The Jaded Gamer

Opinions, not always positive, on the gaming world.

Archive for Other Games

Prev «  1 , 2 

Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Climbing the mountain of conflict

Alec Chapman
United Kingdom
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
Anyway, how's your sex life?
badge
"She said the same thing about waffles."
Avatar
Microbadge: Offline from The Geek for a while
Nice to pop into LoB for the first time in ages, but have you ever had that moment where the rules in your head for a game you think you know very well turn out to be completely wrong?
 
Stand up, The Climbers, where the game rules changed from what was in my head not once, not twice, but THREE times during our play yesterday.
 
First, a bit of background on the game for those people who don’t know it: with its colourful wooden blocks and looking a lot like a child’s toy rather than a vicious blocking game, in The Climbers the idea is to reach the highest point on the mountain before anyone else and then prevent them getting higher.
 
The winner will need to either be at a height no one can reach, or to stop others climbing upwards from a level he has reached first. So it’s both a path building and blocking game. On your turn you first move a block (cubes, half cubes and double cubes) to a new valid location and then move if possible. Your pawn can climb a half cube height on his own and you have two, one use, ladders of a single cube and double cube height to get you up steeper slopes. You can only stand on Grey sides or sides of your own colour. You also have a blocking stone that can prevent people moving onto or repositioning a block for an entire turn. The constantly changing arrangement of the mountain means that as you get higher it tends to taper and options become more and more limited as you continue towards someone’s glorious victory.
 
So, it doesn’t sound very difficult to get right. What were our errors?
 
First, another player was convinced you could only make one step per turn. In fact you can move up as far as you like as long as it is legal – all the way to the top if you are making half steps onto grey or your own colour.
Secondly, I was utterly and I mean 1000% sure that you could EITHER move a block or rotate it, and that you were absolutely forbidden from doing both.  You are not. I’m of the opinion that this causes a bit less tension, especially given the fact it means a cube can be moved to anywhere and become any colour.
Thirdly, I was less certain, but similarly convinced that you couldn’t have orphaned blocks (i.e. you cannot remove a block that would leave another disconnected from the main tower) – apparently this is not the case either. I certainly think that this is daft, but the rules are the rules.
 
Incorrect certainty is very vexing but despite getting this wrong right up until I had used up my ladders and got almost as high as I ever would in the game, I still came in first. The eventual mountain had an absurd spike in the middle as a blockage to other climbers.
 
I didn’t make any similar errors in Ra, playing to my best ever position (2nd of 5) and best ever score (40 – 3 points off the winner). For those who have played the game with me before, you will realise this is an incredible performance from this viciously anti auction gamer. Actually, the auctions in Ra and Metropolis are fine and I don’t mind them. Single, open bids are something I don’t mind too much and are millions of times better than free bidding or blind bidding. Actual decision making! Doesn’t take forever! Allows for subjective evaluation!
 
Setting aside the ludicrous attempts to theme the game (epochs assigned to date ranges? Seriously?), the nice thing about Ra is that moment when you know that the value of the tiles is more than your lowest bid, but lower than the next highest held by someone else. Then you call RA!
Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Wed Apr 4, 2012 11:53 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

The worst general in history...

Alec Chapman
United Kingdom
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
Anyway, how's your sex life?
badge
"She said the same thing about waffles."
Avatar
Microbadge: Offline from The Geek for a while
is me. It's hard for a man who loves rolling dice and blowing things up to admit, but I just don't get war-games at all.

Latest example of this is Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan, a game with what I will call an "ingenious" combat system for the simple reason that I couldn't make head nor tail of it.

Your forces are hidden from your opponent and can only be activated if you have the cards in hand to "motivate" them. On top of this is the potential that if your opponent has a card to impose a "loyalty check" on you and you do not have another card of the same type, your forces betray you and fight for the other side.

This happened to me in three consecutive turns and there wasn't really any way back.

I was utterly crushed in half the playing time and we had to call it as a victory for my opponent;
Paul Lister
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Babylonia fanMicrobadge: I love Mexico!Microbadge: Cat loverMicrobadge: I love LondonMicrobadge: Greek Guild member

Who is one of my favourite foes.

Important caveat!
In fact we had missed the consolation prize that you receive, in defeat, more cards for your cause - presumably your forces become more dogged as the news gets worse.

I'm not going to lie. I then cheekily claimed a draw, but in all seriousness I would never have won this game in a million years, certainly not the eight turns provided.

I do not think this game is totally beyond me and with this experience behind me I should do better next time. And there will be a next time. At this point I would say i am intrigued.

The general point is that I always think one should be prepared to throw away your first game of a system, particularly one as unusual as this one is to me. It's an interesting mix of hand management, bluffing and point to point area control game - should be right up my alley despite appearances.

Who else has played this? What did you think?
Twitter Facebook
11 Comments
Mon Mar 5, 2012 10:11 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

Prev «  1 , 2 

Subscribe

Contributors