Thursday, February 11, 2010

London days #1: I hit the big city

Ain't life a bitch?
I flew down to London on Tuesday for a short holiday, visiting with my cousin Jo and her boyfriend Mike. Mike's a gamer, so that 3 choice games from my collection are in my luggage. Of course there is more to life than gaming, eg. food; so Tuesday night began with a visit to Strada, where I finally found the perfect pizza I've sought unsuccessfully these last few fmonths in Glasgow. And it is too good to be true because sure enough- there's no Strada in Glasgow: the search continues. :-(

Card-sharps or just sharp at cards?
Pleasantly satiated on pizza and chocolate pudding and ensconced chez Jo and Mike, we start as we mean to go on: getting down to some gaming. The hour is late and my hosts have early starts because they have jobs to go to, so the star attraction- specially requested by Mike, has to wait for a more appropriate occasion. I decide therefore that the elegant simplicity of Fluxx is called for.
The game is as quick and easy to teach as ever:
  • I show and explain 1 each of the 5 kinds of card:
  1. Creeper.
  2. Keeper.
  3. Goal.
  4. New Rule.
  5. Action.
  • I explain the importance of reading each card fully and carefully, and following the instructions word for word.
  • I point out the Draw and Play rules.
And we're off.

What went down
We played two games that night. As you'd expect, the sheer range of cardplay options was a bit bewildering for Jo and Mike at first; prompting Jo to play the sympathy card. Mike knows her too well to fall for this though. And yours truly? I'm just too hardnosed, an attitude that later proved all too wise.

I won the first game with one of those series of spammy draws and plays that you either just love or hate in Fluxx:
  • Playing the 'Draw 2 and Play Them' Action I draw a pesky Creeper.
  • I discard it immediately with my first play- 'Trash Something'.
  • Then I win by playing the Goal '10 Cards in Hand' (increased to 11 by 'Inflation'). :0)
The second game was much more strategic, because Jo and Mike are both experienced cardplayers (that proof of wisdom alluded to earlier). The draw rate was cranked up while the play rate remained low. We were all amassing big hands while at the same time the rules had changed very little throughout an entire deck- a novelty in my experience; so everyone was cagily looking for their winning strategy before opening up the game to make their grab at victory. This fell to Mike in the end with 'Party Snacks'.

Sheer dumb luck 1
On his game 1
Well, it had to be someone 0

I was talking only yesterday about the essential elements of Fluxx strategy and whaddaya know: a mere 24 hours later my point is proved by a couple of Fluxx newbs who are experienced cardplayers. Not only did Mike win because he built his winning hand and then played it out; Jo had her own winning hand ready to play and was pipped at the post.

Mike is already a confirmed fan then. Jo is reserving judgement until she wins ("Competitive? Moi?"). After seeing Tuesday night's performance, I don't think that'll be a long wait. ;)

London days
- #2: The big city hits me
- #3: We hit the gaming table, again


Adelaide Gamer said...

I never did find a good pizza in glasgow.

JMcL63 said...

How many times did you look AG; and how long ago? There are so many Italian joints in Glasgow that there must be a great pizza chef in at least one of them somewhere. I just don't know where that is yet. ;)