Before I begin this report, I should explain that my wife doesn't really like to spend a lot of time "analyzing" options in a game. She likes to play by "instinct"... even if it doesn't work out for her. She doesn't like to spend the time trying to analyze the "best" moves (or combination of moves).
With that explained, we play Sellswords without the drafting of characters at the beginning. Instead, we simply deal out six cards at random to each other and play with them face up (so we each can see what the other has to work with)... and then try and make the best moves with what we have. It makes the game very different... and I think MUCH more challenging. But it also makes it a bit more random than some would probably like. My wife prefers that trade-off for the time spent trying to figure out which six characters would work best for a strategy she might be trying to implement (which also implies that she has to figure out a strategy before the game actually begins... LOL).
Anyway... here is the report! Notationally, I will report which way a card is rotated by compass directions. I will use N when the card is placed with the top edge facing "up"; E when the top edge is faced to the right; S when the top edge is faced "down"; and W when the top edge is faced to the left.
We played with Asgard as the starting tile. As it worked out, Asgard was the center of the grid (at position 3,3). I used notation of Row,Column for the location. Here is the turn-by-turn report (I am playing Red; my wife played Blue):
Round 1 Begins
Red Turn 1: Play Dealer (N) @ 3,2.
Blue Turn 1: Play Borneo (N) @ 3,4 -- Flip Dealer -- I flip Borneo
Red Turn 2: Play Simon (N) @ 4,2 -- Flip Dealer
Blue Turn 2: Play Thief (S) @ 2,2 -- Steals Commander from me; Gives me Innkeeper -- Flip Dealer
Red Turn 3: Play Innkeeper (N) @ 4,3 -- Move Simon to 4,4
Blue Turn 3: Play Commander (S) @ 4,2 -- Chooses Trickster for me to play -- Flip Innkeeper
Red Turn 4: Play Trickster (E) @ 4,1 -- Rotate Commander counterclockwise 1 -- Flip Commander
Blue Turn 4: Play Seer (N) @ 5,2 -- Move Trickster to 2,3* -- Flip Commander
Red Turn 5: Play Conjurer (N)** @ 3,1 -- Flip Dealer
Blue Turn 5: Play Spy (W) @ 2,1 -- Flip Conjurer
Red Turn 6: Player Trader (N)** @ 5,3 -- Flip Seer & Innkeeper
Blue Turn 6: Play Priest (N)** @ 4,1
Round 1 Finished -- Scoring Begins
Blue Rows: 0+1+0+1+0 = 2
Blue Cols: 2+1+0+0+0 = 3
Blue Total: 2+3=5
Red Rows: 0+0+1+1+1=3
Red Cols: 0+0+2+0+0=2
Red Total: 3+2=5
Round 1 Thoughts: A close match by the scores... but I definitely felt like I was struggling.
* I think my notes were wrong here, But I can't re-build the play from my notes. My notes said move Seer. But I don't think it was the Seer. I think it was the Trickster. My apologies for the poor note-taking (I will do better next time... LOL).
** I forgot to note which direction these characters were played. That usually meant I played it facing N. Another failure on my note taking.
Round 2 Begins
Red Turn 1: Play Necromancer (N) @ 5,1; Flip Priest
Blue Turn 1: Play Monk (W) @ 5,4 -- Flip Trader & Simon
Red Turn 2: Play Roc (N) @ 1,2 -- Flip Thief
Blue Turn 2: Play Barbarian (E) @ 1,1 -- Flip Roc
Red Turn 3: Play Wizard (N) @ 5,5 -- Flip Monk
Blue Turn 3: Play Tanis (N) @ 1,3 -- Move Simon to 1,4 -- Flip Trickster
Red Turn 4: Play Fool (N) @ 1,5 -- Flip Simon
Blue Turn 4: Play Viking (W) @ 4,4 -- Flip Borneo, Innkeeper, & Monk
Red Turn 5: Play Beggar (N) @ 2,5
Blue Turn 5: Play Pyromancer (@) @ 3,5
Red Turn 6: Player Noble (N) @ 4,5
Blue Turn 6: Play Siren (N) @ 2,4
Round 2 Finished -- Scoring Begins
Blue Rows: 4+4+4+2+1 = 15
Blue Cols: 2+1+4+7+1 = 15
Blue Total: 15+15+5(round 1 score)=35
Red Rows: 0+(-2)+0+5+2=5
Red Cols: 1+3+0+0+1=5
Red Total: 5+5+5(round 1 score)=15
Match thoughts: My wife slaughtered me in Round 2. I just couldn't create any synergy with the cards that I had and no matter which play I made, my wife was able to counter it.
Overall a fun, quick match-up. I really like this game... played this fast (with these optional rules). These rules give the game the speed that the weight of the game supports. I think the weight of the game doesn't support a game that would last much longer.