Monday night I went round to Dave's for some games again. I'd brought his copy of Border Reivers, plus my It's Alive! prototype and my Pirates of the Spanish Main fleet. Dave wanted to christen his copy of Border Reivers first - so we set up a two player game. Dave won the toss, and laid out a fairly constrained map with more scenery in the middle than I like. I chose the end further from the mine (not sure why) and then we were off. Dave got to the mine before me and put a lot of armies in there to defend it, while simultaneously start to clear land for a new settlement. It's worth noting that Dave got a free reinforcement of both types army and card (Market) in his first turn - so he was off to a flying start. Despite this is was actually a really close game. I managed to successfully attack the mine, Dave won it back and I got it again. We both used Insurrections to attack fairly undefended cities, and I used a Reiving Party to trying to steal from him, while he used Siege Engines a couple of times to aid his attacking of my defences. I managed to break away on the cash front, while Dave continued to spend and receive armies, forcing me to spend my large lead to defend myself. It was one of those back and forth games where it's not clear who's going to win at all. My favourite moment was when Dave used an Insurrection to attack my city, little did he know that I had a Militia to defend with! Dave attacks, I reveal my Militia: 'Ha! My grocers are armed with...' Dave: 'That's a Market not a Militia!' Me:'Arse! It looks they're armed with fruit. Houston, we're in trouble.' Even armed only with fruit they managed to defend themselves though - the city lived to see another day. In the end I managed to wrest an advantage and won - thought it was very close.
The second game of the night was Pirates of the Spanish Main which we'd played recently. We set up for a quick thirty point battle, and I made a decision to add a six point coin to the pot of available coins - my reasoning being that I'd use fast ships with small holds to try to track it down quickly. I ended up with three ships and three fairly cheap crew. Dave chose two ships (one four-masted beast) and a couple of expensive crew, including Admiral Morgan who had the potential to be brilliant. I set out to the nearby islands and quickly found my six-value coin, Dave raided one of the islands near him and started to close with one of his smaller ships armed with a firepot specialist. I brought my Captained ship to bear on that ship using it's longer guns and ability to move and shoot to quickly dispatch the small two-master. Dave's bigger ship came over to engage. Fortunately for me Admiral Morgan's ability to act twice on a particular die roll wasn't coming up for Dave, and though I had to run away to begin with, I brought a second ship over for back-up and managed to maneouvre my Captained ship into range of his ship while out of range of his shorter range front and back guns. I managed to sink that one too, so it was game over. In conclusion I think the Captain is priceless, Admiral Morgan not so much, especially with bad die rolls a factor - he's very expensive (five points) too.
We had time for a quick game of Carcassonne: The Castle after Pirates. Dave and I both drew for the largest house, so neither of us got the biggest open space bonus, and I foolishly wasted a 'score an unfinished road' counter I picked up near the end of the game. In the end the game was decided by the markets, and I had quite a lot, so I snuck my third win of the night. Final scores: me 91, Dave 76.
Another great night of gaming :-)