Saturday night the games continued as we had several friends round for a games night. The temperature was equally ridiculous, it was 27 degrees in our flat at 11pm!
First up, Roman, Jochen, Paul and I played my first game of Power Grid by Friedemann Friese - a recent Birthday present (thanks Linz and Cath!). We chose to play not to play the Germany map (despite 50% of the players being German) since the American map is supposed to be slightly easier and none of us had played before. We read through the rules, and once we thought we had the idea we began to play tentatively.
Paul chose the cheap connection costs of the North-East, Jochen headed for Alabama, Roman the Mid-West and I chose the central North. During the first few turns things were fairly close with me lagging behind slightly, but just before stage two began Paul got trapped as we had surrounded him, so he had a turn or two without many expansion opportunities. Jochen chose to go down the renewable resources route, building green Power Station after green Power Station, and obviously benefitting from the reduction in outlay as he didn't need to buy any fuel. From Paul's early lead, Roman and I began to edge into the lead and Jochen started trailing, I'd gone for a few big power plants that were of mixed fuels so they were fairly cheap to power.As the game entered the closing stages I looked to the available resources and noticed there was hardly any coal left, I looked down and realised over the last few turns I've bought new power plants that all run on coal! No! Yup. I'd completely scuppered myself. I bid for the 50 renewable power plant but it was too late. Roman built a whole bunch of power plants after buying the last of the coal. So the final turn ends with us powering: Roman - 19, Jochen and Paul - 17 and me 12 out of my 16 plants. Soundly thrashed!
After that the Germans were all gamed out, so Paul and I cracked open my copy of Ticket To Ride and played three games of that. Paul picked the rules up very quickly and completely out played me over a three game series. He managed to complete high-value routes such as coast-to-coast ones, consistently claimed the longest route and won each game by at least ten points. I was quite conservative on my routes, only keeping all three of my initial draft once, and never choosing to take extra routes during the game. Perhaps that's where I fell down, I never failed to complete a route, but I never got many points for them either.
It was getting late, so we had a quick game of Carcassonne to end the night (at 1:45am). I won the game, but since I'd played hundreds of times and this was Paul's second game I can't really count it.
All-in-all it was a great night, and I got several people to sign up as blind-playtesters for Border Reivers, which is great, as I need some feedback on the rules once I've got them ready.
Despite not winning a game (except a couple of games of Carcassonne against two relative newbies - which don't count) Saturday was a great day's gaming. I got to experience four new games, and play nine games in one day (plus the first two hours of the next one). I'm going to miss the next games club meet as I'm going to be in Devon and Cornwall on holiday, but I'm looking forward to going again soon.