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Subject: First time with a good idea of what to do-still got whomped rss

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John Heder
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This is one of the few games I've done any sort of research on game play and rules and such before playing. I don't do really good reading off a computer screen and my printer konked out a looonnnggg time ago, so I ususally don't do it.

However, one week ago exactly I was able to print out a translation of the rules from German (I think) and reading a couple of things, I had a good idea of what I should do when playing and how to do it. At that time I did not know that a friend had ordered it and then received it so we could play last night.

So to the session.

There were three players, Myself, Sedjtroll, and Reckless Jester (RJ)

The game was set up with my and Sedjtroll with our huts in one of the plains and RJ and a neutral hut the other plains. Both the plains were next to each other and seperated from the rock quarry and the timber forest by volcanos and the Temple. RJ was closer (not really) to the rock and Sedjtroll and myself to the Timber.

As I was the oldest I started and it was determined (in the interest of time) to all start with the regular movement of 5.

At first each of us went off in different directions. I headed toward the lumber. Sedjtoll explored in a different direction and RJ went of in a third.

I explored and set up to build a hut while Sedjtroll went off and built 2 holy places and RJ still went off on his own and built one of each. Eventually RJ spent most of the game off on his own, while Sedjtroll and I competed for space and resources on our side of the board

I gained mana by doing a couple of quick rock offerings and tried to build more huts and increase my population. Both the other two went into the card business. It took me a shile to get cards and I didn't get something really useful until my third card. RJ sucessfully gained a lot of mana with his cards and Sedjtroll had some trouble utilising his effectively.

At one point in the game, RJ voiced his wish that I hadn't picked up a rock, and Sedjtroll reminded him that he could steal - darn him. He did. And to pay Sedjtroll back for that suggestion, the rest of the game I stole from him a couple of times and scared him off of coming to gather resources near me as I had a lot of guys near what he wanted.

Sedjtroll explored a lot toward the end of the game and never really was satisfied with the tile he turned up. I explored some too and in dong that is where I made my biggest mistake.

In my head I thought I needed some more rock, but what I wanted was a place to build a Holy Place (I had allready built one but wanted more. In exploring to look for the rock I thought I needed, I wasted some movement points looking for what wasn't there and what I didn't actually need. Bummer.

In the end I don't think it really mattered. RJ was a mana machine, and being almost completely left alone, he was able to deliver all of his tokens while the other two of us only had 2 delivered.

In doing a little bit of reading afterwards, I believe we were playing one rule incorrectly (possibly more but at least one). Our sacrifice deliver guys were not offered up with the tokens, but left on the board. This could have seriously altered the game, but as we were all playing incorrectly it evened out for that game at least.

As it was, being left alone and getting the "good" cards allowed RJ to whomp us.
 
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Ben Penner
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I think that this is a good assessment of why things happened the way they did. Being on my own did help out, and the 2 "increase your mana by 2" cards definately helped out. I think we all did something that we regreted afterwards or realized that we could have done something differently.

For you, it was that turn early on where you were not able to build a hut the way you did your movement, but you could have if you picked up a different wood along the path.

For Sedtroll he explored a bit too much with poor results. It would have been different if we knew the tile ratios.

I think we played the tiles wrong in that we didn't remove the 4 plains that are taken out for a 3 player game.

For me, I would have been able to have built my 4th hut to bring out my last offering a turn earlier, but I don't think that I would have been able to get the mana any earlier. That may have enabled the two of you to do something that may have hindered me.

All in all I think it was an enjoyable game and I'm looking forward to more soon.
 
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Re: First time with a good idea of what to do-still got whom
So was the game fun? I know I was talking trash about the game even though I've never played it. But now I'm kind of curious.

Are you going to bring it next week?
 
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Ben Penner
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We played it again today with 4. At the end it seemed like like anyone could win, just a matter of who was that much farther ahead. If john wouldn't have finished, one of the other two may have been able to. I was 1 extra turn away.

Yes, it is fun.

Yes, I will bring it if I come, which I am planning on, but may not be able to.
 
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Matt Smith
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I glad you guys are enjoying Mesopotamia. It's one of our group's favorites. A couple of observations of your session report:
- Having each player have 5 Movement Points in turn 1 defeats the balancing effect of the earlier players having less points. Because this is normally a very close game (as your 4-player game demonstrated), going first is a distinct advantage. You don't want to give the first few players an additional advantage. I strongly recommend using the graduated Movement Points on the first turn.
- Not "sacrificing" the tribesmen who delivered the offerings can have a profound effect on the game. Managing your quantity of tribemen is an important strategy. It makes you use your turn action to birth tribesmen more than you otherwise would have to. In one game, my wife nearly took herself out of the game by not birthing enough tribesmen.

Have fun with the game!
 
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Ben Penner
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Yeah, we realized too late that we were playing wrong.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Re: First time with a good idea of what to do-still got whom
RecklessJester wrote:
Yeah, we realized too late that we were playing wrong.

Too late, like the next day.
 
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