Billabong Boardgamers - 22nd September 1998
Another game for Roger & Dey to learn. Trading was fairly brisk, though mainly David and Dey. On the first couple of rounds Roger and Dey were too hesitant in trading, leading to a few single card fields being harvested, but they got the hang of it pretty well.
Not many trade ins before each reshuffle, so the last two rounds were pretty fast.
David plaintively called for any "drunk" beans a few times, before we realised that these should have all been removed from the deck. Both David and Dey immediately received a replacement, but it didn't seem to harm their game.
Having to harvest 4 fields all one short of any gold payment, and drawing the only "psycho/garden" bean Donna didn't draw and plant, and so being unable to trade it, effectively I was out of the game and the final scores reflected it.
David 13, Dey 13, Roger 12, Donna 10, Alan 8
Another game learning experience for Dey and Roger. Before we started they revealed that Dey likes trick taking games, and Roger doesn't!
Very hesitant bidding on the first hand. It ended up with Alan chief, and David vice. None of the other 3 players had bid anything, so I had to choose a partner blind. I chose Dey because she was sitting 2 places to my right, and this seemed the better option than a partner right next to me. The contract was for 2 cards (27 points) and we got exactly that, although Dey never took a trick.
The game continued with only 2 or 3 card bids. Donna (+ Dey) was the next successful chief, followed by Donna (+ Roger), then Alan (+ David). The David (+ Dey) lost, and the scores were Alan 159, Donna 118, David 104, Dey 75, Roger 114.
It was not too surprising that Roger and Dey hadn't been chief on their first game. Roger had been vice once.
In the next round the bidding was the fiercest yet, and ended up with Donna chief, Alan vice. Donna chose David as her partner. The major trump was "7" over"4". David had played 2 9s as part of his bid, and so was logical choice as partner. But if Donna made the bid, she would win. As it turned out she had been dealt 77s, so there was really no doubt about it. In the end Donna and David won every trick. The game was over with the final scores:
Donna 222, David 186, Alan 159, Roger 114, Dey 75
Dey and Roger definitely wanted to play Mu again sometime.
(once again a new game for Dey and Roger).
On the first hand I was dealt 103 and 104, but decided not to play either immediately. Instead I played 11, the lowest card played, and removed the 94 present to reduce the risk for the 103, 104. But, a new row appeared, containing the dreaded 55, and finishing with the 4th card 100! In the end I had to take that row with my second last card played (103),and was out of contention after that round. Sigh.
In the second round, Julian played a high card first to get rid of it, but so did nearly every one else, and he took a minor pile as well, but it was his only points for that round.
Round by round scores:
David 8 32 55
(Donna appears to be having a very good evening, despite being the host and having to worry about cups of coffee etc).
(Just to finish off the evening with another new game for Roger & Dey).
In the first game David was out early, and the next few casualties were the result of attrition. Eventually Roger won from Julian, by the time they were down to 1 or 2 dice each.
In the second game, the bidding went straight up by stars, not even getting around once before Donna called Julian's "10 stars" claim. In fact there were 13 stars (out of 30 dice) around the table, and Donna didn't survive long. Julian and I did nothing wrong, but lost three dice each through other people's calls which resulted in "exact". In the end I won when both final opponents were eliminated on such an "exact".
David 6 2
I'm not sure about the "exact" rule where everyone except the bluffer loses a dice. It's a bit unfair on the others apart from the caller. But maybe it's necessary to balance the game, and helps move it along. Should there be a possible call: "I think you're exactly right"?
We had the situation where Donna may have wanted to bid "16 of something", or even "11 stars" but there is no room on the scoring track for this. Have other groups ever experienced this problem? Can you extend the track around again to give 16, 17as possible bluffs etc?