Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Twas the game session before xmas

None shall pass!
The choice falling to Gav should he choose to appear on Sunday; and with that existing uncertainty- a Saturday night's partying, doubled by overnight snow; Andy, Donald, Tony and myself played some filler while we waited to see if our main game of the day'd be Risk (Revised) or Roborally. We began with Ivanhoe, a game which doesn't see the table as often as it used to because it turned out that it wasn't as universally loved and admired around the table as'd been hitherto believed by yours truly.

Sunday's game- just Andy, Tony and me IIRC, was an example of the tight cardplay which I love so much in Ivanhoe. Tony took a quick early lead on 3 before Andy and I started swapping wins amid the inevitable 'leads to par' of Ivanhoe defensive play. That opening round or two included- IIRC, my loss of a token because I had to withdraw with the Maiden in play.

All those par hands began to mount up so that, when I finally won:
  • Andy: 4
  • Tony: 3
  • Me: 5
- the number of hands we'd played will've been significantly more than the mere 12 the scores account for; half as much again, easy. Nip and tuck, like I said.

Baron 1
Baron Knights 0

Moving the goalposts?
Gav's impending arrival was confirmed during our visit to the old fields of honour, so Fluxx v.4 came out to while away our wait. This new edition of the classic cardgame of ever-changing rules has only been played here once before- and by Donald not at all, so it was greeted with a measure of anticipation.

The high draw and play rules quickly made their inevitable appearances, both being knocked on the head once or twice to rein-in the gameplay. The Metarule - for each reshuffle: +1 to Draw and Play 'Basic Rules' - had clocked us up to 3; the new Creepers were out in force: it was looking as if we could be in for a long game. Then Tony dropped 'Play All' out of a 21-card hand. Sure enough, he had a winning play from all that and the rest of us folded in the face of his laydown.

Rules 1
Misrules 1
Errata 0

Still fighting the last war!
Admiration of the twists in the new Fluxx over, it was time for the main event- Risk (Revised). We were 4 the first time we played, so with Donald new to the game this play would again showcase the quickstart rules. These proved excellent as before, getting the game moving and us into the action with the minimum of fuss.

Donald was the first to gain an objective this time, when he seized control of N. America. The game's next significant event was my elimination in round 2. I'm still not sure how it happened, but it was not only amusing, it was strangely exciting because it was a convincing demonstration of the dizzying dynamic of the new Risk.

Tony was next to fall, flattened by Donald. It wasn't to be Donald's night though; Andy went on to win, holding these 3 objectives:
  • Europe.
  • 8 cities held.
  • 10 territories captured in 1 turn.
Just so you know: in Risk (Revised) you don't lose an objective's victory flash should you no longer fulfil its requirements; once gained, they're yours until you're eliminated.

Rules the world
Just rules 1
Rules? I don't need no steenkin' rules! 1
Ruled 0

Fortune favours...
Tony took his leave. Still reeling from the rapid reaction force that is Risk (Revised)- not to mention the shock of a victory by Andy, the rest of us found ourselves with time for a bit of serious filler. Donald was labouring under a cold and therefore didn't feel up to learning anything new, so off to Catan for a game of Settlers it was.

I won with a strong 10VP against Donald and Gav's 7 each. I must admit to some good fortune which hides the close game behind that margin. Investing in Development cards, I was lucky enough to pick up 2 Road Building cards which helped me build that road right along the coast (Red), securing me the Longest Road.

Continuing to buy Development cards I soon found myself with 3 Soldiers. With the Largest Army that gave me, it wasn't long before I was able to raise the city I needed to win.

As I said: to buy 5 Development cards and get 4VP from them is really fortunate, giving 4VP for 15 resources, or 3.75/VP. The only way to get VP cheaper than that is to buy 5 Development cards and get all 5 of the VP cards, which would be extraordinary. Donald and Gav would both've been in the running right to the last if it hadn't been for this good fortune.

Me 2
Andy 1
Tony 1
Donald and Gav 0

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