Thursday, 29 January 2009

gaming in photos

It has been quite some time since I last played Tikal, the previous play being in 2006. So we brought out this old classic. We needed a refresher before starting off.

17 Jan 2009, Tikal. This was near the end of the game. In this game Michelle was lucky with the treasures, while I was very lucky with discovering temples. My tent (natural wood colour) in the middle of the board helped me bring in researchers and place them at valuable temples.

This area used to be dominated by me, because of my conveniently placed tent. But later Michelle made some good moves and wrested away control of many temples, or forced me to be unable to score them.

Close-up of Tikal.

On 24 Jan 2009 I taught Chee Seng to play Agricola. I think he did quite well for his first game. Quite well balanced and no negative scores for any category except empty space. Also he even beat me to having a child.

These were Chee Seng's Occupations and Improvements. Quite nicely suited for baking bread. I spotted an error in his farm afterwards. He had the house goat, and thus should not have been able to place the wild boar in his home in the previous photo.

My farm. I had reserved some space for sheep. However Chee Seng took the 2 sheep on the last round, which I didn't expect, because he already had 6. He said he wanted to score the full 4pts for sheep.

My Occupations and Improvements played. I had a lot of clay because of the Clay Deliveryman and Clay Hut Builder. I actually had the Chief's Daughter Occuption card too, but too bad I didn't have enough actions to play it.

I also taught Chee Seng Dominion, which he also quite liked. We played 2 games, the first with the recommended setup for beginners, and the second with 10 random kingdom cards which were not from the previous game (except we swapped in the moat due to there being some attack cards). We enjoyed the second game much more.

Chee Seng happily having a fun "chain reaction", i.e. playing action cards one after another many times, because previous cards played allow drawing more cards and playing more cards.

Eventually he had 7 action cards played: Market, Village, Village, Cellar, Militia, Militia, Remodel. I was so happy to have my Moat card (the blue one in the foreground) in my hand when he played his first Militia card. Instead of discarding two cards, I got to draw two. But unfortunately he had yet another Militia card, and I couldn't defend against that, so I had to discard down to 3 cards afterall.


Bay said...

Re Moat. I understand its use differently: the Moat prevents Attack cards from affecting you (if you wish to employ it). However, it doesn't get discarded or "used up" if you show it to your opponent in order to rebuff his attack -- it stays in your hand. In addition, the "+2 Cards" does not trigger when you are attacked; it's an effect you get if you choose to use your Moat as an Action on your turn. So in the case you described, your Moat would have protected from both Militias played by your opponent (and if it were a multi-player game, you would have been protected from other Militia plays by other opponents too).

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Thanks for pointing this out. I just read the text on the card and never read the rules properly, and got it all wrong. I read the rules again and it's actually quite clearly explained in the rulebook. :-P

I guess this is one of the benefits of blogging. I often discover my rule mistakes this way. :-)

Board Games Australia said...

Nice write up, I really like the color and style of Tikal, however it sounds like there is a lot of luck involved. I prefer strategy based games, a hint of luck is needed in all games but if it is too heavily weighted on luck it feels a bit random.

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Indeed there is some luck in the tile draws, but I think there is a lot of strategy too, in how you use your 10 action points to maximise your score, in whether and when to place your new camps, etc.

There is an advanced ruleset where instead of randomly drawing a tile, each round a number of tiles are turned face-up and you bid for them using victory points (and you start with 10VP, I think). This is meant to reduce the luck element, but I have never felt the need to use it, and I think it will slow the game down.

Mishie said...

Aaah.. Tikal! Just learned that game on Saturday and played it for the first time. It was fun! Though quickly discovered that one cannot underestimate TREASURES! :p

Now I just need to get past the FAMILY VERSION of Agricola...

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Agricola seems a little daunting at first (so many choices), but everything is quite logical and I think you can quickly get familiar with the rules.

I always think of Agricola as 3 aspects to develop on and 1 constant worry to think about. The 3 aspects are house+family, crop and animals. The 1 worry is food. Most actions in the game can be categorised into one of the 3 aspects, but of course things like collecting wood can be used for more than one aspect. Perhaps thinking of Agricola this way will help make it feel less daunting.