Thursday, July 08, 2004

Speed Tigris & Euphrates doesn't work...

Last night we played our second game of Traders of Genoa and our third or fourth game of Tigris and Euphrates. In Traders of Genoa, we discovered that the person you THINK is in the lead often isn't, and that even if you think you are dead last.... you probably aren't. In the end, ????? (who's mysterious shirt pocket kept producing goods, small orders and money) took the game by a slim margin over Kozure (who thought he was last). Everyone thought I was in first because I had a great first few rounds, but the truth was I couldn't get anything going beyond that I wasn't even close. Shemp discovered that his attempt at not going overboard on dealmaking backfired, and HilzaCanuck showed that ????? doesn't have a patent on "Screw yr Neighbor" type play.

Most importantly, we discovered that screwage and salt are both very funny.

I stand by my earlier assertion that this game is highly dependent on the crowd and the mood. Just in the course of last night's game, I went through phases of really liking it and finding it boring... in tune with everyone's participation in the game (sometimes, it just felt like people were really into it, with bidding and conversation flowing freely, while at other times people were distracted and didn't seem to care). I think the main flaw of the game is that many turns can go by where it seems that there isn't much to gain. It can also be difficult to get things going with assembling the proper supplies. The strategy to a successful game seems elusive, unlike Domaine which seemed to reveal itself at a fairly rapid pace. I still look forward to playing it again, though, and I think it will get better with time.

Tigris proved to be the brain-burner it's chalked up to be. I discovered that :
1) it's very difficult to play effectively when only drawing black and blue.
2) Shemp has a habit of stealing my temples and keeping them
3) Human players are much tougher than Java ones

Shemp won that one by a large margin.

Lastly, we tried a game of SPEED Tigris and Euphrates (since SPEED Carcassonne worked so well).
It was 73h 5uXX0r

Without time to think, people mostly focused on growing their own personal kingdom. Clashes did happen near the end, but they were poorly planned (In fact, I won the game because Shemp attacked me and lost on the last round, beefing up my weakest sphere).

I still really like this game. I find myself wishing I had the opportunity to play this one, in particular, more often. It's involving without needing too much of a time commitment, and the enjoyment doesn't come from novelty... so I don't think it will get old.

Easy Off


  1. I get the feeling that the game of T&E that we played was a fairly atypical one. (Can something be fairly atypical, or would it be just flat-out atypical?). I am still quite surprised that I won, seeing as how the kingdom I controlled was a completely indefensible snake shape, totally vulnerable to having devestation visited upon it.

    Seems to me that the only thing keeping that from happening was the fact that both you and Kozure were having such crappy tile selection that launching an attack would not have worked...actually, I don't think that makes sense either. I don't know why I wasn't devestated repeatedly. Enlightenment would be appreciated.

    I do know that the lack of red tiles drawn by both you and Kozure lead you to attempt ultimately fruitless attacks as a way to gain red tiles, and believe that both of you would have been less reckless under more probably tile distribution scenarios.

    As far as ToG, damn straight that my strategery backfired. Totally obnoxious, out of control wheeling and dealing from me is in store for the next time we try to play that one, boy.

    Also, I liked the bison burgers over the beef/portobello ones, personally.

  2. Also, yeah, speed T&E is teh suXX0r. Don't do it.

  3. Shemp,
    I disagree with your assertion that your kingdom was indefensible. Sprawling, yes. But not indefensible. In T&E, defensible means having lots of red tiles near you leaders and plenty of the right coloured tiles on your side in case an inter-kingdom conflict arises. Yours had both, and attempts to take you down meant always going up against a leader who started with a three tile score. True, if I had a mitfull of red tiles, I could have taken down a leader and maybe received some of the points fo rthe temple I BUILT. But it wouldn't have been easy.
    Sadly, I think the real answer is that you are good at the game.

    p.s. I liked the Bison burgers better as well.

  4. I don't think I can blame bad tile placement for my poor showing in T&E. I'm beginning to realize that, like many similar situations in history, being between two (or three) growing kingdoms is a recipe for being attacked viciously and repeatedly.

    Next time I'll try a less centralized approach.

    Traders of Genoa made for some very interesting play - I think we're only just beginning to understand the relative worth of things (much like Princes of Florence) so that paying 50+ ducats for a large order isn't quite as smart as an investment as it seemed to be when we first played.

    I'm beginning to think about "total cost" value assessments when paying for things - if you pay, say, 50 ducats for a large order, then 15 or 20 for two or three Warehouse runs and THEN another 5 or 10 to ensure that you get to a specific location, you've already squandered (invested) a good 60-80 ducats even before the payoff, and that's assuming you paid nothing else to get a missed good or a made a bonehead move like over bid for a Building Action when you don't own any property (grrrr...)

    I was happy with my late game rally in ToG... it was looking pretty bleak initially after about two major overbids on my part early in the game.

  5. Well, Easy, the main reason I was describing my Kingdom as indefensible was the many skinny, snakey portions. If anyone had chosen to Devestate the kingdom at a strategic point where it was only one tile wide - of which there were many - a leader could have been placed in 1/2 of said kingdom without a conflict. It would have taken at least 3 tiles for me to re-unify the kingdom, and (here's the kicker) any resultant conflicts would have been External, instead of Internal, and so my red tile advantage would have been rendered moot.

    At least, that's how I see it. Although, I agree that the key point in the game was me stealing your temple so early on.

    And I am, as yet, unwilling to accept your assertion that I am good at the game. It will take more than one round of me not being teh suXX0r for that to happen.

  6. And, word on the Traders of Genoa Total Cost Accounting [TGTCA]. Being a massive proponent of LifeCycleCosting in the professional world, you would think I could get a handle on the concept in the game.

    Maybe next time.

    As an aside, I get the feeling that - again like Princes of Florence - ToG would be massively different w/ fewer players. Not sure why, just a hunch.

  7. Shemp,
    I know that you felt the kingdom was open to "devastation attacks".
    Obviously, I considered it... but the kingdom was only worth taking over if it was intact! There aren't enough moves in the game to play just to take 1 other player down... it has to have a payoff for yourself! I was aiming to get treasures, and I needed the long snakey kingdom to stay long and snakey.

    As for ToG Total cost of Ownership.... Bah!