Friday, 22 May 2009

gaming in photos

3 May 2009. Race for the Galaxy. This kind of starting hand makes me want to cry. I start with a novelty goods (blue) producing world, I have another novelty goods world in my hand, and the Free Trade Association, which is good for novelty goods. Then I also have 3 other cards in my hand that are good for a genes (green) strategy. Also getting these nice 6-cost development cards so early is a pain, because at the start of the game you can ill afford to build them.

4 May 2009. Agricola. This was the highest score that I ever had so far - 57pts (excluding solo games). This was a 2-player game, and I hadn't expected to score that high. I went with a plant-grain-bake-bread strategy, which meant slower to set up my food engine.

My cards worked quite well together.

Michelle's farm in this same game. She had a card that allowed her to keep one animal per room in her house, instead of one animal for the whole house. Thus this unusual sight.

Michelle's cards.

16 May 2009. Through the Ages. At one point in this game, I had two such colonies, and a whole bunch of idle workers. I had too many yellow tokens and too much food, and had to keep, ahem, pumping out population, to avoid corruption. One of these colonies was won from a normal event, the other was discovered by Columbus.

This was the state of my civilisation in the middle of the game. I previously had two Level I farms, and I had destroyed one of them. I simply had too much food. My mining technology was literally stone age. It was my undoing. At this point I had 5! mines. Not good.

My civilisation at game end. In this game I started off reasonably well, maintaining a military lead, and having an extra civil action from the Pyramids. I also had a healthy culture rate. Things started to go wrong when my mining technology failed to progress. Well, I should say I failed to improve my mines. At one point I could choose between picking a mining technology card and a wonder (I think St. Peter's Basilica). Michelle taunted me, and I decided to take the wonder. The wonder was nice enough, but it meant my mines later became obsolete, and I started to suffer from corruption. I kept telling Michelle "Hey, this is just like Malaysia!". I fell behind in production. The other factor that expedited my demise was the fight over colonies. After winning the early colonies, I lost my military, and never managed to catch up. There were many turns where a colony came up, and I had no soldier to fight for it, so Michelle picked those up with just one lousy warrior. I also started getting hammered by events because of my military weakness. E.g. I had lost one of my colonies that gave more yellow tokens.

My special techs, wonders and leaders. This was the first time I had Robespierre as my leader. I only used his ability once. In this game I had two (almost) one-time-use leaders, the other one being Columbus.

Michelle's wonders, special techs, leaders and colonies. She was very technologically advanced, and had many Level III techs.

Michelle's civilisation. I realise we still tend to spend little on military units technologies.

Game board at game end. Michelle was scientifically advanced. I was quite science poor. My culture level was slightly higher, but this was probably only on the last one or two turns. Too little too late. Her total culture overtook mine in mid game and I never managed to catch up. Militarily I was also weaker.


Cecrow said...

Looks like some rough games for you, especially Ages; at least Agricola turned out! I recently scored 50, my own personal best. I had more animals than you, but you've got Lord of the Manor. I've seen him in my hand (not that game) but never played him; will reconsider next time.

metroburb said...

How do you manage to game and take such great photos at the same time. I have tried to do this and I find that it interrupts the flow of the game and annoys my group :-( Any tips?

Also how difficult is Through the Ages. I'm totally intrigued by it despite the playing time but if the rules are too complex I'll never have anyone to play with. So is it just long playing time or is it also high complexity?

Hiew Chok Sien said...

I just use a simple digital camera, which is quite convenient. sometimes when I game, I keep it next to me, so that it's quick if I want to take a quick photo. Also I tend to take photos either at the end of the game (see those Through the Ages and Agricola picture), or on other players' turns. Since it's quite quick to use the digital to snap a photo, it doesn't disrupt the game much.

Through the Ages does have a lot of rules, and you'll probably still miss out a few rules here and there after your 3rd game. However I found the rules to be quite intuitive, because I used to play the Civilisation computer game series. I wouldn't say the game is very complex. There are many aspects to the game, but taken individually they are not complex or hard to understand. Taken together they are very logical and they have a strong interrelationship, so it clicks with me.

The playing time is indeed long. My wife and I still take 2 hours to play this, although we have played about 20 games. Maybe it's the distraction by our two daughters. But maybe we're just prone to slow-thinking when we play this. Others may not suffer from this. I'm a big fan of TtA. It's one of three games that I rate a 10, the others being Race for the Galaxy and Agricola.

Cecrow said...

I've been wondering about that game myself; thanks!