Tuesday, March 13, 2018

PrezCon Day 2 [Boardgames]

For the first time in my entire history at PrezCon (8-9 years), I actually started this morning off getting up and going to the gym.
Some weird looking boardgames in here
Yeah, I was surprised too. Still, the hotel has a gym, and for those of us currently losing "The Battle of the Bulge", it is definitely good enough to give some hope.

After the brief time at the gym, a shower, and breakfast, we got up and got ready to start our long day of gaming!

First up today was Blitz: A World in Conflict. This was the big goal for Rob to play this convention, and with five of us available, it was definitely conceivable we could have an interesting fight. I was given the Americans, who don't have a whole lot interesting to do early on, but would be critical later (as in World War II). We set up.
Set up
Without a whole lot to do early on (build Lend-Lease units, wait for excuses for my War Entry number to raise), I decided to read the rules, so we had a second player super familiar with them. On the map, the game unfolded on its own- Japan began expanding, and eventually conquered China, Germany invaded a few countries.

Our game ended when Germany (Rob) attempted the invasion of France (Dan). The first thrust of the invasion stalled, which wasn't a big deal. The second thrust failed as well, however, and with France looking like it wasn't likely to fall, we ended up calling the game.

Despite not getting to actually play any of this game, it's hard to be too upset over that- I feel like many WWII games at this scale have this problem. If the Axis powers can't get their initial, historical, gains- they just don't have a good way to win. Time is against them to begin with, after all, and if they can't grow early... they are already behind the clock.

So anyway, we decide to switch to another conflict filled game, something that would ensure we all would have something to do- Scythe.

I was randomly assigned Saxony (black). I have played this game once before, at my Bachelor party, and I wasn't particularly impressed, but knowing a bit more about the rules, I was hoping I'd enjoy it better. We played with the Airship expansion, which was new to me.
First moves
End game
I didn't really take great notes for this one, opting to focus on playing the game, and not disrupting the flow (wanting to make sure I enjoyed and 'got' the game). In the end, I was the first to put my sixth star down, and managed to win a few battles to push people out of my area. I didn't quite realize how important popularity was to the final score (I don't remember that from the first time we played, and it wasn't re-explained to me), so I didn't raise it as high as I should've (I was maybe two Popularity away from hitting the next score threshold).

I ended up with 72 points, coming second to Dan (80), and ahead of Jesse (56), Rob (53), and AJ (48).  Not bad!  I definitely could've picked up a few more points had I come out and expanded a little more the previous turn or so. I had the military strength and the cards, I was just too timid for my own good, unfortunately.

I enjoyed this game a lot more than I did our first time playing this- I got it much better this time, and actually realized how to make good use of my faction board, something I bumbled about with the first time we played.

This game done, we decided to play some lighter games before dinner.  First up was 7 Wonders, a game with card drafting and combinations, and playable in like 20 minutes. I end the first age with the first two parts of my Wonder built, and end up with a total of 38 points. Winner was Dan, once again, with 55 points.
End of first age
End of second age
Game end
This was a lot of fun- I've since even played this with my wife, who enjoyed it decently well. Maybe something I grab some day, if she decides she likes it enough.

We followed this with another light game- Tortuga 1667. This one has hidden roles, really simple rules, and decent components. It's about trying to get the treasure into the most favorable place on the map, trying to screw over the people who you think are on one of the other sides (there are three sides- the Dutch, French, and British). We ended up playing this twice. I don't believe I won either time. Probably little too chaotic/random for my tastes.
After this game, we decided to grab some food, and went to the hotel restaurant, and had some good food.

Now with us properly prepared for gaming during the evening, we got down to the evening's games, starting with Mare Nostrum.

I remember this on Kickstarter, from Academy games. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford it at the time, but thankfully, at least one person in our group owns a copy, so I'll at least have opportunities to play this!

Anyway, in this game, you are one of the rulers of one of the ancient empires (I was Carthage in our game, with Rob playing Egypt, Dan playing Babylon, Jesse playing Rome, and AJ playing... Macedon, maybe?

Anyway, in this game, you're generating resources, building military units, expanding and trying to form alliances (mainly to let you build unimpeded), trading, and acquiring leaders/wonders in order to increase your various empire stats (culture, military, and something else), which will let you choose the order of various parts of the turn.

Anyway, early in the game, I'm able to arrange enough trades to allow me to buy one of the Leaders, who gave me additional dice in military conflicts, which was helpful in ensuring that I wasn't an easy target for invasion.  For the most part, I was left alone throughout the game, and maintain leadership in the Culture track, and eventually start doing pretty well, getting within one Wonder/Leader of winning, as well as putting together a pretty impressive military force (primarily my navy!). Dan had spent this time getting into good shape, winning a very favorable war against AJ, who was also getting beat up upon my Rome. Egypt had made some advances as well, but had mostly stayed out of the fighting.
The game end came suddenly. Rob looked like he was about to get to 12 coins, but Jesse responded to that by taking over some of the income generating places. Dan tries to go for a win soon after by taking over enough capitals- I respond to that, and also invade one of Rob's provinces, in an attempt to go for the win as well- all I need to do is generate enough different resources to buy the final Wonder I need.

However, Rob had planned accordingly, and leading in the appropriate track, he could determine the build order. He built first, built what he needed to win, and that was the game. I would've won on my turn, at least.

Overall, I really really loved this game, but I admit I might not buy it- I can't imagine not playing on that beautiful huge gaming mat!

We decided to finish the evening off playing Shadows of Brimstone. I chose the Jargano Native, because he was new and different. I won't go into great detail of this one because we basically got overwhelmed really badly in our second fight, and ended up having to call it early, because one of our party members had imbibed too much, and it was clearly affecting him.
With that, we packed up, and called it a night, and got to bed. I spent a bit organizing some games and reading a bit of rules before going to bed, in case we played anything I had brought.

No comments:

Post a Comment