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Subject: Session Report rss

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John Stimson
United States
Menomonee Falls
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On Saturday Chuck, Michael, and Myself sat down to try out first game of Attika. Since I had recently acquired Attika, I had the duty to read the rules, and then explain how the game would play to the others. Well that went surprisingly well, and I kept finding myself explaining things with “sort of like Settlers” tacked onto the end of too many sentences. Since Michael absolutely hates Settlers, I became concerned he might refuse to play, but to his credit he listened and decided to give it a try. I think he was glad he did because despite sounding “like Settlers” when you explain the rules, Attika does not play anything “like Settlers” at all.

The first game went off slowly as we occasionally had to stop and double check the rules, but in all I’ll say the rule are concise and clearly written. The rulebook also includes a nifty little feature called something like “frequently forgotten rules”. By pointing out common errors, it seems to me they prevented them from happening. Also the game play is very intuitive. Back to the game, it ended actually incredibly abruptly when Chuck connected two temples. Michael and I both saw this coming and we both tried to use our remaining cards and buildings to prevent Chuck from connecting. The problem was we could not stop Chuck. Neither Michael nor I had enough cards to build the buildings we kept drawing, and Chuck seem to have a knack of pulling only free buildings from his piles. So the first game ended when Chuck successfully connected two temples while Michael and I sat by unable to do anything to stop him. This seemed like disaster and possibly a broken game.

Luckily Chuck has a rule, we always play a second game no matter how poorly the first one turned out. The first game is a kind of “work out the rules” and second game is to “get it”. Well I for one am glad we played a second game. Seems there really is a game in here, but it is totally different than I expected. The game is like two games in one, the first part you spend making sure no-one connects two temples and the second half is all about the race to get all of you tiles down. (The secondary victory condition)

This time I decided to play more defensively to start and to try to work as efficiently as possible i.e. build buildings for free. So I played carefully and methodically for the better part of an hour and in the end this paid off well. I had ZERO cards for the last 4 or five turns yet, I was able to build every building I drew because of my previous careful play. In fact, on my second to last turn I was able to draw/build FOUR buildings and draw ONE card because I complete the Harbor, Thebes, and Quarry all on the same turn thanks to those Amphoras. Leaving only two building left to place and one draw of cards later, the game ended when I triumphed.

I’d have to say I’m glad we played the second game. It was really quite thought provoking and we are looking forward to another session to see if “certain” strategies work better than others. Or is the game broken, i.e. can someone draw all the right tiles and be unstoppable? Well I don’t know the answers yet, but I do want to find out and that makes Attika a 7 in my book. Further play definitely needed.
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