Players: Myself, Meowsqueak, Piko and Timbo.
Played before a game of Louis XIV and after myself and Meowsqueak played Battle Line.
It was Timbo's first game, Piko's third and myself and Meowsqueak are hardened veterans and the T&E experience. This year I have only played the game twice. Considering it is my only '10' ranked game this is somewhat disappointing... but this year has been a year of learning new games - a year of enlightenment perhaps? The main reason why we so rarely play is that our game group is a solid (at least) five people, meaning T&E is so often off the cards being maximum four players.
Anyway, on to the game. I started and quickly looked to secure red points. I'm not sure why, but I always feel safest when my red leader is on the board. I then looked to secure most of the intersections of the river. I built up enough blue early on to prevent anyone making an attack and there were few internal conflict options to usurp me. Timbo picked the rules up quickly, however, knowing the rules and know the strategy are two entirely different things - as so often the way with T&E, the newbie has to learn the (very) hard way.
Meowsqueak was the most engaging of all players, forcing many conflicts. However, it was not until near the end of the game when one actually went his way. Unfortunately for him he was left giving other people points when it wasn't their turn... so pushing himself further and further from the lead.
I looked to set myself up in a strong position regarding the black leader. I often overlook black and find myself scrambling at the end of the game to get a few incremental black points.
My red leader was envntually forced to withdraw (I picked up very few reds throughout the game). I eventually put the red back in a not so strong kingdom. To everyone's surprise I withdrew from this second kingdom to place my red leader in a corner kingdom, relatively far removed from the rest of the action on the board. It was because I was setting up to secure myself a red/green monument to run the last few turns of the game with. I took the opportunity one turn later to secure the blue/black monument as well with two black tiles. All four of my leaders were in strong positions and therefore the monuments turned out to be mine for the last three or so turns.
I thought I had comfortably waltzed to a victory. Having a score of 15-12-9-8. It turns out that Piko had the score 12-10-8-8, so I only won by 1 cube after the first tie. Timbo ended up with no greens, only the second time any of our group has been left scoreless in a colour. It was a good learning game for him and I'm sure next time he'll be right in the thick of things.
I love T&E. It was so refreshing to go back and play an old favourite that has everything I'm looking for in a game: intrigue, interaction and all capped off with my most favourite of scoring mechanisms for any game (closely followed by Samurai!). Hopefully there will be many more plays before the year is out!
One of the reasons I prefer to play with closed scoring is that I enjoy the revelation at the end of the game. It's much better than having a bunch of exhaustive end-of-game tree searches turn a 10-minute endgame into 30. It also adds some risk into ending the game.
Once I had only won one conflict (an external I didn't start) and won. This was in a four-player game. Every other player had more points, total, than I did, but I had the best balance: 5b-5l-5g-3r + 2t, for a score of 5. (Next were 3, 3, and 2.)
Another 4P game ended just before I could secure the monument and I was sure I'd lost. Scores were: 1, 4/4, 4/4, and 4/5 (me).
The tension in this game is part of what makes it great; unless you have a ridiculous memory, you can be surprised by outcomes very easily.
- Last edited Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:37 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:36 pm