October 31, 2011

Gaming Report: Citadels, Dominion, Lifeboat

Ouch!  An entire week since my last posting?  I hope to fix that this week with some thoughts on kids and abstract themes, plus another review.  But the weekend was nice - other than Kansas State being exposed by the dreaded Sooners.  Oh well, still another great rebuilding tenure under Snyder's second commandership in the Little Apple.

We got in a 4-player session of Citadels for the first game of the weekend.  I prefer the 5- or 6-player versions.  With only 4 players, there is an extra character laid down before the draft.  While that might not seem like a major deal, it still narrows the guessing mechanic - especially for the first player who might choose the Assassin and/or Thief and then know right away the only four characters left.  And say they do choose the Assassin, and then one of the last four is the Thief, well now there are only three characters that they have to pick from to attack.  That can be quite an advantage!  But I'll admit it does add a good deal of tension to the variant.

I played two 2-player sessions of Dominion, one with my brother-in-law from Green Bay who was in town with family.  I've mentioned introducing the game to him previously and he's a natural at it with his hardcore Pokémon background.  We both had the samd idea in going after the Village, Festival, and Market fairly heavy, but I spent a couple turns on the Bureaucrat, as well.  Unfortunately, the free Silvers provided little advantage.  In the end, he was able to nab one extra Province that proved the difference.

Then all of the kids and I took on Lifeboat to end the weekend.  I think the kids were tired from playing with their cousins and staying up late the two nights before, because they were more sensitive than usual to the ganging up and back-stabbing.  Tempers flared in this session and I almost had to end the game early!  But that is not usually the case.  We were able to finish amicably in the end.  I hated myself and so tried early on to take out everyone else, starting with the big First Mate (Lilly).  However, since I was the weakest character, Lady Lauren, it was tough going and included a lot of bribery.  My one advantage was that the First Mate was my secret love, so I knew other people wouldn't be rushing to his (her) aid.  Unfortunately, she had the flare gun which added another 8 points of strength making her virtually untouchable.  On top of that, she had the parasol which protected her from one thirst every round.  As I was Lady Lauren, I managed to grab all the jewels which gave me double points for them - diamonds are a girl's best friend!  But it was Hope, the next weakest with Sir Stephen, who just quietly rowed all game long and saved up paintings (his double points), and won the game.  I think this was the first game of Lifeboat we've played in which everyone survived - and remained conscious even!

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