On this fateful day in February, Marisue's brother Mark and his wife Lylje drove up to visit for the day and bring us a large supply of Funyun's, a cool snack not available in Canada. We decided to reward them by playing games with them!
The first game of the day was Ark of the Covenant, one of the many Carcassone variants. We got Mark and Lylje Hunters and Gatherers as a Christmas present last year, so this seemed like a good game to start with.
After a very brief rules introduction, we settled in to play. Mark and Lylje started in on a strategy that most involved building up huge farms full of sheep, putting as many wolves in each other's fields as possible.
Marisue's strategy was to build a giant city and put her prophet in it to maximize points, while I tried a more varied strategy, trying to build a field with some sheep for later scoring, starting a couple of cities and then going for points on roads.
Mark finished the first city (a puny 2 tile affair) and got the honour of placing the ark.
Almost immediately my initial sheep field got penned in by roads. This was followed up by Marisue playing a tile that made it near impossible to finish the first city I started. I began construction on a second city, only to have mark do the same to that.
Lylje built a couple of medium sized cities for some decent points and took the lead, which she held for most of the game. Mark meanwhile build a small city and a couple more 2-tiles cities. Marisue continued work on her monster city, and all I could draw was road tiles.
Near the middle of the game Marisue managed to finish her city, which scored her massive points, as she had her Prophet in it and it had several tiles containing scrolls.
Nearing the end of the game I managed to get a field with a few sheep in it that was uncontested, along with a road that had quite a few oasis along the way for bonus points. The only way I managed to earn points during the game was to move the ark past my meeples. Marisue also did this a couple of times, but otherwise we were the only ones to take advantage, since we were all building so far apart from each other.
In the end Mark pulled off the win, as there was a terrible shortage of tiles with wolves on them that could be worked into his fields. I unexpectedly got enough points from my incomplete road and sheep to tie with Lylje.
At this point it was almost lunch time, so I put the bitter sting of defeat behind me and set about cooking up some burgers and hot dogs for lunch while everyone talked about everything under the sun.