Tuesday, November 24, 2009

20th Nov 2009 Session Report: An Afternoon of Games...

Took half day off in the afternoon to game with Jo, Dave and Seth. Jo has been exposed to euros while Dave and Seth were largely new to this world.

I decided to start off with a euro-ameritrash hybrid: Nexus Ops to ease them into the world of euros. The other reason of course is that I seldom get to bring this game to the table due to its theme. Somehow the female species gets turned off whenever they lay their eyes on the alien figurines. I don't blame them but it's such a pity because I have always rated the game highly. Well, it's rare to get 4 guys at the table and they looked thrilled lining up their various figurines while the rules explanation was going on.

The game did get bog down somewhat with 4 (my previous experiences were all with 3 so far) but not overly. I took the win easy due to their 'Risk' tendencies, opting to take the conservative approach and build up their forces. Nexus Ops however rewards aggressiveness as the game is not about survival but rather picking off the opponent at weak spots, and racing them to 12VPs by accomplishing various mission objectives, the most basic of which is simply succeeding in a battle situation.

The other reason for my easy victory was that they underestimated the importance of dominating the monolith, and allowed me several turns on it, thus racking up my stash of energize cards. These allowed me to unload them on the last few turns, acquiring the final VPs needed before they could halt my march to victory. In retrospect, I should have perhaps emphasized the usefulness of energize cards to a greater extent.

After the warm-up, I brought out the main event - A Game of Thrones LCG. Dave took Stark, Jo Lannister, Seth Baratheon and I Targaryen. The game dragged with 4 players as there was greater downtime. This was accentuated by the fact that we were unfamiliar with the card powers and spent quite some time reading them and figuring out what they meant. The game will clearly be more enjoyable with a regular group familiar with the cards. I should probably take my own advice and stick with one deck from now on, so that I can gain some competency with a deck. Between clarifying the rules, explaining the card powers of others, and grasping my own, the game becomes quite a brain-burning experience.

In terms of how the game progressed, we were generally conservative, opting to allow a challenge to go unopposed rather than face potentially heavier casualties by defending. In a sense, this was positive as it sped up the game by allowing more power tokens into the game. On the other hand, we were struggling to come to terms with the card texts that we failed to actively keep an eye on each others' armies and power tokens. In the end, Dave took the win with an unopposed military challenge, aided by Edward Stark's renown ability. Hoping to get more plays with 2 players to gain familiarity with the cards with less downtime even though the game does shine with 3-4 with the addition of the multiplayer titles.

I introduced them finally to Alhambra but we didn't finish as Dave and Seth had to leave halfway.

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