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MVGA Session Report - Thursday July 27

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  • Richard Meyer
    The seven attending split into two groups to begin the night. Four of us (including myself) played Torres -- my first time playing the new Game of the Year. I
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 27, 2000
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      The seven attending split into two groups to begin the night. Four of us
      (including myself) played Torres -- my first time playing the new Game of
      the Year. I mispositioned my knights early, putting me behind after the
      first scoring round, and never really recovered, though I managed to score
      with the early leaders from then on. An enjoyable game, though based on a
      single play I have two concerns:
      1) It looks like it might be hard to come from behind, and 2) that the only
      winning strategy (assuming experienced players at all hands) is to pursue
      diversification into all available castles. I confess a preference for games
      where there is more than one winning strategy. Perhaps some of you with
      more experience with the game could comment.

      The three player Carolus Magnus was finally called when it seemed to reach a
      stalemate position. Walter was one castle from victory, but could not manage
      to make inroads into the colors controlled by his opponents -- the other two
      ebbed and flowed between 3-6 castles each. It was interesting to see this
      result, as the only other time I played this Dave B dusted us off in about
      35 minutes.

      All seven of us then combined to play Ohne Furcht und Adel (not much chance
      that's spelled right :-)). Anton used the Architect to launch a come from
      behind 3 building construction boom to be first to seven (no one else had
      more than five) but his collection of shanties and pool halls only totaled
      19 points with bonuses, and he lost on a tiebreaker to Greg, who was the
      night's double winner.
      My 9-year old son Jefferson (who lives to be the Assassin) finished one
      point behind, while Dad was left up the track after an untimely theft left
      me unable to build the DragonHoard. C'est la vie. . .

      RM
    • Dave Bernazzani
      Hi Rich! Great report - sounds like you guys had fun... Let me take some points below... ... Well - not really. I ve been in first and come in last. I ve also
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 28, 2000
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        Hi Rich!

        Great report - sounds like you guys had fun... Let me take some
        points below...

        Richard Meyer <mvmoles@...> wrote:

        >1) It looks like it might be hard to come from behind, and

        Well - not really. I've been in first and come in last. I've
        also been in last and come in first. The key is to secure a huge
        castle on the final round - and prevent your opponents from
        reaching the same level (perhaps with the block-slide-under
        action card or building carefully). Also, try to prevent
        opponents from getting the king's bonus on the final round -
        remember the player who is in *last* places the king at the
        beginning of the round and moves first - it can be a real
        balancing combination.

        >2) that the only winning strategy (assuming
        >experienced players at all hands) is to pursue
        >diversification into all available castles.
        >I confess a preference for games where there
        >is more than one winning strategy.

        I think you can get buy with less if you can manage to capture
        one big castle and secure the highest spot. All other things
        being equal, the Kings Bonus is very important. Lastly, my
        strategy is always to place as many knights as I can on the board
        - as early as possible which lets me get to as many castles as
        possible. This not only lets me get to more castles, but often I
        will use a 2nd or 3rd knight in a big castle to block my
        opponents so they cannot reach those spots - yes I don't score
        for the extra knights, but it kicks butt if my opponents can't
        occupy the same space at the same time.


        >The three player Carolus Magnus was finally
        >called when it seemed to reach a stalemate position.

        This has been a real concern for 3P Carolus Magnus. It can reach
        a stalemate position where you just need some weird combo of
        draws to break it (not too often, but it does happen sometimes).
        That's why I'm less liking CM these days for 3 players - but it
        still plays great with just 2P and far less drawn-type positions.
        4P partnership is also very good.

        Better players can try to avoid the stalemate position but with
        experienced players, this situation (often referred to on the
        newsgroups and other forums as "livelock" since you are still
        playing, adding and just waiting for the situation to resolve
        itself) will happen. Too bad - otherwise it's a fantastic game.

        Nice report Rich - glad you got a chance to post it here...

        --
        Dave Bernazzani
        dber@...
        http://www.gis.net/~dber (South Shore Gamers)
      • Dan Cashmore
        ... I was in the other game, but I hope to play this one soon. What a nice-looking (aesthetically) game! Even better seeing it close-up than in pictures. ...
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 28, 2000
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          > The seven attending split into two groups to begin the night. Four of us
          > (including myself) played Torres -- my first time playing the new Game of
          > the Year.
          I was in the other game, but I hope to play this one soon. What a
          nice-looking (aesthetically) game! Even better seeing it close-up than in
          pictures.

          > The three player Carolus Magnus was finally called when it seemed to reach a
          > stalemate position. Walter was one castle from victory, but could not manage
          > to make inroads into the colors controlled by his opponents -- the other two
          > ebbed and flowed between 3-6 castles each. It was interesting to see this
          > result, as the only other time I played this Dave B dusted us off in about
          > 35 minutes.
          I think Walter probably would have managed his last castle, but it may have
          taken a while.
          It took me a couple turns to get the hang of what I was doing, and by then I
          think I was too far behind in the key colors to do much damage, though I did
          grab 2nd place for about 5 minutes. I liked the feel of this game a lot.
          The comparisons to El Grande (the only other "colored-cube game" I've
          played) are obvious, but this felt a little more straightforward to me. A
          few more plays to determine which mechanic I like better.

          > All seven of us then combined to play Ohne Furcht und Adel (not much chance
          > that's spelled right :-)). Anton used the Architect to launch a come from
          > behind 3 building construction boom to be first to seven (no one else had
          > more than five) but his collection of shanties and pool halls only totaled
          > 19 points with bonuses, and he lost on a tiebreaker to Greg, who was the
          > night's double winner.
          My first time with this, too, and it seems like a winner. I had trouble
          throughout deciding what character to pick, but my poor play didn't detract
          from the fun. It fits its theme as well as any game I've played recently.
          This will move up the ladder on my want list. (and you did spell it right,
          Rich)

          > My 9-year old son Jefferson (who lives to be the Assassin) finished one
          > point behind
          Yes, Jeff can flat-out play.

          You didn't mention the first game played by Walter, Anton & I: Sid
          Sackson's Can't Stop. Anton hadn't played before so we foolishly let him go
          first. He managed to get his markers on the dream team of Can't Stop
          numbers: 6, 7 & 8. He was halfway up 2 of the 3 columns when he mercifully
          stopped and let Walter and I play. Naturally, we both busted and he gained
          a little more ground before we got started. He rode this to a runaway
          victory; Walter and I each finsihed with one column one and maybe Walter
          was in striking distance of a second; I know I wasn't. This remains a great
          filler game and it was nice to play it again after a few years off.

          For Dave's sake, I'll give my ratings for these:
          Can't Stop-7 Nothing wrong with it, but too simple a game to rank higher
          Carolus Magnus-7.5 with the potential to go up with repeated playings
          Ohne Furcht und Adel-8.5 One of those games I just like.

          Thanks to all for a fun night. Apologies to Walter and Greg for not getting
          to New England Rails--It looks great; good luck with it.

          Apologies to the group if my continued 2-way radio traffic was distracting
          -- I know it was to me. That will not happen often; the last time I had to
          worry about doing a job after hours was probably 6 months ago, but of course
          the one night it happens is when I'm trying to impress a new group with my
          superior gaming skills. Oh well.

          -Dan
        • Dan Miller
          Re the 4-player Torres game at MVGA... ... Interestingly enough, none of the castles got taller than 6 tiles or so. Visiting knights quickly clogged up the
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 29, 2000
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            Re the 4-player Torres game at MVGA...

            >
            > >1) It looks like it might be hard to come from behind, and
            >
            > Well - not really. I've been in first and come in last. I've
            > also been in last and come in first. The key is to secure a huge
            > castle on the final round...

            Interestingly enough, none of the castles got taller than 6 tiles
            or so. "Visiting" knights quickly clogged up the next-to-highest
            levels, making it too expensive for the highest knight to
            continue. So the game came down to a struggle for secondary
            position(s) in all the castles.

            This is the first time I've played anything but a 2-player game -
            is this unusual, Torres experts?

            Dan Miller
            millerandgreen@...
          • Dave Bernazzani
            ... I think it s not that unusual. With 4 players, typically 6 or 7 is the maximum height and things will get clogged. But those knights on the top still
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 30, 2000
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              "Dan Miller" <millerandgreen@...> wrote:
              >Interestingly enough, none of the castles got taller than 6 tiles
              >or so. "Visiting" knights quickly clogged up the next-to-highest
              >levels, making it too expensive for the highest knight to
              >continue. So the game came down to a struggle for secondary
              >position(s) in all the castles.
              >
              >This is the first time I've played anything but a 2-player game -
              >is this unusual, Torres experts?

              I think it's not that unusual. With 4 players, typically 6 or 7
              is the maximum height and things will get clogged. But those
              knights on the top still have options - with the special action
              card which lets them slide a block under them. Also, there is a
              jump piece card which lets you move up one level so you can build
              "behind" another knight. But you are right - things to get
              clogged up - just try to be the one causing it at the top of the
              heap and let the other's expend their energies climbing.

              --
              Dave Bernazzani
              dber@...
              http://www.gis.net/~dber (South Shore Gamers)
            • daveredsox@aol.com
              Please remove me from your email list. Thank you inj advance. Dave Lionett
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 30, 2000
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                Please remove me from your email list.

                Thank you inj advance.

                Dave Lionett
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