Oi! Hands off...
John, Becky and Ben opened up with a quiet game of High Society - a very under-recognised Knizia auction game now the best part of 20 years old. The art on the original Ravensburger edition makes it rather quaint, but loveable. This game went down to the final card, Becky being knocked out due to overspending and John wrapping up a fairly comfortable victory.
Bill's arrival prompted a quick session of Great Wall of China: it was intended to be a filler before Tony turned up for the main event, but in fact Boydell wandered through the door just as we were finishing the rules explanation. Muttering derisory comments about 'overpaid German mathematicians', he declined to pick up the fifth set of cards and sat and sulked with his iPhone while we played it out. Consensus was that it was rather dry and would almost certainly be best with three players who knew the cards well. Becky won this - she seems to have the right sort of mindset for the newer Knizias. Or perhaps it was just the lingering triumphal air from Steve's Kniziathons a month previously.
Having persuaded Tony that we wouldn't play any more Knizia games, we broke out an old classic - Puerto Rico - Tony's first game of PR for seven years in fact. And what a game it was! John went coffee-heavy, Bill grew a lot of corn, Becky dabbled in various crops, and Tony looked a bit lost (but we've come to learn this is just a guise). I, meanwhile, after a miserable game last time out, went extremely cash-heavy with an early Large Market and quickly snaffled up two big buildings while neglecting my Captain's duties. What with one thing and another, we played the game right down to the wire - it finished fully three rounds after I'd anticipated, and we ran out of colonists, VP tokens and Bill's city spaces simultaneously
Two big purples (quiet, Tony) in the 5P game should be pretty good, I thought, and on totting up my points I was quietly confident that 48 would be good enough. I'd considered John on my right to be my biggest rival and he announced 46. So far so good. But then Tony and Becky both announced 52 (Becky winning on money)! And, to cap that off, Bill trumped everyone with 56! Epic game, epic game.
It was still only 9:30pm, so time for at least a couple of games. Out came Infinite City, complete with my custom Lego tile holders in six different colours. Tony continued being grumpy, as John found probably a probably-unfair tile combo (Capitol + Police Station), and the game didn't go half as swingingly as it had the last time we'd played. Clearly it's very situational and dependent on the tiles coming out in the right order, which might be problematic! Tony won this one, despite moaning throughout about the broken combo.
We closed out with a rousingly silly game of Braggart, which was suitable enjoyable even if it is a little too swift with five. It proved to be a good game for the boys, Tony and Ben tying for the lead with 30 points; John and Bill a point behind. But who plays this for the points?