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Subject: in the beginning... rss

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Sometimes I'm the shark; sometimes I'm the swimmer.
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This isn't a full session report but rather a brief discussion of what options there are just at the very start of the game.

I'm playing Goldyx with my house solo variant which incorporates some fan-published material (quest cards and 'the store', available in the files of BGG) as well as my own meta-quest of collecting 4 mega crystals (you get one by trading in one basic mana crystal at any magical site--mage towers and magical glades, for example) and then delivering the 4 mega crystals back to the gate. It's a 3 day/3 night plan; for more difficulty you can try 2/2 but that's never worked for me.

For more detail about how I play this version, you can see the video I've made about it, "My Mage Knight," here: https://youtu.be/uTzhHZKyZYg

The choices here define exactly what makes this game so special. Not a turn has begun but I need to figure out:

MOVEMENT

--whether I'm going to take the path through the woods to get rid of some orcs and get to a monastery where I can pick up some quests, which I'm going to need to complete for the big crystal, and will give me some gold. There are some great things in the store offer (space crystals; a healing tonic; and a pickaxe that I won't be able to afford for a while and which may cycle out before I can buy it). There are mines that way too, always tantalizing.

--there are units in the offer that I could potentially pick up at the monastery too, another reason to go that way.

--but... If I just walk into the plains hex (in the opposite direction) whether I can see who's lurking in the mage tower and another plains hex will reveal. I'm just starting the game so probably not strong enough to fight it, but you never know. I've drawn some strong combat cards at the outset so this could work. Maybe.

STARTING QUEST

--Per my variant I pull 4 random starting quests and can keep one (Quest limit at any time is 5; they can't be discarded until completed so you need to be careful about choosing quests that can fill up your hand if they hang around too long/can't get done). Options are tough. I draw two that must be played immediately and involve discarding cards; one I can't do at all. The other "theater" isn't worth it at this stage as the reward is just 1 fame.

The harder choice involves whether to keep 'dawrven smithy' which has a great reward of an artifact (but involves using 1 crystal of each basic color during a turn--so that's a long game quest to hold at the outset); and an archery contest which requires a village (not currently on the map) and discarding a valuable card (ranged 5 attack) to get an artifact. That's not necessarily a long game card but potentially one that I'd never want to play and I can foresee it glopping up my quest slot. Agonizing choice!

TACTICS

--the same agonizing choice as always. I usually go for planning or mana steal or maybe great start depending on the map and my starting hand. Knowing me, I'll probably choose planning as I usually do.

So not a thing has actually "happened" in the game, but I'm already remembering just why I love this play experience so much. I see from my notes it has been over a year since I've played it. That's far too long!
Ever onward, now, and into the game.

Update:



The beginning of the game started slow as I was doing a lot of exploring and not coming upon quests that were viable to undertake. I felt sure that too many days and nights would elapse without collecting a mega crystal to make winning possible.

Luck turned, however, toward the end and the two final quests were completed in the same turn (this is rare). I lucked out with tile draws and quests matching up so a pick-up-and-deliver kind of quest was easy to complete. The extra crystals gained from that got me halfway toward the 4th quest completion.

I also lucked out in the store, having saved up my gold to purchase a griffin which is almost always essential to have to get back in time once the mega crystals are in hand.

Overall, it was yet another extremely satisfying experience and I will certainly play again before too much time has elapsed. It feels trite to tout the virtues of this game but, really, what else can one do? It's fabulous.




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