Tuesday, 25 October 2016

boardgaming in photos: Aquaretto, Android: Netrunner

18 Sep 2016. Aquaretto. It's been a while. It occurred to me to bring this out to play with the family because not long ago I introduced Coloretto to my colleagues, and they enjoyed it immensely. Coloretto is an old game. When its core idea was later implemented as a boardgame (Zooloretto), it won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres. Aquaretto is the sister game of Zooloretto. It shares the same core mechanism, but the other supporting mechanisms are different. The setting is a marine park instead of a zoo. There are no fixed-size animal pens. The animal zones can grow in a flexible way, as long as they don't merge.

Family time.

In the foreground, the red marker is placed on top of a stack of 15 animal tiles. This is the game end trigger. When the tile bag runs out, and you start using tiles from this stack, the game enters the final stage.

I have done an expansion at my marine park (lower right direction), adding more space and also allowing a fourth animal specie. Penguins are my fourth specie, but now I have the most of them, more than the other species.

The smaller versions of the animals with halos around them are the babies. Whenever you collect a pair of male and female animals of breeding age (with male and female signs on them), you get a free baby animal.

This is Michelle's marine park. Look at that huge stack of animal tiles which she could not place. At game end she suffered a heavy penalty due to this stack. I was surprised when I found out I won. I didn't have as many animals as Michelle or Shee Yun. The only thing I did better was avoiding penalties.

I wonder whether my colleagues will like Aquaretto too. I should try it with them.

9 Oct 2016. I convinced Shee Yun (11) to try Android: Netrunner with me. She likes Hearthstone, so I said it was something similar, but more complex. I was rusty. I never learned to play it well in the first place. So teaching the game took a bit longer than I expected. I only taught her to play runner (hacker), which I think is more fun and easier for beginners. I played the megacorp. To my surprise, Shee Yun beat me 8:0! I must say I was rather unlucky (or she was lucky), but if my skills were half decent, I wouldn't have lost so badly. In the early game I had no agenda cards. I kept drawing ICE (firewalls) and assets which helped me make money. I worked hard for the money, building a healthy war chest. Money is power. Most strong ICE are costly. Shee Yun was proactive in making runs (hacking into my systems), but there was nothing for her to steal in the early game. Then on one of her turns she played a card which allowed her to view three cards instead of one if she made a successful run against my R&D (draw deck). I had ICE protecting my R&D, but she had the right programs and enough money to get through. Of the three cards she got to view, two of them were agendas! I was down 5:0 just like that.

Later on I finally drew my first agenda card. I had already set up a well-protected and unoccupied remote server by then, ready to carry out my agenda. Before I could do anything, Shee Yun made a run against my HQ (my hand of cards). Again, I did have ICE protecting my HQ, and again, she had the right programs and enough money to get through. I had 5 cards in my hand, which was the hand limit. The very card she picked was my precious agenda. My megacorp went down in flames. It was not my day.

I had thought that having had a taste of Netrunner, Shee Yun would be interested to play again. However the next few times I suggested to play she was not interested. I will try again. Netrunner is a game worth getting into.

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