Sunday, June 15, 2014

RioCon, Day 2

Here is a recap and the results of day two's action at RioCon:

Day two kicked off with a round of Tsuro: The Game of the Path, with Jessie playing yellow, Yume white, Trevor blue, and me as brown.
Tsuro is a tile-based pattern recognition game with a simple but elegant style. The objective is to remain moving about the board without "falling" or being driven off the edge or running into other pieces. I love its Asian art design and the strategies needed to win remind me of a more organic version of chess.
Early on, I was trying to dictate Jess's moves in hopes that I could run her off the board; Trevor played a conservative game of staying close to the edge; and Yume was content to work herself into a corner.
Ultimately, Jess evaded me and I was lucky enough to find a route across the board and make use of 180ยบ whirls in the paths (i.e. built in roadblocks) to prevent pursuit. Trev reversed his course to eat up more real estate, but was suddenly confronted with both Yume and Jess who had followed him.
Here's how it stood after seven rounds of play: Jess (yellow) had cut back north, Yume (white) had placed herself in Trevor's (blue) hands (center-right), and I was safely secluded away in the western half, biding time.
A round later, Trevor had sent Yume on a spiraling course back to the corner she had tried to escape from.
Later that turn, Yume was the first to be eliminated…
…followed by Jessie, and then Trevor, who you see here at the moment of his going off the board. Brilliant fun!
The gaming gods were with me that day, for later Dad (red), Jessie (blue), Trevor (green), and I (black) gathered round for some Lords of Waterdeep, and we finished from last to first in the same order. Dad played as "Mirt the Moneylender," a familiar name for any Forgotten Realms fan, finishing with 122 points; Jess as "Danilo Thann," another well-known name, had 128; Trevor as the halfling turned doppelganger "Nindil Jalbuck," had 138; and I played as "Larissa Neathal," the affable socialite who garners her victory points according to the number of buildings under her control by the end of the game, taking high score with 141. Playing a Lord (and there are seventeen, including those from the expansion, each with their own set of win conditions) is a different experience every time, and even if you play as the same Lord, the gameplay is so varied and volatile that you never play the exact same game twice.