Wednesday, 6 January 2010

gaming in photos

28 Dec 2009. Elasund. By the designer of The Settlers of Catan, with many similarities, and yet being very different. This was one vicious game that I played with Michelle. See that big 2x3 building at the waterfront? At first she built a small building there, which I tore down to build a medium sized building. Then she tore down two of my buildings to build this big one.

I think Elasund can be an easily misunderstood game. Often near game end you may feel helpless because there isn't anything that you can do to stop the leader from winning. I think that's a misconception. By the time you reach this point, the game has already been decided. You have already missed your opportunity to come back. But it is not that you never had the chance. I guess another way to complain about the game is that the last few rounds are pointless, because the winner is quite obvious. Then I'd say it is fine because the game is not long. It's a 1 hour or so game, and it moves quickly.

1 Jan 2010. Power Grid on Italy expansion map and using the power plant deck 2 expansion. My power plants are in the foreground. I placed the power plant market (6 plants) on the board itself. In this game Michelle (red) started in the middle of the playable area (only 3 regions for a 2 player game), while I (green) started near one end (top left of this photo). Bad move. I soon realised I would get cut off, and spent a lot of money making a long connection towards the red region.

The Great Wall of Italy blocking off the unplayable area. This photo is so Christmas-themed - red and green. Michelle won this game by tiebreaker (cash). We both could supply 21 cities at game end, but I had no money left. Actually she could have won more decisively. If she had just bought one extra coal to drive up the price, I would not have afforded that one piece of coal to power my plant, and she would have won 21:16. However she didn't bother to do the detailed calculations and didn't realise this. She won anyway so it's not important.

1 Jan 2010. Race for the Galaxy with both expansions. My start world was Imperium Warlord. I was lucky to have Doomed World and Imperium Blaster Gem Consortium. I settled Doomed World cheaply, and then discarded it to settle the much more expensive Imperium Blaster Gem Consortium.

Mid game. I had both Imperium Seat and Imperium Lords 6-cost developments, but unfortunately I could not afford to play both.

I eventually decided to play Imperium Seat and give up Imperium Lords. My final score was 46pts. I had 2 cards left in my hand and 1 goods card under Rebel Fuel Cache. And the reason I mention that is, of course, because this game was determined by the tiebreaker of hand cards + goods.

Michelle's 46pts tableau. She also went with a military strategy. She needed the second strength track, because her strength for settling rebel military worlds was 12. She had 4 cards in hand at game end, and thus won by tiebreaker.

3 Jan 2010. Race for the Galaxy (with both expansions). This was my starting hand - all 6 were developments - and the two start worlds I could choose from. Too bad I didn't get the #10 start world (I forget the name) which is good for developments. Also an unusual hand does not mean a good hand. I didn't win this game.

3 Jan 2010. Warriors of God. Han and I played the Lion in Winter scenario, which has Robin Hood. The last time we played it was the other scenario with Joan of Arc. I played the English again, and he the French. In the early game the French controlled England, which is bad. I eventually managed to take it back.

"Go back to your country!", said Henry of Anjou to David (a Scotsman on the French side).

We only played 5 rounds (out of 12). I think I did slighty better than last time, but just barely. Han was leading by a comfortable margin. I did manage to establish control in some provinces (see red round tokens), but Han had more (blue round tokens). Han explained that the English has better leaders and troops, but leaders usually only appear in England or northern France. So the English should be going around kicking French buttocks. The French leaders pop up all over the place but are not as good as the English, so they should work more on establishing control and earning points from that quickly.

In Warriors of God, establishing control of provinces is the most important way of gaining victory points, but it is not easy to do. Even the most highly ranked leaders only have a 50% chance of establishing control. However, if a leader is located at his home province, he/she establishes control automatically. Thus overall it is easier for the French to establish control in more provinces.

It was some time since my previous play, so I almost had to relearn the whole game. I really need to play a full game of this. And hell yeah I'm going to play the English again!


Alex said...

Perhaps I am mistaken but I didn't think you could use Doomed World to settle a production world? I can almost see the text explaining so in your photo....

Hiew Chok Sien said...

I don't have the card in front of me now, but I'm pretty sure you can use Doomed World to settle a production world. What's not allowed is Alien worlds (whether production or windfall). And of course military worlds are also not allowed.