May 1, 2020: Forty-Two

A new game can be a daunting prospect.

I looked over the rules for The Networks last night, fancying a single-player game to get to learn the ropes and I chickened out because it looked too frightening – even though I’d seen the game played, it was a while ago and I wasn’t sure if what I remembered even fit with what I was reading.

And then this afternoon Carole and I had a leisurely – which is to say over-long because we were learning – game of it and, you know what, it was good fun and it worked really well. I was worried at the outset because Carole had that kind of glazed over look where she’s decided a game is too complicated from the outset, but she soon warmed to the whole affair.

And by warmed I mean absolutely destroyed me. But in a way which made her think saying things like “oh you’re catching up” when I closed the thirty-point gap between us with a bonus three points was in some way encouraging. It was not. It was mean. There was no way I was catching her up. I made some poor decisions in the first season of the game and that cost me the whole thing, basically.

Whereas Carole – with her face of incomprehension on befuddlement – just played cards like there was no tomorrow, added bonuses, made money hand-over-fist and generally did everything right.

I want to play it again. I want to beat her.

I’m not sure if I want to play it – on Tabletopia at least – as a game night game. It took us two hours to play a game and we shortened it by a round so that I could go and make some naan breads to go with tea. Five of us doing it – especially with Addy’s ability to not pay attention, and put on the pathetic whining voice halfway through when she expects everyone else to do her thinking and make her moves for her – could take forever.

That’s not to say I don’t want to try it. I do. Just maybe the physical version, if we’re ever allowed to play out again.

I would like to try the digital version with a couple more people though, as I can definitely see the tactics changing with a higher player count.

Not my tactics, obviously. I’d still just balls stuff up. But hey ho. It’s not about the winning, is it?


Yes it very much is.