Lisa and I had a lovely afternoon with Jack and his wife, Lou. Ellie loved having more grown-up attention than usual and she definitely warmed to both of them (Lou's presence was even requested in the bathroom at bath time - a high honour indeed!).
After a meal of build-your-own-tortillas (one of Ellie's favourites) the grown-ups retired to an evening of games. First up we tried It's Alive! - the prototype of the next game Jack's publishing. I had played and enjoyed this before, but it was a new experience for Lisa!
We both really enjoyed this and Lou and Jack, who I'm guessing have both played it rather a lot, seemed to enjoy playing it with us. The game is essentially a race to purchase body parts to complete a cadaver. The villagers can upset your plans and sometimes its best to auction body parts to the other Dr Frankenstein's to add to your bank role.
Lisa really took to this game, enjoying the theme and the straightforward mechanics. She won the first game with 51 points. She also got to shout out "It's Alive!" as she finished her body-reconstruction. Lou came second with 44, Jack just behind his wife with 43 and I brought up the rear with 37.
We all wanted to play again...which must be a good sign for the success of the game! Lou won this time with 57, Jack was second with 45, I came third with 38 and, in a reversal of fortune, Lisa was last with 34.
After this we elected to play Carcassonne - the first time Lisa had played with more than 3 players! It was a close game. Jack and I felt a bit put upon as our spouses kept muscling in on our cities and fields. It was a tense, satisfying game, which was reflected in the scoring. Lou and myself drew for first place with 59 points. Jack was next with 56 and then came Lisa with 53. She commented that she really enjoyed playing the 4-player version but had suffered as she had not finished several potentially high scoring features as the tiles simply ran out! As she doesn't usually play with farmers I thought she did really well.
We fancied something quick and simple next so out came Diamant, a game I think was new to Lou. Lisa won the first game with 42 stones. Lou was close behind with 39. I came next with 35 and Jack was last with 25. I won the next game with 28 jewels despite having no jewels until the fourth mine. Lisa was second with 23 and Jack and Lou drew for third place with 20 jewels.
Jack then requested Guillotine, another new game for Lou. This was a good, fun game to round off the evening with. I won the first game with 27 points, due to several palace guards. Lisa was second with 18, Lou close behind with 17. Jack did... not so well with 9 points. Before calling it a night we had another go. I won this one as well (!) with 20 points. Lisa and Lou drew for second place with 17 points - Jack.... did not so well again with 11 points.
A fantastic evening with lovely company and good games.