Tuesday, 27 March 2012

boardgaming in photos

9 Mar 2012. I taught Allen to play A Few Acres of Snow, randomly deciding that I'd play the French and him the British. I made a big big mistake in the early game, despite have played 5 times before. I didn't protect Quebec properly and it was raided successfully by Allen. Aaarrgghh! I kind of saw it coming, because I knew he befriended some Red Indians early. I should have been more proactive in defending against such a raid.

The raid on Quebec set me back severely. And then I made my second mistake, which was flatly stupid. I wanted to resettle Quebec, so that the Quebec card in my deck would become useful again. I didn't realise that in my deck only the Quebec card (which I couldn't use at the time) had a settler icon. I held on to a Trois Rivieres card and a boat card, and kept waiting for a card with the settler icon so that these three cards together would let me resettle Quebec. But such a card didn't exist! I realised my mistake after one full cycle through my deck, and only then hurriedly bought a settler card from the neutral pile.

Allen went with the settling approach, hoping to settle and develop villages to towns to end the game. I was far behind in settling, so I must go with the military approach. Allen bought a bit too many cards into his deck, which slowed him down. Eventually I was able to bring just enough military force upon Boston to conquer it, winning the game. This was one long game, where an experienced player's not-quite-forgiveable mistakes and a new player's tendency to bloat his deck both slowed the game.

Tigris and Euphrates on the iPhone continues to be fun. The AI's are good enough (or maybe I'm not very good yet) so the game is challenging.

Sometimes I get beaten by the AI's, but at least I rarely come last, usually being able to come at least second place. I do need to work hard to win.

10 Mar 2012. The kids (7 and 5) wanted to play Ingenious. They have a general idea that they should place icons next to long strings of matching ones, but I do sometimes needs to point out even better placements. They are getting the hang of how to do scoring, sometimes Shee Yun (7) even corrects my scoring mistakes.

What's funny is sometimes Chen Rui (5) tells me not to place my tile at a certain spot because she wants to put hers there. Sometimes I oblige.

Quoridor was free on the iPhone so I downloaded it. This is an abstract game where you try to move your pawn to the opposite side of the board to win. On your turn you either move your pawn one step or you place a wall. You only have 9 walls and once they're used up you can't place any more walls. The only rule in placing walls (other than physical constraints) is you can't complete cut off your opponent's path to your side of the board. You can at most force him to take a longer path.

The AI seems weak though. I won my first game, and quickly lost interest. The game should be more interesting against human players. But then I'm not really into abstract games. And... let's not go into whether Eurogames are actually just abstract games with pasted on settings.

12 Mar 2012. The children playing Twister during the school holidays. They asked me to play with them, and I managed to persuade them to just let me be the spinner guy.

Their limbs are not long enough or strong enough for them to do well...

... but they have fun.

13 Mar 2012. Shee Yun (7) now often asks me to play Monopoly with her after seeing me play it on the iPhone. I downloaded it when it was free and am now starting to regret it. Not that I'm bashing Monopoly. I just think it doesn't quite work as a 2-player game. But Shee Yun likes games where she gets to collect money.

She likes to read the Chance cards and Community Chest cards herself, and just forges ahead even if she comes across words she doesn't understand.

I had to mortgage almost all my properties. I think I was eventually able to buy the most expensive dark blue set (the Park Lane and Mayfair Ave equivalent), but by then Shee Yun had two completed sets both having buildings. We did no trading at all, because there was no incentive to do so. We completed our sets by ourselves without needing to trade. She had the lead and had no reason to trade with me, although she did ask me why we weren't trading (which she had seen the AI's on the iPhone version doing). I didn't want to trick her into making a trade that would benefit me more than her.

My bankruptcy was a relief. I landed on her hotel. Maybe when she grows up I should tell her that I loved her so much I played 2-player Monopoly with her. Now that's (gamer-) fatherly love!

No comments: