In recent years we've been into town and seen the local fireworks display which, cunningly, happens at 9pm, giving people just enough time to head home and watch the Sydney display on TV at midnight.
This year, though, we decided that we were over that and, on the back of our successful Risk afternoon the other day, we invited our friends over for an evening of games and nibbles. Our offspring also invited friends over (with the proviso that, aside from a small liqueur at midnight it was to be alcohol-free) for games, nibbles and maybe films.
We played Carcassonne, which John and Claudia hadn't played before. New people in the game probably explained one of my greatest runaway victories for a long time which, sadly, went unrecorded as my phone was over the other side of the room and I was too replete with nibbles to walk over and pick it up.
We then switched to 'Adel Verpflichtet', which has been published in the English-speaking world under a couple of other titles. However I'd bought an early version, back in 1990, when it was only available in German. Fortunately I had a friend whose wife was half-German, so she got her mother to translate the rules for me. I knew how to play from having done so at conventions, so really I just needed memory-jogging notes.
Anyway we realised that it's probably been 20 years since we played it and, since Claudia is Swiss and speaks their particular form of German, she might find the rules and cards amusing.
It took us a few turns to get into it, but it rattled along nicely once we did. Catherine headed off to an early lead, with Claudia and John well behind. Catherine stalled, however, trying to improve her collection before the end-game, and the rest of us started to catch up. When Catherine did trigger the final exhibition it was Claudia and I that got the rewards for best in show. and Claudia almost clinched a win, ending one space behind Catherine at the grand dinner. So Catherine won it, but it was very close.
Finally, with midnight approaching, we went back to Tsuro, which both John and Claudia had enjoyed on Sunday, and played several tense, close games.
Meanwhile our offspring and their friends were in the other half of the house playing Cards Against Humanity and watching movies. At one point four of them joined us in our half, and played Carcassonne (after we'd finished with it) and Thunder Road. I didn't get pictures.
Then it was midnight. We watched the Sydney fireworks on TV, and I tried to use my new selfie-stick to take a group photo. I failed. I took one of just our group, though, which Cei photo-bombed.
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