Root - First Game of the Day
Kelvin and I met a couple of Vast players who were interested in learning Root. I performed my first Root teach. Kelvin played Thief Vagabond, I took the Despot and took charge of the Eyrie. Rebecca formed the Woodland Alliance and Adam became the Marquise of Cats.
This was my second game and I my first playing the Eyrie and it was rough going, the Eyrie fell into turmoil twice.
Rebecca led the Woodland Alliance with aplomb and ran away with this game. She placed 3 sympathy tokens in the first round and revolted in the second to get her base. She crafted items like crazy and Kelvin kept giving her cards. The relationship built up both of their economy well, but Rebecca ran away with the victory.
Root - Second Game
Bart: Marquise/Cats, Rebecca: Eyrie, Adam: Woodland Alliance, X: Vagabond, Dan: Lizard Cult
For my 3rd game, we had 5 players and so used Dan’s game with the expansion, I was origmally going to play the River Folk, (because Otters) but grabbed the Marquise, when I saw noone else was planning to as it seems like an essential faction. It was a fun and strange trip playing with the Lizards, Dan did very well with them. Starting very slow and then building up quickly towards the end. He was no match for the runaway Vagabond though, who had 4 other players surreptitiously feeding him items. I started well keeping up with the top scoring tier, but one round the Lizards somehow replaced a bunch of my warriors and a building in a central fox clearing in one rough turn and my momentum was lost (with Sanctify and Convert actions.)
Then when the Vagabond reached 20vp, I switched to a desperate plan B: the fox dominance card, but was nowhere near achieving it when the Vagabond scored 30. A Fun and Strange faction, the Lizards are an interesting addition.
Dan taught me this trading and engine building card game. You cycle through several columns of cards which are called caravans. Each caravan has a Patriarch card that allows you to draw 2 cards and keep 1 and on the other side of the Patriarch is the Matriarch which allows you to select a card from the communal discard pile. The object of the game is to get to 25 VP by buying orders with your resources. A very enjoyable game. I’d love to play it again.
Deep Sea Adventure
Dan and I played a quick 2 player game of Deep Sea Adventure while waiting for am extended game of Gaia Project to finish (spoiler: Kelvin and the Geodens won.) It’s a fun press your luck game. We both failed to surface on 2 of the thre dives.
After a pleasant dinner at Tzatzikis, we started our final game of the evening, Brass: Birmigham. I knew as soon as I saw this game that I was going to love it. It’s an irresistible combination of economics, hand management and network building. Each move requires discarding a card. You want to connect Kidderminster and Worcester as your first move? Then you will have to discard a card from your hand and limit your possible actions later on. It can be really agonizing in the first couple moves on the era when you don’t know where the board state will lead.
Kelvin was first player. He built a cotton mill in Kidderminster. Dan built a Cotton Mill in Derby and Jim built the games 3rd cotton mill in Birmingham. My starting hand contained a Brewery Industry card, so I really wanted to build the Farm Brewery between Kidderminster and Worcester, so my first move was to build the canal route between Kidderminster and Worcester, eliciting a groan from Kelvin, and guaranteeing the farm brewery for team Bessemer.
Seeing that everyone else was going to into Cotton Mills, I decided to go into Manufacturing and perhaps Pottery.
End of the Canal Era
My goal in the canal era was first to develop coal and iron up through level II, and secondly to have a couple level II buildings out by the end, so I would have a good start in the rails era. At the end of the canal era I had 3 level II buildings: a manufacturer in Belper, a coal mine in Burton-on-Trent and iron in Birmigham. Kelvin had 2 also, Dan had 0, and Jim had a great start with 4 level II buildings.
Knowing that there would be a mad dash to ship in the final round, in the penultimate round I built a brewery in Stafford and overbuilt my used up brewery in Burton-On-Trent. The B-O-T brewery was a bit of a gamble I later realized as I has two rails going into that city was risked losing 4vp for connections, if it’s beer wasn’tused in the final round. The reason I did this was because I has a level 3 Pottery to ship, which takes 2 beer and also a Manufacturer to flip in Birmingham as well in the final round AND I was going to play 3rd player in the final round.
In the final round the Burton-on-Trent beer was spent immediately and Jim nearly spent all my Stafford beer, but left me one keg. So in my final turn I was able to ship the Manufactured goods to Oxford using Oxford Beer. Also on the same action I shipped the Stafford pottery to Gloucester using the final Stafford Beer and the Gloucester Beer for the second. (15 points, plus 7 additional points for my breweries).
I came within 3 points of Kelvin’s winning score, but he scored an amazing 99 points in the Rails era to win.
Kidderminster to Worcester Connection
And this is why the Kidderminster-Worcester connection is so sought after, Kelvin scored 9 points off one connection and built a brewery and shipped on the final round with it.