Seth and Dom came over and after cutting the selection down to about eight games we narrowed it further until we were left with Alhambra, Now I've never actually played Alhambra before but it is a winner of the coveted German Game of the Year Award (which is incredibly big news in Germany) and I've heard many, many good things about it.
Anyway the game play was very easy to pick up and we all got the hang of it pretty early on (despite the fact that my first few building placements could have been strategically better had I known more of the rules - I was the only one who hadn't flicked through the rulebook before playing due to ordering pizza's and sorting out music, etc for the night). Seth won the first game and just as we were tallying final scores Nicole arrived. So without further a do we played it a second time with Nicole joining the fun. The second game was definetly a better game for me as I knew what I was doing from the outset and you could tell that three of us had played before as our strategies were different from the original game. It was a lot lower scoring and ended up with a tie between Dominic and myself. It is an excellent game and only takes 45-60 minutes per game. Certainly one I'll be pulling out again in the near future and reccommending to people at the shop. Will also have a look at the two expansions available for it (altough both of those are currently only available in German - but hey, I can get translations off the web easily enough).
We then decided to go for a classic. In this case Illuminati. I was the Gnomes of Zurich, Seth the Servants of Cthulhu, Nicole the Discordians and Dom was the Bavarian Illuminati. It was a hotly fought game but both the Gnomes and the Illuminati were soon in the strongest positions despite lots of inter-conspiracy fighting. Girlie mags ended up being very hotly contested, and changed hands a number of times, as did control of the Republican Party and New York. Alliances were made and broken, domination and success were flayed alive and the Gnomes completely underestimated how much money the bloody Servants of Cthulhu had been storing up when they attacked the Repulicans and wiped them from the face of the planet (which ordinarily would be a good thing - but not when you're in bloody control of them AND through them are controlling the UN and Fast Food Chains!!). The battle left everyone completely penniless (which was not good for my victory conditions) and ultimately resulted in a showdown between the Discordians and the Bavarian Illuminati over New York which the Illuminatio managed to get control over and win the game. Gits. Very good fun :)