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Here there be dragonsters

My blog of random boardgamey thoughts.
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Kingmaker, am I?

Gareth M.
United Kingdom
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Woo, another Wednesday, another review of my Monday gaming:

First we played Parade which I've discussed quite a bit before: Alice in Wonderland themed card game filler, immensely thinky and quite fun, even if it's just to see the pained expressions of your opponents working out which card to play.

Then we played Outpost. This is a game about building up a colony on a distant planet, you draw cards to represent how much mineral wealth you've accumulated that turn and can use this to build factories, hire workers or bid on imports from your home planet which give further discounts on bids, extra factories, the ability to build factories, etc. As the income is random, you don't know what people have, however, because each different factory gives a different deck, the backs of your cards are open information, so you can work out the average of what I player has. I really enjoy this game, it's random enough that it's insoluble, but it's not random enough that one card draw or die roll can ruin in the game, the key is the auctions. I came second, my personal best, and as long as Simon's at the Lion, it will probably stay that way for some time.

Then we had a game of Dominion. If you haven't heard of Dominion on this site, I'm guessing you're new. To me, this game feels almost like a mechanic. The ideas good, and I can see that it is an interesting mechanic, but it doesn't feel like a game. There just seems to be something lacking.

After we'd finished our first game, the other table had a problem, they'd just finished the rules explanation and first turn of Black Friday when one of the players had to leave. As the only person there, who had played before and wasn't currently playing, I jumped in. This game felt slightly worse than last time. While the past two times, we played with three, this time we played with five. In the five player game, in comparison to three, each player has less control and therefore, feels a bit more random. I won, though, so it's obviously skill based whistle

Random thought: Kingmaking?
I keep hearing on this site that Kingmaking is a bad thing. I am, however, unsure of what exactly it is. I remember, once on an online site, playing Diplomacy.

**Warning: story may be exaggerated slightly as this was a few years ago, and I remember only the parts that make a good story. This was also my first (and only) full 7-player game.**

I was England, and in the first negotiation step, France asked me to ally against Germany. I said I'd rather take Norway, unless he was willing to let me have Belgium so I would have a beachhead against Germany. He refused and said he would rather see me eliminated from the game. So that's what he tried to do. In the next few turns, I was attacked by France, Germany and Russia. In the end, I had a lone fleet in Scandinavia, taking Sweden then St Petersburg, and that was my only centre. The system on the site was that a player could choose only 4 players to have a tie, only one player had been eliminated, resulting in 2 players not being involved in the tie, unsurprisingly, I was not one of them (France was proposing the ties).

Each time, I would be the only player to decline the tie, and so the game went on (as the tie had to be unanimously accepted). Austria was at 17, and due to my refusal of being left out of the tie, he had enough time to take his last centre and win.

So, was I kingmaking? Why/why not?
Was France kingmaking? Why/why not?
What about Austria? Why/why not?

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