John, Sheer, and I had another session with the rather meaty game Terra Mystica. As it was our second game, we save a lot of time not having to learn the rules again, but there were still a fair few clarifications required before we started.
We chose our factions randomly (I was blue, Sheer was red, and John was brown) and off we went.
The first turn was fairly level, with John’s special power making the Cult Track a focus of his attention. Sheer was looking to cash in on his special power of claiming two tiles on completion of the bigger structures. I was hoping to keep out of trouble, and quietly build a couple of towns using an expanded shipping capability.
By the time turn three came along, it was clear that Sheer and John were contending for the lead. I misinterpreted the town building rule, meaning I couldn’t build any as things stood, and I never recovered from that. Painful. But a good lesson.
Sheer’s acquisition of bonus tiles was the deciding factor, though John pushed him hard, and it was a close finish. I was way, way, way behind.
As I am sure I have said before, one of the marks of a good game (for me) is that even when I am losing, or know I am going to lose, and there’s plenty of game time to go, I still enjoy playing it. Such is the case with Terra Mystica. I know I play it badly at times, but I enjoy it. However, I think three players is the limit. Neither John nor Sheer are slow players – OK, maybe Sheer can sometimes get a mild attack of analysis paralysis, but he won so is largely excused – but my gut instinct tells me that adding a fourth player alone would add at least an hour in to the game length. And that is too much.
(The interesting aspect is that if I am playing a wargame, the time is not a factor. This may be because 99% of the wargames I have are more complex and demanding than the euro games, but it remains an interesting comparison.)
After that, on to Dominion: Intrigue.
Sheer went from champion to chump in this one, as he very unusually got things gloriously wrong. This was highlighted by a self imposed error that forced him to hand over a key part of his money to me when he needed it most.
John built up a deck of Great Hall, Shanty Town, Scout, Upgrade, and Ironworks that – by the end – meant he cycled through is complete deck each turn. Impressive. But it did mean we spent some time just watching him.
I tried to balance action and treasure cards to give me some flexibility.
John’s super boring (but money generating) deck got him the win. Strangely enough, my deck was only a Province away from the win, so my choices must have been OK.
Thanks to John and Sheer for a great night of gaming.