Tuesday, August 11, 2009

9th Aug 2009 Session Report: Aye Aye Captain!

Traded Twilight Struggle recently for Alhambra and Meuterer. Had to make a small cash top-up, prob not the best deal in terms of finances I made but considering how TS wasn't gonna be easy to bring to the table, perhaps this will turn out to be a wise decision in the long-run.

Got an opportunity to pull out Meuterer for a play at a friend's BBQ. I had read the rules the night before but forgot to bring them along, which led to us playing a couple of rules wrongly. Firstly, I mistakenly thought the Mutineer moves the ship anti-clockwise if the mutiny succeeds. Apparently, I got it mixed up with the Pirate ship, but like the Captain, the Mutineer moves the ship clockwise so it's possible for the Captain and the Mutineer to pick the same destination for the ship to dock. Secondly, I assumed that once the mutiny is activated, each player starting from the Captain can play a maximum of one conflict card. A closer reading of the rules when I got back indicated that while each player had only one opportunity to add cards, they could add any number of conflict cards still in their hands. I was glad that I got the rule wrong because the actual rule made the game far more tense and interesting. While the mistakes were nothing game breaking, it would have been nice to get them right the first time round. Van ended with the win with 30 followed by Simon with 28, while I and Sylvia took up the rear with 26 and 15 respectively.

I thought that the game was good value, and packed some tactical depth for its supposed price and playtime. However, I did wish the wares deck came with more cards so that the deck needn't be reshuffled every round. It also gives the sense that one can sort of predict the kind of cards being dealt each round based on what was played two rounds ago. Nonetheless, I don't think anyone approached the game that intensely. The game also did seem somewhat random at times although I guess that's fine for a game of such short playtime. I realize that your ability to score points each round is heavily tied to the cards you receive. If you receive several conflict cards, then go for the Mutineer or defend your captaincy, choosing the island with the most points to dock. If you get a long suit of a particular good or goods, then grab points from selling them, taking the Merchant to break the tie if necessary. I know I'm approaching tactics somewhat shallowly, and timing plays an important part in getting the character desired but there were occasions I obtained 5 cards of different goods, and I resigned myself to scoring minimal points that round by taking the First Mate or Cabin Boy. This is probably the most unsatisfactory part of the game where there are times the card draw leaves you practically helpless. It would be nice if there was an opportunity to score more points regardless of card draw even if probability was low.

Lastly, the game supposedly plays well with 4, and only 4. While versatility is appreciated, I usually try to play games with the numbers they play at so this wasn't a deal breaker in any sense. Still, a game this portable with a short play-time and some depth seems a keeper. While the rules aren't easy to explain, most people do get them after a trial round or so.

No comments:

Post a Comment