This evening I am surprised to report that I actually won a board game, a deck-building game, at Richard’s in Portland. I am often invited to join in an evening game, but my goal is to understand and play. In essence, avoiding mistakes and trying to enjoy the ride. I am often coming in the last place as I am not a very good Euro or Engine builder like my friends in Portland. So again, it is hard some nights to not win and worse to be in the last place. But I can still say the experience is worth it.
Tonight Dominion: Intrigue hit the table and I had played it once before, but I mix it up with other games with cards and deck building. So it took me a few hands before I got the mechanics down. You can do one action, usually playing a card, and buy one card for each hand of five cards. You then can get cards that, when played, will give you more actions or let you bring more cards into your hand to use on this turn. You need to balance buying cards to help you play more cards and have more money while adding to your stack cards that do nothing but give you end-game points. Mostly, that is the only way to win.
I managed to get the mechanics down and I added enough action cards to give me more actions (thus more cards to play to do more things) and more money. About 3/4 through the game, I started buying victory points cards. Finally, I had enough money most turns to buy the more expensive cards. I bought the last set of large count victory point cards and ended the game. I won by only one point!
Before we played Dominion: Intrigue, we played my first game of KanBan EV. I had been watching videos on how to play this mind-bending complex game over the last two days. In this game, you are a new employee or intern at an electric vehicle plant (EV), you need to get designs to build new enhancements for various car models. The designs allow you to add a car to your garage to test your enhancements or implement a type of enhancement. But to test the enhancement, you will need the parts which are in the warehouse. So you will have to go there to get them. And to get the car to test your enhancement, you need to get a car from research and/or create the enhancement (now that you have the parts) there. You are successful once your enhancement is attached to a car that matches the enhancements (there are many different kinds of cars) and thus now tested and worth many victory points. But to get the car, someone has to manufacture one. So someone (you or another player) will have to get some cars made in the plant. Parts are also needed to do that! Making cars gives you victory points too.
KanBan EV is a worker placement and resource management game. But, it has a twist. Sandra is also in the plant represented by an extra-large meeple with a clipboard. She will evaluate the employees (you and your fellow players) on how well you are trained in each area of the plant. If you are the least formally trained player and have not worked hard in the plant to succeed in this specific area, you will disappoint Sandra and lose victory points.
This is not the normal Euro game process and makes the game much more interesting. You need to do all you can to complete tasks by ordering resources and efficiently generating victory points, but also you need to avoid falling afoul of Sandra’s disapproving eye!
I was in the last place when the game ended. Sandra docked me a pile of points almost every round at first. So my score was zero for a while. It appears that the training and the vast benefits it grants were something I missed out on.
In my defense, I thought the videos showed that education options were more optional. Instead, you need to follow the flow of the factory AND do the education steps to be certified.
Also, there are staff meetings, no really, and there you present your work so far by putting speaking bubbles (really!) on goals representing you presenting your success to Sandra. More victory points. These I managed to score in the first meeting. I had not collected enough speaking bubbles (really!) to present at the end-of-game.
I will have to play it more and focus more on education and not have Sandra docking me repeatedly. I also need to better understand the relationships of the design-car-enhancement flow in the game.
Sandra’s wraith is reduced by having extra shifts available to you or having built enough in the area that Sandra assumes you are trained. I managed to fail at both. Next time Sandra you will be proud of me!
On my way home, I drove through Portland. I saw a block party at Safeways (?!) and a line (not socially distanced) to get into a bar. Strange to see everyone without masks and not being careful.
Before I left for Portland, I took Susie to Black Widow; this movie is the newest Marvel film. I will say it was entertaining but not great. Susie complained she could not understand anything in the movie. We still liked it. I wait for others to see it–No Spoilers here.
I was up early as I had status meetings in the morning for data conversions, and I followed along for a few hours to ensure that I was not needed.
It is already beyond midnight; I will stop there.