Thursday, 29 November 2012

More Archipela-gold!

Apologies for the title. John couldn't bear to tell the story of how I won Tuesday’s game of Archipelago, so he has encouraged me to recount my glorious exploits. Now I’m not one to brag, so I’ll gloss over the details…

Glossing begins. Despite being persecuted by Tom, having the fewest workers on the fewest tiles and wasting time on pointless migrations and explorations that yielded nothing but bitter disappointment, I still managed to pull off a bloody amazing win (OK, so I little bragging). A couple of good guesses on the secret victory conditions (fish, towns in woods, cards), luck with the one I didn't guess and the sole person to build a church (as no-one worked out my objective and preferred to horde valuable stone for the open objective) I did well despite a very lean game. Players with better board positions and resources should have beaten me (and would in most games), but an aspect that I love; the bluffing and misdirection allowed for a win from a desperate looking position. Some would argue that Archipelago isn't quite balanced and that the player that played the best game should usually win – but I suppose it also depends on how you measure “played the best game”.

It’s worth noting that this game was even less cooperative than last weeks and teetered on the brink of revolt a couple of times, before being pulled away from the precipice by adding a couple more workers to board, only to be brought to the edge again by taxation and scurrilous profiteering. No churches were built to keep unrest down (because of the valuable stone), and players demanded payments for sacrificing goods to avert the looming crises. No doubt the next game will be more cutthroat, perhaps with even more bribing and applying leverage to each other. I also think we may start to see more revolts. Will we then turn full-cycle and return to more gentile scenes of cooperation?

On the other table Pete, Sam, Moritz and Stu played Tzolk'in followed by some 6 Nimmt. Pete won Tzolk'in. Stu won 6 Nimmt; apparently with a terrible score, but everyone else had a much worse score.

Beer: I was drinking Titanic’s Iceberg. Light golden wheat beer. Slightly thin, but crisp and zesty with a hint of lemon tea.  Assertive hops and a nod of malt boost the brew and disguise the fact that this is a wheat beer. More suited to the summer months, but still worthy (7/10).


Minitrue said...

Another great game, leaving the church building until the very end was a nice idea - that whole stone objective really caused havoc to the usual state of affairs.
The other two 'obvious' VP scores you also did well on and leveraged your way in, all of which reveals that perhaps everyone should spend less time building their fancy empires, and more time figuring out VPs. Uh huh.
Cool stuff though. I love how no two games are the same, it's bonkers, and your victory is possibly the most epic underhand/comeback victory I have ever seen :p . Nice that the game allows that possibility to happen.

Instant Karma. All that persecution of your meeples by the evil Tom, followed by the win.

Minitrue said...

Just found another interesting tidbit about Archipelago.

Allegedly all resources + huts on a tile always adds up to 5. So no need to poke about searching for huts, 5 - resources = new workers. I'll have to paw through the tiles to fact check that.

Minitrue said...

Another point - contrary to the rules that state someone constructing a building then occupies it and becomes engaged, the designer has clarified this and said that the meeple engaged *can* then use the building. When constructing, the meeple is engaged for everything else but not for using the building apparently.

So, Matt could have built his building and used it in one round.

Mr Bond said...

Thanks. More karma than underhand. But then I would say that...

I think an impressive empire can really help you cover more of the vp objectives, especially if the game is played over more rounds. But if you can figure out the vps and end the game quickly then that's also pretty powerful.

Nice finds on those two rules. The ambiguous rules is my biggest issue with the game.