The Tao of Gaming

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Shards of Infinity 3 Player

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Played a few 3er games, using the rule that all damage (and destruction effects) hit both opponents (you assign for each) to make no kingmaking. Just a few games, but some thoughts.

  • If I thought early beat down was effective then … vhojha moi!
  • Therefore shields are much better. Cryptofist monks were in high demand.
  • Going last feels much worse, for two reasons:
    • There are often 2-3 good cards in the initial offering, so getting second pick is reasonable. But you will get a worse card much more often.
    • You are always a turn behind on getting beat down.
  • I’d suggest start player rotates each round, except…..that would do weird things to shields (at some times, a shield would protect you for two turns). As a practical matter perhaps the last player should get three mastery instead of two (which gives them a shot of getting to five on T2, prior to playing their shard reactor), or 2 mastery but starting at fifty three life (unable to go above fifty once you drop to it).

I would definitely suggest that 4 player with teams of two that Players 1 and 4 should be teammates.

Despite the early beat down propensity, one game ended with the TaoLing knocked down to 1 Life, at 13 Mastery facing an opponent with 20+ life and the ability to do at least one damage next turn …. The TaoLing played a few cards, then dropped Omnius the All Knowing to draw two cards and earned five mastery for Dominion. He bought  master and earned one from a card, then played Ojas to copy Omnius twice, which put him at 30 mastery with his entire hand in his deck, save one card … his Infinity Shard.

So he bought the cheapest cards available and luckily (for him, not so much me) a Data Heretic showed up and he burned it to draw the Shard and win one of the best comebacks I’ve seen in any game in a while.


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October 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm

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is no surprise.

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September 4, 2018 at 7:59 pm

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A rather big month of gaming

In the last month, I’ve played:

Written by taogaming

September 3, 2018 at 9:37 pm

Thirty Eight …

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June 9, 2018 at 10:17 am

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Memorial Weekend Gaming

I finally tried Evolution — we played a six player “Quick start” rules (since there were several new players). Apparently — for I did not read the rules — the difference is that all card plays are roughly simultaneous, as compared to around the board each turn. This does speed things up (and may perhaps be worthwhile to play with 3-5 players). Honestly, I like many of the evolution games I’ve tried. (Which reminds me, I need to try the Bios line … isn’t there a 2nd ed of megafauna coming out?) And judging by the umpty-million expansions, this is a popular title.

I’m firmly in the “It’s perfectly fine” camp, but both the TaoLing and the Cute One liked it, so I may pick up a copy.

Also played Songbirds, although I played a Japanese copy that had “Birdie Fight” (much better name).  You take turns playing birds in a grid, and the bird (suit) that wins each row/column scores it, but you score the bird (and value) of the card you kept. More clever than gripping.

And speaking of expansions, played Ticket to Ride: Rails and Snails. Firstly, the possibilities for knicknaming this game overwhelm the senses. (“Trails of Snails” is my favorite so far — and possibly a good band name — but it’s early days).  This is the 8th different version of TtR I’ve played; and its fine although does start to feel like a “too many notes” situation. Fiddly setup (having to count out trains and ships and then select some) and trains and ships in 6 (?) different suits, some ships being double and some cards being harbors and pretty big hands sizes. That being said, it still works. (We got a rule or two wrong, but it’s a resilient design).

I think all the new games were indifferent-ish, but I’d play them all another time or two.

As for old games….

We dusted off BSG, for my first play in years. (Sadly, one player had to leave mid-game, which made it … odd, and a Cylon rout).

Played my 100th game of Coup. Played another game of Food Chain Magnate, Too Many Cinderellas, some Jump Drive …. all told, lots of gaming.

Written by taogaming

May 29, 2018 at 10:10 pm

Thirty-Seven …

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May 20, 2018 at 3:54 pm

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Catching up on ‘Advance on Hannukah’

Got in another two games of Mimsy Harmonica (the East Expansion), over the last week, which is good. First of all I’m moving towards 50 games, but also because I’ve been rethinking strategy. I still think the nerfing of tokens to “1 VP per” is reasonable (and not as big as I expected) but I think we’re seeing our groupthink adjust. (Also, see this strategy thread for details). Both games were 5 player.

I am convinced the East Expansion open more options than the base game … but both of our games saw the winner end the game with the 7 point connection. But I think that just means that players are undervaluing that. No, what interests me is that the second game saw two players going for diametrically opposite strategies. One player went tech and got to 5 Actions before anyone else got to 4 (in fact, nobody else did). He then maxed out bags, movement and privileges for 16 points of tech. However, the game ended too fast for that to matter, as I had (after I got my first action and the orange privilege) completely ignored tech.

(Link to BGG Map image, to help follow along).

I did do a “grab two sides of the token and slap a few down” trick until blocked, but I use the special ability of the Malmo/Visby(?) route to place in a green city to slap a dude in Warren (the action city). As my token ends were in Stettin (adjacent to Warren, the action/bag city) Rulm(?) this got me about 1/2 way to connecting the Reds without needing a second disk, and guaranteed a reasonable steady stream of points. (I also took one of the cities next to the Magdeburg (the privilege city) and another side of Warren. All told by the time I made the Red city connection I had ~16 city points. In fact, I was almost unable to make the final connection,  as I only had 3 cubes + 1 disk left. But it would have required a concerted effort to block all my options, and it didn’t happen (and I could have simply scored points between my doubled cities).

So — apart from my first game — I’ve still never seen someone win with only two actions, but this means you can go quite light on technologies even against an action fiend. May only be true in 5 player, but its another nice option. I’ll admit that H.T. could reasonably be called JASE, but the “get in someone’s way to cost them a little and gain a little” intrigues me, even after 40 games.

I do need to play the UK map more. Only played that twice.

Also played — Sagrada. Meh.

Written by taogaming

March 27, 2018 at 9:19 pm

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