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Games, games and more games!
There were 5 of us for gaming. We started with just 3, and a quick Race for the Galaxy. When that finished the others still hadn’t arrived, so we pulled out some more quick fillers – firstly two games of Tension, which was new to Colin, and then Boggle – I won in what was an impressively low scoring game – 3 to me, 2 to each of Sami and Colin – after two rounds!! Then James arrived, MacDonalds in hand, and while we was eating it, and Colin and I had fun with my disaster of a trifle, we tracked down Marion, who had got caught on the phone and delayed as a result.
In her absence we chose Outpost as the first game, and had it nearly set up and ready to start when she arrived. Sami went for Data Libraries in a big way, getting all three, so the science route was pretty much his. James went similarly heavy into Titanium, getting two Heavy Equipments, while I was the second titanium player. This left Colin and Marion to go heavy into water. Colin managed to trigger Phase 2 at an unexpected time, and then was the only player with the 50 necessary for the Orbital Lab that showed up, which improved his game immensely – from then on his income was pretty hard to keep up with. James and I took one of the first two Outposts each, while Sami cleaned up pretty much all the Scientist stuff, his 30 discount meaning that even with bidding wars involved he was getting things at pretty good value. Marion then bid high on the third Orbital Lab, to try to get back into the game, as she was running out of options for high-producing factories! Going into the third phase it was clear that Sami and Colin were in the best position – especially when no Space Stations turned up on the first round (one of them might have just about kept me in contention, but I couldn’t compete with the other two for the Planetary Cruisers – as it happens I’d have been much better buying the Outpost that was sitting there at cost price the previous turn!). James and I had a very close battle for second place, ending up on the same number of points, but with him having spent rather more than me. Colin just pipped Sami by one point to get first place.
After that Marion produced her pile of Works games that she had brought along for us to try. First we pulled out If Wishes Were Fishes!, which has some very tactile worms in it. Colin went worm-collecting, and this proved to be too strong a strategy, and although a few of us got close to his score, none of us could catch him when he scored 20 points the first time and almost as many the second. Then we tried Fast Flowing Forest Fellers, a light race game reminiscent in some ways of Mississippi Queen. I managed to get my two Fellers to travel in tandem, which helped me get both to a fast start – Colin meanwhile was way out in front with one, but his second waited near the starting line for most of the game. Colin created a choke point on the second board with his front man, while he let his second catch up, and it was quite hard to pass him without being pushed into the backwards current that ran almost the length of the board – I think everyone went down it at least once, some players rather more than others! My first man was out in front, so was able to go past quickly with a 5 before the rest caught up, and then I was lucky on timing with the second and no-one could push me into the current one turn, and the next I was through, and that gave me the win. Sami did lots of pushing to make sure he wasn’t last, and James, who had been looking good for second at one point, got his second man totally stuck as a result.
I chose Amun-Re as our last game of the evening. The camel players managed to keep the income low early game, and income going into the second round wasn’t as high as in some games. Colin poisoned two regions by building no pyramids in the first round as usual, which meant bidding in the second round went high. Despite that there was a three way competition for most pyramids on one side at one point, which James sacrificed high on the last round to make sure he won outright. The sacrifice worked in my favour, as despite having only enough cash left to contribute 2, the sacrifice went all the way to the 4 region, with everyone pushing it up, and scored 8 for my temples in Damanhur. I looked good scoring-wise until the most-cash money was handed out – at which point James flew forward 6 points, with twice as much cash as most of us, and Sami’s income from his large number of farmers earned him 4 points for the win. Very close final scores though, with only about 7 points from top to bottom.