The points in Spain


Last week’s session saw me joined by Azriel, Nechamiah, Rosalynn, and Sheer. We decided to opt for a longer, meatier game, and eventually chose the classic El Grande. Both Sheer and I had played the game before, so I explained the rules as best I could, and Sheer filled in the bits I left out. Certainly after the first round – as usual – everyone had a good idea of what was going on. Also after the first round – certainly not as usual – I was in the lead.

The game officially has nine rounds broken up by three scoring rounds. I have always found that to be way too long, so play six rounds instead of nine. Even still, it took us over 2 hours, primarily because one or two of our number suffered an episode or two of the dreaded ‘analysis paralysis’. I was glad we were not doing the whole nine turns.

One of the challenges of this type of game – with open scoring – is that there can be a tendency to gang up on the leader. So, there was some of that, but not as much as there could have been. (I certainly saw ways the other players could have done me more harm! Perhaps the analysis paralysis came to my rescue?) Anyway, while there was a bloody battle going on behind me, I managed to keep on scoring and in the lead all the way to the end. Regrettably, I cannot remember who was after me, though I believe Azriel really slumped in the last round, and Sheer and Nechamiah were rapidly gaining on me. Rosalynn probably had the best of the last scoring rounds, but wasn’t in a position to threaten my win.

I hope we will get to try it again with players having that experience under their belts, as that should be even more fun, and hopefully a wee bit faster!

Thanks to all who came and once again made for a great night’s gaming.