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Shefford Friday night games

This is a short description of the games we play at our Friday night game group.

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Friday 9th December 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were just 6 this week. We started with The Bucket King, meant to be a quick filler while waiting for the sixth to arrive, but actually he arrived after we'd set it up and before we started, so we just dealt him in too. John made the mistake of not checking his hand before setting up his pyramid, and this meant he lost a lot of buckets early on, but then stabilised fairly well. Seb also got off to a bad start, while Simon only ever seemed to lose buckets in singles, and Sami was protecting me nicely for the early game, until he found a weakness and brought all the buckets of that colour tumbling down very rapidly. Eventually it became a three player game, with Seb, Gill and John all getting down to one bucket and going out, while the remaining three of us still had multiple buckets. Simon went next and Sami and I had a duel for our final few buckets, and I was just victorious.

John asked to play Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, which he'd spotted last week, and I was keen to play, and Gill joined us to make a third. We played the first scenario, building a stack of wood. The early game did not go well, with us all losing quite a bit of health, and Gill as making repeated prophecies of doom, but actually we then got things set up nicely, and we did manage to win the scenario on the 11th turn - we were on 1, 2 and 2 health at the end, as we never seemed to have any spare food for Gill's healing cookery, but we made it!

The others had been playing Blue Moon City and finished at the same point, so we then joined together and played Mysterium, which was new to Sami. Sadly Seb's clues were a bit too mysterious for Gill and John, and they only found their first clues from exhausting the possibilities. In fact we all struggled a bit on the people, and all of us took about three nights to proceed, but then we were much quicker with the rooms. Sadly though John and Gill never finished their deductions before time ran out, so we didn't get to the final deduction.

Ave Caesar came next, one of Simon's H-index games. It was a remarkably tame first race, but the end of the second race was amusing, with firstly John being baulked at the start of the lap - by every single other player, effectively putting him from 2nd to 6th! However, Seb had been doing the whole second half of the race in first place, with Simon hovering just behind him, so crashed and burned on the final straight. Simon, having kept his own 6s so as not to pass him, then crashed and burned straight behind him, leaving me to fly past the pair of them and take first place! On the third race Gill decided not to baulk me at the end to try and overtake Sami, at which point I flew past the pair of them with a pair of 5s to win that race too! (And Sami still came second).

As you might imagine, this was enough for me to win the game overall, so the final choice of game was mine, and I went for Duplik. Sami and I both got full marks for our own describing, although in Sami's case it was noticeable that although he got good marks, his drawers got rather less, which worked well for him!
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Mon Dec 5, 2016 6:55 am
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Friday 25th November 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We were just 5 at first, as Hannah and James were both late, so we played a quick game of Timeline: Music & Cinema while we were waiting. Simon and Sami both managed to go out without making a mistake, while Lisa and I were struggling more. Marion was next, and I managed to go out while Lisa still had two cards left. That didn't take long, so we next played a hand of David & Goliath. Marion led, and with lots of high cards soon found herself with lots of cards in front of her, while I was winning her single high cards for rather more points. Then we moved on to the two suits I did have high cards in, and I won lots of cards here, but luckily didn't ruin my good suits in the process. I had an impressive winning score of 78 at end-game, with Sami just leading the rest on 64, with Simon lagging a bit behind, having hardly won anything!

Now we were up to 7, and James was keen to try his Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, and I was keen to join him. Simon and Sami both said they would be willing to join us to try it, but when the other table chose Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar Simon said he'd prefer that, so Sami joined us. We were all experienced TtA players, so we soon picked up the differences. Sami ended up with Michaelangelo, without having even vaguely played for him, and rapidly was getting a huge number of points. I however was almost put into a military game from the way the cards dropped, while James was taking lots of bonuses for taking colonies. I then drew nothing but aggressions and wars as my military cards, apart from one tactics card for three knights (which I used), and Sami rapidly found himself a target of rather a lot of aggressions, one in particular which rather hurt his game, and a green card that lost him a population hurt him further and stopped him catching up on military. I then switched to VPs in era 3, and rapidly started overhauling Sami. James was way behind on points going into the end-game, but had a whole line of colonies (but hadn't taken Cook). However, he'd been getting all the green cards, so had chosen all the end-game scoring cards, and this allowed him to catch up impressively at end-game, although he still ended in third place. I won, by just a handful of points, as Sami was able to build Fast Food Chains on the last turn.

I definitely liked some of the changes - especially the corruption one - it was so much easier to see whether or not you were going to corrupt. And the cubes were slightly easier to handle than the little discs (although just as easy to knock accidentally!). The tactics rule seemed fairly irrelevant in our game, and Sami had slight concerns on military after being beaten up repeatedly by me, but I think that was just the way this particular game went, rather than it being a change due to the new version. The board was confusing me though - why would you reflect a perfectly good existing one!! They also seem to have made stronger some of the cards that are very good in the short game (but weak in the full game), which might have unbalanced the short game further - we already had concerns about some of those cards in the original - not a problem in this game though as we were playing the long game.

Tzolkin had also just finished, so we merged and split. I wanted something lighter at that point, so suggested Codenames, which Sami, Simon and Lisa all rapidly joined me for. Marion chose Vegas Showdown for upstairs and they played that. Lisa and I were victorious in the first game, after Lisa managed to guess two of my clues correctly at the start, both 3s, so even left with three that didn't link greatly we were just able to win, although she did scare me when she was deciding between the right card and the bomb on the last turn - luckily she guessed right! Second game didn't go so well. Lisa's first clue was sea, and I guessed Port, but then my next guess was the bomb - oops! We played a third as that had been so short, and again Sami and Simon were victorious, but it was rather a closer thing that time.

Rage came next and here I had a complete disaster, only just managing to end the game with a positive score! Lisa meanwhile had an amazing start and was pretty much uncatchable from the mid-game, although the others did have a good try, and it was actually fairly close between the three of them at end-game. Lisa chose Escalation! to finish with, and I had another disaster - Sami never seemed to pass anything round not in double figures, and the first round in particular I spent the whole game with a run in hand! Lisa, to my left, unsurprisingly won, with Sami second.
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Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:45 am
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Friday 18th November 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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James was a little early, so we started with a two player Race for the Galaxy while waiting for the others to arrive. We were then discussing a filler to play while waiting for Sami to get back from the station, but spent so long discussing it he arrived too, so went straight into Terra Mystica. Sami drew Halflings, and the perfect set-up of terraforming on turn 4, house building on turn 5. I was Mermaids, and on the original map, but without the +1 shipping tile in play. Sami and John's Alchemists started together on the right hand island, and spent the early part of the game building round each other. James's Dwarves were remarkably un-Dwarf like, doing very little tunnelling, while Simon's Chaos Magicians were struggling to find a good start space, and then struggling not to get blocked after that. My Mermaids got off to an odd start, thanks to having to double terraform two squares on turn one to protect them from James and Sami, who were both clearly after them. This meant my income really didn't get going until turn 3, and in fact I was cash poor all game, but actually my score wasn't too bad. I abandoned building a second town, just going for spreading on turn 5 instead, and upgrading my shipping level to maximum, and going up the blue track, which had no end-turn bonuses, so everyone else was neglecting it. Simon played heavily for the tracks too, but at end-game was just one point behind James, both on the bottom left corner of the score track. I was in second, round the next score, while Sami had an amazing Halfling score, and managed to go round the next corner of the score track for the win!

I then suggested Turn the Tide for the next game, which was new to both John and Simon. Simon had a bit of a disaster with this one - on turn 1 he cuckooed every single round, and it didn't generally go much better from there. On the last round we finally saw people cuckoo out, with both Simon and John going, and we played three player for the last two sets of cards. It was very close at the top, with me just ahead of James just ahead of Sami. John was actually in second place going into the last round, but cuckooing out while the rest of us were getting about 4 points dropped him to 4th.

Next I suggested 7 Wonders, which Sami was very surprised to win with a science win, being the only person in science and scoring 33 points, despite only having one cog symbol. It was a close game, and the winning score was only 56. I was second with my huge Guild points and Pyramids, with John in third with a huge military score and consistent points in every category except science.

Next Mü & More was suggested. We reminded John of the rules, and then told him he had to start! He ended up over-bidding on turn 1, missing by 4 levels, and taking Sami with him - Simon and I won most of the points! Next James picked Sami and pretty much single-handedly won most of the points needed, which brought Sami back in contention. Then John proceeded to show us he knew how to play with an amazing round where he chose trumps, then just drew them, and with them being 7s that was an awful lot of points - 36 from just him!! James then failed a contract, when I turned out to have an amazing hand, which meant going into the last round Simon, James and I were all on the same number of points, with the other two both about 40 points behind. James and Sami teamed up for the last round, and although I won the most points myself, their team collection got enough points to complete their contract putting James in the lead, and me second.

James chose Ave Caesar next. I managed the impressive feat of coming second in every single race, which obviously won me the game. There was a remarkable lack of people failing to finish - James failed to pit in one round, and on the last round both John and Sami ran out of spaces, but every other round everyone finished. We finished with a round of Knowing Me Knowing You.
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Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:44 am
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Friday 11th November 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday there were just 5 of us. We started with a short filler, in case a 6th turned up - Timeline: Music & Cinema. Hannah needed a rules explanation surprisingly, which Simon had to give as my throat was bad and I was avoiding talking. Sami and James both proved to be very good at this, both going out without making a mistake. Simon however was incredibly unlucky, being wrong by just a year every time, and Hannah was just looking at her cards saying she didn't know when any of them were! In the end, after many rounds, I did just beat Hannah to go out third, with my easy card that I'd left until last finally going down.

Outpost was the next game of choice. This was also unfamiliar to Hannah, so she asked for a rules refresher. James had the most amazing early game income - producing 10 water cards what seemed like every round and this got him off to a start that was clearly going to be unbeatable. I instead managed to get a 1 ore card 4 turns in a row!!! Sami had the highest expected income for most of the early game, but was shut out of the key buildings by James having more actual cash, and this didn't help. Simon got the double data library, while James and I went into titanium. The first buildings in the second phase turned up as two laboratories and two outposts, which meant those people without nodules were struggling a bit to increase their income. James and I both managed to pick up an Outpost fairly quickly, and Simon a Laboratory, and this did clear the path, but it too a few turns. Going into the third round I had the most cash, and was able to pick up the first large building, but James romped to a quick finish with 81 points, while Sami and I tied on just 63 points, but me having spend just 20 more cash.

James then chose Peloponnes - another game not familiar to Hannah! I was struggling all game from my lack of stone, unable to buy buildings, just land tiles, which meant my points were lower than I liked. However I had no shortage of grain, or wood for that matter, and this meant when the grain shortage, luxury goods tax and resupply all happened on top of each other I was in a good position, while Sami and Simon both lost pretty much all their population! Hannah and James were similarly ok for grain. Hannah had the highest score, 24, with James just behind on 23, and me on 20, while neither of the other two could do better than 9, keeping just 3 people alive!

Hannah wanted to leave early, so just had time for one more quick one, which was chosen as Take it Easy!. It was a fairly high scoring game all round, as every but me scored 7s, 8s and 9s (and I only missed 8s because I scored two rows of 7s instead). Sami was the winner with an impressive 193 score, thanks to two rows of 9s and 4s, and only missing the lower numbers. After that we were all within about twenty points of each other, with Simon in second place with 164.

Sami suggested that we just had enough time for a Terra Mystica to finish with. James drew Chaos Magicians. I drew Cultists, and then Simon said that as long as it wasn't Fakirs he was happy. Sami offered to play them if it was - and then Simon drew the yellow tile out of the bag!! It was however on the Nomads side!! Sami then drew Riverwalkers. It was the new map, so we all struggled to find good places to start, and ended up with all four of us in a clump in the middle, with Simon having an outlier on the top right and me on the bottom. It ended up with Simon and Sami building round each other, while James and I built round each other, giving me lots of cult upgrades! Sami proved that Riverwalkers on the new map can actually work quite well, and got a nice set up, spreading along the river, then round to connect in. He ended up with a score around 130, which is certainly the best performance I've seen from that race before! Simon and I managed to tie for second place, with Simon just winning on the tie-break.
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Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:59 am
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Friday 4th November 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with 9 of us, needing to split into two tables. I suggested Chronology and found four people to join me, while upstairs started Ra. I had a terrible start, while Colin to my left managed to get most of his cards in the 1960s - by the end he nearly had every year in that decade. John got off to a great start early on, but later it all went wrong and he ended up last, Colin winning, with Gill and I in joint second place.

We finished and Sami was due to get back from his delayed train, so we played two hands of Spyfall. Both games the spy was caught fairly quickly.

We then split into two tables of three - Sami, Richard and I played Acquire. I had a very lucky start, having four hotel founding tiles early on, being involved in all the early mergers, as well as being able to control which way they went. Sami in particular was struggling to get any cash at all after the early game, although he did manage to build up minority control in both the two safe chains, both of which I had majority control in. All the others hotel chains gradually merged in, and I was a clear winner, with Richard just beating Sami for second by a few hundred pounds.

At this point the other table had also finished, so we were merging and splitting again. Colin suggested Urban Sprawl, which I was a bit sceptical would finish in time as it can be a 3 hour game, and it was already after 9pm, but John was keen to try it, so I joined them. Actually we zipped through the game - and I had my usual disaster, although this time it was definitely the game that didn't like me - after the 12 money token was put on the board Colin had the majority in that row, with John second, and the deck kept drawing 12 cash payouts over and over again, until Colin had about 90 cash, and John about 40, while I was struggling to get into double figures! Colin had so much power with that much cash that he was able to get all the most valuable buildings, while I was struggling even to get anything on the board! I was lapped at end game, with John just avoiding that, but comfortably in second.

We managed to draw the end-game scoring card while the other tables were still discussing what to play next, so they held on while we scored up, and we merged and split again. As Gill was here Sami suggested Time's Up!, despite the late hour. Again I protested on length, but we tried it anyway, and I joined them with Hannah. It definitely overran past midnight - we had only just started the second round at that point, as it was a terrible selection of cards - most of the names we hadn't heard of, and not easy to describe either - Kareem Abdul-whatever it was being the worst, but a few others almost as bad!
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Mon Nov 7, 2016 1:45 pm
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Friday 28th October 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We started with a couple of games of A Fake Artist Goes to New York while people were arriving. I kept being chosen as the Fake Artist - grrr! The first time was clearly a face, but Sami threw me off with some odd additions. The second time it was Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Ellie not knowing who he was saved me from being exposed, although I had a fair idea who it was.

After that we split into two tables, with one table taking Terra Mystica downstairs, while upstairs we played Power Grid (having already played TM that day, I chose Power Grid). It was the Central Europe map, and the mixed power plant deck, and it produced a ridiculous number of oil and coal plants, and early on we had some quite valuable ones, and then in the mid-game the really useless plants came out that no-one wanted. I picked up a uranium plant early, but it turned out not to be such an amazing buy when everyone else got good plants too, and it put me a good two houses behind everyone else for the early game, which even with my reduced costs, did start to bite eventually. Marion was clearly doing really well, and on the turn we hit phase 3 was able to buy to 17 houses, powering more than anyone else. Sami was the only person who could have blocked her, but chose not to buy houses as he was already powering more than anyone but Marion. I was safely in third, as James had been lagging all game in power plant productivity.

I then suggested Himalaya, as the other table was still only halfway through their game. I had a great start, getting down a few stupas, and so many men that I actually ran out on turn 8, and from then on was just collecting yaks! Marion had the best board position in people, and tons of yaks, but unfortunately had hardly any stupas, and was eliminated first due to that. With her removed from the board, I did just manage to squeak through on board position, but it was close (I was the only person not competing with her, so Sami and James had both had a bonus and I hadn't!). Sami was hoping that James would have eliminated me, but it turned out that James also had more yaks than Sami, so he was doomed to second either way!

We then merged and resplit with the other table, with me suggesting Agricola for our table, which Marion and Sami joined me for, the others taking Lords of Waterdeep downstairs with James's new expansion. I had lots of cards that helped me feed, so went for an early stone house so that then I didn't have to worry about food, but then was slightly behind on actions compared to the other two, which hurt me a little at end-game, as I wasn't able to grab as many late-game points.

We then played Grand Austria Hotel, where I was able to get a nice line of scoring rooms for the in-game bonuses, but then ran out of cash and struggled in the late game scampering for cash to do what I needed to do, while Sami opened a ridiculous number of rooms and flew past me at end-game scoring as a result.

We all joined together for an Apples to Apples at the end - although Colin and I didn't actually manage to win any apples!
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Tue Nov 1, 2016 2:06 pm
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Friday 21st October 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday started a bit more messily than usual. Seb was very surprised to find he was the first to arrive, and the only person for the first ten minutes or so. We played a game of Timeline: Music & Cinema, my new MathTrade acquisition, and then I was introducing Seb to Vitrail when James arrived. Colin and Sami arrived just as that finished, and we played a hand of Red7 while they quickly grabbed some food. Then we set up Power Grid and started to explain the rules to Seb, just in time for a text to arrive from Marion saying she was on her way with Ellie - which meant we had to pack Power Grid away and split into two threes instead.

I wanted to try my "new" Flash Point: Fire Rescue expansion, having still not tried it despite owning it for a few weeks, and Ellie and James opted to join me, while Seb tried his new game with Sami and Marion. We won fairly comfortably in the end, although it looked quite scary at the start, with fire in two very large clumps - luckily it didn't take out too many supporting walls. One person died early on, but then I, as Rescue Specialist, ran around saving the rest while CAFS firefighter Elli did great work getting the fire under control, and James, after a few varied attempts at sprinklers, waded in and dealt with the other side, then presented me with a few victims to carry out, while also keeping my path clear. Fun new map.

James then took Ellie home, and Colin and I went upstairs to find the others had also finished, so Seb introduced us to a quick game of Happy Salmon while we waited for James to return. It was a game I could imagine would be quite fun with the kids, but was a bit painful on my first - I must learn to fist bump less violently!

I then suggested Galaxy Trucker, which Colin and Seb joined me for, while the others played Agricola. It was new to Seb, but he did remarkably well for a first game - not losing any of his three ships. Sadly in the last round he lost all the cubes he accumulated, thanks to some smugglers, and this didn't help his score. I seemed to be living a charmed life, collecting lots of goods each round, getting lots of cash from beating up pirates, and ended up with an impressively high score.

Both games finished simultaneously again, so we merged and split again. This time I suggested Fauna, with Marion and James were keen to play too. We rolled the hard deck, which I am definitely not as good at! First round and I got three points, while the others both got about 17. I did manage to mostly catch up in the next few rounds, but then had a disaster round when I didn't score anything, and James got more than 20 points, and Marion nearly as many, and then James had another good round, which was enough to win him the game. We then played Splendor, which I won by the skin of my teeth - Marion dithered on the last turn, then bought a card from the middle which was good for her, but no different from the one she had in hand, but actually turned out to make the difference for James between first and second place, as it would have given him one of the 3 point bonus tiles and put him one point ahead of me.

I then suggested Ausgebremst as a variant on Ave Caesar, but also a game I hadn't played in a while. Sami decided to take the two fast decks, and spent the first two laps screaming round outside bends at high speed! He assumed he was no longer finishing, so then did the same in the third lap, but was closer to the line than he expected at the end. I meanwhile went for a safer strategy, but was overtaken by James at the end - my collection of 4s wasn't quite as fast, and unfortunately I had to overtake him so he could play his remaining 6. Neither Seb or Sami managed to get past the finish line.

We then finished with a final hand of my Timeline: Music & Cinema, which Sami proved to be rather better at than the other version we had, and won comfortably, while Colin who had groaned at the topic when he saw it, was easily second. The remaining three of us finished all in the same round after them.
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Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:01 pm
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Friday 14th October 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday we were just 5, so just one table. We started with Outpost, which was new to Seb. He got the gift start of over 30 income, combined with very good income for the next few turns, which certainly gave him a good boost as a rookie in the game. Meanwhile I was consistently getting 2 under average every turn, and Sami's income was truly awful, and Marion's not much better - Simon however also produced a few 10 waters from hand! I picked up an early nodule, and then concentrated on getting 4 water factories to get a mega, and used that to buy a Heavy Equipment. Marion bought the Heavy Equipment first, but then missed out on a nodule, and was struggling to increase her income. Sami got the third Heavy Equipment, while Seb got two data libraries and Simon one, and both also picked up Nodules. Simon mis-timed the end of Phase 1, assuming it would end a turn earlier than it did, and spent the last turn in Phase 1 buying a Warehouse to help him save his money. Sami meanwhile was just hoarding case, while I was going on an income ramp, but being hampered rather by my numbers for buying men (just could not make any multiples of ten!). Phase 2 hit, and Seb's income and data libraries got him the first scientist. No Outpost turned up for Sami, so instead Simon and he had a big battle for the lab - which Simon desperately wanted, and Sami didn't really care about but had to spend his money on something, and Sami won it. Simon at this point was really stuck for useful things to buy. Marion got the first Outpost, but I picked up one soon after, along with an Orbital Lab, and it was fairly clear by this point that Seb and I had so much greater income than everyone else and the game was really between the two of us. Seb was consistently ahead of me, having had a way better start with his higher income. Phase 3 hit, and Seb and I picked up the first two Planetary Cruisers. The next turn I had more income and was able to outbid him, but the turn after he was able to outbid me and I had to drop down. We ended the game both on 82 points, but with me having spent more than a hundred more on buildings during the game, so I won the tie-break. Sami meanwhile had managed to claw himself back to third place by saving and buying two Moon Bases in Phase 3, which put him comfortably ahead of the other two.

I then suggested Evo, which turned out to be new to both Seb and Simon! A quick rules explanation and we were off. Simon bought the early horn, but everyone just ran away from him, so it was a fairly peaceful game - when later a couple more horns appeared players were bidding for them heavily, often to stop their neighbours getting them, but actually there were only a handful of attacks all game. It was a slightly strange game because all the mutation genes came out early, so minimum bids were rarely zero, and people weren't paying much for genes. An unexpected quiet eon scuppered Sami mid-game, and a sudden change of weather the wrong way took out quite a few dinosaurs, whereas I seemed to be leading a charmed life, and it wasn't until the middle of the game that I lost my first dino to climate (I'd lost the odd one to other causes - such as Sami taking a walk through my area with two extra horns one turn!). I won again, with Simon and Marion tied in second place just behind - it was a very close game.

Next choice was David & Goliath, a older trick taking game. Marion and I seemed to have all the high numbers in the first three rounds, while Seb and Sami seemed to be always able to just tactically win what they wanted, and by the end of three hands they were both considerably ahead of the rest of us, Seb in particular, who were all within a few points of each other. The fourth round Marion had a complete disaster, gaining only 16 points, whereas a typical score in this game is usually in the 30-50 range. In the last round Seb had an amazing round, getting 71(!!!) points, a record for the day, which safely kept him in first pace. No-one really challenged Sami for second.

Next came two hands of The Resistance. The first had to rank as one of the most boring games of it ever. Marion picked her and Simon. Mission went ok. Simon picked the two of them and me. Mission went ok. Sami tried a different combination, was outvoted. I picked Simon, Marion and I, we voted it through and completed our mission. Not much double bluff and deception needed there! Second game was only marginally more successful. Sami and I were the spies, but unfortunately it became obvious a bit too early on that it was us, so the others were easily able to vote in themselves for missions and safely win the game.

We finished with three hands of Abluxxen. The first round I ran the deck out, for an unexpectedly early finish, and Simon being the only person not to go negative - he was on zero, I was at least less negative than everyone else. Sami, who'd had to pick up a large group of cards near the end, was on an impressive -16!!!! Second round was fairly flat, with almost everyone getting similar scores, and the game was then decided by the last round, in which Marion streaked into the lead for the win, with me just behind, while Seb and Simon both had terrible last rounds, Seb's so bad that he even ended up behind Sami.
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Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:21 am
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7th September 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last Friday there were 9 of us. We started with just 7 and played a few hands of A Fake Artist Goes to New York while people were arriving, with our new app that selects the word. Then we split into two tables. I suggested The Princes of Florence, which appeared to be quite popular, and Pompeii went downstairs on the other table. Lisa needed a quick rules refresher and then we were off. Colin started off very much playing a 5 player strategy in a 4 player game. Enticement cards were not popular, and 4 of the 5 went for 200, and the other one only a couple of hundred more. Colin went for a multi-work, multi-jester strategy, but with very few matches on other things, so that my 18 basic, which I got to quite rapidly, was higher than most people for the early part of the game and I picked up quite a few +3 bonuses at turn ends for the largest work each turn. Lisa meanwhile went buildings. At game end I managed to stop just one point behind Colin unfortunately, with Lisa a bit behind, and James having had his worst score ever at the game!

The last two had arrived just as we finished, and the other table finished at a similar time. Colin suggested a 5 player Battlestar Galactica, which he's been trying to table for a while, but with little success - either the wrong player count, or not able to find 5 willing to play. Sami and I were happy to play, and after a bit of discussion John and Simon joined us. John was new to the game. I was dealt a Cylon from the start, and did a few minor things to make sure we either overdid or failed a few early skills checks, but without being overly Cylonish, and also hoarded green cards, which, given that everyone was green, meant the green deck ran out. And the game wasn't doing us any favours, with Cylon ships all over the place! I was Admiral but couldn't do much at jumps, as both times I drew two very similar 2 distance cards. At the mid-point I had one turn where I was a bit more obviously Cylon, but Simon and Colin were also being very Cylonish, so Sami in particular was quite vocal that they were the Cylons. Colin then revealed, and I followed him the same turn. Then it all started to go wrong for the humans - two heavy raiders managed to get on board, followed by two more. With Sami in the brig, the other two could only shoot one before they advanced and the Cylons had a very early win - only 4 distance.

The other table had finished just before the heavy raiders boarded, and I told the other table we would either be 5 minutes or an hour, so they had picked a filler in case it was the former, so again we merged and split. I was ready for party games now, so suggested Cro-Magnon, which was sounding popular and like we might have too many for it, until James suggested Ave Caesar on the other table, at which point it balanced out a bit. John and Seb joined Sami and I for Cro-Magnon. I was the first to evolve to every stage, with John and Sami just behind, but Seb always being just a second behind in his guesses - he was like an echo!! I managed to sprint for the end before anyone else got to do the drawing section, and we gave Seb one turn on the word section, which is easily the most fun, so he could see what it was like.

I then picked the next party game down on my list, which was Mad Gab. Here our team seemed to do rather better, as I seemed to be able to hear them better than everyone else, so got a steal from Sami almost every time, and those extra points seemed to add up. We then finished with three rounds of Sorry! Sliders for a fun finish to the evening - in which I proved to be terrible in the first round, even more terrible in the last round (I kept falling in the hole!), but won the middle one very quickly!
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Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:51 pm
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Friday 30th September 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 8, but the Carpenters were running a bit late, so we played a couple of hands of Linko! while we were waiting. I had a good first round, but then in the second round Sami bounced a 6-size collection of mine just before the end, and this knocked me into joint second place with John, while Sami himself went into first place, by one point.

We then split into two tables. Simon suggested Trickerion: Legends of Illusion, which instantly found a number of takers, but some players were wanting lighter fare, and after a bit of discussion the Carpenters and Seb took Grand Austria Hotel downstairs, while the remaining four of us sat down to a game of Trickerion, only the second play for John, and the first time he'd played the full game. My cards set me up for a nice cash strategy, and after Simon put some valuable goods in the market, looked which 36 tricks I could buy, and found that the cash one was very doable for me, so went all out for that. It got slightly tricky towards the end, as I was rather light on actions compared to the others, but I did manage to get it, and also even put it on once (but failed to do it twice, thanks to forgetting to go to Dark Alley to take another Performance card, so didn't have enough actions!). I had amassed over 40 cash by end game, so although Simon had been leading all game, getting an early 16 trick and putting it on regularly, I was able to jump past both Sami and him at end-game, although it was fairly close.

The other table had finished just before us, and the two younger Carpenters had gone home, so we were left with 6, and as John had to leave in half an hour we decided to go for a party game - Knowing Me Knowing You. Seb was worried he'd be at a disadvantage, being newer to the group, but actually it was Marion who lost, and Seb came joint third behind Sami or I - for once we had an advantage for being married, as Sami's had his usual drink, his waist size, and his preferred TV option from three (none of which he'd usually watch!), all of which were easy for me, and I was asked similarly easy questions for Sami to answer, such as whether I'd prefer to play a ukelele, bagpipes or didgeridoo.

At that point John had to leave to pick up his daughter, and took Seb home at the same time, leaving us with 4 people for Breaking Away. Simon looked like his start wasn't going to be great on the first turn, as he picked up a few threes, but then his next few turns he was at the back of the pack and picking up some large numbers, which he managed to keep until the rest of us were heading for the second sprint with nothing greater than about 6, and he went pacing past us. I picked up the most sprint points at the first sprint (all four bikes getting points), and Simon the most at the second sprint, with neither Sami or Marion picking many at all. Then going into the final sprint Marion lost her second bike, and Sami managed to lose a pair, trying to use one to save the other and losing both instead! Simon managed to get the most points off the final sprint, as he actually still had some decent numbers left, and finished in both first and second place, but I again managed to score with all four of my bikes, but ended up overall just one point behind Simon, with an impressive score of 62 to my 61. As you might imagine with us having huge scores like that Sami and Marion had not done well, Sami just holding on to third place with 17 points ahead of Marion's 16.
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Sat Oct 1, 2016 11:03 am
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