Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Yet More Island Shenanigans

Twelve this week, in three groups of four.

Fletch brought a couple of unsuspecting civilians along to join in - whos names I have utterly forgotten, terrible, terrible me - and along with Dean the four of them had a go at Lords of Waterdeep, the Euro that is not about cube shuffling but is instead about farming wizards... that are represented by cubes... and tend to do not so much wizarding, but more shuffling. Hmm.

Dean went on to club the newcomers into submission by securing himself a comfortable lead and win, with Fletch managing second place. Such was the extravagance of his win that everyone was hard pressed to say who had actually won until forced to concentrate. Next up they took a few swings at King of Tokyo - no news on which outrageously ridiculous monster won.

This left Pete, Tom, Nicky and Moritz to tackle Terra Mystica again. A few weeks back Tom was telling me that he thought he had Terra Mystica just about figured out now, and was looking for an opportunity to play it again and put his figuredoutness to the test.

No easy task when Pete is playing a game he has experience at. Pete is a wily player adept at spotting VP synergies and not beyond deploying 'Weasel Words' ( Matt's description ) when push comes to shove.

Buildings were raised, terrain converted and after the dust had settled, Pete's VP engine had stalled in the late game, and Tom came through as the winner. His figuredoutness was indeed figured out.

Lastly Archipelago graced the table once again, this time I got to play, Matt, Ewan and Sam joining in. The game got off to a grouchy start where co-operation seemed to be a bad word. Trading was almost non existent, and there were a few hostile overtones as Sam marched in and built a town to control Ewan's up til now undisturbed wood harvesting.

Despite this the rebels in the colony had a hard time - with Matt really convincing all to put down the disquieted natives, and skipping card buys to prevent possible further crises.

As it turned out this was not Matt being a team player at all, but setting himself up for some nice end of game VPs from being the Pacifist. Damn him. As Pete pointed out after the game, if the rebels are struggling that much, it might be favourable to lend them a hand now and then - just to upset the pacifist. Which is a fair point I have never really considered - my focus is usually on doing my best to keep the islands at peace - not maintaining a delicate balance between peace and outright chaos.

No one turned out to be the separatist, and with a public goal of most ships, the game turned out to be very tight. Ewan who had looked strong throughout the game managed to miss a few key VP conditions, Sam doing an epic double bluff of considering how likely an exploration VP was, whilst all the time having it in his hand. You really can't trust anyone whilst playing Archipelago.

Matt eventually won by a single point - his pacifist VPs giving him the edge he needed to stick his nose in front. Curses. Me and Sam tied for second place and Ewan came in a few points off the mark.

Worthy mentions should go to Sam's Explorer, who on an explore action would allow the user to use the top 3 hexes to explore with, rather than just 1. As it turns out No Eyes Eddie, the Intrepid Explorer managed to turn up 3 duff tiles for Sam, and out of the six choices, none were playable. No Eyes Eddie was seen to take Sam's money with a cackle and head for the nearest pub, declaring that he would get right onto that exploring malarkey after he had slaked his thirst. Awfully thirsty job this exploring.

Matt resplendent with his Archipelago win took himself off home, whilst Ewan, Sam and myself had a quick game of Zombie Dice, which Sam won by pipping Ewan at the very last moment. My zombies were hopelessly last.


Mr Bond said...

Cheers for another great write-up, John. It's nice to be kept informed while on my sabbatical. I reckon I'll be back on a regular basis soon.

Minitrue said...

No worries, and it'll be great to have you back.

On a slightly related note, one of my friends, a huge ASL monster, has recently taken the plunge and bought every single Combat Commander and demanded I play with him. Should be interesting !

Oh I forgot to say, Pete noted that a version 2 of the rules for Archipelago has appeared. Apparently there can be confusion over the rules ? Pfft.

Mr Bond said...

That's commitment to a game. Are you going to play all the scenarios in order? All 115 of them? Perhaps quicker than playing a game of ASL...

Minitrue said...

Ha I have no idea, it'll probably take a year to get round to playing one.