Thursday, 16 August 2012

Citius, Altius, Fortius

The London 2012 Olympics are over. Nine of us, inspired by the sporting values we've witnessed over the past two weeks, gathered to play games.  But for some reason we chose particularly vicious and cut-throat games. Yes, there was no respect, friendship or excellence on display on this hot and humid evening. Only games that inspired players to lie, cheat and connive were brought to the table.

Cosmic Encounter saw Jimmy, Rich, Pete and Phil threaten and cajole each other into carving up the galaxy. In fact rather than let planets fall into the hands of their enemies they were joyfully letting entire worlds be consumed. The death toll was horrendous, yet the greatest loss was their  morals and pride. Both were set aside as game drew to a close with a win for Rich, but only because Jimmy couldn't stand to see Pete win and with the skill of a Chinese badminton player threw the game.

On the other table I was enjoying the mid 90's classic El Grande with John, Moritz, Nicky and Tom. It all started off nicely with everyone adding their colourful cubes to the map. But it soon descended into a game of vicious reprisals as everyone chose not to improve their own board position, but to ruin everyone else’s. Rather than striving for excellence there was the battle to keep everyone pegged back and let mediocrity reign. Nicky just managed get ahead and finished as the least mediocre of the mediocre.

We then moved on to most depraved and nasty game of the evening - the dreaded Lifeboats. This is about surviving a shipwreck. But rather than helping each other in a time of peril,  the game pits the players against each other and urges them to commit despicable acts of wickedness and cowardliness. As the boats spring leaks and gradually sink, the players vote on which boats should move and when there is no room in the boat, who should be thrown overboard to the sharks. John managed to get a couple of his hapless sailors to safety, therefore, painting a huge target on his remaining sailors who suddenly found themselves in less-than-seaworthy boats. Promises were broken, lies were told and then there was the wretched begging and pleading, which mostly fell on deaf ears. Half the boats made it to shore, while the others were consigned to the deep along with the poor sailors. The survivors were totted up and it came as no surprise that the scoundrel Tom had won; his history of blackmail, low cunning and blood doping obviously giving him the edge.

Sir Chris Hoy would have wept.

Beer. I had some of Wolf Brewery's Lazy Dog.  A chestnut coloured bitter that couldn't be more chestnutty if it had be violated by a squirrel. Pete proclaimed it to be bang on, but I found it to be a little on the sour side. Nuts, tobacco and a dash of malt vinegar. 5/10.

No comments: