Our Thursday sessions continue to be quiet. Well, three is enough! We started with Fairy Tale, as usual, but this game was unusual! I was doing well, I got all three of those eight-point “get two of the other suits” cards and got them fulfilled, too. Well, Sami did close down my critical cards, but on the last round I got the black card that opens two, so I was set to score big.
But no. Mari had a hunt card saved for the last card of the game, thinking that we would try to do something clever. Indeed — both me and Sami had saved a black card for the end. That single hunt spoiled my game: I would’ve won with more than 40 points, but thanks to the two cards being closed, I got, what, 16 points. Nice move!
Playing Modern Art against newbies is a good way to boost winning percentages… I did quite well, I think, and my opponents didn’t make newbie blunders, at least not fatal ones, so I think I can take some credit for winning the game. Fun game, even with three.
We had four players for a moment, so it was time to play few hands of Hungarian Tarokk. Well, two, to be exact. Once again I had to explain tarot to someone with little or no trick-taking experience — that takes some adjusting to! We managed to play two hands and I was able to make an utter fool of me by playing recklessly… Well, more of this to come in Helcon, and the Hungarian game seems to me to be the best tarot game so far.
I’ve been wanting to play Settlers of Catan for a while now. That may have been affected by Markus Nuopponen’s tales from the championships: he was the World Champion last year and this year placed third, I think, and he posted a really interesting overview of the tournament — if you can read Finnish, I recommend reading it. (Here’s a picture of Markus at the World Championships)
When I found out that neither Mari or Hannu had ever played Catan, that was all I needed. The starting setup had very little wood, so the game was a bit slow at first. I got obscenely lucky die rolls in the beginning, but had a real struggle in the end to get rock, as I didn’t produce any. Well, two towns on a sheep hex number 6 and a sheep harbour certainly helped that… In the end I won, as I had the best starting setup and Mari and Hannu didn’t work hard enough to stop me from winning. Of course, grabbing the longest road from me wasn’t that easy, with very little wood around. Obviously it’s also a question of experience: Catan has its own subtleties. It’s a good game, and I think I’d like to play a bit more of it, too — while I’ve kept statistics (almost seven years now), I’ve only played eight games.
Tomorrow I’ll head to Helcon: expect reports on Monday, if not before.