Monday, April 30, 2018

I'm surprised the Asgard Catering Company hasn't fired me

I've pulled A Feast for Odin back off the shelf and trying solo again.
I've played 4 solo games in the last several days, and my scores are improving.

I should write something colorful up to track these things on the blog, and I will start to.

My current high score is 112. 100 is "very good" according to the rulebook, but there are those who claim that 140+ is not only attainable but consistently attainable.
I'll get there.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Moseying or Galloping to Kansas City (Great Western Trail)

Great Western Trail was one of the "cult of the semi-new" games I picked up recently, and I really love it. It's a mid-heavy-weight game about traveling along the eponymous trail with your cattle and selling them, over and over. It's a euro where the theme could be anything, and some links are extremely tenuous, but fun and gives you a bunch of interesting decisions.

Last night was only the third time I've played (other than a brief experimentation with a solo variant).
I don't remember the scores of the first game, but I do know I won game 2 by a wide margin.
Game 3 was also the first time we used some more of the random setup elements (neutral building placement and A/B sides of private buildings)

Last night I was not so lucky.
Early in the first run from the geographically-unclear ranch to Kansas, I was presented with this:

If you know the game, you will know that this is the worst possible hand of cows you can draw.
When you reach Kansas City, your reward is based on having a variety of cows. Not only are these all the same, but they are the lowest value.
Effectively, upon arrival in Kansas, this hand full of Jersey Cows would be worth $1, with the only possible place to "sell" them being Kansas City itself, which gives you -6VP.

... But it also gives you +$6. Remember that for a moment.

Since my hand of cows was lousy, and I was a few steps in toward Kansas City, I decided to move slowly, through spaces that could (relatively inefficiently) cycle bad cows out of my hand.

This turned out to be a huge mistake.

I lost so much momentum from moving slowly, and couldn't get an economy going so it became a self-fulfilling defeat. All in the name of trying to sell my cows to a further-up city for potential long-term gain.

The end score was 81-80-56-49. Guess which one was me?

Looking at a spread like this, -6 VP doesn't look so bad when it also gives you +$6 and a full hand-cycle that guarantees itself to be worth at least 1 more. If I had "galloped" to Kansas City quickly with my crap hand, I may have built up to some strong followup turns.

I will remember this for next game. Which will hopefully be soon (whether in meatspace or on Tabletop Simulator). Will see what happens with a strategy of an early Kansas City rush.

My goal this year is to focus on quantity of plays of games I've already got, more than looking at shiny new squirrels. I won't completely be blind to the Cult of the New, but I always feel sad when I play a new game with substance only once or twice before being able to formulate strategies and see a game for what it truly is (or be able to appreciate its expansions). I want to spend a lot of time on GWT and Terra Mystica, primarily, and we'll see what else pops up.

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 maybe

Yet another meta-post.

I remember this blog exists. I truly do.
A year ago, I said 2017 was going to be the year I actually started updating the blog, and also started thinking about my podcasting aspirations. Neither of these things happened.
Let's see whether this blog gets any traction in 2018.