Christmas session 2014

Xmas 2014
quizThree weeks ago we had our Christmas session. Less well attended than previous years, it was not less fun, with all the traditional bits: mince pies, David's picture quiz, Pete's miniature model game, my copy of PitchCar mini, which got played three times, and a mix of light games like Incan Gold and Camel Up. Only the usual tournament cup presentation was missing, postponed to the new year due to Keith's absence.

One group started off with two bluffing games brought by Ian. Ewan and I were the two last standing in Coup but in spite of playing the assassin (I discarded and got it back twice during the game!), I had no chance against his contessa and he won. In The Resistance, Ian, Paul D. and I were the spies, and we played it beautifully, if I may say so myself. Ian happened to be the start player, took Bill along the first mission and sabotaged it. Paul D sabotaged a later mission, but he and Ian are very good at arguing their innocence. Nevertheless, towards the final two missions it was pretty clear they were spies, so who was the third one? I had kept silent and bewildered at all the discussion going around. Since looking confused without knowing what to play is my usual state, nobody suspected me. Almost nobody: Ewan was catching a whiff, but fortunately Kieran was talking too much and attracting attention on him. I happened to lead the 5th and final mission. I had to make sure the mission was going ahead, so took Bill and Ewan with me, asked for everyone's advice on whether to take Kieran or James, only to sabotage it for a sure win. I just love bluffing games 😊 I also brought along Perudo, which got played later in the evening by others.

I moved to the table with Pete's creation, another beautifully painted and detailed setting for a dice-fest of mayhem fun: orcs racing on various vehicles, ramming and shooting each other. To make things more brutal, the race track is constantly 'rolling': when a player moves onto the last track segment, all racers on the first segment are out of the game, and the first segment becomes the last. Last man standing wins. John, Dan and David, who had dashed back home to fetch the forgotten mince pies, joined in the fun, with Pete overseeing adherence to the rules and providing tactical advice. John's successful strategy was to dash ahead with one of his orcs, leaving the other 3 behind to block us and take our hits, making us eat his dust and get eliminated. It's always very nice of Pete to carry such a huge amount of material to the Christmas session, for others to play.

The quiz concocted by David (click to enlarge the image) was again a head-scratcher and sparked hushed conversations between club members. John won it for the 3rd year, with 13 correct answers, followed by Bill with 11 and Pete with 10. Each got a small game bought by David. I knew 9 of the games, my best score ever, but got two of the names slightly wrong. If there were a tie, David would have asked what's wrong in picture 16. James was the keen observer who found it.

After two games of PitchCar, my last game was Colt Express with Pete (who brought the game), John, Dan and David. Each player is a robber trying to pick up bags of money and diamonds scattered around a 3D cardboard train, whilst avoiding the other players and the sheriff. Each round starts with players picking up actions cards (move yourself or the sheriff, punch, shoot, pick loot, get on/off train roof) and choosing three of them, one at a time, which then get all played out in sequence. What seemed at the start the right action at the right time can backfire once the other players' actions have played out. If you get shot, you receive a bullet card, which reduces the amount of action cards in your hand. In summary, a thematic, cartoonish and chaotic spaghetti western game that cleverly mixes RoboRally and Dominion mechanics to great effect and fun. The perfect way to end a great gaming evening.

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