This particular game night sounded like it might be a bit slow - a lot of folks bailed out at the last minute, so I threw a couple of lighter games in the bag that I figured had a shot at hitting the table. When I arrived Dion and another guy were playing hanging gardens and Noah was eating. Dion indicated he had to leave early, so while sitting around, Noah pulled out M. I'm not a huge fan of the game, but it is fairly mindless and quick. Joining Noah and I were Ray Morgan and Dan. The reason I'm not a huge fan of this game is that its TOTALLY random. Like Coloretto (which is also random), you score by getting sets of colors, with only two scoring positive points and the rest scoring negative. Unlike Coloretto, which has some control, there is no control in M. I played as I always do in M - randomly and was in second by 30 points (points scored in 10s, so it was close).
Dion ended up sticking around for a game of Galaxy Trucker and another fellow set up Sword of Rome, looking for players. I didn't want to get into an epic game this evening, so ended up pulling out Wabash Cannonball to teach yet another set of newbs. This game included Noah, Dan, Ray and another fellow from the store - Eddie. With new players, the easiest way to win is to simply get a rainbow of stocks and then suggest the best ways for other players to increase their value (and thus yours). This paid off decently enough for me and I won by around $10.
Erik VonBurg had arrived and was playing a quick two-player game of Roborally (and watching them only solidified my opinion of the game). As they finished up, Noah and I stickered up my copy of Micro Mutants. This isn't a game that would normally be a smash with this group, but I knew Erik would get a kick out of it (I had even pulled out the mat and ironed out the creases before coming over). So Dan, Erik, Noah and I played a quick game of free-for-all combat tiddly-winks. Honestly, this is a pretty fun little dexterity game. After the first couple of rounds, most folks get the hang of the flipping and controlled shots are pretty easy to pull off. Noah and I each killed off two bases, but I had a serious number of casualties and we declared Noah the winner.
Noah took off and Matthew arrived as we pulled out Ice Flow. I wanted to play this again while it was still fresh from playing last week and my initial impression is spot on. Its a puzzle game and most people will be better after a single playing (if they are good at this kind of game). It does however suffer from the same fault we saw in the first playing - it tends to bog down in the mid-end game making it just slightly longer than it needs to be. Still, not a bad game, and it has pretty pieces. Given its value, I may try and work a trade or offer it in a MT, but won't be upset if it stays in my collection either.
It was about 10:30, so we decided to finish the night with some Tichu. Dan and Erik took on Matthew and I. After three hands, the score was 290(C+M) to 510(E+D) and things looked like they were going to be tough for Matthew and I. Three hands latter, the score was 630-270, but Matthew and I were leading. Yes, we reversed our fortunes! Five more hands and the score was 450-650. We had literally reversed our fortunes AGAIN. This was turning into the longest game of Tichu ever. It was almost midnight, so on the next hand I was dealt a pair of aces, the dragon, the phoenix, a pair of jacks, a king and a four and called grand Tichu. I figured if we don't make it, we are down far enough to call the game. Fortunately or not, I made the GT and pulled us to within 30 points. The next few hands saw no Tichus, but a lot of split pots back and forth. We were down 840-950 and Matthew finally called Tichu. He managed it and we also grabbed 90 of the points for a crazy win at 1:15 in the morning. Three hours is a bit much I think. It was certainly fun - I had 4 tichu calls and my second ever grand tichu. I made the GT and half the other calls, so it was interesting to say the least. Here is the retarded game scorecard: