1313 Dead End Drive had taken a little while off while I recovered from my last beating (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1072514#1072514). But after some soul searching, I felt I was ready to play my younger daughter (M3 – now 6) in search of the victory that I had never achieved in this game. My mind was focused. My strategy was clear – build a lead and show no mercy. The dice would be with me today, I was certain.
Grab an early lead
The initial draw of six would-be heirs gave me a good collection of insiders who knew the departed Aunt Agatha’s mansion well. The maid (Dusty), butler (Smothers), Agatha’s lazy sister (Lulu) and annoying nephew (Sedgewick), on-again/off-again Romeo (Beauregard III) and the flea trap (Pugsley) would all be in my employ to start the game.
First priority would be to eliminate Spritzy, who stands to inherit the biggest stack of money ($4M) when the game starts. Similarly, M3 would set her sights on Sedgewick, who would stand to gain if anything “unfortunate” happened to poor Spritzy.
My focus paid off early as Spritzy was gone in a flash – crushed under a heap of rusty armor. And with the fortune of a double 5 dice roll (enabling me to use both dice to move one character – rather than only one die per character), Sedgewick made a hasty exit out of the mansion with a cool $6M in tow. An early, sizeable lead was now mine. Just have to maintain focus.
An innocuous action card play?
The middle of the game was fraught with carnage. M3’s heirs were going fast. Charity succumb to the safe trap. Perkins and Parker fell on the same turn. Sassy went up in a blaze. Several of my minions also fared less-well than ol’ Sedgewick - Smothers and Lulu exited the premises in non-breathing condition.
Along the way, the action cards were going fast and furious. Several “Take a New Heir” cards came up, and we both exhausted the existing supply of unclaimed heirs in short-order. The last “Take a New Heir” card was played by M3, who had to pull one from my troops since there were no “free” heirs left to take. Poopsie, the cat, went from my hand to M3’s set of henchmen. No consequence I thought, since I never really cared for the spoiled fur-ball anyway.
By now, I had extended my lead to $7M by slipping Dusty out the front door. And with M3’s troops dwindling fast and Clay in imminent danger, I was in good shape.
Don’t let the cat out!
By sheer force of my will, I was taking this game and systematically making the moves to put it in the victory column. Clay and Pierre didn’t last long once I set my sights on them. And then Madam Astra found herself on the wrong end of a falling boar’s head trophy.
With Prudence and Beauregard III still in play for me and only Poopsie remaining for M3, I was holding a commanding presence over the game board. Beauregard III even had a sizeable lump of cash next to his name on the will – thanks to the untimely demise of so many other, obviously unworthy, heirs. When all of the sudden, it dawned on me . . . if something were to happen to that big, dumb oaf Beauregard III, all that money would fall to the cat, Poopsie.
But it was too late, Beauregard stepped in front of a speeding suit of armor, sending his “retirement plan” to the space next to Poopsie’s name on the ledger.
I had to smoosh the cat . . . or keep her detained until midnight. I ran the cat near the suit of armor twice, but couldn’t find the trigger (i.e., didn’t get the right action card). However, the action card pile was dwindling. Only one more action pile draw and the clock would strike midnight, sealing my first 1313 Dead End Drive victory.
Sadly, it was not to be. M3 broke out the “boxcars” – double 6s – and paired them up with a strategically played “Run for It” card . . . and the cat was out of the house . . . with $11M.
The clock would strike midnight on dear Prudence still stuck inside. I had lost $11M to $7M.
After M3 retired to the kitchen for a victory snack, I stayed behind to stare at the board and ponder the crushing last-second defeat I had just sustained. This one will stick with me for a long while.