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Subject: Winning with two "Age 1"s and two "age 3" cards. rss

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Brian McCormick
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Last night, my wife and I played two games of Innovation. She won the first, I won the second.

The first game was frustrating. I worked hard to create a working combo, but my wife kept Medicine-ing my score pile. Arrgggh! It made me realize that perhaps you should only score if you can do it in large chunks at a time while also claiming an Achievement. I was unable to get enough leaves on the table to defend against Medicine, and she was splaying a lot of her colors, making it nearly impossible for me to defend against Medicine. She won with 6 achievements and I think I only had 2.

The second game presented an odd situation: I had Archery ("I demand you draw a 1 and then transfer your highest card to my hand") and Currency (I think it was Currency. An Age 1 card that lets you return a card from your hand then draw and score 1 age higher).

Anyway, for the entire game I basically drew a card and then Currency'd it. Within a few turns, I had claimed the 5 and 10 achievements. My wife had Medicine again (I LOATHE that card) but luckily I had more leaves than her, so she couldn't use it against me. Whenever my wife drew a card higher than 1 (she was drawing 3s and 4s toward the end). I would use Archery to steal her card, Currency it, and score 1 higher. I won the game with Achievements 1-6 with two Age 1 cards (aforementioned) and also two Age 3 cards. To be honest, I don't recall the Age 3 cards because I they really played much into my strategy. I only played them for their icons. So bascially I won with two Age 1 cards.

Now, looking back, my wife probably should have put down more Castle icons to defend against my Archery, or she could have played an offensive card that stole my top cards, but I'm pretty certain that those sorts of cards are found in higher ages, and since I kept stealing her high cards, she wasn't able to get anything going. Revenge was sweet, but I doubt this sort of situation would be viable every single time.

Our games were yet another example of the chaos of Innovation. Winning with two Age 1 cards? I doubt this is common, but it's cool to know that it's possible.
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Big Head Zach
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What I like about this game is that it's not assumed that you will get to Age 10 every time - sometimes you can achieve victory quite sooner.
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Tim Seitz
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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There are some early age cards that become pretty powerful in the later ages. For example: I have been trounced by a late-game Pottery scoring engine.
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Lee Fisher
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So was your 5th card an age 6 card? You can't claim an achievement unless you have the appropriate age as a top card.

Archery can hurt if it comes back late in the game though.
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Brian McCormick
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bhz1 wrote:
What I like about this game is that it's not assumed that you will get to Age 10 every time - sometimes you can achieve victory quite sooner.

My wife and I rarely get to the 8-10 Age cards, but that might be because...

lfisher wrote:
So was your 5th card an age 6 card? You can't claim an achievement unless you have the appropriate age as a top card.

Archery can hurt if it comes back late in the game though.

*slaps forehead*

We forgot about that rule. We claim Achievements based on point value alone. That would explain why the early game becomes a point rush.
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Lee Fisher
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Aurendrosl wrote:
bhz1 wrote:
What I like about this game is that it's not assumed that you will get to Age 10 every time - sometimes you can achieve victory quite sooner.

My wife and I rarely get to the 8-10 Age cards, but that might be because...

lfisher wrote:
So was your 5th card an age 6 card? You can't claim an achievement unless you have the appropriate age as a top card.

Archery can hurt if it comes back late in the game though.

*slaps forehead*

We forgot about that rule. We claim Achievements based on point value alone. That would explain why the early game becomes a point rush.


Yeah I've done it many times myself. Much better once you get that down!
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Andrew Foerster
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Ha. I saw the headline and was trying to figure out how you could have won with only two Age 1s and two Age 3s. It's nearly impossible. For the "most reasonable" way to win with that sort of tableau, you'd need at least one Age 2, one Age 3, and three Age 1s (I believe), and you'd need to be incredibly lucky to nail it.

Score Achievements 1, 2, 3 and nail the Monument bonus (either way), Empire (you'd need to do it through Construction), and World (through Translation). I'm not positive if an Age 1-1-1-2-3 table would do it (for the coins), but I'm pretty sure.

But actually, winning with your tableau isn't *impossible*. Obviously, if you're playing teams then whatever. But if your opponent foolishly plays an "insta-win" combination (e.g. AI-Robotics-Software) that you would win. Or if your opponent, also foolishly, draws 11 while you're somehow leading points you could win with that sort of spread.

But anyway, mental exercise aside, that's a pretty essential rule for stopping powerful scoring combinations early. Nailing down the early achievements is already pretty powerful, so the tech requirement does force some board development.
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Brian McCormick
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andrewfoerster wrote:
Ha. I saw the headline and was trying to figure out how you could have won with only two Age 1s and two Age 3s. It's nearly impossible. For the "most reasonable" way to win with that sort of tableau, you'd need at least one Age 2, one Age 3, and three Age 1s (I believe), and you'd need to be incredibly lucky to nail it.

Score Achievements 1, 2, 3 and nail the Monument bonus (either way), Empire (you'd need to do it through Construction), and World (through Translation). I'm not positive if an Age 1-1-1-2-3 table would do it (for the coins), but I'm pretty sure.

But actually, winning with your tableau isn't *impossible*. Obviously, if you're playing teams then whatever. But if your opponent foolishly plays an "insta-win" combination (e.g. AI-Robotics-Software) that you would win. Or if your opponent, also foolishly, draws 11 while you're somehow leading points you could win with that sort of spread.

But anyway, mental exercise aside, that's a pretty essential rule for stopping powerful scoring combinations early. Nailing down the early achievements is already pretty powerful, so the tech requirement does force some board development.
Technically, even with the proprer rule in place, it would have been possible to win this way. I'd continue stealing higher-ranked cards from my opponent while keeping Currency and Archery as my top cards, then I'd slowly build up to Age 6 (not too hard to do with the right combo), slap down an Age 6 card, then claim the win. It would have probably taken me a bit longer but remember, I kept stealing my wife's highest card from her hand, so it not only benefitted me, but it made it much harder for her to build up her board.
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Doug Green
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Thanks for the session report.

The best way to deal with the card stealing situation that you were throwing at your wife is to first, empty your hand (by either returning, scoring, or melding whatever you can) and then for each turn to draw one card and meld that card so that nothing can be stolen... otherwise you put your opponent on the fast track to victory. Of course you may end up covering up something valuable, but in most cases this may be better than wasting an action to draw a card only to give it to your opponent.
 
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Andrew Foerster
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Absolutely. I was just referring to ending the game with a victory with Age 3 being your highest card.
 
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