12/11 Session Report: Avengers (gradually) Assemble!
I arrived at Dragon's Lair promptly at 5pm to find a 3-player Vinci game quickly wrapping up, with Brian's k-k-k-killer combo of Currency and Militia swamping Rob and Jon. A cry of "Hail Caesar" went up from the crowd, with two automated chariots added to crowd the track. After suffering the ignominy of losing to one of the robochariots in race 2, something finally clicked for Brian, as he just missed winning race 3 (all 1s in the final turn) and then closed the deal by winning race 4 to tie Rob for overall third. All according to plan, though, as I managed to outduel Jon by 2.
The group then split for Antiquity and Marvel Heroes, with myself, Rob, and Jon for the latter. We waited several minutes for Ted to come and be our fourth, but eventually took a bystander named Luke who was all but drooling on the components. I got the Fantastic 4, Rob the Marvel Knights (Spidey, Dr. Strange, Daredevel, Electra), Jon the X-Men, and Luke the Avengers (CapAp, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk).
Including rules explanation, the game ran 3-1/2 hours, or nearly as long as our previous two combined. That's skewed a bit by the fact that Rob missed an auto-win in turn 4 (out of 5), and I chose not to risk what would've been an easy win after that (the dice had burned me too many times), so we had two chances to be spared the hour-long final turn. In the end I again stupidly chose the wrong combat and allowed Luke to sneak past for a two-point win. I'm still not sure how I feel about the game. I like it, but I was never a comic reader, so I don't get into the theme as much as others (*cough*Luke*cough*). Fights are clever, but the decisions usually seem clear, and once multiple heroes start showing up, can go on waaaaaaay too long. The bulk of the strategy appears to be in how you spend your plot points on readying heroes and allies at the beginning of each turn. I enjoy playing it, but I'm feeling a little buyer's remorse.
To reward Simon's patience in watching the second-half of the game, we granted his wish to be repeatedly screwed over in some more Ave Caesar action. Since there were only three of us (Simon, Jon, and me), we each took two chariots, which made for some interesting tandem blocking tactics in race 3, when my chariots started 1-2. Unfortunately the bystander chatter became so oppressive that I missed hailing entirely in race 4 and nobody noticed until I finished. Simon won, and most likely would have anyway had I been forced to stop and hail. But it left me feeling that the more holiday gaming we do in people's homes rather than DL would be a good thing, and I volunteer my own home to that end.
Speaking of holiday gaming, here's how my "games played" list now stands:
Marvel Heroes: 3
Ave Caesar: 2
Combat Commander: 0
Crokinole: 0 (?!?)
Other cool stuff: 0
This must be rectified! I'm guessing this Friday at Jeff's will be the first step; don't miss the post below this one!