A fun evenings gaming with Kreta as the highlight.
This has become a firm favourite among the gaming cognoscenti of Primordial Group. We Kretites feel a justifiable superiority over those plebeians who deny it's clever charm and wet, supple curves. True there's nothing particularly new in its mechanics but everything gels and provides for a very tense yet pleasurable experience.
In Kreta you're trying to score points by controlling areas of land. This is accomplished by choosing a worker card each round and performing the associated action. The action could allow ship movement/placement (Admiral card) for example or initiate scoring. I particularly enjoy how the game forces you to make tough decisions each turn: do you cut your losses in one area to invest in scoring heavily in another? Do you try to peg back the leader or leave that to another player?
In our game I tried to keep in contention while not gaining a clear lead. If it looked like I might become the leader I played pieces into strong board positions that were not showing yet as scoring in effect reducing my current scoring position for advantage later in the game. I'm not sure if anyone noticed lol. As the game came to a close I was identified as the clear leader and players joined together to peg me back. It was a very tense last few turns and I just managed to hold on to the lead by a point.
As we waited for the other table to finish Clans hit the table.
So I did pretty badly. I couldn't seem to get my coloured huts into effective scoring positions without another player giving me a shafting. While I lost I enjoyed the banter and would play again any time. However I prefer the more cut-throat nature of Heimlich and Co (Undercover) for this style of hidden information game.
Royal Turf (Winners Circle)
I was very excited to see this hit the table as its a firm favourite.
I was very successful in the first race but couldn't quite manage to keep up the momentum for two and three. I can't recall the final scores but it was great fun and not overly long.
The only thing worse than being beaten, is being beaten with your own fist.
I was organised enough today to bring my copy of Santiago to Ian's and Andy, Robert, Stuart and I tucked greedily into its forbidden pastry.
Andy "I'm a cock-knocker" Hynes grabbed a significant lead in the first few rounds exploiting the turn order and manipulating his gimp (Robert) perfectly. For some reason I bubbled up as the clear leader and no amount of discussion on the merits of kicking Andy in the giblets would convince the other players to give it a go. As the game progressed Stuart 'crazy-boy' Winchester seemed to be pursuing some strategy the gods alone could understand while Robert 'the gimp' Gilmour bent over and took several more for the Hynes team; even after I pointed out that he was doing so. Maybe I should have sucked up the pile of schuck Andy was funnelling my way and tried to slip a win under the radar at the last minute; but at least I can blame my second position on the poor gaming skills of my fellow players. Result!
It was 9:30pm and Ian 'timewarp' Smith suggested a 5-player game of Shogun. I was planning to be tucked up in bed by 11:00pm and suggested it might be a bit on the long side, however he assured me it would be comfortably over in an hour and a bit. Two and a half rather enjoyable hours later we were still playing and the next day my not inconsiderable good looks were negatively impacted by my lack of the old dreamy time.
The game began with Ian establishing a clear lead foolishly building a lot of early palaces and painting a big red target on his not insubstantial buttocks. After the first year scoring he had a 7 or 8 point lead and was the obvious target for some major beatdown. So I organised a tag team to try and claw him back however he did a good impression of a floppy shark: claiming unsportsmanly conduct on our part while grumpily planning the final bollock-rending victory. By the second year he was much reduced but a subtle and wise seed of the tower (not a euphemism) which he copied from the master (me) gained him enough momentum to cruise to a comfortable victory. I jogged home in joint second with Andy, while David "I've a strategy honest" Grier tailed us for a close fourth while Robert farted limply in a (very) distant (and embarrassing) fifth.
So February sort of rocked here at Hanley towers. I won a few more games than I lost which was cool yet I felt a mystical energy pulsing off in the near distance; foretelling more winning to come.
Settlers of Catan
Robert, Christina and I whipped out 'Old Faithful' firmly anticipating a good drenching. I got off to a good start identifying Christina as the 'clear leader' while securing the longest road. Robert was eliminated as a serious threat (and embarrassingly turned into a buffer) a few turns later as I sealed him in between Christina and I adding to my impressively long road. To their credit my fellow players, now in second and third position, formed a kind of 'unofficial pairing' as I tottered for four rounds on 9 points with the dice bending me over for a good seeing to and tossing off a sequence of highly improbable numbers. Fortunately my well-oiled machinery eventually produced the desired climax leaving Christina in second with 8 points and Robert a distant and frankly disappointing third with 7.
While Ian, Julia, Scock* and David played out the final turn of Tinners Trail Robert, Christina and I pulled out:**
Although a game I enjoy, I am absolutely schuck at For Sale. I can't actually think back to a game I've won yet amazingly I tend to compulsively suggest it if I see a spare 10 mins floating around. Ian did helpfully suggest we play Geschenkt but none of us knew the rules. Anyway, to cut a long story short Robert won, Christina came a close second and I sucked ass. Since I didn't win there's no point in an indepth discussion of the finer points; the game is obviously broken.
With Christina and Julia out of the gaming scene we were a five.
Leonardo Da Vinci
David the cock knocker secured this from (the obviously barmy) Michael for the fine sum of ten English Pounds. While that makes him a bastard, I kind of forgave him last night because:
•he let me play it
•it was the origin of Scock*
•and he let me beat him
The game was interesting. As usual for a first play we (read David) got a rule or two wrong. Normally that would cause me great distress, however since Ian got a good shafting and because it was funny I think we can let this one slide. Its not like this is the first time Ian had taken one for the team - David was responsible for Ian's terrible shafting in his first ever game of Formula De. Anyway let's hope its not a sign of things to come - Coom-by-ya anyone?
* Scock is a contraction of 'Scott' and 'cock' used by me after severe provocation in Da Vinci in place of the phrase "Scott you are a cock." It seems to have stuck much to Scott's chagrin (or perhaps because of it!).