Posts Tagged 'Ad Astra'

Weekend Gaming: Independence Day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWednesday before the 4th, we were joined by Joe and Kevin for Eminent Domain, Hansa Teutonica and Caylus.  Joe missed Eminent Domain, and it came down to Kevin and I tied for points.  He had the tie-breaker, though, with a few extra resources.

I didn’t fare much better in Hansa Teutonica.  I started off slowly, getting my library upgrades complete.  I wasn’t getting much movement, while Kevin and Joe had some nice shorter routes that they were using to rack up points.  I did manage to complete the major route between the two red cities, and upgraded my key.  It wasn’t enough, though.  Kevin had a large network and a bunch of bonus tokens.  He took his second game of the night.



We finished with Caylus.  Kevin and I had moved up the lowest favor track, allowing us both access to the houses even with the lawyer in play.  It was still slow going for me, though as Joe was building tons of the other buildings.  I was going last for most of the game, but I had access to the Inn so I was able to use 5 of my workers nearly every turn.  The game progressed rather quickly as we were building in the castle often.  I had positioned myself to make a huge build in the castle, but I mistimed my action and ended up in the third position.  I wasn’t able to build any and while I doubt it would have been enough, it was still a disappointment.  Joe ended up taking the last game of the night after using the point favors as much as possible.



We played again on Saturday.  This time Phil joined us along with Joe and Kevin.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe kicked things off with Village.  I had a plan to run as many workers as possible into the Council House.  I managed to get three workers in and upgraded, but got a bit distracted along the way.  I had two in the church getting me points throughout the game, and a couple working to get the scrolls needed for the Council House.  I decided part way through, that rather than just upgrade, I would get some coin from grain and then turn it into points using the last spot in the Council.  I managed to do that twice, but would have liked more.

It ended up being a very close game, but Kevin had a bunch of points from the market and came out ahead in the end.

Ad Astra was up next.  I started the game in a weak position just getting energy, and rather than focusing on ships like I should have, I built a factory early.  This ended up hurting as I had trouble building anything.  Kevin had built extra ships early and used that to his advantage getting early points for ships and star systems, and continued this trend throughout the game.  Gina and Phil made strong plays using terraformers, but ended up just short.  Kevins ships were too much to overcome.



Again we finished up with Caylus.  This time I had planned to work the castle building heavily.  That turned out to be a bad idea, as the resource spots were quickly snatched up.  In fact no one was able to get much done in the castle as the Provost was moving around quite a bit.  Joe built the Lawyer tile with the intent to use it, but I had position to get there first, so I invested heavily.  I built three houses throughout the game, and upgraded two to the taverns.  I was never in a position to win, though.  I had tried to build the cathedral, but miscounted the number of gold needed and came up one short.

Kevin and Phil had been building resource buildings like crazy and were the only ones doing much in the castle.  So they were able to build a substantial lead.  The final score came down to Kevin managing to build on of the blue buildings, putting his score just out of reach of Phil.  Kevin won his third game of the evening.


Until next time, happy gaming!



Weekend Gaming: Busy Days

This was a busy holiday weekend for us. Saturday was spent in the yard doing some gardening and playing. Then in the evening, the games started.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt began with Joe, Kevin, Gina and I played Ad Astra and Terra Mystica.  Kevin and I were playing similar terraforming strategies in Ad Astra, but his was more balanced and edged me out in the end.


Then in Terra Mystica, Kevin again managed to beat us all.  He was playing as the Cultists and took advantage of the cult tracks while still managing to create a large empire.  I was playing as the Engineers and at one point built a bridge expecting to be able to terraform and build on the other side, but Joe beat me to it with his Nomads when I realized I lacked the right resources.  With one bridge wasted, I had a hard time recovering.


On Sunday, Gina and I played another game of Terra Mystica in the afternoon.  I was trying the Dwarves, while she was using the Mermaids.  I was happily expanding my empire across the board, but she was more focused.  I never managed to build a town and that ended up costing me.  While I had a large empire, she had me on the cults and score in general.


Joe joined us for another round of Terra Mystica after that.  I tried the Witches this time, and boy were they fun.  Joe had the Chaos Magicians, and Gina had Halflings.  I managed to use my Witches to fly all over the world to build houses.  With that I managed to build three towns for the bonuses, and then on the last round, I upgraded my shipping twice to score the largest empire with all but two of my buildings on the board.


Joe joined us again that evening for even more games, starting with Ginkopolis.  I was planning to go with a construction focus, but that never panned out.  Joe was constructing a bunch, but I did manage to do a fair bit of urbanizing.  On the last turn, though, I decided to exploit rather than urbanize, looking to score some quick points.  Joe, though, managed to steal a district from me, costing me the game.


Eminent Domain was next.  I was focused on colonization and research, and managed to do it well.  It just wasn’t enough.  Joe and Gina were both producing and trading, and I just couldn’t keep up.  There wasn’t much surveying, and I just couldn’t get the planets.  It was a close game, but Joe did managed to have the winning score.


Gina’s last game of the evening was Village.  I didn’t get a picture of the game, but Joe and Gina again had similar plans, while I was out on my own.  They were using the Council Chambers to get goods to trade, while I was out traveling.  I did manage to get a couple family members into the church and plenty into the book, but Joe’s trading resources were too much for us to overcome.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter Gina went to bed, Joe and I stayed up for one last game of Terra Mystica (I’m really liking this game, if you hadn’t guessed).  I was playing the Fakirs, and Joe had the Engineers.  After building my Stronghold on the first turn, I was struggling with gold for a long time.  Joe was racking up points building Trading Houses, and getting his bridges built.  I was about 35 point behind coming into the last round.

I had gathered my resources and was ready for a big build.  I managed to build a temple and four dwellings, maximizing the round bonus and my bonuses to score 30 points in that round.  I also had the bonus for my Stronghold and Sanctuary that I turned in for another 8 points.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough. We were evenly matched on the cult tracks and  Joe’s score on the last turn was enough to keep him ahead of my even with my empire.  Joe managed to win his fourth game of the evening.



We ended the weekend with a rather lazy holiday Monday.  We did go and see Star Trek: Into Darkness, which we both thoroughly enjoyed.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Small Group Time!

On Saturday night, Gina was out with some girlfriends, so Ryan, Kevin and Louis joined me for some games.  We started the night with Kingdom Builder.  The goals were to build a large group of settlements, build next to water tiles, and to connect the special locations on the board.  I started the game, and immediately moved to get a Boat special ability.  On my next turn, I was able to get one of the two stonehenge abilities.  That really set the tone for the game.  While the others were playing in the corners, I had a pretty good grip on the center of the board.  I was able to use my boat to cross a few rivers and link a bunch of the special location together, while keeping all but a few of my settlements out of my main cluster.  I was pushing to get another castle into my kingdom, but came up just short, when my last card was an unhelpful desert and Ryan ended the game after my play.  I ended up with enough for the win anyways.

Next up, we played Ad Astra, a new game that Ryan picked up a couple weeks ago.  The game plays a bit like a combination of Race for the Galaxy and Settlers of Catan.  Each player controls a race of humanoids that are trying to explore and settle the galaxy.  The players have a hand of roles, and each round is spent placing those roles on a track of actions.  Then the roles are revealed one at a time and each player gets to use the role, while the owner of the role gets some bonus.  So there’s an element of planning what to do on each turn while trying to guess what your opponents are going to do to maximize your own choices.

I started the game with a factory on a water planet, which was halfway to being able to build terraformers (each one built is worth 4 points).  The first planet I explored to had the food needed for the other half of the terraformers.  So while the others were flying around exploring, I was pretty much limited to a single system due to lack of starships and energy.  Louis did save me a couple of times by trading my energy to be able to move around.  I built a terraformer and a factory on the food planet, and then another terraformer a bit later.  After scoring a bunch of points with those, I made a move to a new star system.  The rest of them caught up to me a bit, Louis by exploring a bunch, and Ryan with starhips and factories, but I was able to force the game to end by building two terraformers and then scoring them for a 23 point turn pushing me over the 50 point limit for the win.

So a smaller group, which was nice to get a couple newer games played.  Until next time, happy gaming!



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