Apr 8, 2021: Mapping Made Fun

Thursday night is games night. Unless it isn’t games night, in which case it’s entirely something else.

But this time it was games night. And the gang was assembled for a brand new game for Daniel to completely ruin. Which, of course, he did. But we don’t want to burn this one because it was really good fun and we declared it a learning game so Daniel’s win doesn’t count for shit.

It would have counted, I hasten to add, if anyone else had won.

And by anyone else I mean, it its entirety, just me.

So we played Cartographers which, in its physical form is a game in which you draw your moves onto a piece of paper handily provided along with the game. But in digital form it’s actually better – in a way – because it uses little tiles which you can place on the grid instead. Which is way better than drawing your moves. But also allows you to have second and third and fourth thoughts about what move you’re doing and shift them around. There’s a more final feeling to having put pencil to paper. You’re committed. You’ve made the move. Here, we were just sliding things about until we were happy with it. It lacked a sense of urgency that I think the physical version would have.

So maybe we’ll cut that out next week when we take it for a play again.

The game is a bit like Patchwork and the like. You’re placing – drawing – polymino shapes onto a map and trying to fit them into certain scoring parameters which change each round. You’re also hoping that a monster card doesn’t come out, because then your opponents get to place – draw – a set of tiles on your sheet which, unless you manage it well, will cost you all the points you’ve scored in the round.

Hypothetically, of course.

It’s bloody simple to learn and play. Which means there’s a lot going on under the surface which you have to manage.

I did not manage it well.

I think, in part, because I was watching Carole’s moves and pointing out when she did things that wouldn’t score her points rather than focusing on my own board. And that is my excuse. And I will stick to it. Until the end of time.

In the end I came last. Nik snuck third, Carole scraped second by one point and Daniel just had a score which was conveniently higher than the rest of us. He checked all our workings, we never checked his. Which says more about us than it does about him, or something. One of us is more trusting than the others I think. There’s nothing more annoying than someone marking your workings as correct, especially when you haven’t asked for anyone to check it, but for them to just casually bang some points in with gay abandon.

I can only assume that some next-level cheating has taken place on his watch and he won’t stand for it no more. Or something like that.

Anyway, I was last. Twenty points behind the top spot. And I really thought I had the game in the back at one point. But then we added up the first round score and I was the only one with a minus figure. But then later on I was once more buoyed and thinking I was doing alright.

But you know how my story ends, week in and week out.

Maybe next Thursday… who knows?

Me. I know. I will be last.