Saturday, August 28, 2010

Random Musings On My Recent Gaming Session

1. It was nice to get Hansa Teutonica, Glory to Rome, Yspahan and Ra to the table in half an afternoon - been awhile since I last had a solid gaming session.

2. My appreciation of Hansa keeps growing. Been waiting for the point when the other shoe drops.........but till now, I'm still waiting :) In a way, it seems to be a really abstract game and I have heard the term "cube-pusher" used to describe it but it keeps me engaged throughout. I can't help but be intrigued by the variety of ways in which I can score points and how each 'path' to victory seems equally viable.

3. Discovered a new 'broken' combo in Glory to Rome. If you've played the game before, you'll know that almost every decent combo can be a 'broken' one. It really boils down to who can get theirs up and running quickly enough. In my 30+ games of GtR, I've NEVER built the Academy before. After all, its power seems rather 'ordinary' at first glance, especially when considered beside its more awe-inducing counterparts. The Academy allows you one Thinker action after each round in which you performed a Craftsman action.

I guess with my recent dabbling in A Game of Thrones LCG, I've learnt how crucial draw can be in determining a win. In this case, I sort of stumbled upon it having taking a couple of Craftsman clients in a 3 player game. What the Academy allows me to do therefore is to exhaust my hand using multiple Craftsman actions and then replenish it fully to 5. It not only enabled me to build speedily but helped me in my push to victory. It's one of the easier combos to pull off since you do not require other buildings in tandem but rather just a couple of Craftsman clients. Sure, your opponents can slow you down by refusing to craft but in a game with few players, it will not be long before you can select the Craftsman action yourself. In this game, I didn't get to build the Shrine or Temple to increase my hand size but I can imagine how it'll make the combo even more efficient.

4. The caravan strategy in Yspahan has been touted as especially powerful and different ones have even gone to the extent to deem it broken. In my 3-player game, I found it incredibly difficult to pull off successfully if your opponents totally ignore the caravan. It is simply impossible to fill quickly enough and the game ended without me succeeding in scoring the caravan once (it only scores when it fills completely). I however only realized midway through that there is a single spot on the supervisor track which allows 2 cubes to be sent to the caravan simultaneously. Perhaps that will be sufficient to pursue the strategy - I'll have to try it out again. Even if your opponents try to block you, at least you will still be able to fill the caravan more quickly even if it means sending their cubes together with yours.

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