3 tables tonight, one featured Roll For the Galaxy and Isle of Skye both of which to be honest I'm not particularly keen on, one featured World Without End and Guillotine which I'd be more than happy to fill an evening with, but I didn't feel I'd missed out as on my table 5 of us got stuck into 2 classics : Amun Re and China.
Amun Re first up, the 1st Epoch seemed to rush through quite quickly, probably as there never seemed to be a lot of money in the game to indulge in big auctions but Camels paid well. I had 2 bits of luck, firstly getting Pharoah for just 2 gold with which I built an extra pyramid, then in the 3rd turn pulling a 3VP card which I accidentally satsified (although I feel the latter was cancelled out by the fact that it was the only 3VP card I pulled all night), so a healthy 17 VP (4 pyramids + 1 set + 3VP + 1 largest pyramid + 2 VP for Temples) saw me ahead going into Epoch 2 but a bit stuck for cash. 2nd Epoch was much tougher and slower including a protracted auction featuring the only provinice with no existing pyramid (Gordon's fault so perhaps apt that he ended up with it again) but I was going steadily and as long as nobody else did spectacularly well I felt that I might be able to hang on as cash flow was reasonable and I got the 2 Temple province, but when Rob spent 45 on blocks but built sets rather than attack Steve H on one of the river banks for largest pyramid (he was pretty guaranteed one of them), and the others let Steve get 2 Temples (I picked up Damanhur on the 2nd auction so could do nothing else myself) he stormed to victory and I had to settle for 2nd place. Great fun though.
5-player China is a tricky proposition, and this one started off with all 5 players opening up a new province in thier 1st turn which I don't think I've ever seen before. This certainly wiped out the perceived 1st player disadvantage for James (who I recall eventually won, perhaps proving my point). I got caught in the classic 'no mates' trap with emissaries, unable to participate in the top right of the board at key moments and so having to get predominantly solo allainces at bottom right. Everyone else except Rob got into healthy shared alliances and I think I ended up 4th. This is another great game, loads of decisions and interractions crammed into just 35-40 minutes.