Friday, June 19, 2009

A few bad years (Entdecker, In the Year of the Dragon x2)

On Wednesday, June10th, it was Luch's pick and we played Entdecker and In the Year of the Dragon (twice).


The Entdecker session was interesting because despite a setup which didn't particularly seem to promote really large islands, we ended up with essentially just two land masses across the entire board. It was a tooth and nail battle between Luch and I for the really big island with two +5 and one +10 marker in it. Ultimately, I won the island but lost the game to Kozure, who won the second (smaller) island and then wasted no time putting scouts on the native track. Luch and I only completed the big island near the end of the game, so our scouts were tied up for far too long. He beat me by one point!

It was a fun enough session, but it confirmed my earlier feeling that this game is just too long, and too much like other games that scratch the same itch in less time. I'd be happy to play it again, but my copy will be going into the trade pile.

In the Year of the Dragon

The original idea was to play one session of ItYotD and then play Mexica, but since Luch had only played In the Year of the Dragon once before, after we completed the first session he decided he wanted to play again to try to improve his understanding of the mechanics. As a group, we've played +/-5 times, so Kozure and I were substantially more experienced... and in this game that helps.

In the first game, I stayed in front of the people track and the flexibility that afforded me gave me a win. I went for a Big Building strategy, building five temples and housing many workers in the process. This is something I don't normally do, as I normally prefer to keep two or three temples max., to make rice shortages easier to bear, and make my points with dragon tablets and courtisans.Of course, one of the nice things about this game is the multiple paths to victory, s trying a new one was fun.

Speaking of trying different paths, in the second game I was determined to try to make points primarily through the scholars. I've said I would try that before and strayed, and I did it again this time. For some reason, I can't take my eyes off all the incoming disasters long enough to make this strategy work. I fell behind on the people track halfway through the game and so I could never choose the scholar action to take advantage of the scholars I had aquired. I lost the second game in distant last.

Lesson learned... do not fall behind in the people track!

Excellent game. I'll make the scholar strategy work someday!...

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