Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saturday Gaming

On Saturday six gamers got together at my place to play Conquest of the Empire. Steve was quick to grasp the bounty that Italy provided and jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.

Playing CotE with six players is fun but stressful. Ben summed it up best by saying it gave him a headache. I think 3-5 players is about the right number. Fewer than that and there is not enough confict, more than that and it's gridlock. Overall. it's a good game that requires a lot of skill and some luck to win.

Jose stuck around after the group left and we played a game of Twilight Struggle. He foiled my plan to knock the USA out of the game by turn 5. Instead he held out until the beginning of turn 9. For our next game of TS we have decided to try the optional rules at the back of the 2nd edition rulebook: Defcon status does not prevent realignment rolls and the ability to split up Ops points from a single card between different actions. We have also discussed bidding influence in the hope of improving the game balance.

Our last game of the evening/morning was War of the Ring+Expansion. I took the Shadow forces and Jose played the free people. The expansion adds all sorts of special actions and abilities, mostly for the free peoples. I swear Jose made up half the stuff. I pretty much stuck to the traditional Shadow strategy using the core rules. Gondor fell and Rohan was besieged. After defeating Gondor I pounced on the Fellowship to keep the Ring from moving while slowly tightening the noose around Rohan. My strategy worked and the Ringbearer succumbed to corrpuption within sight of his objective.

Overall. it was a nice day of gaming.


At 3:42 PM, December 30, 2007, Blogger Carlos said...

Thanks for the write-up Mark – and for letting s use your house. The game of Conquest of the Empire was fun and chaotic. It had been a long time since I played and this was my first game with 6 people. While I found the game fun and animated, it was a bit crowded with 6 players. Had there been only 4 or 5, we may have been able to cause Steve some more challenges. I myself was too stubborn in trying to secure the area between Egypt and Asia (modern day Turkey). I never did quite trust poor John. Ben was a thorn in my side.

One more thing. I am always amazed on how I tend to get myself into paradigms on the way some games should be played. I need to unlearn the “Risk!” mentality of having a static “Home Location” that is “Mine”. I was enlightened the way some of you had no difficulty just moving your hordes all over the map. I have much to un-learn.

Glad that some more gaming went on after I had to leave. Till next time…

At 1:07 PM, December 31, 2007, Blogger jbarreto said...

Thanks very much for hosting Mark. Conquest of the Empire was a fun and challenging game. I am pleased to see it bears little resemblance to the original game, which I felt was too bland. The decisions on which actions to take each round add a fun element of balancing long term strategy with short term opportunities.

Twilight Struggle is always a tense game. I can't remember how many times both Mark and I cursed our fates when what seemed like a solid lock on an area evaporated in a matter of rounds. Despite some lucky plays on my part, Mark's relentless communist hordes once again claimed victory. I am interested to see how the designer optional rules affect game balance. Might make things a bit easier for the US.

Being a gracious host, Mark agreed to play War of the Ring before we ended the night. It was a heartbreaking game. Gondor had fallen and the last brave remnant of Rohan was holed up in Helm's Deep waiting for the end. The fellowship moved very slowly due to some heavy hunting by Mark (2-4 dice in the hunt box every turn). Despite that, I had managed to add all the blue tiles to the pool, had some companions to take a bullet for Frodo, and Galadriel was still holed up in Lorien holding all the elven rings for some last minute tile switching.

I decided to risk going into Mordor with 7 corruption. Managed to make it to 2 steps from the end of the Mordor track when I got hit by a red 3/no move tile. I used Mithril Coat to force a redraw and out of the darkness came Shelob, hitting the fellowship for 5 corruption and ending all hope for Middle Earth.

Someday I will figure out how to win this game.

At 10:09 PM, January 01, 2008, Blogger Mark said...

Everyone is welcome. I hope y'all enjoyed the games.

I do believe that we have only scratched the surface of CotE and that it has a lot more to offer.

TW and WotR were both exciting games with lots of tense moments. I gave Jose are hard time because of all the rule exceptions that the expansion adds in favor of the Free Peoples. I think the expansion is a must if you are a serious enthusiast. It was just hard for me since I'm still learning the base game.


Post a Comment

<< Home