Antony (a.k.a. Grundi) came round the other night, and we played some games. First off was a quick game of Fluxx a simple family card game of the modern school that has the most perfect set of rules I have ever seen. I've played this a couple of dozen times at most, and already I defy anyone to find a glitch. It's also one of these games that has the depth that gives great replay value, and cardplay tactics that demand real mastery.
1-0 me at that point IIRC.
Next up was Antony's introduction to Gladiator, an old school AH tacsim of the Roman arena. Antony floundered around with the pre-plotted movement notations for a wee while but began to get into the swing of things even as my Crassius Maximus was giving his Achilles the benefits of superior experience. All of which was as nothing when Achilles got through Crassius' defences and killed him outright with an instantly fatal critcial. OUCH!
There followed a long and bruising session of Ivanhoe, GMT's little gem of a cardgame of knightly tournaments by Reiner Knizia. One of my candidates for 'Best Cardgame Since Up Front', this game is everything you want from a cardgame: easy to learn, quick to play, full of incident, and possessed of unending depths.
Ivanhoe is also one of the few games I know of personally where the 2-player game is just as good as the multiplayer game without any kind of rules fiddles at all (GW's classic Block Mania is another I reckon). I believe this phenomenon to be more common in today's era of the Eurogame, but veteran boardgamers will probably remember all too many otherwise fine games that only really worked with a particular subset of the number of players who could actually play.
Anyhoo, there was pwnage, sneaky ploys and carefully-timed charges on both sides. Young Sir Antony grabbed 2 quick tournaments for an early lead. Brave Sir John dug deep though, and pulled off 4 consecutive wins each of which felt more gruelling than the last. Sir Antony won the day's 'Sheer Dumb Luck' award for a play that unwittingly saved him a tournament. But Brave Sir John, with the edge on outright pwnage on the night, came out 2 games up.
Final score on the night: 7-5 IIRC.
Oh, and we also sorted out some details of Grundi's future after his... startling performance last Sunday. Y'see, Grundi bought himself this hunting horn on an early shopping trip (Talabheim I think it was). He's spent the last couple of days doggedly trying to get a second squawk out of it. Well, we sorted that out. Antony seemed pleased, which was nice.