Thursday, February 04, 2010

February 03, 2010

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Mace, Gili, David, Bill, Abraham

Stormy weather. Mace was going to be in Tel Aviv, but came to play instead.


Nadine+, Bill, Mace, Gili

First play for Mace, possibly first play for Bill. I don't know what scenario they played. Bill was a close second.

Le Havre

David 145, Jon 113, Abraham 106

It's always nice when there are more players, since I have a better chance of getting out games that I love but some others don't. Abraham likes Le Havre, too, and this was David's first play.

It's a strange game to teach, what with building and buying and the strange and difficult procedure involved in buying ships. It's an awesome game, however, and we've still only played "the quick" way, without special buildings. I think I'm finally ready to graduate to those.

One mechanic that kind of bothers me is the way that someone can "hog" a space if they take resources; I think it would be nice if they had to remove their piece from the building they currently occupy to do that. Maybe that's actually the rule and I missed it.

David was thoroughly confused as the game started, but by the end he was getting the hang of it. So much so, that he was the first of our group to realize that one should actively NOT take food early game and instead take debt. This saves actions for you to generate lots of food in later parts of the game. None of us did this, but it seems sound in theory.

And of course he won. Abraham always seems to be doing well early game, but then is totally out of sync later on. I plod along merrily, but never seem to get a ship, which I should probably do, if only for the food reduction. David seemed to be a bit behind, but he gained massive energy and steel late in the game, bought the big luxury liner and another steel ship and shipped steel.

Pillars of the Earth + expansion

Gili, Mace, Nadine, Bill

Nadine writes: Gili won, Mace was second, first play for him, second play for Bill. [Ed: First play of the expansion for everyone]

The expansion seems to make it harder, or maybe it's just being less familiar with what can happen, such as bad events and that some craftperson/exchange cards being out of the game. Bill could look at the events but wasn't able to avoid the last one because Gili went there before his guy was drawn.

I had a card that let me select the initial two cards for sale, so I took the first player position a lot which hurt Bill because I started on his turn where he would have been first. I couldn't use that ability in the last round. Mace did well too with a lot cube production.

Apparently there was one card which prevented all special ability cards, and it was played in the last round. It made the game a bit anti-climactic.

Magic: the Gathering

David++, Jon

David and I drafted as usual from random cards acquired in the last few years. I remarked on the lack of synergy as we were drafting, but in the end I somehow acquired around ten Kithkin, at least one of which gained +1/+1 for each Kithkin that attacked.

In fact, as I drafted, I specifically chose cards that gave bonuses for various reasons. I had an equipment that gave +x/+x for each attacking creature, and another creature that gained +2/+2 if a creature was brought into play this round. So while my deck looked small, it had some buildup potential.

That's what happened in game 2. On turn 5 or 6, I attacked with five creatures, some of which were pumped to +8/+8. I won.

Unfortunately, I lost the other two, as usual. The first game was very close. David had a champion creature out, +7/+7 with some added boosters to become +9/+9. I had him within 2 points, but finally ran out of defenses as I drew a slew of lands. In the third game, my deck didn't have synergy, and he flew over me with a pumped creature several times.

Still fun.


Chris said...

Re: Le Havre, I have this worry in the case of new players that it is hard to bridge the prior knowledge gap, so have been thinking about handicapping to assist new players (starting them with a wooden ship, perhaps).

Re: hogging, you can occupy a building strategically - but in the late game one needs buildings more than one needs resources so this problem tends not to occur.

There are two ways you can get someone out of a building:
(1) if it is owned by the town you can buy it. The person inside is then kicked out.
(2) if it is owned by you, you can sell it. The person inside is then kicked out. You can then buy it back empty, if you like - so in practice you can kick someone out for half the value of the building.

Hope this is useful! :)

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Chris, unfortunately, there is only a single Shipping Line, which one person owns, so if he's the one hogging it, it makes for a frustrating couple of rounds.

It's a slightly different idea than worker placement, where each round starts fresh. It's not often a huge problem, but a small one.

Oh, and if I'm not mistaken, you can't sell and re-buy a building on a single turn.


Dragonbear82 said...

I'm just wondering how you draft? Most people find standard 2 player drafting where you take a card from a pack and pass the rest back and forth to be annoying because often the best choice is to deny your opponent a card they need rather than drafting a card for your deck strategy.

When I have two players and we want to draft we usually do a winston draft. That is where you put three stacks of cards on the table starting with one card each. The players take turns looking at the stacks and either taking the whole pile or adding a card to go to the next stack. If you don't pick any of the three then you get a random card off the supply pile. Also once you pass a stack you can't go back and take it until your next turn at which point your opponent might have taken it already. it's a lot of fun. There is enough hidden information that Hate drafting a card you don't need but your opponent does is not usually a very strong option. It makes for a more interesting draft and games. Plus it works great for loose cards since you don't have to worry about setting up color distributions in the packs and whatnot.

Just curious if you are familliar with it and how you usually draft.

You can find out more on winston drafting here

Jeff said...

Yehuda, how do you handle drafting in your Magic games? We did a sealed deck with 6 Zendikar packs the other night, but at $4 a pack, I'm not interested in doing that again.

I have a slew of cards (approaching 10,000?) from older sets like Alliance, Ice Age, Visions, etc. I was thinking about sorting them all into Set / Rarity, then putting together random 15-card "packs" with the proper distribution of cards, and using those to draft.

How do you do drafting?