The roll call: Jack, Jim, Max, Ethan, Erin, Matt, Linda, Eric
Beowulf (Jack, Jim, Eric)
Jack and I set up for a two-player game, and Jim arrived just in time to
join us. I'd read about the dangers involved with over-risking and
avoided taking the early solo risks that allow you to stock up on cards
if you draw the right symbols. Jim did fine with his risks, but more
importantly, he won several scrolls in the early major encounters, with
most scrolls granting 2-3 VPs.
Jack took two wounds in the early going, but managed to save up money
and dump them later. I had 10 points after the first third of the game,
but then coasted, focusing on holding the right cards for the endgame. I
won the four axe card, then launched what I was sure to be a winning
attack, but Jim had a nice stash of cards and won risk after risk. I
started risking myself and won several of them, failing only after we
each had 12 symbols on the table. That gave Jim 7 points, which combined
with his scroll stash to give him the win.
Trendy (Linda, Max, Jim, Jack, Eric)
Linkity (Linda/Ethan, Max, Jim, Jack, Eric)
Two quick games while waiting for others to arrive. Linda won both of
them, edging out Max in the final round of Trendy by five points, then
combining with Ethan to get rid of her cards the fastest in the
word-association game Linkity.
Bohnanza (Ethan, Erin, Max, Linda, Jack, Jim, Eric)
With seven on hand and Linda in the room, Bohnanza was a natural call,
but Linda's mojo was strangely absent. She had the same pile of Wine
beans through all three rounds as two others had also delved into Wine.
Max ran Soy twice and won with a meager 13. (I had forgotten to ask if
anyone wanted to harvest while shuffling for the second round, and
rounds two and three went like lightning.)
Attribute (all seven of us)
After surveying the seven-player choices -- and vetoing a few games --
we settled on Attribute, which most people hadn't played before. The
game went well, and Linda stacked up a huge number of points, winning
points for nearly all of her card plays in addition to choosing wisely.
Next time I'll adopt a house rule that says the category creator can't
look at the sheep card or the new word card before choosing the
category. All too often, that player has a positive sheep and simply
chooses a category that fits one card exactly (e.g., Napoleon for
"French"), which means everyone races to claim that player's card once
we flip them over.
Finstere Flure (Ethan, Erin, Max, Jim, Jack, Eric)
We played with only one monster, but it seemed like a monster squadron
to Erin who was killed over and over, placing the revived tokens on the
board only to have them killed again. Jack, Max and Ethan neared the
exit, and I did my best to thwart them by directing the monster through
the wall, but it wasn't enough. The monster killed only one token, then
stopped short, then walked past everyone, letting Jack win quickly with
two tokens before the end of the first round.
Aladdin's Dragons (Matt, Jack, Jim, Max, Eric)
Max and I had played a three-player game of AD last month, and it was
interesting to see the difference with five players. If you want a spell
card, you really have to fight for it. Winning the use of two artifacts
becomes harder, yet more important since you have more competition.
Matt won three artifacts cheaply in an early round due to other players
either not winning the treasures they needed or miscalculating their
treasures, and that boon made him a target in later rounds. Somehow I
managed to win two artifacts twice, yet not be a target. Good magic play
kept me scoring and I won with eight artifacts, thanks partly to a
concession in the final round in which we backed up a couple of turns so
as not to leave a single artifact in play.
Tigris & Euphrates (Matt, Jim, Max, Eric)
I wanted another singleton off the list, so we chose T&E for the night's
final game. I taught Matt the rules, but neglected to tell him that he'd
likely get slaughtered in his first game. Silly me. He placed in the
middle of the board, as did I, then I won an early challenge, followed
my Max winning one, and soon Matt was essentially starting from scratch
in the east.
Jim built quietly in the southwest, avoiding conflict, then I went after
him, hoping for a huge green score as my green and blue were weak. He
surprised me with a large green stash, and that was the end for me since
I also then lost a red challenge the same turn. I was able to score four
blue in a later external conflict, but the lack of green gave me a score
of 5 instead of 7. Strangely, Max and Jim tied across all four colors:
6-6-7-10. They even had the same number of treasures! A tie game if ever
there was one.
Alas, for each singleton I take off the list, I add another, typically
the same night. Lst night Trendy, Aladdin's Dragons and T&E came off the
list, while Beowulf, Linkity and Attribute went on. The total stands at
34, so I have lots of playing to take care of over the next five months.
Next year I'll flip around the goal by trying for the most singletons
possible, namely by playing everything in my collection. But that's for
W. Eric Martin - TwoWriters.net
"It is still fashionable to believe that how you organize yourself
religiously in this life may matter for eternity." - Sam Harris