Torres was Game number 2 of the evening. Beckwith had played before and been requesting the game, so I brought it back out. We had two new players, Big John and Steve. This was Steve’s first time at BGN. He’s been around the shop before. I remember him from Mechwarrior nights a while back.
Anyway, we pulled the game out and I ran through the rules. John and Steve asked questions to clarify some things, and we were off. We used the standard set up, and everyone chose one of the four center castles to start with.
I went with the strategy of expanding the foot print of my castle early to get it large early so I would capitalize on it much more as each round continued. Everyone else seemed to be more interested getting a ton of knights out there and picking up cards. My theory on the cards was that I would only take one if there was nothing else I wanted to do, as the odds of getting what I wanted when I needed it would cost me 20% of my actions for the turn. I did get a second knight into the kings castle for the 5pt bonus.
As the second round started, I had pulled ahead, with everyone close on my heels. Beckwith was in 2nd, Big John 3rd, and Steve in last. Steve had placed the king in a small castle he had in the corner that would take a lot of actions for me to get to, as I was diagonally across the board from it. I did manage to get a knight over there, but not until the 3rd round. Steve spent the round getting the castle to around 5 levels high, so he had a nice point spurt working into the end of the second round. He also spent some time building the lower portion up so that Beckwith couldn’t get anyone in the castle. This really frustrated Beckwith. In the mean time, I was spending my time getting knights into 2nd and 1st positions in all the other castles. I think this is where I pulled ahead. Everyone was concerned with building up and not out, either by expanding their castles outward, or their influence outward. I also think they wasted some time on the action cards, as I didn’t see them help anyone much this game.
At the end of round 2, I took way off, with about a 20-30 pt lead. Steven rocketed from last into 2nd, with Beckwith dropping to 3rd, and John falling way behind. John placed the king in a nice little 3x3 castle that he and I both had a knight at level three. Not the best choice to win the game, but he was so far behind, it at least helped him make his loss more respectable.
Beckwith didn’t approve of this, as it was helping the leader. Before he did it, I would say it was the wrong thing to do, but the more I think about it, I think it was the right thing to do given his position. Instead of playing king maker, he was playing for himself. I’ll have to rethink moves I make myself when I’m in that position, as normally I would always gun for the leader. Hmm, not only am I getting a GG for this session, but writing it down has made me realize something about my own game play. Cool.
Anyway, back to the game. Beckwith worked his way into Steve’s very tall castle and built a lovely staircase up to the 6th level. I got my knight there ASAP, and climbed to the 5th level, pretty much securing my win, as I had a big lead, and was 1st or 2nd in every other castle on the board.
Final score had me well over 200, with at least a 40 pt gap to 2nd place. John did manage to close some of the gap, but still ended up in 4th.
If we have all experienced players next game, we might try out the Master’s Cards and see how that changes things.
I like the limit to AP in this game. With only 5 actions, most players played fairly quickly. I think Tikal’s 10 AP is too much, causing serious Analysis Paralysis to occur.