Monday, September 06, 2010

Threeny Madness! (Ra, Glory to Rome, Beowulf, Dominion)

Shemp's pick this week, and he went for Threeny Madness (a play on "weeny madness", the name we used to give Magic decks that focussed on many small creatures). Turns out many of the games played aren't particularly "weeny", but what can you do?


First up was Ra, with Tilli playing instead of Kozure. Auction games are often subject to groupthink, and so I think everyone was somewhat surprised at how differently me and Shemp evaluated things compared to Tilli (who would typically play outside our group). In particular, it is my habit to purchase many smaller lots early rather than go long and hope for quantity. At first, it looked like it was a losing strategy... Tilli had a huge first round and Shemp and I scored very little. As the game wore on, Ra looked with dissaproval at those wanting quantity over quality and rewarded me with an enormous last round for the win.

Glory to Rome

Kozure stepped back in and Shemp chose perennial favorite Glory to Rome. I've often said that this game is characterized by a new "unbalanced" combo every game. Just to prove me wrong, this session didn't have that. We were all building away and minding our own business when suddenly all the building sites had been used and the game ended. Another odd thing: None of us had a single piece of material in the vault. Shemp thought he had me based on the influence I had gathered from building, but what he hadn't noticed was that I had built the ... (I don't recall the name, but it gives me 1 VP for each 2 materials in the stockpile). This sneakery allowed me to surpass Shemp by 1 and win the game.


A few weeks ago we were wondering if Beowulf with 3 would be any good. Having now played it, I must say that it is! Knizia distributed the episodic rewards very well so that there is as much interest in the 3 player auction as the 4 or 5 player.

In the early episodes, luck was shining on Shemp as he was making out quite well at all the risking challenges. Kozure also appeared to have a persistently large hand of cards. I struggled early in the game but game but found my footing about a third of the way. Through sheer dumb luck I won an episode with a single card from my hand. This reward allowed me to snowball my successes and soon I felt like I was doing really well. Going into the battle with the dragon, I had a hand of 10-15 cards ALL of which could be used in the battle (i.e. just fists and axes and wilds). I don't often do well at this game, but clearly this was my evening!


We ended, as we often do, with Dominon. Shemp noticed that the was a themed deck called "Hand Madness!", so being unable to resist the tie in with the evening's theme he chose it. As you'd expect, it's a deck that has players manipulating the number of cards in their own and their opponent's hands quite a lot. Dominion is another game I typically don't do well in, but unfortunately this time the result was in line with the odds... I came in last after an unsuccessful attempt to pull off a bureaucrat + Council room combo. It didn't help that Shemp was constantly playing Militias to keep my handsize down. I unfortunately do not remember who actually did win, however.

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