The Setting: It was the opening game of our Monday Night group at the Game Parlor in Chantilly, VA (which, sadly, will be closing at the end of the month due to the owners retiring.)
The Setup: We had two new players to it, the game owner, and myself around the table. I was looking for an unusual or interesting inventor to play, having gotten my feet wet with Marconi, who was one of the more newbie-friendly characters. The owner recommended George Washington Carver, who had two Lightbulb cards, but no motion or dice generation. Sounded like a good challenge, so I took him up on it.
He himself took on Santos-Dumont, and the other two players decided on Edison and Margaret Knight. The Course laid out was the Aerodrome, and we all got started!
The Swing: I ended up hanging back for the first turn, trying to put together a workable machine combo, while my rivals all pulled ahead. My patience was rewarded, however, once my drafts put together a Coal Bunker/Boiler/Hydraulic Pump Combo that ended up being the core of my machine throughout the race.
Still, I wasn't sure how well it would end up paying off, since it was difficult to generate a lot of motion at once. This was a problem, considering how many jumps there were on the course. I ended up going the long way around the first shortcut because of my slow start, keeping me in last place for the first half of the game.
But does GW Carver give up? Never! Care and patience, my friend, is the key to peanut farming and inventing alike. With a few more drafts for peripheral combos, such as an Auger, Penny Farthing, and Ion Thrusters, I soon had a machine that I was keeping together and just feeding discard dice into. I think that's the way to play this inventor, since it's easier for him to generate shields than most.
It paid off in the latter half, in a BIG way. My tight focus on putting my machine together was rewarded by the crowd, who showered me in cogs for having few open valves. Combined with the "discard dice for free movement" spaces, I was beginning to pull ahead of Edison and Knight, though Santos-Dumont had pulled quite away beyond the finishing line, pushing us to the endgame.
And I was prepared. With my machine all ready, I just spent the last draft building up my dice pool, and let 'er rip! With no open valves by the end, the crowd went wild, giving me enough cogs to set my dice values just where I needed them to put the whole shebang into motion (An early Apergy-Generator draft paid off here too)! It was a huge turn, which ended with bot Carver and Santos-Dumont tied at the very end of the Cul-de-sac, but with 10 parts to his 8, my machine was declared by acclimation to be the best!
The Follow-through: I liked this game at my first impression, and this second play has confirmed it. One of the things that I look for in a game is how competent you have to be at the game before you actually have fun with it, and how long it takes to get that competent. Everyone, even the two new players in 3rd and 4th place, were having a great time, and with only one play under my belt, I was able to pick a strategy and see it through.
Definitely going onto my wishlist for Christmas. Congrats to the desinger