Last Night I had a few friends round for games. It ended up being just five of us, as a few people couldn't make it, but Mal made it all the way down from Newcastle, which was great - I'd not seen him in ages.
Carcassonne was a nice, quick game that we all knew how to play while we waited for others to arrive. As it turns out they weren't coming, but we didn't get the message until the next day! I'd not played a 5-player game for a long time, so I'd forgotten how few turns you get - the tiles disappeared really quickly. I didn't get any of the cloisters, having to make do trying to build cities and claim farms. I had a nice city going until Mal played the four-edged city making it pretty much impossible to complete, and then The Wife joined up two of our cities - largely to her advantage. I'd claimed a field all to myself though, so I still had high hopes. In the closing stages, The Wife managed to complete a behemoth of a city shunting her well into the lead before final scores were calculated. We started totting up the uncompleted scores and The Wife's lead extended further thanks to a few nearly finished cloisters. Then farming. I grinned. Then I looked at the board. Chump! I'd managed to claim an almost worthless farm, so in the end The Wife won, closely followed by Karen, with the three gents bringing up the rear.
Next up was Ticket To Ride, which Mal wanted to play as he'd never played it 5-player before. Mal and I were the only ones who had played before, so after a quick explanation of the rules we settled down to our second game of the night. This lasted a really long time, although whether that was due to five players or the chatting and joking I couldn't tell. The beer and Pimms probably didn't help either :-) I chose a strategy of going for the long segments, and only kept the shortest of my initial three route cards, discarding a coast-to-coast route. I ended up with a lot of routes going into/out of Helena, and near the end managed to get a circuituous 'longest route', only to be pipped at the post by Karen. A few turns from the end all four of the others drew a second set of route cards, with Karen keeping all three. Risky. I ran the game out but placing all of my trains and we totted up the scores. I had a healthy lead (nearly one hundred) as we went around the board, until we got to Karen who had made all five of her routes - most of them were beasts too, cross-country all in a similar area. With that and the longest route Karen won by a mile, with over one hundred and thirty.
I also got a chance to chat with Mal about my new website for Reiver Games. I'm getting the text together, and Mal is going to help me with the design - he's got a flair for it. Early impressions are that the structure I'm going for is good.
I'd also like to thank Andy (thanks, Andy!) for his very favourable write-up and rating of Border Reivers on BoardGameGeek. It's great to have received such a nice write-up, especially since I've not yet received any real slatings. Eventually, I'll probably end up with a normal-distribution of ratings. At the moment there's still not enough ratings to look like a bell-curve, and there's very little at the bottom end which is great. It's also nice that the first really good rating I've got, is from someone I've never met - it's not a friend/relative or me shilling things.