The second of our 'theme' nights in June kicked off with a Feld (Aquasphere), a Wallace (Brass) and a Kramer Kiesling (Java)
Where i learned that no matter how much you love a game, and no matter how good you think you are at it, sometime you just can't get it together.
Michael, Andy, Mark and myself all settled down to a nice relaxing game of Java and i was pretty excited about it. I love almost all Kramer Kiesling games but Java's the one i want to love the most.
I just love the way it looks, i love the action point system, i love the area/control dominance aspect of the game and i love the games ability to let you pull off some really creative moves.
It was Marks first game so we had a quick rules explanation before we began (and a much needed refresher for the other 3!), first player was chosen and it was me.
So - what do i want to do here again i asked my brain. It blinked silently at me and said nothing.
The game progressed with the others competing heavily and building ever larger cities, while I pottered about elsewhere enjoying the scenery or something. Festivals were had and I was quite literally always late to the party.
Michael has a mid game melt down as he tries to work out if he can irrigate 6 tiles, expand the city, build a palace, stomp on Andy, and gain dominance with his 6 action points [spoiler: he can't!]
Andy stormed into an early lead and looked untouchable for most of the game, with Mark keeping him honest. Michael quietly expanded into a good position and by the time Andy initiated end game scoring had control of most of the board.
Michael won with Andy a close second. Mark finished a respectable 3rd not too far away from the leaders. I was last seen in the supermarket trying to buy drinks and nibbles for the first festival.
As always it was an enjoyable game, making sure you are present in as many cities as possible with good access to sneak dominance during final scoring is key!
Elsewhere Brass was being played, or 'tolerated' in the case of Nick. Rob popped is brass cherry in an experience he described as intense, which pretty much sums it up.
Stephen took a comfortable win but hats off must go to Mr Smith who had the biggest pile of cash I've ever seen at the end game!
We rounded off the evening with 3 quick card games.
The excellent Abluxxen is a game i've had for a while but only recently got a chance to play. The rules are very simple - so simple in fact that you wonder where the game is when you hear them.
...und Tschuss is a Martin Wallace games that doesn't involve trains, loans, industry or cheese but is still rather enjoyable.
The crowning glory / utter horror show of the evening was the final game of GO STOP. This Japon game was purchased in bulk by us at our first Essen in 2008. The rules are atrocious, the game play is silly but we laughed we cried and a good time was had by all.