Ben Bateson(ousgg)United Kingdom
Ross-on-WyeOi! Hands off...
There was indeed something of a racing-in-circles approach tonight as all the B's congregated - Ben, Becky, Boddle, Benedict and a welcome return for Brian, who looks to have caught the bug!
Becky and I, first to arrive as always, kicked off with our game-of-the-moment, the luscious All Creatures Big & Small, which is rapidly crawling up our 2-player list. I didn't make the mistake of not going after animals early this time, and my 3-board farm was enough not only for the win, but for a 'house best' of 49 points. I greet with scepticism reports of people who claim to be scoring 50+ on a regular basis.
A pleasingly prompt Boydell arrived in the closing rounds, and was closely followed by Brian, whom we decided to break in gently by teaching him King of Tokyo. I have an undefeated record at this since purchase, despite it being largely random, and proved my dominance again by using a Jets card to good effect, flitting Cyber Bunny (graaaahh! Fear the Cyber Bunny!) in and out of Japan without damage.
Benedict's presence nearly always leads to a game of Balderdash, a situation with which I have very few complaints, and five is the perfect number. As always, Boddle and I took it FAR too seriously and some tactical shenanigans were had by my opposition. It came down to the pair of us, two squares from the end, and Boddle reading. Somehow he managed to elude not just me, but I was let down by my fellow gamers as well, conceding the game by a single point. But I'd still never say no to another game.
Definition of the night - the man who legally changed his name to Elvis McPresley ("that's McPresley!"), although I retain a lingering fondness for it being illegal to fall asleep in Florida while swimming with alligators.
With Brian taking his leave, we embarked upon Becky's special birthday edition of Steeplechase (it's not actually her birthday, but the real story is somewhat complicated). This is the new release from the twisted mind that brought us Cubiko, a rather devilish mixture of bluff and racing. Benedict proved to be in his element and left the field in his wake, crossing the line while the rest of us were still muttering about what a nasty little game (strictly in the positive sense) it was.
To close out, we had Transamerica, a game which we hadn't played for yonks, or at least so it felt. Benedict failed comprehensively to get to grips with the basic geometry of the situation, but still managed to cling on for three rounds, by which point I had a rather too comfortable 5 point cushion. I'd also managed to draw Memphis and Salt Lake City three times, which is testing the bounds of probability somewhat.
I'm burying my games snob credentials by upgrading Balderdash to a 10 today. Other than the perenially great Agricola, it is the only game in my collection that has never failed to deliver. The fact that I have a range of regular playing partners who also love it is the icing on the cake. Let's be hoping there's a new edition once I run out of cards.