Archive for Sven Fallenius
Only two weeks after the last gaming night, the quartet joined again. I surprised everybody with a new Ticket to Ride map, designed during the last year and with the necessary ticket card sleeves bought in Gothenburg the same day.
The map showed the island of Gotland and was specifically designed for a shorter game with fewer train carriages. Each player started with only 20 each and playing time turned out to be short. Standard rules applied except for the locomotive spaces on ferry routes, where any three standard train cards could be used in stead of the locomotive, the reason being the high number of ferry routes on the map (thus not enough locomotives in the deck).
Three tickets were given to each player and most were kept (only Anna left one) when play begun. The routes in the Slite area soon became congested, causing the biggest troubles for Simon who sighed and grumbled more than once. Sofia also struggled in the cluttered north-central part, finally being unable to couple her main network to the southern destination of Havdhem, thus losing a 9 point ticket (and such a ticket is a large one on this map, where no tickets are worth more than 10).
My plans had to be altered when Sofia claimed Roma-Slite (a route which will probably be a vital one in many games on this map), but a detour along the east coast's long routes turned out to give many additional points and was also rather untouched byt the other players.
In the mean time Anna claimed routes from Sundre in the far south through the inland to Visby. Late in the game she also grabbed a third ticket and extended the route in the northwest to Kappelshamn. This gave her a continuous route of 18 waggons, by far the longest, giving her the 8 point bonus.
Game ended as I used my last five cards (three red and two black) to claim the southern route to Balticum. Tickets were then tallied. Anna and I had completed our 3 (sharing the second 8 points bonus), while Sofia had 2 and Simon 1.
Sven: Sverige-Hemse (8), Roma-Ronehamn (5), Sverige-Slite (5)
Simon: Bläse-Fårösund (5), Katthammarsvik-Hemse ? (-6), Fårösund-Klintehamn (-9)
Anna: Visby-Burgsvik (8), Visby-Kappelshamn (9), Visby-Havdhem (7)
Sofia: Visby-Slite (3), Roma-Baltikum (6), Slite-Havdhem (-9)
Sven (red) 13 (of 20 built)
Simon (black) 11 (of 14 built)
Anna (blue) 18 (all 18 built)
Sofia (yellow) 12 (of 16 built)
Sven (red) 30+18+8 = 56 (3 tickets of 3)
Simon (black) 17-10 = 7 (1 ticket of 3)
Anna (blue) 29+8+8+25 = 70 (3 tickets of 3)
Sofia (yellow) 21+0 = 21 (2 tickets of 3)
(Note that there is a missing point for Anna. Her three tickets were only worth 24 points, but she got 25. This doesn't alter the classification though.)
To cheer up Sofia, I had brought the Ticket to Ride Asia expansion. (Well, honestly I don't mind playing the Legendary Asia version, but I have never been content with the Team Asia...) After a little discussion about what to play after the Gotland TtR we decided on Team Asia, however. "Sven may decide what to play afterwards," it was stated.
As Sofia and Anna sat on one side of the table and Simon and I on the other, we also decided to play in those teams. Those were the same teams as on the two previous occasions, both having been won by Anna and Sofia, but now, I thought, it was time for a change.
Both teams started with about 8 tickets and off the game went. While Anna and Sofia claimed a lot of short routes in the south, Simon and I got mainly to the north. I completed two short tickets in India but the longer ones were in the deserts and along the east coast.
Longer routes means fewer turns, so when the game got close to the end, it was obvious that Sven and Simon could finish the game prematurely. That is, too early for Anna and Sofia, I thought. So, playing the last three available cards and having the own team sitting with only two train cars left, while Anna and Sofia had 19 left, felt nice.
Standings for routes only:
Sven and Simon (red): 78 points (52 waggons)
Anna and Sofia (yellow): 44 points (35 waggons)
Then the tickets were summarized. Simon had taken a ninth ticket in the last turn, unfortunately an unbuilt 7 pointer. Anna had taken new tickets twice, having her team ending with eleven tickets, but, opposite to my assumptions, all those eleven tickets were already done and made in spite of having used less than two thirds of all available waggons! This turned the standings upside down, in a previously unseen fashion. With their eleven tickets Anna and Sofia climbed a lap around the scoring table, passing Simon and me with a large margin. The only consolation was that there were no obvious mistakes done, the only reason for a loss being misfortune in the ticket draw.
Sven and Simon (red): 78+64-7 = 135 points
Anna and Sofia (yellow): 44+98+10+10 = 162 points
There was another consolation for the losing side. After having complained of always losing every game – a statement not true, at least seen in the long run – Sofia was entertained. And that was, as previously mentioned, part of the reason the game was played.
The third game (and, as it would prove, the last one) for this session was to be chosen me Sven and although it was a hard fought battle against "Sveriges städer", the decision fell on trying Dominion for the second time.
To select the 10 Kingdom cards, a random draw was made. Drawn were Moat, Militia, Smithy, Witch, Laboratory, Spy, Library, Bureaucrat, Remodel, and Chapel. However, as few of these gave a possibility for more than one action per turn, Chapel was put back in the box in favour of Market.
Play was rather uncomplicated and not very dramatic. Only one or two Witches was bought and only once was it used (by Anna, late in the game). Adding to the Witch's lack of influence in this game, both Sofia and Simon could counter-attack with a Moat, leading to one single minus point being awarded during the whole game.
As last time, the Market was a popular card. So were Smithy, Moat and Militia. When the Silver and Gold cards started to pile up in the decks, it became more or less a rule that anybody having the possibility to buy a 6 point Province, did so. I suppose that is not only a rule of thumb, but a symptom of clever play, but maybe it would also be an intelligent choice to now and then try a 3 point Duchy too. Let's see the next time...
Game ended when the last Province was taken. Points were counted and at least I anticipated a close race against Anna. This, however, was completely wrong and actually all four players finished at four points intervals.
I could count home another victory in this game, albeit the first one for this night, when Anna became the queen with two victories and one third place.
Last week a coworker invited me for a game night. She knew I liked the Ticket to Ride series and thought I would appreciate being the sixth player in a session of Dominant Species.
Great, I thought, this will be nice! So it was me and my colleague, her husband, her friend and the friend’s husband and brother: the six of us who met and had the typical Swedish tacos, followed by gaming.
It was almost 7 o’clock when dinner had been eaten, game prepared and rules gone through. Having read that the game would take 2-4 hours, I had booked a laundry session the same night, ending at 2 o’clock, anticipating to having time for at least an hour and a half of necessary work.
The first turn went all right, taking less than half an hour. Of the six players, two were new to the game, two had once played half the game, while two had played it thrice. That is, no experts but everyone was used to playing games so a probable playing time would be in the upper part of the 2-4 hours interval, I supposed. However, this turned out to be a kind of gaming I had never met before…
Being new to a game, means that the knowledge of your best possible moves is very thin. You don’t expect to find the perfect play and must take chances. All right, sometimes you find an uncertainty when it comes to the rules and must ask your opponents before you take your turn. It inevitably also becomes so, that you at some point or another see a certain situation and say something like ”Am I correct, that if I place this pawn here, this must mean that … ”.
This night’s players though, they talked all the time, over and over. The longer the game continued, the stronger the urge became to discuss, talk, threat and beg. People tried to convince each other that player A had to be taken care of as s/he was in an advantageous position, or discussed why player B had placed an action pawn on a certain spot. Then player C after her turn tried to explain the reason for a move and the outcomes that some time before had been possible or probable, as well as its wanted outcomes and why they failed…
Over and over and over again. I think some of the last turns must have taken more than an hour each.
I also found that some of the language didn’t fit to my way of playing or, actually, socializing. When there were, within the two couples, repeated complaints stating ”you will sleep on the couch” and ”you are not the father of my child”, I was quite bored. And when cunts and poop and similar vocabulary were used around the table, I felt uncomfortable. This wasn’t the kind of language I usually meet, when I spend time with my regular friends playing games or having tea at the town’s Cultural House.
Play ended at 2.22, when it had continued for close to seven and a half hours. The following minutes was a continuous effort trying not to slate the playing and language style too much, but rather praising the tacos, thank for tea and cake, and stating it had been an evening with an interesting game.
Then I finally went home, postponed any thoughts of doing the laundry, and put myself to bed at 3 o’clock.
Having left Chalmers Uiversity of Technology on a Saturday 9 days ago, enjoying the feeling of having managed an exam in thermodynamics (the fourth and hopefully last of the physics course I took last year), I took the tram to my friendly regional gamestore. Buying myself a game, I thought, were to be a just right reward.
For many years I’ve had my eyes on the Dominion deck-building game. Six years ago I played it and found it really entertaining. That, of course, was only a little taste of the game, but I got to the conclusion that my more regular playing partners probably would be more into the classic interpretation of the concept ”board game”. Hence I haven’t bought myself any Dominion. Now, however, I have found that my gaming friends actually can be amused by more unusual games. Moreover, they accept games where the English language play at least some role. So, I felt that I had nothing to lose; would it turn out that I have nobody to play Dominion with right now, I can lean back and look at it at its shelf, where it awaits future adventures.
Sofia and I had been invited to a ”game night” at some friends’ house and as it would be my first visit there, I thought of bringing some gift. What would then be better than a game? Especially as I in my FRGS the Love Letter gem was standing on the shelf and a closer look revelaed to me that the main character Princess Annette shared names with the evening’s hostess. SEK 85 was also a great price and I could head home.
After a shrimp soup which was edible (and that’s good grades coming from a soup-sceptic like me), we sat down with wonderful chocolate, tea and Love Letter. Rules were pretty easy and straightforward and the four of us soon started chasing the tiny, red tokens, four of which would give victory.
Sofia jump started to 2 tokens, Anders also got 2, Anette won her 1st while I, playing as tactic as is possible in a light game, was the only player without. That pattern continued and soon Sofia had gotten her 3rd and 4th. That was of course nice for her but I had also liked the Love Letter experience, and then a loss doesn’t matter at all, actually.
I had brought a couple of other games, as the TtR expansion Southeast Sweden (which the four of us had played once before), Gang of Four, and Sveriges städer, but as the other wanted to play a real board game the decision fell on Mystery of the Abbey.
It turned out to be a strange Abbey experience. We went through the different rooms, asked questions, found out and drew conclusions. There were a couple of revelations, and when I had decided on an accusation I headed for the capitulum, was beaten by somebody else who accused the same monk – and immediately the accusation was turned down by the abbott as the suspect card was shown by another player.
Some turns later we found out that everybody had crossed out all monks but the cuplrit’s card was still put under the game board (we actually checked to be sure). We made a consensual decision to end the game and when Brother Fortune thus was revealed as the culprit, it became obvious that somebody had at some point given a false clue, leading us all to finish at negative points, which is somewhat unique. We could maybe have decided to call it a shared win between those two who only had –2 points but it was never formally stated and I think that was a fair ending, as nobody could have felt herself to be a true winner.
Winners we all were, in a way, as we had played two nice games. Sofia and I left the hostes, went home – and I crashed in my bed for the first time in years without reading before fallen asleep…
When another of my interests in the civil society often only makes me sad and leads to hard words and misunderstandings, it's nice to enter BoardGameGeek and find a different climate. Here people are nice and nothing here reminds me of this evening's discussions in said other field...
Quite the opposite actually, as the friends I play games with have the same view on the issue. No depressing discussions arise during a session of Ticket to Ride or other nice games!
I went to Göteborg the other day and bought sleeves for my Ticket to Ride train cards. Does this make me some sort serious gamer now...?