Sunday, September 17, 2006

The League of Feelthy English Kerniggets

Today's gaming adventure was a trip to the League of Extraordinary Gamers, the last major Euro-games meeting in Brisbane which I had not previously attended. It was an unusually varied meeting, with Warhammer, Magic, Ticket to Ride and Scrabble all being played at the same time. I wanted to game with the Scrabble ladies but they left before I got the chance. The kid and I started with a game of Settlers which I won by about a turn from the other adult player. My kid went for largest army at the expense of any economic development (and we had words about that afterwards), and the other kid who was only 7 just built roads and couldn't achieve longest road anyway. By the way, are you allowed to build one of your first settlements on a harbour? I allowed it for my adult opponent, but it seemed to give him a big advantage throughout the game. It seems wrong.

After that some of the other Eurogamers were organising a game of Shadows Over Camelot, and as it seemed that most potential opponents would be doing that, the kid and I joined in on that. Wow, talk about culture shock! They play TOTALLY differently to us. They (a) don't take black cards, (b) place siege engines, (c) ignore the Pict, Saxon and Black Knight quests, and (d) complete the sword and grail quests. When I've played, we (a) almost always take black cards, (b) never place siege engines until forced, (c) always do the Pict and Saxon quests, and (d) manage the grail quest rather than completing it. They have a definite plan to attack the game, and in the groups I've played with they'd be described as m-m-m-m-m-m-mad. sir.

As luck would have it, I (Sir Percival) was dealt the traitor. Sir Kay, the most vocal of the feelthy English kerniggets, said "OK, you have to do the Lancelot's Armour quest but before you complete it we'll accuse you of being the traitor because it's too dangerous to let the traitor get it." Um, decent plan, but I AM the traitor and I don't much want to do that. Of course, arguing with the plan would only raise suspicions so I simply mentioned "that's not how we play this game", and went along with it. So there I was, railroaded into the Armour quest and desperately trying to figure out how to lose it. Because they didn't draw black cards (except I did, because I had the power of seeing what was coming), there were no points accumulating on my quest. However I pretended I had no decent cards which forced King Arthur to feed me cards. He gave me a 4, I played it on the set of three, forcing him to feed me more of them. I was desperately trying to guess what he would feed me and trying to return the same thing to him. It's called hand management :-). I had a single 3 so I played it on the set of two. I picked up a 4 somehow, but didn't play it on the set of three because I wanted King Arthur to spoon-feed me. I quietly kept my Merlin card to myself, kept the special white very quiet, and did the least I could to be helpful. Several times King Arthur forgot to trade with me, and I forgot to remind him. Hehehe.

Finally, I was poised to fail at the quest. I needed to play a 3 to win it, and I didn't have one. Woohoo! Failure! But before I could admit defeat, Sir Kay accused me of being a traitor. Doncha hate that? It was a bit of a surprise to the guys that I was, they were expecting Sir Galahad maybe. But then I was relegated to taunting the loyal knights by stealing a card from one of them each time, and either playing a black card or placing a siege engine. Stealing a card was successful on a couple of occasions - I managed to steal a Fight card someone needed to fight siege engines. Playing black cards was not very successful - if I got a Pict or a Saxon nothing bad would happen. So I kept placing siege engines. The game wore on and everyone was getting low on life points. The grail had been drunk, various special white cards used up, and Sir Galahad used Clairvoyance to rearrange the top 5 cards of the deck. When someone was required to draw a card and it caused a siege engine to be placed, I knew the next 4 cards were at least as bad as that. So I could safely draw a card and at least get a siege engine.

After a very long time the loyal knights had 6 or so white swords, no black swords, and lots of siege engines. They were reduced to drawing black cards for the Progression of Evil. Then King Arthur drew "All loyal knights lose one life point". Five loyal knights died at once. Woohoo! Next turn was mine and I placed a siege engine to win the game. Woohoo! Sir Percival did several victory dances, none of which were elegant nor knightly, but after such a hard-fought battle with my reputation dragged through the mud, it was a-very nice to see the son-of-a-hamster elderberry-smelling feelthy English kerniggets go down. I said "WE'VE ALREADY GOT ONE!"

Anyway, then the kid and I headed off as I had other games to play (i.e. squash). We hope to get back to LXG some times, and hope that some of the guys from there can come along to Critical Mass etc. occasionally. I handed out my Settlers of Brisbane cards, so maybe some of those guys will be in touch.

1 comment:

Chris Shaffer said...

Yes, you can definitely play a starting settlement on a harbor. The reward, obviously, is the harbor. The penalty is that one of your three hexes doesn't produce anything.

You can put a starting settlement on any legal settlement spot -- even a water/desert/12 if you want.