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Duel of Ages Set 1: Worldspanner» Forums » Sessions

Subject: My first game - play by email rss

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Colin Thomas
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I was finally able to play my first game after having the full set for 6 months or so; Sam (
Sam Link
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) and I did a play-by-email (actually play-by-Google+) and it was lots of fun.

The Parameters
4-platter, 9-character teams
14 set turns, followed by dice rolls on subsequent turns to determine when game ends.
Used the revised characters from Master's Addendum.
Duplicate items allowed.


The Players
Team White
Gawain
Sven the Netminder
Roaringrock
Stephen Decatur
Perry Ownens
Ace Cannon
Jerry Gillis
Grok
Raygun Roger

Team Black
Davy Crocket
Titanium Renegade
Jack Hammer
Dr. Pennopolis
Jedediah Smith
Hans August
Ardin Glynn
Misty Corona
Annie Oakley


The Setup
During setup, I figured that my best bet would be to get the modern labyrinth down and with easy access for Dr. P to start getting some items. I popped down the Lithopolis platter, Modern Labyrinth, and modern 1-4-5 dome key. Sam followed up with South Pacific and his base (with his High Gate blocked by water). I figured that I needed to get my base down and didn't want to risk a random platter with no protection options. I placed my base in the swamp next to his and put down the colonial 2-3-6 dome key (still hoping for easy access to the Mod Lab) - BIG MISTAKE (more on that later). Sam followed up with the Ancient Labyrinth and the Colonial 1-5-4 (NEAR MY BASE'S HIGH GATE). I randomly draw The Glade and put down the Colonial Labyrinth in the woods (go Davy). Sam pops down Fulda Gap and the colonial 1-2-3 dome key. As I have good future and modern characters, I put down the Ruins in Lithopolis and the Merc Camp down in Fulda Gap. Sam puts down a dome key and Future Labyrinth in the last two slots in Lithopolis. Wanting to prevent the Royal Festival from being placed, I put down Lith Alliance and Field of Honor. Sam puts down the last two required dome keys.

With the field of play defined, we draw our cards. I pull some armor and a pegasus for Dr. P (sweet!) and the Palm Pulsar for Annie. A demolition axe and redlined megablister cannon go in my vault. Jerry Gillis gets 8(!) cards and 2 for the white vault.

The Turns
Turn 1
White:
- Ace enters in Lithopolis
- Gawain enters between South Pacific and The Glade
Black:
- Annie enters in Fulda Gap
- Ardin enters in Lithopolis (near the Future Labyrinth)

Turn 2
White:
- Ace and Gawain move towards the Modern and Ancient Labyrinths (respectively)
- Steven enters near my High Gate (uh-oh)
- Roger enters in Lithopolis
Black:
- Annie starts heading towards the Colonial Labyrinth
- Ardin heads towards the Future Labyrinth
- Spooked by Steven, I put Misty in with hopes of her being able to grab stuff from the vault before Steven gets there (I miscalculated the move values)
- Jack Hammer enters near the Modern Labyrinth.

I would later realize that I should have already had Dr. P and Titanium on the board by this time.

Turn 3
White:
- Gawain, Ace, and Roger move towards the Labyrinths
- Steven makes it into my base (double uh-oh)
- Jerry enters near the Merc Camp (with 8 cards, I might add)
- Roaringrock enters near the Ancient Labyrinth
Black:
- Jack and Ardin get further in their Labyrinth runs.
- Foiled in my hopes of beating Steven, Misty jets across the Glade towards the Lith Alliance. She should have gone towards the Future areas
- Annie notices that she will have an Op.Fire opportunity on Jerry should he go towards the Merc camp, so she gets into position. (but he has 8 cards...)
- Titanium Renegade enters between the Ruins and the Future Labyrinth
- Dr. P enters near the Modern Lab.

Turn 4
White:
- Jerry ditches some sneakers and heads towards the Merc Camp. Annie reveals her Palm Pulsar, fires... and misses. ugh. Jerry makes it to the camp and passes the challenge. He dismisses near the Merc Camp again
- Roaring Rock, Gawain, Roger continue towards the Labyrinths
- Ace faces "Vive Quebec!" and amazes it. He gets 2 cards, the vault gets two cards. He dismisses back where he started.
- Steven raids the vault and gets both cards (axe and cannon). He dismisses back where he started.
- Grok enters near Dr. P (good thing I have a Pegasus)
- Perry enters near Ace.
Black:
- Dr. P decides that raiding bases sounds like fun. He flies Pegasus to the Front Gate of the White Base and squeaks the stealth challenge.
- Jack passes "The Odysseus Program", gets 2 cards (a rifle and a bicycle, which he doesn't need and can't trade) Dismisses near Jerry, hoping to get a shot (another move cost mis-calculation).
- Annie sticks around, hoping for another shot at Jerry.
- Titanium Renegade heads towards the Ruins, but should have gone towards the Future Labyrinth.
- Ardin passes his challenge in a "Skimmer Recon" and gets 1 card. He dismisses near Grok.
- Misty runs over to the Lith Alliance and passes. She dismisses near Jerry and Jack.
- Jedediah enters near Ardin and Grok.
- Davy enters in Fulda Gap.

Turn 5
White:
- Ace gives his 2 cards to Perry. Ace heads off to the Modern Labyrinth. Perry heads towards the Future Labyrinth.
- Gawain finally makes it to the Ancient Guardian. he confronts Little John and gets a card and dismisses near my High Gate.
- Steven heads into The Glade (I'm not sure what he is up to at this point)
- Jerry makes another run for the Merc Camp. I mis-counted, thinking he wouldn't make it completely and had lined up Annie for Op.Fire and a turn fire. Annie does get her Op.Fire. She passes the hit and amazes the damage - but Jerry reveals his Riot Shield. Jerry makes it to the Merc Camp with just a flesh wound and gives up his huge battle axe to move the marker. After that, he gets out of dodge and dismisses near the Modern Labyrinth.
- Sven enters in the South Pacific near Gawain.
- Roger is still trying to make it to the Future Guardian.
- Grok heads off towards the Ruins.
- Roaring Rock travels down the Ancient Labyrinth.
Black:
I realize what Steven is doing with that big cannon. He can hit almost anyone on the board who isn't behind cover. (Later I would realize that he may not want to).

- Davy and Annie start to head towards the Colonial Labyrinth.
- Misty preps for a flight over the Colonial Labyrinth.
- Jack Hammer visits the Merc Camp and proves unwitty. He gets banished to east nowhere in Fulda Gap.
- Ardin runs to the Modern Labyrinth.
- Titanium Renegade gets to the Ruins and finds the Vermin-filled tunnels to be too much for him. He gets banished next to Jack Hammer in east nowhere. This is really bad for his 4 movement.
- Jedediah heads towards the Ancient Labyrinth.
- Dr. P gets to the vault and amazes the lockpicking. He picks up a treasure trove: Roman Scutum, Jackal, Silverfish Armor, and Howling Vine. He dismisses to Fulda Gap for a Merc Camp run (again, should have gone after Labyrinths instead)
- Hans enters between South Pacific and The Glade.

Turn 6
Beginning of the End
White:
- Jerry decides to avoid Ardin and doesn't go to the Modern Labyrinth
- Perry starts heading towards Ardin
- Ace heads toward the Future Labyrinth
- Grok clears the Vermin-filled Tunnels in the Ruins
- Roaring Rock passes the Ancient Guardian, and gets a card.
- Roger amazes the Future Guardian, gets 2 cards, and banishes Ardin to west nowhere(grr). He ends up next to Dr. P and Ardin.
- Sven moves towards Ancient Labyrinth
- Gawain and Steven exchange cards. I assume that Gawain gets the axe (turns out I am right)
Black:

- Dr. P sends some Silverfish Armor to Hans. He then flies over to Titanium Renegade and Jack Hammer.
- Jack and Titanium Renegade head into the swamp of Fulda Gap to meet Dr. P.
- Ardin positions to drive Roger towards Jack Hammer.
- Annie and Davy creep up on Steven. I think Davy should have gone to the swamp near my base instead.
- Misty goes up and over the Colonial Labyrinth.
- Jed and Hans head towards the Ancient Labyrinth.

Turn 7
White:
- Roger pops some Crickets on and shoots towards the Merc Camp. Jack takes the Op.Fire shot with his M1. He can't miss, but he does! Roger moves the Merc Camp and dismisses near the Ruins.
- Steve repositions in the woods.
- Gawain sticks by Steve for protection
- Roaring Rock goes towards the Ancient Labyrinth
- Grok and Jerry move towards teh Modern Labyrinth
- Ace heads into the Future Labyrinth
- Sven jumps Jed. Melee! Sven uses his free yellow stat on react. He rolls a black for his Melee stat. He FOPPs his punch to Jed. Jed returns with a pass to hit and amaze. Crunch! Sven takes 3 points of damage.
- Perry jumps into the Tower of Havoc (uh-oh). He passes, forcing Dr. P to give all of his cards to someone. He gives them to Titanium Renegade, who must destroy the remaining Silverfish Armor. Perry dismisses by Arden.

Black:
Jack tries to improve his stats with Dr. P's science. He doesn't.
- Jack, Dr. P, and Ardin stack inside the Merc Camp. Dr. P amazes Contact, Jack pays the Mercs with his M1. They both dismiss near the Modern Labyrinth.
- Hans heads towards Modern Labyrinth
- Jed faces the Ancient Guardian and fails. He dismisses near the Future Labyrinth.
- Misty runs into the Colonial Labyrinth.
- Annie gives Davy the pulsar and Davy positions for a shot at Steven through the woods.


Turn 8
THE END
White:
- Gawain rushes Davy with the Axe. Davy hits him with the Pulsar, but it just glances off of Gawain. Gawain buries his Axe in Davy's head - he's dead.
- Sven amazes the Angry Minotaur. He gets two cards and dismisses Misty.
- Roaring Rock amazes Hercules and gets 4 cards and imprisons Ardin.
- Jerry passes Watchmen, gets 2 cards.
- Ace fails Landing on Wyke II.

Black:
concedes

Conclusion
A very fun first game. Rolls played a part, but there were some important lessons I needed to learn:

- during map building, I should have taken more care to protect my base entrances. Steve became an early thorn in my side with the threat of the big gun, and I could really have used that ax
- I think I should have brought Titanium Renegade and Dr. P in on the first turn. At the time, I was a little nervous to bring the Doctor in too early without protection.
- I got too distracted by the non-Labyrinth adventure keys early on. About mid-game, I realized that I had a major card deficit even though I had a few adventure successes. I should have had guys doing Labyrinth challenges so that I could get the equipment I needed.
- I think that I got Op.Fire positioning done well; however, it is only one side of the coin. Melee positioning can be used to make sure gun characters get more than just an Op.Fire shot. This was especially true on some of the Merc Camp runs.
- Titanium Renegade should have been more of a player than I made him. At very least I should have gotten him into the Future Labyrinth to get some equipment (he really, really needed a mount; like really - As an aside, Jack Hammer had a mountain bike, but wouldn't give it away even though he didn't need it).
- If you have a character like Dr. P, you need to not hoard cards. Get them utilized somewhere.

- Sam did a great job of utilizing the stolen (grr!) Cannon to keep my team pinned down. I had to keep my characters moving creatively to avoid it.
- He also seemed to have a really good handle on when to take risks and when not to. e.g. traipsing through Op.Fire, but not actually firing the Cannon at any of my guys.
- putting that 6-6-5 key down in east nowhere helped Sam out a ton
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Sam Link
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Good write-up, Colin! I have to fess up though, I wouldn't have done nearly as well without some amazing (pun intended) dice rolling. With some timely amazes, I ended up with a glut of cards, and an imprisoned Ardin Glynn. I think the key part of my strategy relied on focusing on what my team wast best at, competing there, and ignoring what I wouldn't be good at.

This setup worked surprisingly well, and we were able to get this done in a little over a week. I'm looking forward to an eventual rematch. Thanks to
J Y
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Wanda Davies
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for providing the inspiration!

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J Y
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Great report, thanks a ton!

Play by e-mail/social network, is an oddly great way to play Duel of Ages, especially when new to the game as you can look at each move as much as you'd like and reflect on what the opponent is doing, and in the end you have a way to look back at what was successful and what went wrong.

Good job getting the game played guys. I hope it was a blast.
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Gregory Wong
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How do you play this by e-mail? What tools do you use if any? How are the cards dealt and shuffled?
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J Y
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If I may direct you here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/71383/duel-of-ages-pla... for a little shameless self promotion, and an answer to your question.

I'm not sure how paedia and Slonk did it, but Hello Gregor and I would take our turns, photograph the board state and include an overview about 6 times per turn. It was a ton of fun. We didn't use cyberboard or anything, it was straight by e-mail. The first few videos sum up a lot of how we did it.
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Sam Link
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saxophone wrote:
How do you play this by e-mail? What tools do you use if any? How are the cards dealt and shuffled?

The main tool we used was trust. We trusted each other to accurately report die rolls, and the rest was just photos uploaded to Google+. To start, I had my girlfriend e-mail Colin his roster without telling me anything. That way we could build the map in ignorance of the other side.

As for cards, we each used our own separate decks. We agreed beforehand that duplicate items were OK, should the unlikely event occur (which of course, it did). We reported what we drew from each Labyrinth as far as challenges go. I can't speak for Colin, but what I did was go through the deck when he reported to me what he challenged. I then pulled that card out and reshuffled the deck.
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Wanda Davies
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Slonk wrote:
To start, I had my girlfriend e-mail Colin his roster without telling me anything. That way we could build the map in ignorance of the other side.

That is an excellent idea! I never considered bringing a third party in to allow for secrecy. Well done!
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Colin Thomas
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Check out our journey at http://colinbethanyadopt.wordpress.com
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I'll echo Sam in saying that trust is essential - and really not that hard to give - it is a game after all

I think that the reason that DoA is a really good candidate for play by email/forum/social network is that your decisions are mostly made during the movement phase. This game is all about positioning. Melee rolls for both sides can be resolved by the person whose turn it is. Technically, so can Op.Fire. You just need to be sure to keep track of the rolls in case some sort of equipment gets revealed that changes things.

Google+ turned out to be a great tool. I set up a circle for the game that had only Sam in it. I was able to take pictures on my phone and upload them directly into a gallery that I had shared with that circle. If we had been set up for it, we could have used the "hang-out" (video chat) feature for doing the character draws.

For card draws during the game, I would have done the card pull. However, Sam passed all of his challenges(!) so I just left them in the deck and would have discarded if they came up for me.
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