Sunday, 19 June 2016

All Quiet on the Mash Tun front

Perhaps everyone stayed home to watch the Euro football. Or maybe people were put off by the chatter about having to share our space with football hooligans who wanted to watch the match on the big TV in the pub. Or maybe it's just an odd time of year.

But whatever it was, this week we had the lowest turnout for a number of years ( the official book of records reckons 2013 ) - we hit 26 people by the end of the evening.

As it turned out, the football hooligans sharing our space turned out to be a small family of Italians on Monday, and three very quiet guys on the Tuesday.

Lords of Vegas. Six player mental variant.
Games this week. The front of the pub played a frankly mental six handed game of Lords of Vegas. I told them this was mental. Twice. They ignored me. There was then some bemoaning of downtime during the game, and post game there were some polite comments about perhaps it was a little too long. Uh huh. Lords of Vegas is cool. And it can seat six with expansions. Which is very flexible and very cool. But I'm not entirely sure this isn't a seat too far for the game. A bit like trying to fit six seats on a bicycle. You might get it working. But it's not pretty. Or practical. I'm reminded of a Mr Bond pearl of wisdom here as he has noted in the past that expansions can be a very dubious affair when applied to solid base games - doubly so when expanding player count. Lords of Vegas sweet spot is four if you ask me. Which you weren't. You're welcome.

Some reformed table of theirs then played Machi Koro where James pretty much slaughtered everyone gaining his first ever victory against Lewis who had failed with a single dice strategy. Lewis had an absolute barrelful of new games that didn't get played, mostly smaller format card games, a mix of Kickstarters and purchases at the recent games Expo. It will be cool to see them get some air time in future - if you want an interesting, off beat, smaller card game, go see Lewis !

Citadels
Tim's table had an apparently utterly cut throat game of Citadels going on, where everyone except American James was being an ass. Maybe Karma smiles happily on nice guys, because when I checked in with them, he was winning. Despite playing nicely. Or perhaps because he was playing nicely. Sam then bucking the trend of generally shouting at people towards the end of the evening, accusing them of being werewolves or calling into question their dubious Aryan heritage, played a calming and refined game of Splendor. He does do refined occasionally. I suspect however that he would like the game much better if there were secret nazis in the game, and he could collect his sets of gems whilst also offering choice fascist slurs to other players. Or possibly secret dwarves. Which then sounds a bit Saboteur like.

Upstairs they played Trajan. I haven't a clue what went on there. I didn't venture upstairs at all other than to do a spot check. I still haven't played this game. I still need to play it. Some day.

Lords of Waterdeep
Elliot's table got to play the classic Lords of Waterdeep, where Joe played an absolute blinder and was slicing and dicing his way to victory.

Our table got to play a very full five for Rokoko. The game about making outfits for the high and mighty of Louis XIVs shindigs. Five is the most this game takes, and, with five it's a good deal tighter and longer. But still good. It wouldn't suffer an expansion with six though ! Sean had an impressively strong start hauling in some great money and making some good outfits, but then sputtered out in the face of bad turn order and paying little attention to updating his personnel roster. Mel on the other hand was fighting for first turn, spamming some excellent outfits into the royal hall and was doing a good job of recruiting. She put in a very strong score, and if she had managed to get another fireworks display or two built would have won the game. Adam descended into talking to himself at length. I called him the Adam collective such was the breadth of his conversations and arguments with himself - it was like watching a whole other table playing the game, all condensed into a single person. If only he could have changed his voices between lines, it would have been even better. And probably slightly worrying. But very entertaining.

Mel lost in thought surveying her outfit making empire in Rokoko
Poor Andrew seemed to be dicked over at every turn in this game and got off to a slow start along with me, but by the end he was doing a lot better and put in a challenging score. For myself I was entirely shut out of the points bonanza royal hall, no fireworks for me, struggled to do much points wise at the start, but bided my time by hoarding just about all the red cloth and grabbing savvy team members for my staff. In the end I managed to pip a win with a bare couple of room dominations and a butt load of money. The money aspect of this game *is* balanced in a situation like this, I was shut out of most things, but still managed to earn decent VPs from money and a crucial few other spots. I think the problem with money is if you are doing well on the board AND you get a decent money flow with a money VP gain - but, in theory, that's tough to do, it's probably one or the other, money or outright VPs as you can use your outfits either for VPs or to sell off for cash.

Super close game in the end. Very cool.

Unless I missed it, this week was probably the first week in... almost... ever.. that absolutely no filler type games were played. Unless you count Splendor. Which I don't. No fillers ? Madness.

Monday we played Deus, Machi Koro, and I gave a quick demonstration of Akrotiri. Hal won everything. I think he was fiddling the dice with Machi Koro as he romped to a win rolling almost nothing but 11's and in the entire game not a single 9 was rolled and 8 only once. With dice rolling like that he should play Craps for money where 11's are a natural insta win.

That's it, see you all next week, the footie is still on next week, so sharing table space will be a thing again.

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