Sunday, 27 July 2008

Photos of games played

11 Jul 2008. Han and Michelle and Race for the Galaxy, in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. I've played so many 2-player games of Race for the Galaxy, using the advanced variant (2 Develop cards and 2 Settle cards), that it feels strange to play a 3-player game, when you can only choose one role per round. It does make the role-choosing more important, and guessing and piggy-backing on your opponents' roles important.

12 Jul 2008. This bowl is very convinient for the Through the Ages tokens.

12 Jul 2008. This was a game of Through the Ages that I won (against Michelle) but only barely, 235pts vs 226pts. I had 5 colonies. (1 of 3)

I had some more advanced technologies but never quite made use of them. I think I used them only for the Age III event scoring. (2 of 3)

My special technologies and wonders. The pyramids and Universitas Carolina are two of my favourite wonders. (3 of 3) Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of Michelle's civilisation.

12 Jul 2008. A second game of Through the Ages played on the same day! To me, that exclamation mark is very much justified. I lost this game to Michelle by a wide margin, 262 vs 228. One of the main reasons for the loss is I was badly limited by having only 3 Level 0 farms. I had Moses at the start of the game, which made me complacent and I didn't develop my farming technology. I play white now, since there is no green. (1 of 3)

This was my first time using Elvis Presley as a leader. And I think it was the first time I had tanks too. Michelle and I are now exploring different leaders, units, tactics and wonders in the game, which is fun and interesting. In our earlier games we tend to only pick the obvious good ones only, and also we weren't that aggressive in pursuing military power. Now, despite still only playing the non-aggressive variant, we spend more effort on military. (2 of 3)

My first time building the Transcontinental Railroad wonder, and I kept forgetting to have one of my mines produce double. Doh! Nowadays I tend to like technologies that give bonuses for colonisation. Somehow I like colonising new territories, even though they are not always very critical. (3 of 3)

Michelle's civilisation. Very strong set of culture generating wonders. (1 of 3)

And a very strong army too. Nowadays we usually make use of tactics cards, unlike our earlier games when we usually ignored them. (2 of 3)

We both stayed despots to game end in this game. (3 of 3)

13 Jul 2008. Another game which I lost to Michelle by a wide margin, 268 vs 236. This was in the middle of the game when I had an overflowing mine, due to an event on Michelle's turn that caused mines to produce for free. (1 of 4)

My special technologies and wonders, and by Age III completely obsolete and pitiful army. (2 of 4) This was the first time I built the Kremlin. The unhappy faces were a big concern and I had to plan such that I developed some happy face generating buildings before I completed this wonder.

There is one heartbreaking/hilarious story in this particular game. Heartbreaking for me, hilarious for Michelle. Because of having decided to build the Kremlin, happy faces was very important to me. In this game, I was the early leader in culture, and since Michelle was having a better infrastructure than me, I needed to make sure I stay ahead and not let her catch up. So, one very important play that I made was to plant a territory with 11 culture points and 2 happy faces into the event deck. I needed the culture points to make my lead bigger, and I needed the happy faces so that I could complete the Kremlin earlier. In preparation for colonising this territory when it came up as an event, I had accumulated 3 colonisation cards, and had also developed a special technology to give myself a colonisation bonus. And then when the territory came up, Michelle won it! She actually didn't need it as desperately as I did, and she didn't even realise (at that time) that I needed it so badly. It just so happened that she had just drawn two powerful colonisation cards on her previous turn, i.e. she hadn't needed to discard her military cards yet due to hand size limit. So she just decided on a whim that she wanted that territory. 百年大计,毁于一旦。

It was a major blow to me. I not only didn't widen the score gap, I had let Michelle catch up a lot. In the end the 11 culture points wouldn't have won me the game, but the 2 happy faces probably would have helped me a lot.

Another thing which I miscalculated, and Michelle foiled my plans, was Michaelangelo. I had counted the position of that card on the card row (a.k.a. sushi belt), and knew it would still be available on my next turn. I built the appropriate technologies so that I could make use of Michaelangelo's abilities. I didn't expect Michelle to be interested in him, but she did, and she took him, and made very good use of him. We have never had Michaelangelo taken in any of our past games, so it was a surprise to me that she took him. Her many wonders in this game is partly due to him (discount of 1 civil action when taking a wonder).

This was a game that Michelle played very well. She made use of her leaders well. Her civilisation was well developed. She also had Einstein as an Age III leader, who got her some culture points too by playing technology cards. So, on losing this game to her I can only say 心服口服, she won it fair and square and she played a very competent game.

My mines, farms and two old urban buildings. (3 of 4)

I had 3 movie theatres, giving me 12 culture points per turn. Unfortunate I only built them on my last turn and 2nd last turn. I had 3 colonies, which was nice, but unfortunately I didn't get the colony which I was most keen to get. (4 of 4)

Michelle's civilisation. She had 6 wonders! Usually we have 4 per player in our past games. (1 of 2)

The rest of Michelle's civilisation. She had 10 civil actions and 4 military actions! (2 of 2)

We continue to enjoy Through the Ages. I have played 10 games, and Michelle 7. Michelle is probably enjoying it much more now, since she has just won 2 games in a row. The last time she won was her very first game. We are now exploring different leaders and wonders and strategies, and are having fun experimenting. I look forward to play more.


Frank said...

Your enthusiasm for Through the Ages is rubbing off, and I'm thinking of getting it for me and my wife. One question though: how long does your 2P games of this usually take?

Hiew Chok Sien said...

It still takes us 2 - 2.5 hours to play a Full Game. I must warn you that Through the Ages really is a gamer game, and it is rather daunting at first. Be prepared to spend 3 to 3.5hrs for your first game, even if it is 2 player.

If you decide to go ahead, I'd say don't bother with the short game and just jump straight into the Advanced Game. I have never played the short version but I hear that it's quite distorted from the "real" game.