Thursday, 26 November 2009

It's a Small World after all!

Last night was the regular Wednesday gaming at Darren's, this time a friend of Darren's was over so we had 5 players. She was late, so until she arrived we played 4 player Dominion with Seaside and Intrigue cards mixed in. One of the methods Brenda uses to beat me when the Duke is in play is to purchase Duchies and Dukes. Duchies are worth three points for 5 coins and Dukes give +1 to every Duchy you have. I finished the game with 5 Duchies and 2 Dukes (plus a Province and 2 Estates) for a total of 39 points, narrowly beating out Darren & Bruce (36 points each)., John (the other one) finished with 21.

The cards we had in play were the Chapel, Cellar, Pawn, Militia, Thief, Merchant Ship, Tactician, Duke, Trading Post and some other card that no one purchased. The first deck to be emptied was the Duchies as Bruce had two thieves so he was yanking everyone's money. I ended the game with 3 gold, 5 silver and 5 copper. I purchased a Militia and 2 Merchant Ships as well, plus Pawns (for their versatility) and 3 Cellars (which I never got to use). Bruce went into Thieves and Tacticians and was starting to rollup the points when John ended the game.

The second game we played was Small World, an area control game based on the old classic Vinci. An explanation for Small World was done here so I won't explain it further except to state we played a 5 player game.

Round One
Bruce took the Commando Skeletons and scored a 7 or so points. I followed my usually strategy of picking the race that cost me the least (in this case, Wealthy Halflings with an extra coin from Bruce). I scored 4 plus the 7 plus the 1 and already had 17 points compared to his 11. John took Hill Amazons and scored 10 points. Darren followed that up with Alchemical Giants and scored 5. Julie was last and she chose Berserk Wizards and scored about 10 as well.

Round Two
Bruce took a couple of more areas and converted more of the conquered tokens to skeletons, increasing his army from 10 to 14 since the start of the game. I took a couple of more areas and prevented Darren's Giants from rampaging in my backfield, and scored 6. John attacked Darren and took another hill, scoring 11. Darren was in pretty rough shape and scored 5. Julie expanded her area and scored double digits again.

Round Three
Bruce started rocking again and was up to 16 skeletons and scoring 12 points! I scored 7 with my halflings. John was hit by the undead and his score dropped to 2 when he went into decline. Darren followed with his Giants leaving 4 points per turn. Julie got tangled into a battle with the skeletons and scored 8 or so points.

Round Four
Bruce scored another pile of points, but he lost some of his skeletons and was now scoring 10 points. He controlled almost half the board at his peak. I scored another 7 points and decided to go into decline the next turn. John came on the board with Flying Trolls and attacked Bruce from behind, killing several of his undead and scoring 5 points. Darren took the Heroic Sorcerers and attacked from his side of the board, killing several wizards and converting a Halfling. Darren scored 9 points from all his movement, and looked to be in a strong place. Julie went into decline, scoring 5 points.

Round Five
Bruce had taken a beating with his skeletons and scored about 8 or so, going into the giants and wizards that surrounded him. I went into decline with my halflings, scoring 6 points. John continued flying around with his trolls, attacking anywhere someone was weak, and scoring 8 points. Darren, in a masterful plan, pulled all his guys up and went after Bruce, scoring 8 points again. Julie selected Diplomatic Ratmen, and hammered through the empty areas that Darren had just left scoring a massive 11 points.

Round Six
Bruce put what was left of his might undead horde into decline, scoring 7 points. I scored in double digits for the firts time, wiping more of of the undead from the board using the mighty Spirit Orcs, and scoring 11. John bounced around some more and scored 7 points, mainly at the expense of the undead again. Darren expanded further into the skeletons and scored 10 points as well. Julie killed more halflings and also scored in the double digits.

Round Seven
Bruce started up his Bivouacking Elves and marched into the area previously held by his undead and now held by trolls and sorcerers, he scored 5 points. I pulled up stakes and went after a new group on the other side of the board, killing some ratmen and wizards to score 14 points. John went into decline with the trolls. Darren enlarged his area and scored double digits again. Julie went hunting declining races and scored a further 10 points.

Round Eight (the last one)
Bruce's Elves (and only elves) scored 5 points as he had no skeletons left on the board. I expanded my control of the board on the backs of wizards and ratmen, scoring a further 14 points. John played Underworld Tritons and laid a serious beating on everyone on the board and scored his best result of the game, 11 points. Darren tried to maximise his points but everyone was on to the sorcerers and he only scored 7 points. Julie finished the game by taking a couple of spaces and scoring a final 7 points.

The final score had me beating Julie by 3, with Bruce 4 behind her and Darren 4 behind him, John was last trailing me by 17.

Please note, all the points I added here were guesses as I am pretty sure that is what they got but I am not 100% sure.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Betrayal at the House on the Hill

Robert and Lenora came over last night to play Robert's copy of Betrayal at the House on the Hill.

Betrayal is a co-operative, exploration game until a certain point. After this, it is one player (the betrayer) against the rest of the players. In the first part of the game, all the players are exploring a mansion and collecting better stats and gear, while learning more about the mansion. The gear and the stats are improved by three different kinds of cards, Event cards (which could increase or decrease abilities), Item cards (revolvers, candles, dogs etc) or Omen cards (items like a madman, or a lost girl, or bad things). When an Omen card is drawn, you must roll 6 special dice and roll higher than the number of Omen cards in play, if you do not, the Haunt happens (which I will explain later).

The 6 dice you roll are special 6 sided dice. They have 3 different values on them, two each of blank, one or two pips. This means that you can generate any value from 0-12 on the Omen roll.

Once the Omen roll is made (number of Omen cards exceeds the dice roll), the player that started the Haunt looks in the scenario book to determine which haunt will happen. This determines who is the Betrayer and what the scenario is. Both sides take their books and determine what they have to do to win.

The game then changes, and the player to the left of the Betrayer goes first and play proceeds similar to before the Haunt, except both have different victory conditions. I don't want to give the scenario away, suffice to say, Brenda was the Betrayer and her victory conditions were to kill us all. Unfortunately, the person she was closest to was the strongest player so she tried to build up her Might so she could fight. The rest of us were not restricted by this (we had different victory conditions) , and we managed to fulfill ours before she could.

I like the game, it has 50 scenarios so there is some replayability in the game (how many board games have you played 50 times?) and the board setup changes every game, which makes it a fun experience.

After that we played a couple of other games before Lenora and Robert had to leave. The other games we played were: Zombie Fluxx, a fun little card game I introduced to them a couple of weeks ago. Lenora won, on her turn,, which is a rarity, as most of us win on someone elses' turn. The other was Dominion: Intrigue, which was won by Brenda in a close tight scoring game 39-35-35-34. I like Dominion, but I dislike the cards with Curses on them. This game had none, and Brenda won due to her Duchy/Duke strategy (6 duchies, 3 dukes) gave her the win.

Friday night we went out to a Meetup near us and taught a couple of games. First we taught some first time attendees Dominion (which Brenda won), then while I was helping a couple learn Carcassonne: The Discovery (she won and wanted to buy a copy of the game), while Brenda taught Small World to the couple we played Dominion with. Vivian won, in a roll and they both enjoyed it and discussed buying Dominion. Brenda and I finished the night teaching Canal Mania to a couple of other players. I won...

Two good nights of gaming, I got to play Canal Mania, a game that I quite like and Betrayal, not to mention Dominion...