“It is your turn next.”
The voice emanates from the bed beside me. I had just taken off my glasses and rolled over to sleep. The last thing I had done was to play a quick game of Carcassonne on my iPhone app and send a quick message to Dave apologizing that I hadn’t noticed the Internet game I had started had actually started.
But Dave was still up somewhere across the ether and made the first move in the game. The next moment my phone speaks in a strange, scary voice from right beside me in the bed.
It was pretty freaky.
But I got over it and played a game with Dave.
That was the secnd good board game I played last night. The first was Age of Empires III with Tim and Dano. I had bought it several months ago, but never played. It had seemed to abstract to me and I was not sure about suggesting it at any gaming night.
Last night was appropriate. There were just the three of us and if it didn’t work, we could always quit and play something else. But it turned out to be an engaging game. The rules seemed complex, but that farther into gameplay you got the more elegant they seemed. It is a worked placement game ala Pillars of the Earth or Stone Age, but it has some flavors of area control and direct player conflict.
I boggled my first turn and was in a hole money wise. There are multiple paths to victory and Tim and Dano each had a good view. I was at a deficit of workers to play (a small one) after that first turn, but it remained very close through the three Ages. I felt that I was losing and Dan winning, but I couldn’t be sure.
In the second to last turn Tim played Warfare for the first time in the game. The whole dynamic shifted and Tim suddenly semed to have the upper hand. But the last turn had a lot of in and a lot of outs and a lot of what have yous. Dan played very nicely. After the final area scoring only four VPs seperated us all. Then we counted the end of game VPs for buildings, money earned in trade and discovered colonies. One capital building separated Dan from Tim. I, of course, lost.
So when Dave and I started playing Carcassonne, late at night, over the Internet, I was quite happy that I was kicking his butt thoroughly. At about one Dave asked if we wanted to call it for the night and pick it up later, but I said, “No. There is only ten minutes left.” I meant “Let me kick your butt before I go to sleep.”
I was far ahead. Dave started to complete some cloisters and close the gap between us, but I wasn’t worried. I had more points on the board for the end game and my whole card was I had the big field. I played a couple move allowing him to gain some more points that completed additional buildings in my field. When the game ended Dave was about 10 points ahead.
The game calculated out points. By the time points for incomplete roads, cloisters and citites were counted I had regained the lead. The final kick would be the 20 points or so from my big field.
But I missed something. Sometime during the game, Dave had joined his small field where he had two meeples to my big field where I had but one. I have no idea when it happened. Was it over confidence? Was it playing in the dark without my glasses, holding the phone up close to my face? Maybe I just lack a killer instinct.
That field was worth 30 points!
Sigh. So I lost two very satisfying games last night. I hope my competitors had as much fun as I did.