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Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Acolytes, Darklings, Mermaids and Yetis rss

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Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
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Myself, Dan II (aka Natasha), Paul and Arturo playing the expansion. Arturo's first game ever, Natasha's first game with expansion, Paul's 2nd game ever (and 2nd with expansion), my 3rd game with the expansion and first 4 player expansion, previous plays being 3 players.

There's no doubt the game is better with 4 than 3. Water cult tiles in the first two rounds lead me to suggest the Mermaids for Arturo. Natasha saw the Yeti's obvious power (and picked Wasteland as his terrain): Paul I think was just attracted by the look of the Darklings although much the same could be said of me and the Acolytes (I picked Forest although it doesn't matter except for my starting locations. Mountains or Desert would have worked better in terms of limiting Natasha's options).

The extra VP goal was "most settlements" which I hadn't played before.

I only worked out when taking my first round income that the Acolytes get shorted a worker: ouch. That made my double temple strategy not only hard to achieved but fairly dumb: reducing your income to two priests is bad enough for most races but when you don't get a basic worker income it is worse still. Myself, Paul and Arturo all took the Water 2 temple so as to benefit from free spades in round 1 and priests in round 2. Arturo combined this with the priest starting tile to reach space 8 on the Water track in the first turn.

Natasha kept saying he had miscalculated, but he was going from strength to strength: he completed his stronghold in round 4 after which he had good access to all resources.

I was not very skilled in the masterful manipulation of the cult tracks which the Acolytes require. I refrained from terraforming much early and found I had burned too much power compensating for that missing worker in round 1. My stronghold power helped but not enough given that I downgraded 4 priests to workers in order to build it.

Arturo played well for a beginner, taking the two spades power action to terraform two tiles at least 3 times and easily establishing two towns, one of which was the 2 keys town. Paul's Darklings were not as successful, partly due to one of his starting dwelling's isolation in one corner of the board. He did manage to correctly time his Stronghold so the conversion worked.

As the game ended we competed to build isolated Dwellings so as to win the "most settlements" goal. Natasha easily won this with me and Arturo joint second. Paul hadn't managed to connect his two sets of buildings and neither (more surprisingly) had Natasha, so I came second there. I scored ok on the cult tracks but Arturo scored better. The game ended with me last and Paul just ahead of me, Arturo about 10 points ahead of us, and Natasha about 20 points ahead of Arturo- Yetis proving their worth again.

I have seen Acolytes lose three times now: possibly there is a strong way to play them that we're missing. I'd like to try the other Volcano race at some point although they also look oddly weak- Natasha pointed out that they only start with 8 power...

We used the variable passing order which worked fine.
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Dan Lester
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Natasha here reporting in.

I do enjoy TM very much, and the expansion was nice - adding factions that aren't tied to terrain and a variable turn order were both great.

So often in TM it feels like you're just one resource (sometimes, any resource! Money will do!) short of doing that final useful thing that will make the round great. Much as I hate to sell short my wondrous victory, the Yetis really help with that, and I have to confess, as a result they felt a trifle OP.
 
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Rhett Morgan
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I assure you Natasha, the Yetis are not overpowered. They may be a little more intuitive for newer players but their need to terraform even their home terrain makes things a little more challenging than the traditional factions. A cheap dig upgrade helps (is necessary) but even then you're just catching up with everyone else.

I love the Yetis personally but mostly due to their unusual play style than their strengths.
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Arturo None
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Impressive review Phil!

Just some thoughts from a total noob in this game: it was a really good idea to kindly suggest me to start with mermaids (at the beginning I was a little dissapointed, as for instance darklings looked far scarier to me, I must say some little mermaids seem pretty harmless...).

But I was able to quickly spread around the map and despite not having any idea about any strategy to follow I ended scoring a decent amount of VP.

It was a lot of fun, so I was curious and I start reading something about TM in the internet. There is plenty of information available, even an online AI game, it is not a game you can master quickly, but probably this makes it more interesting.

See u all next Wed at London Apprentise!
 
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Kevin Anderson
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I thought Acolytes would be cool. Once might be enough. I'd rather be the Cultists!
 
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