Sunday, March 06, 2011

Shabbat Gaming

My brother has four boys who play games, especially Magic and D&D. They also have friends who drop by to play with them. He has acquired a narrow collection of board games from those I've taught him over the years, and I recently donated to him a few thousand newer Magic cards from my overflowing collection.

This shabbat I taught him Age of Empires III; we played four players. I took a small early lead, and became a target for the rest of the game. My brother especially urged the other players to spend their actions ganging up on me while he, free from having to do the dirty work, slowly moved forward himself. Ah, brothers. In the end, I beat him by 7 points.

I also taught them Glory to Rome. I taught it slightly better than I did for my first play (see the last game group session report), but they still managed to do nearly every step wrong over and over again. One would think that, after doing a step wrong a few times and being told how to do it correctly, they would finally do it right; apparently the brain needs to truly understand certain processes before it can accept instruction on them.

Unlike my previous game, no one built any game-ending buildings, so we played until the deck ran out (only two sites left). I didn't think I was in last place, but I also wasn't sure that I was winning. I actually was winning, it turns out, until my brother dropped a late building that gave him 1 point for each 2 resources left in his stockpile, and with that he beat me by 1 point.

The blue cards (move to the Vault) were very scarce, for some reason.

Lastly, we played some Magic, two against two. Each team had 40 points. My brother likes to fix games to complement the strategies that he likes to play, rather than go through the work or gain the experience required to actually play the game as it was designed; occasionally I fix games, too, but nowhere near as radically as he does, and only after reading up on other people's experiences first, to be sure that I'm not being myopic.

For Magic, my brother plays that each player gets to pick 60 cards from the collection at random. Then, for every two gold cards the player tosses out, they can pick one more card of any specific color that they like. Then they can pick 8 more cards of any specific color or colors that they like. That's the draft.

Each player can, at any point during the game and only once, toss a non-land card from his hand and pick a random land from the deck. In addition, all lands automatically have "Cycling 2".

That's not to mention some of the rules that he gets wrong, but those at least he lets me correct.

I played partner with my brother against my nephew and a friend. We did a lot of damage, knocking them down from 40 to 16 while only taking 5 points of damage ourselves. However, their army kept getting bigger and better; this was partially due to one of our opponent's having miraculously picked nearly all of the better, newer cards during his random drafting. He finally slammed us for 19 points during one turn. We were reduced to pinging them, and it still took him four more rounds to finish us off.
Post a Comment