Tuesday, 25 August 2009

gaming in photos

22 Aug 2009. Pandemic. At game setup, Karachi was already infected to Level 3. I have some colleagues in Karachi. I hope they are OK. (sorry, lame joke...)

Michelle was the researcher (brown), who could give a card to another player even if they are located at the city depicted on the card. I was the dispatcher (purple but supposed to be pink), who could move another player's pawn or fly a pawn to meet another pawn. We did something illegal in Bogota.

This was what we did. Michelle spent her 4 actions to give me 4 cards, so that by the next turn I was ready to cure two diseases. I had thought that I only needed to discard down to the hand limit of 7 cards after the draw card phase of my turn. After the game I checked the rules again and realised that if you exceed 7 cards after someone else gives you cards, you need to immediately discard down to 7. Well, despite this mistake which benefited us, we still lost the game. We were playing at hard difficulty level.

This was how we lost. Too many outbreaks, and we ran out of black disease cubes.

Yspahan. This photo is very disorienting, because I was sitting at the "northern" edge of the board. The mix of the shading of the buildings drawn on the game board and the real shadows of the game components (green cubes and white pawn) causes confusion to the eyes.

I had built the building that gave addition $2 whenever you collected money. I was rich rich RICH! (yellow discs are coins)

Michelle on the other hand kept collecting camels. If this were Arabian Agricola she would have scored the full 4 point for the camel category.

Another probably even more disorienting photo. I quite like the board of Yspahan. It's beautiful.

Michelle won the game, and this contributed very much to it. She scored 22 points, plus 6 points from a special building, for the cubes she had placed in this district in Week 3.

Ticket to Ride. We played with the Big Cities variant that comes with the USA 1910 expansion. I kept all four of my initial tickets. All were big tickets, and all required connecting cities from east and west. This was the early game, and I found myself being blocked or threatened to be blocked by Michelle all over the place. Look and my green trains and you'll see how desperate I was. I had four disjointed segments.

Surprisingly, I went on to win the game. I had exactly enough trains to complete all four of my tickets, not a single one more. If I were short by just one train the results would have been disastrous. Michelle drew tickets near game end, and failed to complete a 16 point ticket, which was painful. She hadn't expected me to finish using up my trains so quickly. When she drew tickets, I was only a few cards away from being able to play my three 6-length routes and one 2-length route.


Frank Conradie said...

Great to have you back posting more reports - you had us loyal followers worried for a while!

My wife and I played Pandemic again last night after a hiatus of a few months, and we found that we still love the terrific tension in the game. We also play on hard now, and lost a very close 1st game the same way as you guys, running out of yellow cubes.

Of course we could not just leave it there(!), but just had to play again, winning the 2nd game handily, with me as the Researcher and my wife the Operations Expert.

Are you thinking of buying the forthcoming expansion which is due out soon? I think I will probably get it, as I reaffirmed last night just how much we still love this game, even after a lot of plays.

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Yes, I will likely buy the Pandemic expansion. Despite seeming quite simple, I find that somehow I still enjoy playing Pandemic now and then. I'm not even sure what's drawing me back.

My wife and I usually play until we win before we put it away until the next time we feel an urge to play again. It's like killing the big boss in some arcade game.

Was I away for that long? :-) Well I guess compared to July, I didn't have many posts in August. When I first started this blog I had expected to be posting maybe once or twice a month only. However I grew to enjoy blogging and am posting much more than I had expected. But sometimes there just aren't much I feel like writing about, e.g. when I have not been playing many new games. Thus some quiet stretches.

Do you use RSS feeds or something like Google Reader? I find these very convenient if you following multiple blogs / news sites. You don't need to bother checking individual websites. All updates (whenever there are any) will be consolidated for you at one place. Try it out if you are not already using something like this.

Frank Conradie said...

Hiew, I was wondering what you think of Ghost Stories as compared to Pandemic? My wife and I enjoy Pandemic as well as Lord of the Rings, and I was thinking of getting Ghost Stories as another coop. Or would you say getting some expansions for LotR would be a better option?

Hiew Chok Sien said...

I've only played Ghost Stories twice, and I think even in my 2nd game there were some rule mistakes. But I quite like the game. If you mostly play 2-player games, I'd say get Ghost Stories and not the LOTR expansions. I find the LOTR expansions quite difficult for 2P (or maybe I'm just not that good :-D ). I do own all the LOTR expansions, since I'm a big fan of the game. The expansions do make the game more interesting.