Monday, 5 September 2011

boardgaming in photos

26 Aug 2011. I have played Innovation with the Echoes of the Past expansion twice now. It adds a number of new concepts. Setup is a little troublesome, because depending on the number of players, a specific number of old and new cards are randomly picked to form the card decks. This also means some cards will not appear at all.

Novel is a new card, and it shows some of the new concepts. The brown circle is a bonus. As long as a bonus icon is showing, it adds to your score. If you have multiple bonus icons, only the highest valued icon counts as the face value, the rest count as 1pt each.

The empty square with the text "Draw a 3" is an Echo effect. When you Dogma this card, you execute all visible Echo effects in the stack. This means in future when your stack is Splayed and there are older Echo effects showing, this stack can be very powerful.

I absolutely love this new reference sheet. It lists all the criteria for the Special Achievements. There are 5 new Special Achievements in the expansion, and all Special Achievements old and new are in play every game. This reference sheet also lists the number of cards to be used when setting up the game, and the number of Achievements required to win, for different numbers of players.

Allen, Han and Alvin. Four of us played Innovation with Echoes of the Past at Old Town Kopitiam Cheras.

I'm not sure yet what I think of the expansion. More plays are needed. At the moment I still feel a little overwhelmed by it. At the moment I think I prefer the simplicity of the base game, but I'm not sure I won't enjoy the more possibilities in the expansion after I am able to digest it better.

27 Aug 2011. Race for the Galaxy with all 3 expansions. Michelle's Terraforming Guild (top row, 3rd card) gave her 22pts! She had ten windfall worlds (top left icon on card is a white circle with a coloured halo)! She scored 63pts for this tableau. I managed to beat her with a military tableau (78pts), but none of my cards had 22pts.

31 Aug 2011. 51st State. As I previously half-expected, I bought the game. From Han. Having played a few more games, the game is still quite solitairish, but it's still fun to work my tableau in the game. I guess I simply like such Race for the Galaxy-like games, and 51st State is different enough to feel fresh. I think there is more luck in 51st State than Race for the Galaxy, but the aspect of make-do-with-what-you-get is just as fun.

1 Sep 2011. Ice Flow. This is Allen's copy which he had not played before. I taught him and Han to play, since I have played the game before. This is a team race game where you need to get your three explorers to cross the Bering Strait. This was an award winner at a UK game show.

The game is very much about making sure you are able to pick up enough resources (rope and fish) to last you through the race. Rope is used to climb ridges and to fish. Eating fish lets you swim short distances and also you can also use fish to distract polar bears. The game is a little puzzle-like in that you always to try find the best move and try to set up good moves for your next turns. Han (yellow) won the game comfortably and neither Allen (red) nor I (grey) could stop him.

4 Sep 2011. Nightfall again. I have been playing many card games lately. On one particular turn I had this many minions in play (all except the action card in the lower right)! Most of them were the weaker starting minions, but still it was fun to see so many in play.

Han, Allen and I played 2 games back-to-back. In both games both of them were obsessed with Big Ghost, a very powerful attacker (attack value 5). It was very scary to see Big Ghost in play. However in one game my Ivan Radinsky more or less neutralised Big Ghost by putting it back into its owner's draw deck, and in the other game Han had a card that defeated it before it could attack. So in a way Big Ghost is bad, simply because it attracts too much attention. But of course if it manages to attack, it will likely be devastating.

That finger (of Han's) pointing at me looks like a scheming finger saying, "Attack him! He's strong!"

I have played four games now, and most of the time my strategy is to just buy cards that can chain. So far I am not yet seeing specific combinations of card abilities that create very interesting synergies like in Dominion. Mostly I'm seeing that good card colour combinations allow long powerful chains. I do see how some card abilities neutralise the abilities of other cards, which is interesting. Diplomacy, negotiations and deceit (pretending to be weak) remain important. Timing and pace are important, much like Dominion but not exactly in the same way. You need to watch when the Wounds will run out. You need to make the most of your attacking minions before that. No point building up a super deck which will start being effective only when the game is about to end. I think Han is planning to get the expansion. That'll help to fill up some of the remaining 70% of the game box, heh heh...

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