Saturday, 21 July 2012

boardgaming in photos

29 Jun 2012. Continuing our journey to play most of the games on BoardGameArena (BGA), Allen, Han and I played Coloretto, the simpler and more straight-to-the-point but did-not-win-the-SDJ older brother of Zooloretto. A player from Taiwan joined us and thrashed all three of us soundly. How embarrassing. When I later looked at the final score, what went through my mind was - I had no idea what I was doing...

In the Year of the Dragon on BGA. Designer Stephen Feld is very popular, but somehow most of his games don’t quite click with me. In the Year of the Dragon is the only game I really like. I enjoy Notre Dame too, but not as much as this game. Maybe it’s because I’m Chinese. I also like the sense of impending doom. I certainly experienced much doom in this particular game I played with Han and Allen. I made some missteps in the early game, and my house of cards came tumbling down. The events knocked me off my feet, kicked me before I could get up, and then dropped a fridge on me, twice. OK, maybe not literally, but that’s the general idea. Yet, I still felt good at the end of the game, because despite coming dead last, my final score of 81 was not that far from Han’s 102 and Allen’s 98. In this game most of your energy is spent on damage control and survival, with only the leftover spent on actually scoring points.

1 Jul 2012. Chen Rui (5) asked me to play Kids of Carcassonne with her. She doesn’t understand the strategy yet (yes, there is some) so I sometimes make suggestions when she makes a sub-optimal move, or when she misses a good opportunity. Hmm... I should bring out (adult) Carcassonne to play with Michelle. It has been quite a while.

6 Jul 2012. Puerto Rico 10 year anniversary deluxe edition, played at OTK Cheras. We did a four-player game. This time I decided to go for a shipping strategy. My cash flow was rather poor. All the others earned money better than me. In the end I failed to buy any of the big buildings. In hindsight I probably should have saved up money earlier and sacrificed other things. Since I was the only one fully focused on shipping, the Customs House would have greatly benefited me. I was a little surprised that I still managed to come second. Jeff won, greatly helped by the combo of Factory plus all five types of production buildings. The Factory makes money depending on the types of goods you produce, and he produced all five types.

The deluxe version looks very good.

My island at game end. I focused on corn (yellow) and indigo (blue), the cheapest to produce goods. I wonder why the publisher swapped the positions of the building spaces and the plantation spaces in the deluxe edition. The upper half of the board used to be for the buildings.

8 Jul 2012. Hacienda on the iPad was on sale, so I bought it. I’ve always liked Hacienda, although it is not among Wolfgang Kramer’s most well known designs. The interface of the iPad implementation is good. Stability seems to be a problem in the first version I downloaded, but after an update, it seems to be fine.

The AI’s seem to be weak unfortunately. Even against expert AI’s I (green) have not lost a game so far.

9 Jul 2012. I have now started Shee Yun (7) on Ticket to Ride. She likes it enough to request to play. She even plays against AI’s by herself. She doesn’t understand all the strategies yet, but she does try to make the longest route. She enjoys completing her tickets. Of course, I don’t play nasty with her. So, no intentional blocking. In this particular game she actually beat me, because of the 10pt bonus from longest route.

11 Jul 2012. Tigris & Euphrates on iDevices has good AI’s. I had learnt from them. In this game one of the AI’s beat me! I still enjoy an occasional game because the AI’s are challenging, and I am often surprised. Not just by unexpected moves of the AI’s, but also implications that I hadn’t foreseen when I made certain moves. This really is a very clever game design.

This particular game was unusual because many disaster tiles were used, not only by me but also by the AI’s. Four had been played in total. I rarely see this. The disasters broke up nations and triggered big changes on the board.


zebedee32 said...

I'd never heard of coloretto before but am interested to learn. I've started playing Settlers of Catan. I like reading your blogs and have this page book marked/

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

Coloretto is a simple yet very clever card game. I think it is still in print. Best with 3 players or more.