Postgame Comments - 06 Feb - SNOWDONIA
At its core SNOWDONIA is a worker placement game where players are trying to complete track and stations up the mountain for points. The achievements of each player can be scored again on contract cards for end game bonuses if the requisite number of builds has been completed. But there are a few twists in the game. The first is “weather” which can speed up or slow down the rate of progress of the builds. The second is “events” which are best thought of as a non-player (ie the game) completing builds faster than the players. So the players are not only racing each other for points, but also the game itself.
As we all started out with no resources, the early moves were to acquire resources (iron ore, stone, coal, steel bars) which would be used to both build track as well as build stations along the line. Tim was focusing on gathering stone and steel to build the stations along the way. Rich opted to send his surveyor up the mountain for points. Dave was doing a good job of building track. While points are awarded for each of these things, many more points are awarded if the appropriate number of builds can be matched to a contract card. A part of the game is looking to see how one’s progress in other aspects can be rewarded with the contract points. Rich (for example) had the contract that awarded bonus points for advancing the surveyor to the final three stations. Dave had contracts that allowed him to gain bonuses for his tracks, stations, and rubble. Tim similarly managed to get a station based bonus late in the game. Adding up all the points:
Tim: 125 / Dave: 116 / Rich: 104
It should be noted that Tim lost his train due to an inability to pay maintenance fees, but then purchased the train that awarded 9 points at game’s end. And Tim’s margin of victory was…..9 points.
Unlike other engine building games, this one doesn’t really accelerate at the end. One’s engine tends to be more steady as many bonuses are one time use only or a single consistent small benefit. But that said, the game isn’t very steady in its pace. Due to the weather and events, the game has its rapid phases and steady phases and players need to be aware of how things might change as the end can arrive rather suddenly and perhaps a turn earlier than expected or planned for. We were finished rather quickly in our game, but so quickly that we could add a second game.