Saturday was a very busy day - and all of it games-related. First of all I had to post a copy of Border Reivers to a customer in the States who had missed the free shipping offer, which I did on the way to my local games club: Beyond Monopoly. At BM I arrived, dumped my stuff, said hello to a few people, and then looked for a game. Hugo of Bode Gueims was free, and a guy I'd not met called Peter was too. Peter didn't have a preference for what to play, and Hugo wanted to play Border Reivers (good man!), so we set up a three player game with the variant board layout.
Peter got off to a good start, and started building up a strong economy, both he and Hugo were playing defensively, so I took a risk and went for the mine, to supplement my meagre economy. With a bit more money coming in I could start to play a bit more aggressively, and I took the fight to Peter, who had decided to fall back so he had less land to defend. I destroyed one of his towns, and using the money I stole of him, got in a position where I thought I could win the game in a few turns. Hugo and Peter continued to spend heavily, but the left their counter-attacks too late (Hugo did manage to destroy my town in the final turn), and I ended up winning.
I had to leave early, as I was off to Leeds for a meeting at 3, so we decided to have a quick game of Villa Paletti with a young lad who's name I didn't catch joining in, which I hadn't played before. It was a fun dexterity game, with players trying to increase the height of a tower by moving pieces from lower down to the top until it eventually collapses, a bit like a very brightly coloured Jenga. The first game finished too early, so nobody won, so we had time for a quick second game. This won by someone, but I've forgotten who! Perhaps Hugo will fill in the blanks in the comments! I enjoyed Villa Paletti, it compares well with the other dexterity games I've been introduced to recently, but it's not as good as Pitch Car.
I then rushed out of Beyond Monopoly after only two and a half hours, and caught a bus to Leeds where I was meeting an artist (in the comic book vein), to get an idea about how much it would cost to get him to do the artwork for Monster. I met the artist in a cafe, got some coffees in, and started to explain the plan. First I showed him a copy of Border Reivers to show him I wasn't doing a crappy job at the production end. Then I explained the various components, and what I had in mind for artwork for each one. He seemed interested, and suggested some other ideas for the artwork in places, which was good, as a second opinion is always useful. After a long pause for another round of coffee, we played a game of Monster there in the cafe. Then came the crunch point. He said, that if he was doing this for a proper company, then the bill would come to around a grand, far more than I could afford to pay, but, he liked the game, loved the theme, and liked what I was trying to do with it. We discussed a bunch of things that could either reduce the price or act as sweeteners for him. The result? He's going to do a quick sketch of one of the components, and is definitely interested. Yeay!
As if that wasn't enough games-related goodness for the day, I'd arranged a games night for that evening. So I rushed home, did some tidying and cleaning up and then my guests started to arrive. Guy and I set up a game of Lost Cities while Dave, Pip, Paul G and Rebecca set up Ticket To Ride. Guy and I played and couple of games of Lost Cities, and just as we were finishing the second game Roman arrived. So the three of us set up Power Grid, as Roman wanted to play it again. Our 3-player went on for a while, so the others had a game or two of Carcassonne, trying to join up for a 7-player of Pitch Car. We played a few games of PitchCar, firstly with all seven, then with six as Guy went to look after the baby, then, after most people had left and The Wife had returned we had another four player with The Wife, Paul, Rebecca and I. Finally, Paul and I played a couple of games of Carcassonne with the Inns and Cathedrals expansion.
What a day. It was great to get to Beyond Monopoly again and get the rematch of Border Reivers in against Hugo. It went very well with the artist, and then a really good games night, with a whole bunch of friends, some of whom I'd not seen in ages. I need more days like that!