Das Kollier (21st)
Die Oster Insel (28th)
Sharp Shooter (14th)
The Great Brain Robbery (14th & 21st)
At last the children were all back at school and we had six adults - who mostly didn't behave very childishly. We spent the whole evening playing a game of Vinci (see comments a couple of weeks ago) - giving the game even more chance to grow on me. We obviously weren't playing quickly enough because we played to a time limit instead of a winning score. Despite the fact that we all knew this was going to happen, Soggy felt strongly enough about it to insist that I record the following: he feels he would have moved up into third place past Mick if we had played another round. This assumes, of course, that the others behind him didn't move up more. He also said that we should have doubled his points, for some reason that escapes me at the moment, and then he would have won. Fair enough. Result: GC, TC, MH, SO (but could have been a contender), GL, CD.
A slight reprise on the kids front this week, with Soggy's boy Jonathan making the numbers up to six.
We styarted off with Sharp Shooter, which Chris had brought in to demonstrate that it was an older version of a game I had picked up at Furrycon, called Gambler. Each player gets a number of dice and a card is turned up showing rows of dice images with a prize value at the end - most positive, but some negative. On your turn, you roll five of your dice (less if you don't have five left) and must put at least one onto a matching image on the card if you can (filling from left to right). You can then roll remaining dice if you wish, but must place another one on the card - if unable, you cannot continue this turn. Carry on until you have no dice left (out of the five you started this turn with) or until you decide to hand over to the next player. Anyone who places the last die in a row gets to win the prize listed, positive or negative. This continues (in this version) for six cards, with the dice being redistributed between cards, and the winner is the player with the most money. Result: SO, TC, CD, GL+JO, GC.
Then we split into two groups of three using Chris's remarkable 'pick a die out of a box' selection method. My group played Tycoon, a great pleasure for me as it's one of my top games. It's a shame we didn't have four players, which brings out the best in the game, but it's still good. Result: GC, TC, SO.
We followed this up with The Great Brain Robbery, the new 'boardgame in a box' from Cheapass. This was our first time with it and it kind of all boiled down to a few turns at the end. I figured that we needed more players and that I had learnt enough to play better next time anyway. A slight difficulty over the rules meant that I wasn't sure who should have won. I was sure who had lost, though,... me.
Meantime, the others had been playing Silberzwerg, a game of mines, dwarves and silver that I had been keen to play for a while. Obviously today was not to be the day. Result: GL, CD, JO.
Five players and we started off with Das Kollier. After a few obligatory jokes about dogs and coal miners, we found out that it was a game of collecting gems to make the best necklace. One player turns over a gem card and auctions it off in one of two ways: an upward auction or a downward auction. An upward auction is an open auction with a minimum bid of the gem's value. A downward auction begins at the current value and the price drops until someone buys it. The successful bid is paid to the auctioneer and the buyer becomes the new auctioneer. A necklaces is made by laying out a symmetrical pattern of gems increasing in value towards the centre and its value is determined by the number, value and variety of gems that it contains. Money, gems and necklaces can all be used to buy gems. The highest value gems are auctioned off at the end and the highest value necklace that a player can build after that wins the game. The trick to the game seems to be that youi only get an income if you auction gems, and you only do that if you buy gems - so you have to keep in with the action. There is also a problem of cash-flow if you're not careful: for example, I ended up in a position where I would be unable to do anything unless the player to my right became auctioneer and turned over a value 1 gem. Surprisingly enough, that happened and I was even more surprised to find that I won. I was shocked to see how badly Geoff and Garry had done. Result: TC, MH, SO, GL, GC.
Next up, we had another go at The Great Brain Robbery. It played much better this time and I figure it's one of those games where three is too few. It also helped that three of us knew what to expect - although the game was won by Garry, who hadn't played it before. I thought I knew how to win, but my cunning plan fell apart as someone kind of beat me to it. It's a good game for knowing what you should have done after the event. Result: GL, GC, TC, SO+MH.
Time was flying, so we rounded off with two games of Vampire. Result 1: GL, SO+GC, MH, TC. Result 2: MH, TC, GL, SO, GC.
Mick and I arrived to find four of them already playing Die Oster Insel, the game wher you race large Easter Island style statues up and down the board while filling them with stones. The game seemed to have gone down better than reviews of the game would seem to suggest. Result: GL,SO, GC, SK.
Next, I introduced them to the excellent Cheapass game, Deadwood. They had a good time but repaid me by giving me a good beating. Result: SO, GC, MH, SK, TC, GL.
We rounded off the evening with a dramatic game of Exxtra. I began the game well and got around to the space nefore the finish space before anyone else had got past half-way. Geoff was having the opposite kind of game and every time he got off the start space, he'd be sent right back again. That's as good as it got though, because I just couldn't get that last space and I started to move backwards as the others passed me and finished. Some masochistic streak in me saw me sit out the game as we played for second, third, etc places. Eventually, of course, even Geoff managed to get moving off the start space and headed inexorably around the board to beat me. Once the others had stopped laughing, we all went home... Result: MH, SO, GL, GC, TC.