfies something in the male gene, as Andrew and I played three quick games, punctuated by my cries of anguish as I aped Joe's Ascending Empires tactics of inadvertent suicide missions. Andrew won 2-1.

image courtesy of Cabbage Dan, who is presumably a boy

Then we played Macao. This hasn't featured in the previous post's discussion of 'best game on spiel des jahres criteria' but perhaps it should - it ticks a lot of boxes, but suffers I guess from being a little unintuitive to new players. I love the dice rolling mechanic.

On this occasion Andrew did what I normally do and plump for those interesting cards like the Abbott, whereas I started going for the easy-to-build cards. Fate smiled on me - as both of us were exasperated (in a nice way) by the dice rolls I was able to find a way around things as my cards, while not having the rewards Andrews potentially did - were easier to get out of my tableau and make use of. Despite some late-game shenanigans from both of us, it was a victory for me on the two-player division in a game that isn't Biblios - hooray!

Sam 82
Andrew 68

*sorry, no idea

Monday, 15 July 2013

Spiel des Tuesday

The Spiel des Jahres is judged on the following :

  1. game concept (originality, playability, game value)
  2. rule structure (composition, clearness, comprehensibility)
  3. layout (box, board, rules),
  4. design (functionality, workmanship)

With those criteria in mind, I was wondering what everybody's top three games are.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Good (Ritter) Sports

It was 1985 when mates would turn up at James’ house on a BMX. Almost three decades on, history was repeating itself as Chris arrived on his Raleigh Burner with his board games in a backpack. The games had been decided with little deliberation. Agricola, with Carcassonne for afters. Far more fretting went into choosing the night’s Ritter Sport flavour. Perhaps hoping to dull Chris’ game-playing focus, James fanned out four large-sized, hard-to-find blocks of Chris’ favourite chocolate, fingers crossed he’d soon be too euphoric to concentrate fully.

Abundance was to be the in-game theme too, as James’ hand contained the maid, the fruit tree and the animal pen. Soon, each remaining round card was stacked with a Vegas-style buffet to feed James’ farmers. That accomplished, what could he do to actually win? He’d never won before.

James says "balls" to the diet

Chris was snatching wood like a twelve year-old before Bonfire Night. And to befuddle James, Chris didn’t seem to be cultivating his usual crops. Instead, he was knocking up an array of pens and eying up the sheep. James didn’t know whether to cruelly release them into the wilderness before Chris bought them, but there were other things to be done. Once again, James was frightened near-to-death by the fast-approaching end of the game. How would he get everything ready?

Yet again, James fenced off his farm into one giant pasture to avoid penalties for unused spaces. Ho-hum. He added a sprinkling of finest cattle and did a touch of sowing, but concentrated on the bonus points his occupations and improvements would produce.

Chris had sheep, boar and cattle and stables; slaughtering the excess for food in his oven when his canoeist couldn’t bring back the goods. Watching James pick up the basketweavers major improvement at the end, already having a fair bit of leftover reed from his reed pond, Chris considered swiping the huge pile of reed that remained on the board to intercept the points. But with a whirring of brain cogs, he finished with an orgy of breeding, to end with five farmers for a huge 15 points!

They thought it would be close. It was. They thought there’d be regret. There was. With his card bonuses, his full farm-board and a few bonus points for the reed stacked up in his basketweavers’, James narrowly clinched victory. Chris had done well, but suffered from a misplaced stable, an unused square and from not pinching that reed from under James’ nose.

An Agricola win for James. More Ritter Sport next time.

James 35, Chris 34.

So Carcassonne was produced. The vanilla version that James prefers, though with the river addition to get things going. This was intended as a care-free distraction while they yapped about manly man-stuff. And BMXs. But soon the silence was thick with frustration as tiles hovered in shaking fingers and farmers lay prostrate on unconnected fields. Too many meeples were stuck in castles or on roads that refused to reach completion.

Cloisters always seem satisfying, but two came up and went down empty, all meeples otherwise engaged. James trapped one of Chris’ farmers in an empty field between roads and then called in a score of 48 when one huge castle was finally finished. Phew! Even so, he was concerned Chris’ farmers seemed to have the upper hand. They did, but it wasn’t quite enough to catch up. Very close again. And a long night. It was almost midnight when Chris launched out of James’ gate on his BMX. Like Street Hawk. Three decades late.

Now James wants a BMX.

James 97, Chris 94.      

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wall Street Clash

New people at the table! Two of them! And they seemed nice, despite one of them being related to Adam. And it was Adam who hosted, allowing his visiting guests to enjoy the unique pleasures of a Tuesday games night.

Sam, Joe and I came prepared, for a selection of games that could be played by almost any number from two up to eleven. There were seven of us to start with, and so Joe tempted us with a new experience: Panic On Wall Street. The game of investment and deal-making.

It was a lot of fun, but also quite frantic. There are five rounds, and only two minutes during each round for actual wheeling and dealing. Within these one hundred and twenty split seconds, your plan must be executed.

It’s effectively two games in one. The managers were competing against each other to see how much they could get from the investors. The investors battled according to how well their firms do in the stock market.

Joe invested big style in the volatile but potentially lucrative red shares. This turned out to be a mistake, and mid-game saw him with only $10,000 to his name. Green shares looked like the safe bet, and Hannah and I did well on them in round two or three, before Sam swooped in to close out as many green shares as possible in the following rounds. The plan worked perfectly. Meanwhile, Joe recovered enough to take an impressive second place.


Sam $615,000
Joe $365,000
Andrew $355,000
Hannah $280,000


Adam $485,000
Lizzy $360,000
Miles $255,000

We suspect that neighbours Adam and Sam had a little insider dealing situation going on. They certainly seemed very chummy as they celebrated with a feeble high five, just glancing off each others' little finger.

Next, Lizzy retired for the evening, and while we pondered our next game, Sam got out Cube Quest. The new craze that’s sweeping Sam’s kitchen table is a kind of war flicking game, with knights. Joe repeated his “Sir Butteo” jokes from a previous post on this blog. We didn’t laugh, per se, but we all appreciated the effort he put into that pun.

We played three games. Sam beat Adam in a bit of an epic, picking off Adam’s king last, Joe beat me, after flicking a cube deep into enemy territory where I couldn’t get rid of it, and the Adam beat Sam, sending a cube down a narrow avenue of opportunity to take out Sam’s king. An addictive, fast-moving game that, Sam estimates, has been played seventeen times in the last 48 hours.

Then we split into two groups of three. Hannah, Miles and I played Maharaja in the front room, while it was a clash of the Titans in the kitchen, where Sam, Adam and Joe chose to do battle over Tinners’ Trail.

I explained the rules to Hannah and Miles, and noted that Miles – much like his relative, Adam – seemed to grasp concepts frighteningly quickly and make sensible points (plus, he chose yellow for his playing pieces). Hannah, too, got into the swing of things. At one point, she quickly got up, checked something in the rule book, and then put it back down without saying a word. Quite unnerving.

I was doing fine until the closing rounds when both Miles and Hannah chose to take my character card making it difficult to plan ahead. In the end, they completed all seven palaces, but Hannah won on money. I trailed in last.

Hannah 7 palaces and 16 money
Miles 7 palaces and 1 money
Andrew 6 palaces

Next door, Tinners’ Trail had turned into Adam’s Parade. According to all concerned, he took the lead from the start and never looked like letting go. Sam came second and Joe third in a high scoring game.

Adam 154
Sam 127
Joe 114

And then they played Biblios. Joe’s run of non-wins continues.

Sam 6 (wins on tie breaker)
Adam 6
Joe 2

We stumbled out into the night, with Joe crying “Will I ever win at Biblios?!” into the warm summer night. That is probably something we will never know...

And as for the Form Table... Jeez, guys, did anyone realise how close Adam got to the Perfect Five? Just foiled by a tie-breaker on Biblios! We gotta keep an eye on this guy.

Adam2 1 1 1 1 6
Andrew3 3 2 2 1 11
Sam1 215 5 14
Joe3 3 2 3 3 14
Hannah1 4 5 5 5 20
Miles2 3 5 5 5 20
Lizzy2 5 5 5 5 22