Friday, 17 February 2012

boardgaming in photos

12 Jan 2012. Han, Allen and I played Successors (3rd edition) again, this time each starting with 3 generals so that there was less luck in who drew more generals from the card deck. In this particular game I was quite timid and I saw threats everywhere. The others all seemed to be stronger than I was. I was last in both victory points and prestige points throughout the game. I tried to avoid battles as much as I could. However battles could not be completely avoided in a wargame. Here in this photo we were all poised to fight, Han was yellow, Allen red, I blue.

Han (yellow) was the most aggressive, as he often is. However he ended up with all four of his generals in the dispersed box. Whenever defeated in battle, an army usually loses many troops (all mercenaries and elephants, plus some regular troops), and the general goes to the dispersed box together with the survivors, and they only come out to play next round. Suddenly I felt I was not that weak afterall. With his armies much weakened, I could go on the offensive. I approached Babylon, where Alexander was buried (making Babylon worth legitimacy points), to position myself to attack in the next round (Round 4). However, this happened...

As his last card play of Round 3, Han used Treachery to steal Alexander's son Heracles from me. I had no more cards to play and could not fight to get him back. So at the start of Round 4, because Heracles came of age, and Han was the player with the highest total of victory points and legitimacy points, he won the game by being regent to Heracles who ascended to the throne. What a twist! He had been luring my army to approach Babylon so that he could play this card. Sneaky!

This was the situation at game end. Han was yellow and had the most control markers. However losing a number of battles meant he was now militarily weaker. Allen was red and was strong in the western half of the board. I was blue and was surrounded by Han's territories.

20 Jan 2012. By now I have played 5 games of A Few Acres of Snow. This was the third game where Han played the British (red) and I played the French (blue). This was one siege battle that we committed many many cards to. I attacked one of his settlements. A siege can become a very long tug of war, tying up many cards. However it can be useful in a way, by thinning your draw deck.

Some of the French cards. Cards available to the two sides are different and I find them very flavourful, reflecting history. One strange thing is we often find that in our games the French are filthy rich while the British are poor. Historically it was the other way round, the British was willing to spend resources in this theatre which was part of a wider war, while the French wasn't.

I lost quite a number of settlements to Han, I think mostly from raids. Even Port Royal was lost to him (leftmost red cube). The game ended via expansion, and the settlements I lost made a big difference. I lost by a mile.

1 Feb 2012. I taught Chee Seng to play Innovation and he enjoyed it a lot. Innovation really clicks with me, and sometimes I wonder why it doesn't feel random to me, when there are so many crazy card powers. Maybe it's because there are very many possibilities and I always feel I can try to do something or find some combination that will improve my position. I don't feel completely helpless. Even when I'm behind, I know it is still possible to catch up.

5 Feb 2012. Dungeon Petz is adorable. I managed to convince Michelle to play it with me. Although she lost by a big margin in her first game, she is happy to play again. Must be the cute pet thing...

Or maybe the poop jokes... Even my children (6 and 5) were amused by them. They find the statement "brown cubes are poop" funny.

In contrast to Dungeon Lords, when playing Dungeon Petz with two players, the changes to the rules and to the feel of the gameplay are much less, in my opinion. Here you just get some spaces blocked out, and different spaces will be blocked out every round. We used yellow imps to block out unavailable spaces.

10 Feb 2012. Boston fell to the French.

In the first three games that Han and I played, the games ended via expansion (i.e. one side using up either village or town pieces) and the British won all three of them. In the subsequent two games, the games ended via conquest of a capital, and the French won both games. In Game 4, I was the British. I fell behind in military strength, and decided to switch to focus on raiding using Indians. I neglected military strength too much, and could not defend my capital when it came under attack. In hindsight I should not have let the French strength outstrip mine by so much. In Game 5, I was the French. I attacked first, and in that first siege both of us had most of our cards tied up. However this turned out to be a boon for me because as the French I could use Trader and fur locations (which had no military value and thus remained in my draw deck) to earn a lot of money. In hindsight Han probably should have conceded defeat earlier so that I wouldn't have been able to make so much money and further increase my overall military strength.

I think we are starting to get a grasp of the strategies, and the game seems to be getting more and more enjoyable. Also we are now playing with the 4 rules changes by the designer Martin Wallace, which overall help the French a little. I wonder whether that's why the French has been winning, or we're getting better at playing the French, which felt very tough to play initially.


loofish said...

I think some of it got out of order (unless you meant to split up the two parts about A Few Acres of Snow), but I do enjoy your boardgaming in photos posts.

Btw, the reason Wallace put up some modifications of AFAoS is that the English were too strong. Check BGG for the "Halifax Hammer".stry

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

I had intentionally ordered the photos this way, based on dates taken, but you have a good point there. In this case it is probably better to group those photos of A Few Acres of Snow together.

Yes, I have read about Halifax Hammer. I read about it after having played two games, and I had not discovered this flaw myself. By then Martin Wallace's fix was released, so I need not be tempted to try the Halifax Hammer myself.