January 6th, 2016: Curses!

Crew Members: Zevvy, David, Dima

I wasn’t sure if people would make it tonight, but David showed up with some coke (the brown kind) and Dima showed up with some chocolate (the brown kind). We played some games.

Dominion

Zevvy – 32, David – 29

Chapel, Cellar, Hamlet, Trade Route, Fortune Teller (Bane), Young Witch, Monument, Horse Traders, Bureaucrat, Quarry, Venture

It was a pretty low powered game, with Venture being the only five-cost card. I thought I could pull off the ‘trash-your-deck -except-Venture’ chaining strategy, but my luck with Chapel was not as good as David’s. I also suffered from curses as David opened with Young Witch and Chapel, while I opened Silver and Chapel. In the end it worked out for me though as my Monument counteracted the curses and I eked out the win.

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Dima – 36, Zevvy – 28, David -17

Cellar, Watchtower, Woodcutter, Talisman, Quarry, Farming Village, Monument, Tournament, Witch, Festival

As opposed to last week, tonight was not David’s night. The game began with people buying Witches and Watchtowers, though Dima got a head start on this with a 5-2 opening. At first David seemed to be doing the best, and was the first one to buy a Province. With Tournament on the board,David seemed in good shape. But with no trashing other than Watchtower, the curses began to add up, and even with Cellar after Cellar, it was hard to get a good hand going.

Dima meanwhile had no specific strategy at first, but bought many Monuments which turned out to be very helpful and allowed him to get points without filling his deck, and he began buying Provinces too. I was also able to get a few Provinces, but in between my hands were pretty lousy. I did win a Torunament, but took a Duchy instead of a Prize since the end game was near.

I bought the last few Cellars, and David bought the last Festival to end his misery. In the end, Dima won by a clear margin.

Enzymania – Demo

I spent a few minutes demonstrating a game I’ve had a vague idea about for a long time now. It is based on everyone’s favorite subject, Enzyme Kinetics! I am still sifting through some possible mechanics, but essentially the players use Enzymes to convert abstract molecules, trying to maximize the concentration of those molecules which will give them points via their ‘Membrane Protein’. It still needs a lot of fine tuning. And readable cards that I didn’t just make a few hours before the meeting…

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Forbidden Island

David – Messenger, Dima – Navigator, Zevvy – Explorer

Dima had played Pandemic before, so he picked this game up quickly. But as Forbidden Island is designed for a younger audience, the randomness is a little less polished which forces the players to bend over backwards sometimes to save Fool’s Landing or some other important tile. We played the ‘Island of Shadows’ setup, a 6 x 4 grid, instead of the default setup.

Collectively we started with four Earth Stone cards, and picked up that treasure right away. We drew two Water’s Rise pretty early, which slowed us down, but meant we didn’t have to worry for a while. David and Dima divided the Fire and Water treasures among them, and I picked up four Wind treasure cards in a few rounds.

Moving around was the hardest part, and we even had to fly David to the Tidal Palace and back using two helicopters because it had become isolated. Dima’s navigation combined with my diagonal movement did allow me to move quite far, and we picked up the other treasures without delay. The deck reshuffled and we struggled to maintain a land bridge back to Fool’s Landing, but then we drew two helicopters, one to fly Dima to the Landing and one to fly home, all four treasures in hand.

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I realized many of the games I have require some setup and take-down time, so it might be good to get some quicker games to have on hand for when someone needs a fix. It’s definitely a better addiction than chocolate or coke (the white kind).

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