Tuesday, 20 July 2010

boardgaming in photos

4 Jul 2010. Agricola with Farmers of the Moor expansion. My farm. This was one close game that I beat Michelle by 1pt.

I had quite many Occupations and Improvements played. I had many Minor Improvements that required a certain number of Occupations to have been played, and many of my Occupations seemed useful, so from the start I decided to play many cards. In the end there were still some Minor Improvements that I didn't manage to play. Not enough actions to do everything that I wanted, or the ideal time had passed. I was a complete vegetarian in this game. My animals were just for show - a mini zoo.

Michelle's farm. She had 5 family members, just that I forgot to move them back before I took this photo.

Michelle's cards.

11 Jul 2010. Galaxy Trucker with expansion. We played with 2 Rough Roads cards and also with Evil Machination cards. When building this Class IIA ship, we had a Rough Road card that specified that all connectors must match exactly, else engine strength reduces by one per mismatch. A mismatch is when a universal connector connects to a single or double connector. That's why the connectors on this ship seem so perfect. Also thank goodness we didn't have the Epidemic event, else my crew on the right-side ship would die badly due to the adjacent cabins.

My Class III ship was armed to the teeth. The front compenents were all cannons. However I didn't have any shield. Michelle had taken both the shields available. With the expansion compenents added in, if you play with less than 5 players, you must remove some components randomly before the game starts.

12 Jul 2010. Race for the Galaxy with first 2 expansions. This was one game I was proud to win, because the upper left AI had Earth's Lost Colony and Alien Toy Shop after the first round. This was a strong combination because it could double-consume for 6VP. I had expected to lose the game. However I managed to win using an Alien strategy. Only after the game I realised that the ELC+ATS combo is only very strong in the 2 Player Advanced game, because you can double-consume and produce in the same round. With 3 or more players, you have to produce on one turn and double-consume on the next, so the consume rate is only half. I popped my own bubble... It wasn't such a great victory afterall.

15 Jul 2010. Another takeover. Using Imperium Cloaking Technology. My military was only +1 higher than the AI on the right, so normally I wouldn't be able to takeover a 3-defense world. However I had the Alien Tech Institute which gave me +2 strength against Alien worlds.

After takeover (Imperium Cloaking Technology card had been discarded). No difference to victory, the leading AI (on the left) was too far ahead.

I had one experience of my world being taken over by an AI. It was rare. I didn't take a screenshot because I only realised there had been a takeover after the incident. I was missing one world. Only then I saw it on the AI's tableau. It had discarded New Military Tactics (temporary boost in strength) to takeover my world, sneaky.....

On 18 Jul 2010, Afif and Han came to play. Han and I played 2 games of Space Alert while waiting for Afif. We finally won a mission for a 2nd time. We could have won for a third time if not for my mistake in calculating the location of a serious internal threat. Now Han wants to start adding the advanced threats. I'm not so sure we're ready yet. We'll probably crash-and-burn again.

Afif arrived just in time for a game of Catacombs. This was my 2nd play, this time playing the dungeon master while Afif and Han played the heroes. The boss that I randomly picked was the Dragon.

Afif and Han.

One injured troll (green disc, figure with black background) fighting the elf (next to it) and the barbarian (to the left).

Han comtemplating whether to take this difficult shot. Actually I'd say it's impossible. He eventually decided against it.

The orange discs are fire spirits. If they attack successfully, they die, get flipped over and become a fireball. Any enemy touching them gets injured. The dragon's special ability is it can summon two fire spirits on its turn. In this photo, the thief was in a difficult position (lower left) between the dragon and a fireball. The dragon could easily deal her two points of damage, one for the dragon's attack itself, one for getting pushed to hit the fireball. The wizard (near Han's hand) was now casting a spell to be able to shoot an arrow at the dragon.

I had used my dragon's ability to summon a fire spirit right between itself and the elf (the pretty lady). The fire spirit had attacked, dealing one damage, and had now transformed into a fireball protecting the dragon.

The heroes eventually lost, but halfway through the last room (i.e. when it was too late) we realised we played one critical rule wrong. The dragon should not have been able to summon fire spirits and attack. It should have been either one or the other. We greatly overpowered the dragon. The heroes had entered the final room in quite good shape, so the heroes would have had a much better chance if we had played right. Catacombs is very successful in giving context to a flicking game.


wankongyew said...

Do you always play Farmers of the Moor with occupations? Just curious. I read that the designer's original intention was to play it with the Minor Improvements it comes with only and that combining Minor Improvements and Occupations from the base game might be unbalancing and have odd results.

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Well, I'm greedy so I play the 3rd and most complex variant specified in the rules. I didn't know that the designer's original intention was to play with just the Minor Improvements of the expansion (2nd variant I think). I guess it does focus the game a bit more on the new aspects introduced in the expansion. I think I've only tried this once, and after that I only play with the 3rd variant. The 3rd variant seems to work well enough so far. Maybe I should alternate between these two for a while to see whether Variant 2 gives a different enough and interesting experience.