Last Thursday I got my second game of Hammer of the Scots with Chris. This time we knew the rules and it played very differently. I was the Scots again and went for the same strategy as last time, securing the Highlands and trying to work down from there. I had bad luck when a herald failed to get the Comyn to join me and I had to do it the hard way. I also failed to take Buchan when I had 6 counters ready to attack on the last turn of the year and Chris played a Truce card. After that I was driven backwards into the highlands and when Wallace was forced to go into the discard pile I was entirely eliminated on the next turn.

I suspect I was wrong to be in such awe of the English early on, and should have tried more aggressively to hold the centre of Scotland, where I’d be able to recruit and repair more armies. The hidden movement makes the English faction look very strong, but most of it is scattered nobles who aren’t that powerful on attack and need to guard their home area.

By contrast my strategy surrendered the richer centre of Scotland leaving me to fight for the highlands which just aren’t as valuable. Also if I went for the centre of Scotland I might just be able to keep Bruce alive for more than one year as well!

All in all, a fun game. Now I just have to find an opponent interested in playing it!

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A variety of games

29 June, 2011

In the last few weeks with my brother visiting from London and Steve over from Melbourne, I’ve been able to do quite a bit of gaming. With Chris, I’ve played Twilight Struggle, a two-player game of the Cold War. We made a lot of mistakes as we played, which comes from Chris’s having played with a more experienced player in the past and my not having read the rules. However, we figured out where we went wrong and will know better next time! It plays very well, with a clean card-driven system.

We’ve also had a game of Hammer of the Scots, but made even more mistakes and hope to get a game of it tomorrow with a better grasp of the rules. It’s a campaign for control of Scotland during the reign of Edward I of England. It’s likely to be a good deal bloodier next time around!

With Steve we played a couple of three-player games; Seven Wonders is a really nifty civilization-building game that plays very quickly, but is a good deal of fun. Elasund involves developing one’s power in a city set in the world of Catan. It has a Viking feel to the artwork and provides good scope for sabotaging one’s opponents.

With Steve, besides the DBA day at the AWC, I got in a game of SBH (Song of Blades and Heroes) and another game of DBA. I’ll post battle reports soon.

Finally, with the kids and Chris I’ve had a game of Ticket to Ride, railway building in Europe, and Bohnanza, a beanfarming trading game. These are fun games with more strategy than a lot the family board games I grew up with.