Last night I went round to Paul's again for his weekly games night. He'd asked me to bring Puerto Rico this week, which I did, but I got there quite late, so I wasn't sure if we'd have time.
When I finally arrived I realised the others had waited for me! Bless them. With Vin still to come, we set up a quick game of Guillotine for the four of us: Andy, Greg, Paul and I. Andy got off to a great start (I think his first turn put him on three times as many points as the rest of us, thanks to a Double Feature card), and the rest of us spent the game trying to scupper him. Andy was delighted (he doesn't usually win), and even though I wasn't winning (or even coming close until fairly near the end), I really enjoyed this one again. It's funny, it's fast and it seats loads - great stuff. Final scores: Andy 24, me 19, Greg 18 and Paul 14.
During Guillotine, Vin arrived, so as soon as that was over we set up Puerto Rico, for a 5-player with all of us.
I love Puerto Rico, but I'm not very good at it. I recently looked at an online strategy guide for the first time, and with that in mind I tried a different strategy during this game, eschewing quarries, and instead trying to get loads of money together with an idea of building factories/wharves/big buildings. I met some of those goals (Factory), but Greg had managed to fill up his island far quicker than I was expecting, so I built the Residence big building in the final turn - but didn't even get a chance to get it occupied, hence missing out on most of the points. Greg's speedy finish caught a few of us out - so he won handsomely: Greg 35, Paul, 30, me 30, Vin 25, Andy 23.
Puerto Rico went surprisingly fast with a bunch of players who all knew what they were doing, so we had time at the end for another quick filler. We chose Diamant.
Lisa joined us for this one, and while we were playing I was bearing in mind Hugo's criticisms of Diamant. If you play the game purely as a press-your-luck game, only considering the likelihood of a second disaster coming out then I think the game would be a bit dull, but the bit I enjoy is trying to second-guess my opponents, and take the lion's share of the remaining gems on the way out. Is this a winning strategy? Nope. I don't think I've ever won, but every time I escape on my own and claim a few gems from the cards I get a little hit of 'I win', from choosing the right time to leave so that I don't have to share - and I still enjoy it. Paul didn't have any gems after the first four mines, but he still managed to beat me, so that'll give you an idea of just how bad a strategy it is :-) Final scores: Vin 28, Lisa 14, Paul 11, me 9, Greg 8, Andy 5.
Yet another great evening of games and top company, very entertaining. Highlights would have to be Greg's expletive outbursts and his apoplexy when I quoted from the Planetary graphic novel at him :-) Sadly, that's my last one before Christmas, so I've got four weeks of cold turkey.