2010 07 Nov

Gaming Session: Dominion, Pandemic and Smallworld

Author: Matt Categories: Euro Games


Matt, Drew & Ben


Ben’s Place


Dominion– Matt
Pandemic– Everyone but round 2 was close
Smallword– Ben with Matt and Drew equal 2nd place


Dominion End Game

Devastation of both food and cards . . .

My strategy = teh villargers FTW

Drew: Dominion turned out to be really good fun. Incredibly easy to learn, although working out the initial play order felt strange as the usual habit of using cards is to discard them permanently, not get them back. It really only took me 10 minutes to get the play order down and start forming some kind of strategy around what I was doing.

I quickly realised that by filling your deck with the cheaper, single victory point cards; even though you may be gradually building up points, you also increase the chances of drawing those very same victory cards which are completely useless in play. Upgrading my currency so I could buy the bigger victory point cards (which cost 8 coins each) turned out to be the better strategy.


Before the world catches fire

South America is about to cop it

Bird Flu ahoy!

Disaster avoided . . .

Matt: Two games of Pandemic on the cards.  With this being Ben’s first time, we decided to start with the easy game which served to be a great introduction.  We managed to keep everything pretty much under control with no real stress.

Game 2 was a lot more interesting in that we totally had the game under control until half way.  We were stopping infection every which way and had cured 2 diseases and were on our way to the 3rd.  Things started ramping up a bit with the blue disease being a constant thorn in our side.  I managed to put black into decline which freed us up and red and yellow were pretty much under control, however blue had several outbreaks and at the end we only had 1 blue cube spare.  You can see by the end we were only two cards and 1 cube off losing.  So, overall a very fun game that came right down to the wire.

Small World


Mid-game: Ben's dominance begins!

Decisions, decisions . . .

Elves n' Wizards: Together at last.

End game

The final races

Matt: First things first, I got my arse handed to me!  Actually, Drew and I got the same number of coins at the end, so it wasn’t too bad but Ben had a convincing win on his first game.  Two tactics have come into play a few times that I have played Small World (and I don’t think we were doing one of them correctly the first few times):

1. Giants + mountains are a great start game option as you need -1 to attack a hill area when they go into decline you have to have +2 to take them out, giving opponents food for thought before attacking.

2. Spirit + Anything with a defense bonus = see above +10.  Being able to have 2 civilisations in decline and having one them on mountains which have fortifications is a nightmare.  Now you are having to use at least 5 guys to attack.  Ben had passive income coming in for the last 5 rounds or so and it was just too expensive to take him out.

3. Actually, there is a third kind of thing.  A couple of the special powers seem out or proportion in their power.  I guess that’s why you pay the extra, but some combinations are just brutal and some appear to be pretty hopeless.

After Shane pulled off a daring cross board move last session with the sea-faring Special Power, I tried the same with the Orcs in the hopes of getting some passive income for the game.  It worked but I don’t know if the extra 3 gold/turn while I was in decline was really worth it.

2nd choice for the mid-game were Fortified Elves and they worked out pretty well.  I am not sure if we left fortifications and lairs on the board after going into decline last session, but a double check of the rules confirmed they stay there, meaning whoever conquers them next gets the defence.  Interesting.  These guys did well in decline.

Finally I pulled out the Flying Amazons at the end and they were devastating, but I could only really target Drew with Ben so well dug in.  Too little, too late but I learned some valuable lessons on good combinations and how to use them.

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