Tuesday, 16 December 2008

gaming in photos

23 Nov 2008. Chee Seng and Cherng Liang visited KL. Cherng Liang brought along his wife and daughter, so I taught them to play Chicken Cha Cha Cha while the other grown-up group played Galaxy Trucker. Rae, Cherng Liang's daughter, was absolutely thrilled with the game.

Han, Sui Jye, and Jing Yi, playing Taluva, a game I quite like but rarely have the chance to bring to the table. Michelle doesn't like it probably because of the chess-like nature. It is a perfect information game, and has almost no luck.

29 Nov 2008. I took this photo of my farm at the end of a game of Agricola because I wanted to show how Michelle denied my upgrading of my home from a clay hut to a stone house. I had the 5 stones and 1 reed ready. Michelle surprised me by taking both the renovation actions in the last round. In hindsight I should have done my renovation earlier and should not have waited until the last minute.

6 Dec 2008. Galaxy Trucker. This was my Class III (i.e. largest) ship. I made a mistake with my building. That tile on the top right corner was removed from my ship during the inspection before the flight, because I placed it illegally. The bottom side of the tile was a single connector, which could not connect to the double connector of that cabin right below it. This was a close game. $108 vis $104 of Michelle.

Michelle's ship. I only spotted some errors after I looked more closely at this photo. The purple and brown aliens were sleeping on their respective life support systems. That's not right. They should be sleeping in cabins next to their life support systems. So Michelle should not have had so much space for (human) crew members.

This was another game, played on the same day. This was my ship. I was hit by a large meteor coming from the front at position 10. It hit my shield generator, and unfortunately for me, because of my poor engineering (ship being held together by too few connectors), that whole chunk of my ship broke off. Oops.

After a few more hits....

Well, at least more than half of my ship was still intact. And I didn't lose all my cargo. That stack of lost components is high. Thankfully there is a cap of $11 for the penalty for lost components.

Having played some more games of Galaxy Trucker, I am now more optimistic about it. I have not yet gotten tired of it, like I worried that I might. I like the ship building aspect quite a bit. It's something constructive. It's a Carcassonne-like feeling, but here it feels even more positive and constructive (well, at least before you get to the journey part). When playing Carcassonne I focus on how to maximise scoring all through the game, and I don't stop to smell the roses. I don't really pause to enjoy the map building aspect. In Galaxy Trucker I get a strong feeling of building something.

My more recent games have all been 2-player games with Michelle. Although this game is supposed to be better with the full complement of 4 players, I find the 2-player games enjoyable too. We tend to build better spaceships and tend to survive our "business trips" better, and I don't mind that. So, looks like Galaxy Trucker will continue to get some plays.

8 Dec 2008. A 2-player game of Through the Ages against Michelle. This was my empire at game end. The key for my victory was the 3 Operas (theatres) and the 3 Computers (labs). I had Game Designer as my Age III leader, who gave me lots of culture for the labs. Scientists spending time writing computer games and spreading the computer gaming culture around the world, at the cost of sacrificing some real technological innovation.

The other part of my empire. This time I dug out my past leaders so that I could include them in this photo. Columbus was upside down because although I took him from the card row, I never had the chance to play him and use his power. I didn't draw a colony until it was too late. My military strength was built up only at the last minute, when I saw Michelle doing some suspisciously big "defense" spending. She almost wanted to declare war on me. She had been leading in military power throughout the game.

Michelle's empire. She had a production powerhouse at game end. 25 stones per turn (because of the Transcontinental Railroad wonder). She planted an Age III event that rewarded culture points based on production capacity, so she happily score 25 culture points for that card at game end. Her happiness should be at 8, not 6. She forgot to take into account her St. Peter's Basilica wonder which doubles happy faces. She could have spent less effort on happy faces.

Michelle didn't have an Age A leader. All her leaders were scientific leaders. Our games tend to be rather peaceful. Only one colony in the whole game, and Michelle conquered it. Michelle still tends to favour action points. She had the Pyramids and Code of Law quite early, giving her 6 civil actions vs my 4 since quite early in the game.

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