Thursday, 23 October 2008

gaming in photos

A game of Princes of Florence played on 11 Oct 2008, against Michelle, using the 2-player variant. I like how my little city is so neat and compact. Very little unusable space - only that bottom right corner.

Michelle's city is even more compact than mine! No unusable space at all. Of course having the second builder helps a lot. The second builder allows buildings to touch. Michelle decided to buy a lot of builders. There is a builder strategy discussed at Boardgamegeek, which is supposedly not easy to execute. I have not learnt this strategy, but I don't think what Michelle did was it. She just wanted to get buildings for free, because her cards required many different buildings.

My strategy when playing Princes of Florence is rather one-dimensional. I just try to make as many works as possible. Usually I try to complete 6 works. I have done 7 works just once I think. So, this is very much a quantity over quality strategy. So I like the jesters, which improve all my works. I rarely buy bonus cards because I need to save my actions for completing works and buying profession cards. Anyway my focus is on quantity and not on boosting the quality of a single work. I usually don't bid for prestige cards, unless there is nothing else I need.

I think my strategy is pretty narrow because I usually play the 2-player variant. Princes of Florence is a game best played with 5 players. So having only Michelle as my opponent probably distorted my game play. I am quite sure there are other strategies to explore. Also with more players there will be much more competition, and your plans can easily be foiled by others. So with more players the planning will be much more trickier, and you'll have to adjust your plans on the fly if things don't go the way you hope. There may be much more of a survival feel.

A game of Carcassonne on 11 Oct 2008. Now my Carcassonne set contains 3 expansions (Inns & Cathedrals, Abbey & Mayor, and a Knucklebones magazine mini expansion), and I play it this way with Michelle. In this photo Michelle (red) was trying to complete a big, complex castle, and I (green) tried to get inside the castle and win it over from her. She managed to stop me.

Now Michelle had successfully completed the castle. 14 x 3 = 42pts! My green merchant (notice the baggy pants) was starting to feel like a fool.

I forgot some of the barn rules. The correct rules are: (a) If a barn is placed on a farm which has farmers, the farmers score 3pt per castle and are then removed. (b) If a farm with a barn is connected to a farm with farmers, those farmers score 1pt per castle and are then removed. When we were playing this game, I mis-remembered the rule and thought that in case (b) the farmer scores 3pt too. So Michelle and I had a tough fight over farm mergers. Michelle first tried to get a farmer in to the central farm (which already had my barn) from the lower left. I stopped her advance by placing tile A. Since her plan was foiled, she decided to play her abbey (tile B) to pick up some points. She also tried to get a farmer in from the upper right. She almost succeeded too. Thankfully I could put my abbey (tile C) to cut her off. Later we found out that the fight was over much fewer points than we had thought.

Another game. This was early in the game and we already had 5 rugby ball castles. Naturally, we started eyeing this lucrative farm from very early on too.

At the end of the game, the central farm had 13 castles, i.e. 52pts with a barn. Thankfully I managed to get my barn into this farm too, thus neutralising Michelle's barn which was placed there earlier than mine.

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