Tonight we had available only the three-person core of the "Five Guys," -- me, Ben and Ed. It was Ed's turn to have first choice of the games, and he went with his old favorite, Sid Sackson's Venture.
The first run through the deck was uneventful. Ben put together the first stack of 4 cards, but there was a long time between the last profit card on the first run through the deck, and the first profit card on the second. This enabled both Ben and me to put together 20-point stacks of six. I concentrated on working on Ben's stack with proxy fights, and by the end of the second time through the deck I was ahead with 45 points to Ed's 35 and Ben's 32.
From there my lead only increased as I seemed to draw good combinations of cash cards and proxy cards that enabled me to do more raiding than to be raided. On each of the next two scoring rounds I had two stacks of six cards, for more than 40 points each round. After three times through the deck I was ahead by 129 to Ed's 99 and Ben's 92.
On the final scoring round I had three stacks of six, and won going away. This was rightly regarded by all as a flukey win for me, as I have long been the weakest player in the group at Venture.
After the remainder of the evening's games, the sixth and final choice of the night was mine, and I went with Venture again, wanting in the first place to see if my win was a fluke, and in the second to rest my weary brain by playing something we'd already played.
In this game, Ed darted out to an early lead. Ben proxied my stack early, and then Ed went after Ben's. I was holding several proxy cards but wasn't sure yet whether to attack Ed. I thought I had made a fatal mistake when a profit card came up right after I missed a chance to attack Ed, and at that point the score stood Ed 39, me with 14, and Ben with 10.
Ben had been getting weak cards and Ed's lead was clearly the result of my inattentiveness, so I worried about having inadvertently caused a blowout. But as luck would have it, I had numerous opportunities for proxy attacks, and went steadily to work on Ed's hand, with Ben occasionally joining in when he could. It took us two scoring rounds to catch up, and then the score stood with me at 65, Ed at 63, and Ben at 61.
Several proxy fights now slowed our progress through the last cards in the deck. I was fortunate enough to put together three stacks of six right when a profit card came up, taking a lead of 15 points over Ben and 24 over Ed. I then worked on Ben's position. Everything seemed to go right for me as it had in the first game -- I had ample supplies of cash as well as proxy cards. I was able to proxy Ben's hand one extra time every time we had an exchange, and it soon became clear that I was going to win.
The surprise was by how much. My score in this game may have been a record for our group. It capped off an evening of ridiculous luck on my behalf.