We try to have a games night on the first Tuesday of every month, but sometimes it has to move. This is one of those times (October moved so far it didn't happen at all).
Once more Janet and I proceeded to The Library Pot in Richmond and played games both known and unknown.
First off we re-visited Azul. This is a nifty game we played a while back when we had a 4-player evening, but weren't sure it would work for two players. It does!
The aim of the game is to place tiles on a 5x5 grid of 'wall' on your board, creating horizontal and vertical lines for extra points.
The available tiles are placed on mats and you take turns picking a tiles of the same design off a mat and adding them in lines on the side of your board. Once you've run out of tiles, you then slide them onto the grid in their appropriate space and gain a score based on the number of adjacent tiles to the new one being placed. You then put the spares back in the bag and go around again, until one player completes a horizontal row of five. There's additional points and penalties, but the game is very much set by the random distribution of tiles onto the beer mats.
This game won many awards when it was released and it deserves them all.
Janet & I both won a game.
After some catsu curry, we tried our first game of Tsuro
We categorise this as a 'wriggly lines' game - you lay tiles to create wriggly lines (creative naming R us). In this game your little monolith follows the line until it falls off the board. Up to eight players start with their monoliths at the edge of the board. You take turns laying tiles and as each tile is laid, move the token to the new end of the line. You keep playing until only one token is left in play.
In the photo you can see that my black token has fallen off the edge of the board as I tried to be too clever. I'd won the preceding two games, so Janet had to even things up a bit.
We decided it would be a great game for four or more players, but for two players there's not enough interaction, even if you attack each other. I'd won one of the games by just keeping to my side of the board and letting Janet snooker herself.
I'd be interested if really Tsuro works with 6-8 players - it may get too complicated by then.
Then the hit of the night: Century Spice Road.
Now I do love a 'Deck, Bag & Pool Building' game (oh yes, there are strict classifications that have recently been updated on BoardGame Geek), and this has a really good mechanism.
The aim is to collect 6 victory point cards (far left on this picture), buy paying for them with spices represented by coloured cubes. To get cubes you have to obtain other cards that alter the cubes you have in your caravan.
You'll start with some 1-point yellow cubes (turmeric), that you can upgrade to red (saffron) or green (cardamom). The brown cubes (cinnamon) are the most expensive, worth 4 yellows.
Apologies for the horrible photos - my phone doesn't like the lighting at the library pot.
You can also take a transform card. The leftmost card is free, but the others cost an increasing number of cubes. That second card can be played to obtain a red and two yellows. The fourth will transform 5 yellows into two browns. You might then use those browns and three more yellows to purchase the 11-point card above it.
One you get the hang of the mechanism, it's quite a fast game and works well with two players as you can see what they're working towards and sometimes stop them.
We won a game each and this is probably a game that will appear in the home collection very soon. If you like 'Splendor', you'll love this!
All in all a great night's gaming. Three games, none bad, but not all working for two players.
A word about the The Library Pot - they are always welcoming. On weekdays there's no cover charge but they do ask that you buy some of their very nice Japanese-inspired food. We had a meal and drinks for £25 a head and played some good games. Can't ask much more than that.
Lastly, if you're planning to be in the area on the first Tuesday of a month, throw down the cardboard gauntlet!