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Subject: Antike - an immersive experience rss

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Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
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No, of course not. Unless you're referring to the 6 game we played last night.

Just after setting up and placing down the strating cities on the Western Med side of the board, the game was immersed in about a pint of cola. Nasty, sweet, sticky stuff. All hands on deck to grab towels, and the board was swabbed dry.

We resumed a few minutes later on the eatern Med side of the board (to give the other side a chance to dry off properly). The Eastern board is not my favoourite, because the games I've played on that side all have a tendancency to end in a struggle for the last few victory points, invariably coming from some late-game temple trashing when everyone is pretty well powered up. On the western board, easy access to the seas means that everyone has a chance to get the victory points for bring in 7 different sea areas, as well as requiring players to balance legions and fleets. On the eastern board, the tendancy is to see legions on the right of the board and fleets on the left, and less interaction between the two.

I had drawn Greece - I had high hopes for it, as the edge position is easy to defend while at the same time having the best access to the sea for those navigator victory points. The last couple of games, I've been quite successful with conflict - this time around, I intended to try a developments and temples approach.

After getting a couple of early Scholar cards, it became clear that several other players were going to try the same approach, and I didn't fancy competing for the 6 remaining development VPs with 2 or 3 other players. I took the second development as "sailing" with a thought to heading down a more military path - especially as my nearest neighbour, Rome, has planted a temple within easy striking distance.
One way to make military conquest work is to grab lots of iron-rich provinces, so that was my first aim, and very quickly it took me to the 7 sea areas, and then on to 10 cities to put me on 5 VPs and two ahead of everyone else. Unfortunately, the Roman decided to also pursue a military solution, building navies and sending them westwards to challenge my greeks, bolstered by his cheap purchase of other people's technologies like Monarchy to improve his defences.

So, I couldn't easily build temples without giving the Roman something to aim for (and for all his technologies and fleets, he'd not actually gathered many VPs at all), I would lose the race to development VPs to players who had built temples on their gold provinces, and a military approach was going to cost a LOT especially after the Roman took two of my iron provinces. Hmm. Getting the two VPs required for the win was going to be very, very tricky. Thanks to my early successes, everyone perceived me to be the leader and all did their utmost to frustrate any plans I had, freely offering advice to anyone who needed it as to how best to prevent me from making any real headway.

So that was me out of contention. Along with the Roman, who had managed to prosecute a war that scored him no points at all, and the Babylonian who had similarly thrown units westwards to attack my outlying colonies at the urging of his eastern neighbours. The game was actually wrapped up by those easterners, who had managed to avoid competing with one another and had concentrated on earning the VPs that I couldn't get, largely by building temples and ignoring legions, temples which were never really threatened as none of their neighbours had wasted time or resources on m ilitary units that they had no plans to use. THe game was ultimately won by the player who managed toe temple-building, advancements and his 10 cities most efficiently, though I'm afraid I can't remember who it actually was (as I was still mithering about the coke incident and the futility of the Roman obstructing my own plans for world domination).

At the end of the evening, I used some water to wipe off the sticky residue that was left on the one side of the board, and apart from a bit of cosmetic damage to the folds of the board, it looks to have survived the experience.

The lesson learned in the playing of Antike was that the players have to force the leaders to struggle and compete for VPs - players who can earn the cards without any competition will win, whatever way they choose to play the game.
 
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Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
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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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RDewsbery wrote:
The lesson learned in the playing of Antike was that the players have to force the leaders to struggle and compete for VPs...

And here I was thinking the real lesson was always make sure players use spill-proof cups!
 
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