This week, we started with Dominion.
Susan and I were joined by Ben and Yehuda, with a random distribution of Action Cards, including Council Room, Feast, Gardens, Market, Remodel, Spy, Throne Room, and some others that I cannot remember.
Yehuda quickly amassed the desired combination of cards, but couldn’t quite generate the 8 points of gold he needed to buy the Province victory Point cards. Or at least, not as often as he wanted.
Ben and Susan were in a similar situation, with Susan relying a fair bit on the Spy card, and Ben chopping and changing his approach.
I went for a combination of Market and money, in small doses. I got lucky and generated three consecutive Province purchases. When the scores were totted up at the end, I had won. In a game with such high level competitors, that was a notable win for me.
A good start to the night.
Sheer arrived, swapping in for Susan, and we turned to play Amerigo.
At this point, I want to give a special mention to Ben. Not about his braces, or his beer, or anything like that. Instead, I want to note his attitude to playing the game. He is a fine game player, and well able to hold his own. But like all of us, there are games he likes, and games he doesn’t like. And games he plays well. And games he doesn’t play well – or do well at.
So, when the others suggested playing Amerigo, I noted Ben’s response. It was something like:
“I remember playing it last time and not hating it enough so as to never want to play it again.”
Looking back on last night’s game, I think I can now translate what he said as:
“I didn’t like the game. But I didn’t hate it. And to help the evening, if everyone else wants to play it, I will.”
What a gent. You see, he really struggled in the game. He was always at the back of the scoring track, and never looked like catching up. I really felt for him. But not once did he complain. (Unlike me…) and not once did he moan, or regret having made the decision to play. This was a major help in everyone having a good time. So, it was appreciated, and I wanted to record it.
Thank you Ben!
As for the game itself…
Everyone else was so busy watching Yehuda, that I was able to grab a small island, settle all its landing areas, and complete it by the end of turn 2. That gave me a huge morale boost and a 40 plus point score. From then on, I was always in the lead, or just about. Sheer was a threat. Yehuda was a threat. But I held on for the win, with Yehuda just edging out Sheer for the coveted (usually be me) runner up spot!
It helped that for the first two rounds, the pirates were no threat, but materialized in round three. In that round, I had already prepared my pirate defenses. So while everyone else was playing catch up there, I was able to score some more valuable victory points.
Yehuda had a relatively trouble free time in settling his lands. However, he seemed to have restricted his options and had nothing to build in the final couple of rounds. Ben and Sheer carved me up on one of the bigger islands, and that kept my score in check. Thankfully, for me, they were eating into each other’s points as well.
Incidentally, we had settled all the board – apart from one small island that Ben had captured for himself – by the last turn but one. Unfortunately for Ben, he could not generate enough victory points out of the opportunity.
Separately, I’m beginning to suspect the game may be one turn too long, as it is not the first time not much of consequence has happened in the last turn.
But it was a good game, and everyone seemed to have a good time.
Thanks to all who came.