Carole has a week off work, for it is her birthday next Friday.
All this means, in the context of the greater scheme of things, is that she’s spending less time in the office (i.e. the back bedroom) for a week.
And as part of her freedom from the shackles of administrative drudgery, we’re trying to play a game a day for the next nine days.
Today was Sagrada, a game in which you build lovely stained glass window designs out of dice. Which sounds easy. But you have to meet strict placement requirements, not to mention some areas of your window design must be a certain number on the face of the dice or certain colours. Otherwise, just pop the dice wherever you fancy. As long as it’s not next to another identical colour or number. And… aaargh.
It’s simple. But there’s a lot going on.
And it’s ace.
There are a number of different difficulties to the designs you can build. At the start of the game, you deal two to each player – they’re double-sided, so you can pick one of four designs – and each card shows how hard the designs are, from a three to a six. I, somehow, have an absolute legendary skill which enables me to only ever deal myself five or six-level difficulties. They are the hardest because they have the most colour or number requirements, and are the worst to complete without really spaffing things up. Sure, you have tools at your disposal to fix any mistakes, but you can only use those if you can pay for them with the tokens you get based on your difficulty level… and if your fixes actually fit the requirements of the game.
I don’t want to boast here, but we played three games. And I won two of them.
And, and again I do not want to boast or have this recorded for posterity, I completed a six-difficulty window without using a single tool. I completed it solely on brilliant dice rolls and astute dice positioning. I was like a computer, calculating all the different permutations to perfection. I was Doctor Strange, knowing that there was only one possibility out of millions, that my window would go together properly, and hitting every step of the way.
I was amazing.
I mean, cumulatively, I am still way down on the winners table. I’ve only ever won three games of it, Carole’s won considerably more.
But still… I don’t think it will get better than that one window, each carefully crafted piece just slotting into place like a dream. Each well played element leaving room for the next to fit. Played in such a way that I had so many options that I just couldn’t lose. I mean, it was masterful. A stroke of absolute, unadulterated genuis.
I should just retire from competitive window-designing right there.
It’s not going to get better than that.
It can’t do.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring…