Oi! Hands off...
It was to be an all-dayer for the Ross boardgamers as we all studiously avoided the Royal Wedding celebrations. Wandering into the White Lion at 2:30, I was a little bit surprised to find it almost empty, bar the rather wonderful presence of Darren and Sian, who had heroically driven up from the Welsh valleys to come and join us. Good on yer, folks.
The top game in Darren's selection was Vikings, a game I'd been itching to play for yonks. Thanks to Royal Mail, my own copy had gone mysteriously AWOL between London and Herefordshire, so I was glad to finally get my chance to play it. I was VERY impressed with the game: great art, good valuation and screwage, and not least the fact that I won! Definitely something I'll be happy to see more of. If I ever get a copy...
Bill arrived just as we were finishing up, and gladly sat down to my new pimped copy of Glen More (wooden OO-Gauge barrels: maaarrvellous!). He did forget about putting down too many tiles, though, and found himself a bit out-of-pocket at the end of the game. It was a good game for the ladies: Becky winning out by a single point over Sian.
Time for a quick one before our guests went home, and Darren pulled out the frankly barking-mad game of Buccaneer (the new one, not the older one). A new one for the Rossonians, this, particularly unusual in that none of us had even heard of it. Despite a bit of opaque strategy set, Bill contented himself collecting plenty of candelabrae, Ben beat out Darren for the barrels of rum at the last, but we were all thrashed by Sian, who had been craftily amounting a fair old stash of treasure all this time.
Down to just three, Bill spied Taluva on top of my stack of games. Becky was disappointed as this was already our third game of the afternoon when she couldn't play green! She took to it like a natural, though, throwing up two temples in double-quick time, and thwarting Bill's attempts to rob her of space by putting up her second tower and third temple to win.
After a break for steaks and lasagne, we took to San Juan: a game which Bill claims we play faster than anyone else in his experience. It certainly flew by, his Guild Hall strategy hardly succeeding in the face of an enormous score by Ben.
And we certainly weren't finished yet! Stone Age was next, and probably the most baffling bit of shuffling I've witnessed for a while. It was fully six rounds into the game before any technology cards came out of the deck, making them hardly a viable option. Becky snaffled up five at the very last anyway, leaving my Tool-heavy (snigger) strategy lying in her wake. Bill crept up nicely and finished just a point behind in third: not bad for a first-game.
Caylus Magna Carta was a game that so far we seemed to have drawn an unconscionable number of times. A particularly wood-lean game looked to have been tied again, but on re-count, Bill found three money lying around to snaffle up the game by one point over Ben. I still prefer the full-size version.
Finally, it was time for 'one last card game' and out came the slightly insane art of Familienbande - a solid favourite all round, although one at which I seem to be finding it very difficult to win these days. True to form, my Speccies got drowned in the gene pool of Becky's big noses and Bill's gingers. Bill won by a country mile, managing to loop round the scoreboard.
Phew! I think the usual 3 hours will be fine next week...