Went to visit friends last night, like I try to do most Fridays. We generally play games and visit, and eat cheese. The cheese is important. We have only been doing it a couple of decades now, so we already know what everybody thinks about most things, but we say it anyway.
Last night was not a good night at the table for me. While waiting for others to show up, three of us played a game of The Ark of the Covenant, a variant of Carcassonne. It was made a bit more interesting because we were playing on an end table, the large table being used by the children for a game of Killer Bunnies.
The much smaller space made it much easier to decide to close off the castle holding bubba. (The prophet piece. I had to look that up, we never call it that. Big meeples are bubbas, in all the games.) The turn before I played a piece to share sheep with another player, who had more than me, the third player put down a piece to block it. At the endof the game, the third player ended up winning, with me second, and the other player last. If I had managed to share the sheep, I would have won the game.
When everybody showed up, we started a game of 6 player Empire Builder. This is very rare for us, we usually only manage to get 3 or 4 people at a time there, because 2 of us live over an hour away, and the others mostly have lives. We really wanted to make it a game of Iron Dragon or Lunar Rails, but one person had only played once before, and we were getting a late start because of the Killer Bunnies game.
I went first, and because of the 6 players, I decided not to try the sugar run to Chicago I had. I figured it would be too expensive to get through the Rockies since others would grab cheap routes. So I took a shorter double run of Lead to a couple of places in Mexico. Then I watched everybody else build East of Kansas City. The entire eastern half of the US was packed.
That is an example of how the decisions I made worked for the rest of the game. I am not bad at these games, I won the Empire Builder International championship at the Puffing Billy tournament at Origins this last year. But lately I am getting my butt kicked at our weekend games. Good thing I am the only one from them that makes it to conventions.
But it was a fun night, even though I was just over $100 million when the game ended. And the 5th place person had almost $200 million. It wasn’t even close.