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Subject: Luck flows like a river rss

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Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
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Shake your business up and pour it. I don't have all day.
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Our first game of Aquädukt, and one of the rare occasions where we got the rules right on our first try. Yay! Completing one of the numbered "districts" on the board in order to remove opponents' unsupplied tiles was a great tactic. Doing so also allowed me to "burn" my 1-house tiles so that I could place tiles with more houses in areas which were already supplied with water.

I started the game, and I felt I was doing pretty well with these tactics. I had all of my multi-house tiles supplied with water, and I had used all of my single-house tiles offensively as described above. My wife was second in the turn order, and she had to spend some turns trying to salvage a 4-house tile, and a 3-house tile which were difficult to supply due to unfriendly canal placement (*cough*, *cough*).

My son was third. He was doing pretty well too, getting lucky with his rolls to take advantage of the wide coverage offered by double canals. We were nearing the end of the game, because there were only two canals left. Should he end the game here, or should he try to score some more points?

Side note: a scoring track would be really nice. Even if it was a separate board.

We allowed him to count the houses, and here's what he found:

I had 37 houses.
My wife had 33 houses.
He had 37 houses.

"Dad, if I end the game now, do we tie?" Now, some of you might thinking, "Awww...how cute. He wants to end the game tied with his dad." Yes, that would be cute, but you don't know my son. He wanted to know if he would have to settle for a tie. We checked the tiebreaker:

I had 17 house tiles supplied with water. He only had 14. He would have to roll for it. His first two rolls were in no-man's-dry-land, but he did finally manage to place his seventh, and last 1-house tile. His score was now 38.

I had a 3-house tile waiting to be connected. I took the final two canal pieces, supplied those houses, then built a perfectly impotent double canal which wouldn't help anyone. I felt pretty smug. My score was now 40. One last gasp for the other two.

My wife was "drawing dead" to use the Poker term. She still managed to place one, 2-house tile in an already-supplied square. A satisfied smirk on my face as one more potential space for my son was occupied. Her final score: 35.

My son's last turn. Nothing to do but to roll for it. His first roll is a "5." With a mountain in that district, and no water being supplied this is a lost cause. His next roll: a "10." There is only one spot remaining in this zone, and it is supplied with water. He had just used his last 1-house tile during his previous turn. He successfully places a 2-house tile. His current score: 40. I still lead in supplied house tiles, 18-16.

His last roll. A "9." There is one spot out of five in this district which is supplied with water. It doesn't have a house. Until now.

Final result
T: 40
J: 35
R: 42!


Verdict: bringing the game to a close on your terms is important, but getting lucky in the roll is even more so. Water denial through opportunistic canal building is one facet of the game we did not explore thoroughly enough. We focused more on getting our own houses on the board and then supplied, than losing a tempo for the sake of aggravating each other.

Oh yeah, and one other thing: my son loves this game!

Aquädukt feels like it could be an area control game. I bet there's a successful variant to be plumbed here.
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