Monday, March 30, 2009

GameStorm 2009 - Part IV

The last day of a convention is always pretty slow as people have either worn themselves out, or leave early to get home for work the next day. We still had Candy's copy of A Castle for All Seasons, but we couldn't find anyone to play with so we started setting up for a 1 on 1 game of it. As we were setting up, 2 guys walked up and wanted to play, so we got to play a 4 player game (which I prefer). We taught them the game and then played - I tried to use the Stonemason more this time and get some VPs from building. I built the Well (12 cost, 10 vp) early with the Stonemason, and I think I built the big 30 cost building with Bricklayer and hired a 17 cost worker there (planning on scoring 25 for leftover resources). At one point I was going to play Stonemason again, and was looking to see whether I could build the building I wanted, and I said something out loud like "oh wait, I can't do that yet - I have to do something else first," to which Jeremy replied "oh, in that case..." and picked up the card he was going to play. I figured he was going to play Master Builder, and thought better of it since I'd sort of indicated I wasn't able to build - but I WAS able to build, and I was playing the Stonemason anyway... I played up the "error" as best I could to try and coerce Jeremy into not playing the Master Builder after all, and in the end it worked! he chose to play a Worker. To make matters worse, another player also played Stonemason, and so Jeremy's Worker got raped for resources - he ended up with $2 and a wood instead of Wood, Stone, and Clay! I won that game by a landslide, pulling off a couple good Master Builder turns as well.

After that we ran into DJ again, and he had 2 friends with him. We looked in the Library for a 5 player game, but couldn't find anything we wanted to play. DJ had a list of games he wanted try, and we finally settled on Space Alert - which I'd been trying to convince Jeremy to try (even though honestly I didn't love it after BGG.con). I thought I'd remember how to play, but as it turned out I was struggling to remember any specifics about the game. We played the first training simulation (and didn't do very well), then we skipped to the first training mission, and did better but ended up dieing! I think if we tried again we probably could survive at least the training mission, but we decided that was enough of that. Jeremy was more intrigued than he thought he would be, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I think we needed to communicate a bit better, as we didn't seem to have a handle on who was doing what or when - and that's really the whole game.

Rick was running his prototype of Hammer & Spike with the 4 train gamers that had been recruited and scheduled for that time, so I started watching that. DJ and his friends wanted to play A Castle For All Seasons, so Jeremy played that with them while I went back and forth watching Hammer & Spike and Castle for All Seasons, and as soon as H&S was done Rick was going to play one of my prototypes. I wanted to test the new version of Winds of Fate, but I felt it would be more responsible to test Terra Prime at the moment, so I chose that.

It turned out both of those games finished at about the same time, and we couldn't find anyone else to play Terra Prime, so Jeremy, Rick, and I played it. It went pretty well - though Jeremy found a double alien, and instead of running away (as I advised), he moved alongside them and into an asteroid field. He ended up taking a ton of damage and losing all of his modules... this was a pretty big setback. Rick set up nicely (maybe too nicely) for delivering, buying 2 Cargo Holds, the Cargo Capacity upgrade, and the Government Contract upgrade. The problem was that the delivery tiles only had a few Blue spaces, and the first three colonies made were blue - no green. That was partially my fault, as I made the second colony and had the choice between blue and green after Jeremy had chosen blue already. So Rick couldn't deliver all of the blue cubes he was picking up - and he decided to do something else - he started exploring for another place to colonize. By this time Jeremy had made a green colony, and I picked up some green to deliver and finish off tiles. I also picked up a blue and a brown since it was clear I would be able to finish 1 if not both of the tiles needing green (noone else seemed to be trying to - I contend that Rick should have made a B-line to the green colony as soon as Jeremy founded it). I scored a lot of points (21 in total) off of delivery tiles and Government Contract bonuses, and I ended up wining by 20+ points. However, Rick did manage a 21 point turn at the last minute with a deep space colonization which could potentially have ended the game. It didn't, so I got another turn in which I made 16 points myself. If Rick's action had triggered the game end I still would have won, but it would have been by maybe 6 points, a very close game. As it was I won by a healthy amount.

I like the way the early colonies can shape the game... in this case no green colonies, and noone managed a yellow colonies until really late either (which means no yellow tiles for extra delivering, and no engines for extra movement).

By this time people were pretty much all gone, so Jeremy an I left to convention. It was time for dinner, and we met up at Old Chicago with a frisbee friend of mine that just moved to Portland. I had a really good time all weekend, and tomorrow at noon I'm on my way home. I'm sure Evie will be happy to see me!

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