There are two modes of existence that domineer my mindset during board games. The first and more common is the casual player. The casual player is all about enjoying the experience, improving on skills, and using the game as an opportunity to socialize. Most people play board games for these reasons. The other existence is far from the casual player. It can’t even been described with a name. The savant like state that passes through me can only be compared to a moment where self-awareness eludes you and the only thing that matters is a singular objective. Some call it ‘being in the zone’. Others may say ‘having flow’. All I know is that I’m dangerous when it takes over me, and the league experienced it firsthand this week.
There was hope that No-Show would actually show this week, but it end up just being the same usual four players partaking in two games. The first game was Settlers of Catan. For the weekly readers of the SCBGL updates, you recall I won the first game of Settlers. Well, that result didn’t change. I had the luxury of going third, with Game Owner, currently leading the league, going first, and Not MJ following him.
To have a successful game of Settlers, there are some critical junctures that will make or break your competitive advantage, and perhaps the most important is where you place your starting settlements. With Game Owner selecting first, he had any location he wanted, but then would have the last selection. Nevertheless, Game Owner didn’t help his cause to further or maintain his lead by placing his first settlement on a port for stone. Luckily the hex next to the port was also stone with a 6 token. By taking the port with his first settlement, he not only allowed the better locations to his opponents who were all gunning to beat him, but he showed his strategy before any other person had an opportunity to select.
Not MJ selected one of the two best locations, leaving me with a location that was heavy on sheep. After Turn Skipper put down his settlements, I went after a port for sheep that was only a hex away from my original settlement. So before the game even start I had a monopoly on sheep and a reasonable trade conversion of 2:1 for said sheep.
To make a long story short, I fucking annihilated that game of Settlers without trading with Game Owner. That’s right I enforced a trade embargo against Game Owner. He had a 7 point lead on the league! There was no way I was going to help him in a game that is dependent on bartering, especially when he limited himself from the beginning. I won by 5 victory points! Everyone else tied for second.
The second game of the evening was Smallworld. This game didn’t quite become as highly contested as last week’s game. I had first selection and went for the first race, Stout Hobbits, costing me nothing to select. The beautiful thing about this combination was that I could start anywhere on the board and I could go into decline after the conquering phase. So, with an empty board, I took a handful of spaces, and went straight into decline, therefore allowing me to get a second race next turn and conquer more spaces.
After the first round, there were goblins taking half the board with Orcs following their first steps, and skeletons riding up my hobbits buts, with a whole section of the board being untouched. So with my second race, I took the diplomatic White Ladies and started marking down the board outlining my hobbits on one side, and declared diplomacy on NOT MJ, since he the closest threat and the most aggressive player. This allowed me to use my white ladies for two turns before going into decline and I conquered 5 spaces. This probably doesn’t sound like much, and really isn’t, but the power of the white ladies come when they are in decline where they become literally invincible. Once they are on the board as a declined race, they will stay until I go in decline again. So now I have 5 spaces scoring for me every turn, and what’s even better is they are splitting the board nearly in two. That wall of white ladies was the game winning formula for me.
Players were all going into decline at a regular rate. My next race, a race I would use for the rest of the game, was heroic Humans. For the first few rounds with the humans, I was getting 13-14 points between them and the white ladies, and wound never get less than 10 points for the reminder of the game. Therefore, I won another game of Smallworld, but this time by 10 points. Final results of were as follows: Me – 91pts, Game Owner – 81pts, Turn skipper- 80pts, and Not MJ – 72pts.
So I won both games, and only gained two points on the league leader.
And some more music videos.
|Player ID||Player||Games Played||Wins||2nd||3rd||4th||DNP||Win %||Overall||Rank|
There was lots of arguing after the game of Smallworld because we had time to play a game of Dominion. Not MJ wanted it to count toward the league. Turn Skipper did not. The argument was about balancing rate of play for games, and then weighing value of games in the league, and blah and blah and blah. It was mostly nonsense, because the only fair way to run the league is play games at an even clip. Each player has strengths and weakness. Not MJ is a good Dominion player. Turn-skipper struggles with Dominion, but then Turn-skipper is quality Caverna player where Not MJ so far seemed to hit a low peak. Even playing rate is the only way to do it.
Also, I believe the league finally has 9 members for the upcoming season, 2015Q2. It is exciting! We are doubling in size and will be much more organized as a league. As Bart Scott once said “Can’t Wait!”