Ben Bateson(ousgg)United Kingdom
Ross-on-WyeOi! Hands off...
A fulsome fivesome was the order of the week, and with fairly prompt arrivals all round, there was time for fully five different games as well.
We kicked off with a swift round of High Society, a truly under-rated auction game, to my mind, with the cutely-integrated mechanic of 'over-spender loses' (for comparison, look what a hash Cleopatra and the Society of Architects made of this). In fact, it was somewhat TOO swift, as the fourth red card turned up unseemly quickly, leaving Sam and Becky in dire straits and allowing me to win with a miserable six points. Anne over-spent wildly, and JP professed to find the game very intriguing, despite the fact that he's now played at least three times and never been in with a shout of winning. Perhaps that's why - we shall have to continue to elude him with the strategy.
Unusually for the Ross gamers, we happened on a co-operative game next, and the heft of Shadows Over Camelot hit the table. We were blighted by a poor initial card draw, and the fact that pretty much the three strongest knights weren't participating (King Arthur being a particularly sore loss if everyone gets dealt a hand of junk), and we lost rather embarrassingly; I had to draw a losing card that I had previously stashed way down the deck. Anne had been dealt the traitor and (allegedly!) decided not to play as a traitor in her first game so either it was a really poor defeat, or Anne was playing very, very clever-buggers all along.
With still fully two hours to cut up, Dice Town hit the table, and much dice-shaking ensued. John and I thought we'd tied the game on 26 apiece, but were rather outdone by Anne, who had been hogging the money throughout. Reactions to the game were better than I'd expecting; it had been getting a bit of a low press around our way recently. I like to think my custom coinage and storage system had something to do with it. Or not.
To finish (or so we thought), we dragged out Modern Art and lamented the ugliness of it compared to Masters Gallery (and, more specifically, my highly-praised conversion of Masters Gallery to a Modern Art game - find it on the Files page). With all five artists hitting the table on the opening round, it was inevitably going to be a cut-throat affair. Becky and I laid low and sold rather than buying; she was rewarded with first place, whereas I only managed second. Modern Art always remains among the highlights of any games night for me, and long may it remain so!
And there was time for one more! A lightning game of Can't Stop threatened, as usual, to overstay its welcome, but John thankfully put the game to bed on 6s 8s and 10s. Becky's mission to throw 2s and 12s seemed doomed from the get-go.
A fun, light evening was pronounced by all. Which seems about right.