So let me first take you on a peaceful and spiritually enriching journey through the world of Tokaido, Japan. I'd read about this on the Intertubes and thought that the principle sounded engaging, so I was intrigued to see how it played out in reality. When I arrived, James was in the lead - rather poor but nevertheless chilled out due to having taken a trip to the hot baths.
|The Travellers of Tokaido on|
Next I took a gander at another game of Epic Spell Wars. I didn't stay for long because the players appeared to be taking the game a little too much to heart - when I complained of poor light, they seemed to think their phones were magic wands and solemnly intoned, "Lumos," while turning the flashes on. I was edging away slowly as they complained about the massive fourteen damage that was flying around, at which point my shuffling turned into a run before I was targeted by the next spell.
I shuffled/charged full tilt right into a game of Terra Mystica. When I asked how everything was going, Gareth declared himself to be winning, but conceded that this was likely only briefly, whilst Jacob, who asked specifically to be described as "J-Dawg" (and definitely did not retract this request once he realised that his nom du jeu would be being broadcast to the World Wide Weblog...) described himself as "steaming ahead." I believe already by this point, Gareth was no longer in the lead.
|Terra Mystica, nearly finished|
Making my way onwards lest I also get fun aimed at me, I dropped in on the company battling against the Wrath of Asharglon. This is a board game based on D&D and designed to be played in a single evening. The rules are heavily D&D inspired, so you have abilities and spells you can use once per day, classes, races and so on all from that not-at-all-complicated ruleset. But from what I saw and what I guess, there's far less complexity to deal with in the board game.
|Wrath of Asharglon|
|Kill the beastie!|
Leaving the dead person to have either a funeral or resurrection party, I continued to the diminutive Small World. I apologise for the next joke, and request that children avert their eyes. In this game of Smallworld, Rod was "coming up your rear end." I swear Rod is the name of a player, though it sounds like the kind of name you might adopt if you wanted to star in an adult movie. I just hope I don't meet Rod on my way home up St Gregory's Back Alley.
|Small world. No rear ends pictured.|
Well, one cold shower later and I'm ready to describe my two games of the evening, the first being Seven Wonders which is, appropriately, a wonderful game. Things got off to a peaceful start, with John a) swearing he'd never won agame of Seven Wonders before and b) that he was going to peacefully pursue scientific discovery and eschew the militaristic ambitions of his neighbours.
|Age 2 is underway in Seven Wonders.|
We don't yet realise John's treachery.
|Seven Wonders nears its conclusion|
|A fat stack of points|
|Time to add up the points!|
Our gang's second game, after John left drunk on victory, was a stay at The Bloody Inn. This is a delightfully bloodthirsty game which has put me off French taverns for life, as the premise sees you and your partners in crime compete to see who can murder the most and richest guests at your inn. You get cash by successfully murdering and then burying travellers, but if you fail to get them safely inhumed when the police are staying you'll find yourself short a significant chunk of change as you have to get the town gravedigger to do a rush job on the sly.
|The peasants at the Bloody Inn|
look a bit constipated.
|The "annexes" where I can bury|
bodies, of which you can see three.
Unfortunately I built too much and killed too little, and ended up in last place. Nevertheless it was only by a whisker, with Colin and David edging ahead on the back of the fat stacks of francs they had stashed away. It was a fun if funereal game with lovely, whimsical artwork.
And that's everything! Well, everything which entered my consciousness (which is everything that matters to me) so sorry if I didn't get round to your table to cover your convivialities. Unfortunately the task-master of simultaneous decision making, as well as John's military aggression, kept me tied to the table.