So, the afternoon/evening turned out pretty well. Not as many people showed up as I thought would, but that's alright, we had a good core.
The game-playing itself started with Race for the Galaxy; not my favorite game. I like San Juan, but I have never been able to wrap my head around all the extra complexity of RftG. But I give it a chance whenever Matt wants to play it. There were only 3 of us, and 2 of them play this game A LOT 2-player, so I knew I had no chance while I was more "moseying for the galaxy".
In the first game, I was going for a "Rebel" strategy, but really spent more time collecting things with the Rebel keyword than paying attention to my score.
In the second game, I started with an "Alien" strategy, but (as Jen pointed out) if you buy an expensive Alien location on turn 1-2, you spend the rest of the game Exploring and you lose.
Next came a game of Small World, when some more showed up. We played with the Necromancer Island expansion, so there were 4 "regular" players and 1 Necromancer.
The jury is still out on this variant. It seems like the only way to prevent Nerg^H^Hcromancer from winning is to sit there and be peaceful, and only attack as much as it takes to keep your slight edge in coins. The basic thing is, whenever a unit dies, it becomes 25% of a ghost. And when 14 ghosts are on the board, Necro wins.
Now, the game did last until the last turn, and the Special Necro Powers were particularly useful for a "Necromancer sits on his hands and is unattackable" strategy, but he still ended up winning.
I can't say I'm entirely faultless; I chose a few super-aggressive race/power combinations and "had no choice" but to keep attacking.
There may be some other subtlety of the NI rules that we missed; I'm willing to try it again.
It also worked out pretty well to use the Leader Tokens as randomizers for the races, although we didn't actually incorporate the Leader mechanic.
After that, we played a game of Citadels. Not much to report about that one.
Except the whole crew was getting pretty punchy by this point.
Then, most people went home, and it was down to me and Mike (Talita had also gone to bed). We played a couple of 2-player games of Pandemic before calling it a night. We lost the first one due to too many outbreaks (with some killer chain reactions), and we won the second one. Parts of the game do seem anticlimactic (at least with 2 players), but I still like it.
Dominion was suggested, but not played. That one will come out next time, really really hopefully with the expansions I'm missing.
If I think of anything else to add, I will probably re-edit this post, so please watch this space carefully.
Who knows when I will be able to do something like this again?