Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Board gaming until the wee hours of the night...

...and now posting about gaming until the weeer hours of the night.

Brian and I met up at DL around 5pm. Nobody was there yet, so we played a quick game of San Juan. I started with a Prefecture and ramped up pretty quickly from there and manage to win with the monuments and the triumphal arch. By the time we finished, Jon had arrived, so after a quick rules course, we played a three player game. This time Brian smashed us into submission until we were both so thoroughly humbled that we quickly agreed to let him smash us again.

Luckily Ben showed up and we switched to a game of Fairy Tale. I still have a real hard time with this game in that I don't really know the pictures well enough to even pretend to defensive draft. So my strategy is basically to take the best card for me always which obviously is suboptimal. Brian smashed us again.

A couple of quick games of High Society followed. In game one, not one positive score card came out!. Not one!. So not only did we not officially get a winner, as Ben, Jon and Brian were all tied at zero, I got the dubious distinction of finishing with the least amount of cash remaining and a -10 score to boot. I don't understand it, I took the Isiah Thomas course in shrewd investments. Game two worked out better for me as I snatched up my own island and a backup yacht (the island came with one) and held on to top Jon's hooker and friends in the end. Ben had the best stuff but alas he spent himself out of the game.

It was finally time for some meat! Brian brough out Antike, which last time ended up being an exercise in carebear style play with a grand total of one attack in the game. I had made up my mind that if we ever played it again, I wouldn't let that stand, no sirree. My strategy was to send wave after wave of my loyal soldiers to their deaths against my neighbors, Brian and Ben. I was hoping to break through one of them so I could attack Jon and not be playing favorites but it was not to be. Jon attacked (aka stabbed) Ben in his unprotected flank (aka back) to sack two temples and put a lock on the game for a couple of turns later. It was a much more enjoyable game with some sort of conflict although I agree with Brians assesment that all of the back and forth between the three of us most involved in conflict was not a positive.

Next we started a game of No Thanks while we were waiting for Simon. But midway through the setup, he appeared. Since we had already gone through the tedious preparations for the game, he joined us for one quick game. Brian smashed us again, getting a nice 5 card run and a plethora of chips to top it off.

Next we played Shadows Over Camelot with Brian's motivation cards variant. I was a loyal Native Son (I was screwed if we ever lost the Saxon's quest). I thought we were pretty golden since in all the games we've played before, we have never lost the Saxon or Pick's quest. But, wouldn't you know it, about midway through the game, the Saxon's were looming large on the doorstep and we were still a turn or two from completing it. Luckily things worked out in the end with that. Meanwhile, Simon had grabbed Lancelot's Armor, I had taken out the Black Knight by chopping off his limbs one by one, Brian and Jon had stabilized the Grail quest, and Ben had completed the Excalibur quest. A few rounds later, Simon revealed himself as the traitor via the fate card and as he knew from the tabletalk that Brian was the Judge was able to start supertaunting him. We stabilized the siege engines then all ran to the Grail to try to make a mad dash to the finish. In the end Jon played the quest saving Grail card and took all of the fight cards in the 7 we got as a reward to push himself up to 16 total (his motivation). My motivation worked out fine even though there was a scare. Ben needed to see the Dragon Quest to completion (success or not) and luckily for him the dragon slaughtered us relatively quickly in the game. Brian was the judge, (needed to have the traitor revealed to win) and so all of the good loyal knights were victorious. The lesson as always, evil never wins. Except in Doom.

That was the next game of the night. Brian and Ben called it a night here I think, and Jon, Simon and I went back to Simon's house to do the last campaign in the original Doom. I tried my hand at the invader this time. Good choice. The board was huge, I got a million monsters to play around with, and drew some insane cards. We played until they escaped, by which time I had 10 frags. The things I learned: acid is good, hell knights are better, sealed in is best. Grenades are bad, chain gun is worse, BFG is still the worst. Oh yeah and Mancubi suck. We finished at 2:30. Hurray for 9 and a half hours of gaming.



At 9:47 AM, March 21, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I have to commend Simon for doing a good job of playing the traitor in SoC. Perhaps because it was my first time playing the game, but I was very suprised by his betrayal. Dirty dog!

Antike struck me as a less-fun, though much quicker version of Civilization (or am I remembering Advanced Civ?). I do enjoy civ-building games, though, so I did have fun. In particular, the goods trading aspect of Civilization makes the game more interactive on a non-military level.

By the way, you can still download as free-ware the Advanced Civilization PC game, which actually has a very challenging AI. The game is actually very faithful to the board game's rules too. Lots of fun if you enjoy the original, but don't have 8 people willing to play for 8-12 hours.

Overall, I think Antike is interesting, and I'd play it again, though I doubt I'd suggest it. The game did significantly rekindle my curiosity about Mare Nostrum though...

At 2:19 PM, March 21, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Antike wasn't really my bag the time I played. No luck and brevity for an empire builder just doesn't make sense but those are its selling points.

I learned it's really freaking hard to win as the traitor in Camelot. It was the closest I had seen to a loss by the loyal knights. To be able to win by betrayal, the scale has to be near the verge of no return for you to be able to influence anything enough. After getting a chance at it though, I can say with more certainty that SoC is losing favor with me (too much downtime, few meaningful choices, too easy to win).

Doom was evil. I think Kevin Wilson must've had a bad day when he wrote the last scenario. There was NO ammo, gigantic rooms crawling with invaders, unavoidable acid pits that caused an automatic one wound to cross, and TWO friggin' Cyberdemons...It truly was a nightmare. I don't want to spoil the campaign ending for anybody, but let's just say it wasn't terribly uplifting either...

Stupid Cyberdemons.

At 2:55 PM, March 21, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

It's also "Picts" by the way...dunno if you meant that or not.

At 4:21 PM, March 21, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

Unintentional typo, too lazy to change it now.

At 7:31 PM, March 21, 2006, Blogger Brian said...

an exercise in carebear style play

Just FYI, if my daughter hears you dissing the Care Bears you'll be in big trouble.

At 11:37 PM, March 21, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

I've added that gaming term to my dictionary since Dennis brought it up during our Carebear Coloretto session in February.


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