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Subject: Back-to-back three-player games with drastically different results rss

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Marty Kane
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They'll tell you black is really white The moon is just the sun at night
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And when you walk in golden halls You get to keep the gold that falls It's Heaven and Hell
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I played two games of Thunderstone with my wife and her brother this evening. All three of us have played before, but only a few games each - just enough to be comfortable with how the game flows and have an idea of the basic cards. We did a random setup and had interesting / awkward setups both times. The first time the monsters were Ooze, Enchanted, and Doom Knights. And there were no light-giving cards of any kind except the basic torch and the Elf Wizard. There were lots of weapons, including Hatchet, Spear, Polearm, and Warhammer.

Starting out we all did similar things - buying heroes and weapons. I made a run on the elf wizards since I didn't want to rely on torches for light. Other than that I took BlueTorch's advice and rested to destroy militia. The Enchanted monster group seems to be on the easier side - my wife was able to nab a Nixie on turn 2 or 3, which gave her a nice 4-gold boost for buying power. We pretty much took turns killing monsters and leveling guys up. The wizards pile emptied quickly and the Redblade Thieves were the next go-to pile. No one wanted Amazons, and the Thyrian warrior guys were mildly popular. The one time my wife's Warrior-Feast-Polearm combo went off we were all impressed. I won the first game by a score of 28-24-18. No one claimed the Thunderstone. The ever-elusive Sphynx was guarding it and I opted to banish her rather than let my wife take a shot (I think she would have gotten her, too). devil

The second random layout proved to be awkward in a different way. We had pleny of light, with lanterns, Flame Blades, and Fireballs in the mix, as well as Lorigg thieves. We were facing all undead / doom knight monsters, but the only weapon worth speaking of was the warhammer, which was too heavy for all but the Thyrian guys to wield. It seemed sort of pathetic once I realized the Regian clerics couldn't even lift the things. I focused my buying on Selurin mages mostly, and did some work on getting rid of militia. I took advantage of the "Hero-at-0-Strength-is-Destryoed" rule and killed off three militia to an obliging Ghost. That pretty much sealed the deal, as my deck was so much more streamlined than the other two. I took my time refining with more mages, and some Loriggs for utility. Unfortunately I got hung up on a few other Undead and Doom Knights who threatened to kill my poor Selurin's with their wimpy 2 strength. I was wishing for a banish at that point. cry

Interestingly, all four hero piles were bought up to the level 2, uhh, level. I found it interesting that all of the heros were being used in a very balanced way. That seemed like a more open-ended array of cards. I ran off a few monsters just to get them out of the way, and managed to score a couple of biggies. My two opponents were bogged down with militia and iron rations and ended up visiting the village to buy more junk so I ended up winning in a landslide 38-22-13. The second place guy took the Thunderstone, because I drew a hand with no heroes and wasn't sure if I could still attack the rank 1 monster without a hero. None of us noticed that Goodberries are worth 1 VP until we counted points either. I would have bought a couple on my last few rounds if I had known. blush

It was quite enjoyable to play with two other people who knew more what they were doing. Turns went much faster and the game flowed better. We were still casual about not locking people into their moves if they reconsidered. I definitely felt the rush of a faster-paced game, with all of us competing for the same heroes and monster kills. I am looking forward to many more games of Thunderstone to come!
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