Billabong Boardgamers - 23rd June 1998
Neil hadn't arrived at this stage, and we were too many for the requested Quandary or Code 777, so we launched into Bluff. This is a great game that always produces lots of laughs, and I feel we played it better than our first time a few weeks back. We ended up playing five games during the evening, with Donna being caught at her own game (of launching the bidding around half the bid track) and lost heavily a few times.
Doug's rating: stays at 8
Magic: The Gathering
Should I remove myself from the list now? Julian had constructed five decks several weeks back and had often mentioned playing it with five players. Tonight he saw five players sitting around and began slobbering in Pavlovian fashion. Alan was a bit reluctant, having never played it and was maybe a bit intimidated by the reputation (Alan ?). Janet and I hadn't played it for a couple of years, and only then against each other with a hundred or so cards.
...cut to harp playing, camera fades back to a few years ago....
after some Dixie trades with Sheila, I asked her about other collectible card games. She recommended Middle Earth, didn't like Magic that much because of someone called "Mr. Suitcase". Despite this pearl of wisdom I bought a few decks a couple of months later to see what the fuss was about. On hearing this, Sheila simply replied "You have my sympathies" :)
... shot cuts back to reality...
So, we played a five player game, with Julian's constructed decks. I drew the black deck (bwa ha ha ha ha) and was up against Alan (white) and Janet (green). The object of this game was to destroy your two 'anti-colours'. It took about15 minutes before I had the rules remembered, but I just couldn't draw my swamps to get some good karma .. mana..banana...whatever it is going to play some big nasties. I played a card on Janet that turned one of her forests into a swamp, which was met with a agate-eyed look that would have frozen boiling oil - it was then I suddenly remembered why we didn't play this game any more :)
Janet was having the troubles from another front, being slowly destroyed by Donna's blue deck. Julian was struggling as well, as Alan had played a card that gave him a life point for each mountain Julian tapped, which helped me not at all.
In the end, Donna blew Julian and Janet into tiny red and green particles respectively to take the game, not before we reduced our current life points by ten each to accelerate the end of the game.
Doug's rating....not sure - the five player game is nifty, and I'd like to try it again, maybe with my own black deck. The concept that Julian and Donna were my allies yet were trying to destroy each other was rather clever. I still think Middle Earth is a better game, but that's the Tolkien talking.
Neil had joined us for 2 games of Bluff and a six player Bohnanza. I thought I'd experiment a little and bought a 3rd bean field early (for 2 gold) to see if it helped. It didn't - these should really only be considered with four or fewer players, I suspect. Donna also bought a 3rd bean field (more or less forced into it).