Monday, 25 June 2012

boardgaming in photos

23 May 2012. Playing Troyes against Allen at BoardGameArena (BGA). It had been some time since I last played (I played a physical copy then), so I was rusty not only rules-wise but also tactics-wise. Needless to say I lost by quite a big margin. The BGA implementation of Troyes doesn't work quite correctly for my PC. You can see that some of the meeples are not positioned correctly. They should be on the shields on the cards, but are instead offset to the lower left. Has anyone experienced something similar at BGA or know what I can do to fix this?

24 May 2012. Gosu at BGA. I have a similar problem with Gosu. Notice that the round activation token should be on the second card of the bottom row, but is instead placed outside of my tableau area. In Gosu it's much less confusing though, since you don't have that many activation tokens to track.

2 Jun 2012. Dragonheart at BGA. With a hand of three Legolas (archers) and two ships, I didn't have much choice did I? Playing the archers would not get me much because there weren't many flying dragons to be captured. Playing those two ships would probably be worse, because that would set up my opponent to play the third ship and thus claim the stack of archers and knights.

A physical copy of Dungeon Petz, which I refer to as the pet shop game when I try to convince my wife to play it. This buffalo / snail creature had not been eating much but had been pooping all over the place. It had dumped twice in the other cage (the one above its current cage), and now it dumped twice again.

At the moment I still play with the basic rules and have not ventured to the advanced rules of using the double icons (e.g. the feeding and pooping icons on the green card). I still don't have many plays under my belt yet, and my plays tend to be quite far apart. In this most recent game, I found that setting up for a good sale can be a game winner. It's important to plan ahead and target a particular pet for a particular buyer. I received 27pts (about half my final score) for one particular sale in the last round. That was very satisfying. It had involved painstakingly growing and caring for a suitable pet for a few rounds, saving up the appropriate needs cards, and also very importantly having an imp book a slot on the stage (which can boost the points from a sale by 50%).

20 Jun 2012. Puerto Rico on BGA. It had been a very long time since I last played Puerto Rico. I still remembered most of the rules, but I was a little rusty on strategy. BGA has the 2-player variant, which is nice.

My island at game end. During the game I got myself many quarries, which let me construct buildings more cheaply. I initially went for a shipping strategy, since I started with a corn plantation and could produce corn without needing a production building. However I was distracted and never properly developed my production capacity. I produced a little corn (yellow), a little sugar (white), and a little indigo (blue). I constructed both the buildings that let me take a new colonist with a new plantation and a new building, which was handy. I needed to do this also partly because my opponent Allen kept taking the Mayor role. The game ended after I filled up my building slots. I had two big purple buildings, which gave me 15pts, and thus the win.

Allen's island. In the early game he constructed a building which let him take an extra random plantation during the Settler phase, so he was able to fill up his plantation slots quite quickly. I think in the early game he also didn't have a very clear direction. Eventually he was the one who went for heavy shipping. He produced much indigo (blue) and tobacco (light brown), and also a little corn (yellow). Unfortunately his cash flow was not as good as me (I had built both small and big markets, giving me $3 more per trade), and he was unable to construct any big purple building before I ended the game.

22 Jun 2012. Allen and I played Sekigahara again, this time switching sides - he played Tokugawa (black) and I played Ishida (yellow). This was relatively early in the game, on the western side of the map, near Kyoto. I had more blocks in this area, and was able to defeat his armies and push them back. In the lower right, I had captured one of his castles.

Mid game (Round 4 of 7). I sat at the northern side of the map, so the map is upside down. On the left side of the map, Allen's armies had previously captured both my yellow castles. However his armies vacated the leftmost castle in order to capture the resource location at the lower left, so the castle reverted to my control since that's the default allegiance. I quickly mustered one block to defend it. In the lower centre section, my army led by Ishida himself was besieging one of Allen's castles. On the right side, my forces dominated. The two boxes on the lower left are my recruitment boxes. I had 6 blocks waiting to be deployed in the normal recruitment box (left). The Mori recruitment box (right) is a special case and starts with these five predetermined blocks, as opposed to randomly drawn blocks. Mustering from here is much more costly than normal, each block costing one card. However if Osaka is attacked by Tokugawa, these blocks automatically muster to Osaka at no cost. Since things looked optimistic on the right side of the map (the Kyoto and Osaka area), I didn't expect to need to pay cards to muster these Mori blocks. I wanted to save cards.

This was probably the most memorable moment of the game. My 6-block army attacked Allen's 5-block army, which was a newly formed army consisting of some blocks hurriedly marched in from the left side of the map along the coastal highway, and some newly mustered blocks. Allen had another army nearby, and I didn't want to let his two armies merge and become much stronger. Little did I know that he had been meticulously planning for this battle. This was the first time I engaged this particular army, and I was surprised that it was a mostly cavalry army. Allen had been saving up on special attack cards, which meant he made full use of the cavalry charges. Every cavalry icon gave +2 strength and also enjoyed a +2 strength bonus for every previously played cavalry icon. This meant the cavalry icons themselves contributed (2 + 4 + 6 + 8 =) 20 strength! My army was soundly defeated and only one block survived and hastily retreated.

After dealing me a crushing defeat, Allen marched more troops towards my turf. I decided I could not let those Mori blocks wait idly in Osaka. I spent four cards mustering four 3-mon Mori blocks to Osaka, and then had them advance to Kyoto together with other blocks. Needless to say, hotels and inns were all fully occupied that evening. At this point, Allen had captured many resource locations and castles, and if he could hold on to them, he would win by the end of Round 7 by having more points than me. So I must take the initiative to bring the war to him and to wrest control of some resource locations and castles from him.

One other way I could win was by killing Tokugawa in battle. That would give me an instant win without needing to count points. My 8-block army caught Allen's 5-block army led by Tokugawa himself in Kiyosu. I came extremely close to killing Tokugawa. I defeated his army, but unfortunately was just one strength point short of being able to kill all five blocks. The lone Tokugawa block survived, and after that ran away towards Edo (his capital) with his tail between his legs. Since this was the last round and I only had one more movement phase, I would not be able to catch him.

The great Tokugawa Ieyasu narrowly escaped death and took a break at Hakone castle.

We came to the last movement phase of the whole game, and it was my movement phase. We counted our point values. Allen had 18pts, I had 9pts. I would need to take 5pts from him to win the game. His forces on the right side of the map were diminished, but mine would be stretched too to try to capture so many locations. I could capture a castle (2pts) and a resource location (1pt) which were undefended. I used whatever else I could spare to attack two resource locations held by Allen's troops. I managed to defeat his army in Kuwana (upper left). So now it was all down to this last battle in Kyoto, my 5-block army against his 4-block army. Just... one... more... point!

Allen had some Loyalty Challenge cards up his sleeve, but thankfully whenever he played one, I had the right cards to prevent my blocks from defecting. In fact in this whole game we didn't have a single defection. As this final tense battle drew on, I totalled my strength points, and it came to exactly the same as Allen's! Since he was the defender, he won ties. I could not kick his army out of Kyoto. This was the aftermath of the battle. We both lost troops, but he held on to Kyoto, and won the game 14:13.


Unknown said...

Regarding the positioning of elements in BGA games, the issue might be your browser. If you're using IE < 8 and sometimes Opera, you might see wierd rendering artefacts like this. If this is the problem, I'd recommend using Chrome/Firefox.

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

I use Chrome on Win 7. I have used Chrome on another PC and had no problems. Looks like it is something specific to my PC and its config, or other software installed.

Unknown said...

Hmm - that is odd. I can't imagine anything else on your PC messing with browser rendering (except other Chrome extensions). Maybe I'll try and drop in on a game and see if I can spot the problem. Great blog btw!

Afif Ter said...

great seki game

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

Afif, have you tried Sekigahara? Did you like it?