What're you looking at!
My wife and I have played this game about six times and are now beginning to get a feel for it. We have liked it from the first play. It is a different kind of game, difficult in the sense of being unusual, and hard to wrap your mind around, rather than a technically complicated game.
In this match I was the moon and Penny was the sun. The last three matches I have started with the number 2 tree empty and I find that that had been working well, at least up until this match. Penny began the number three tree open.
I got off to a bad start, and was mainly getting ties, while my wife managed to keep hitting my number one tree. In nearly as many rounds, I had four tiles on my number one tree. I just couldn't seem to get any high cards on my side, and in this game the low cards stay. I drew a new hand, hoping to get some good cards, but I got all threes!
This helped, but then I had an empty space under my number three tree, and five tiles on my number one. I couldn't move a druid or shore up my number one and it was subverted very early. In fact, I had only placed one tile on my wife's side by the time my first tree was subverted.
I discarded my third three, drew my next three cards and they were all twos!!!
Although, with only three trees things did improve, and I got into the flow of cycling my low fairies over to my wife's side. My wife then moved her druid from her number four tree when it had accumulated five tiles. I even managed to move two of my wife's five fairies onto my side. But after playing with only three trees for so long, the inevitable happend and a second of my trees was subverted. In the end my trees from lowest to highest were:
subverted subverted 3 3
2 4 4 5.
I have found a few useful strategies. Placing the fairy ring on your safe tree can result in placing two or even three tiles on your opponent, although if there is nothing good under your winning cards, you can be left with little for the next round. Also, playing a fairy for which there is no match, is a good way to capitalize on some high cards. In general, making the best use of the fairy dance is crucial and it takes a while to get into the whole clockwise and counter-clockwise movement. Also emptying all the cards under one tree can really hamper you.
Sometimes though, they just don't dance, or dance well.
Nevertheless, this is an awesome game, and we look forward to many more matches.