Are you up for a game of Wellington?
I really do have a wonderful life.
Ah, the joys of the alternate work schedule. The nine hour days are all worth it when you have the tenth day off, and VuduJoie, Perigee, and I were all set to make the most of it. Game in the morning, lunch at the local Irish pub, then off to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Does it get any better than that?
Perigee and I had set up the board when VuduJoie called to say that he was running a little late. I was Hiva, Perigee was Samoa, and VuduJoie was Tonga. So with little else to do, Perigee and I decided to start the game and let VuduJoie catch up when he arrived.
Now in most games, you could never get away with a stunt like this, but we were able to do so. Samoa could attack Tonga as early as turn four, but what is the point? This was Perigee's first play, so we had time to get through the early rounds and get a feel for the flow of the game before VuduJoie arrived and began his three turns of catch up. Unfortunately, his arrival was late enough that we could see that we would not have time to finish the game. Gamely, we played on.
Hiva had amazing luck with islands, finding Hawaii and New Zealand both within two hexes of each other. I began building a canoe network that would quickly tie these power houses together. Perigee with Samoa had good luck finding islands as well and was building them up well. VuduJoie, on the other hand, went a long way before islands started popping into his reach. That would be about four hexes from his home islands.
Perigee seemed to stall as we entered the end game, perhaps building warriors to prepare what, in our normal games (no matter what the game) is the inevitable smackdown. I was buying culture cards in my last two go rounds and was able to lay down for 18 points in our last round. VuduJoie had 12 and Perigee had 10. I was still ten points away from a win, and there was no way I would get there before being smacked by both opponents, but I had some advantages. My islands were on the far side of the map and there was not an easy leap for either opponent to come at me. I would have two turns to build my warriors for the assault, which might have been enough to take over some islands of my own.
We will never know, of course, because lunch at the local pub waits for no one. (We went to Belvedere Square on the north side of Baltimore to Ryan's Daughter, if you must know, and then to the historic Senator Theater to see the 1:30 matinee.)
Conquest of Paradise remains a game that I can get on the table because it has something for everyone. VuduJoie confessed to printing out the rules and the design notes on the GMT site, so I suspect that I will soon not be the only one taking early leads in this game.
Any one out there planning on trying the tourney at the WBC this year? Hope to see you there!