I’m a little late to the game on this post, as we’ve actually had two sessions of Seafall since my last blog post. In the first, I was awakened to a couple of surprises. The first was, as we had learned from our previous game, that not all of the contents we had been keeping obfuscated were intended to be treated that way. I can’t talk about it too much for fear of spoilers, but suffice it to say that Sean had discovered that things were supposed to be in the open, and I had been sandbagging. That lead to Sam playing the role of spoiler and attacking me to gain that particular item.
That wasn’t a surprise though. Back games 5 & 6, Sam painted a target on my back and it was evident that he was going to start attacking me. The thing is, he hit a lull for games 7-9, before coming back with a vengeance. Realistically, the game’s enmity mechanic really limits the amount of attacking that one player can do throughout the course of a game though.
What I didn’t expect though was that he conspired with Sean to both plot against me. Sean isn’t the force for attacking that Sam is (though I suppose with the proper advisors and upgrades, he could be). Instead, he waged financial war against me–buying the various upgrades that he figured I wanted (ie. the ones I had been purchasing in previous games).
Their strategy worked to some degree. By the fifth turn, I was in the back of the pack as far as points go. The thing is, when playing in first place, you can’t depend upon the same strategy game after game. I’ve learned to be flexible, so when they had taken my preferred buildings, I opted to go another route: exploring.
That left me to a relatively slow start, but things picked up quickly. By the second winter, I had jumped up to the rest of the pack, and after that, I had taken the lead. In fact, I was within range to win the game completely by the first turn after winter, but Sam was going after me and was in a position that he could assault my port if things went awry. Rather than pushing it, I played it safe and had to wait two more turns for him to get out of position. Unfortunately, that meant that Derek had a chance to catch up.
Actually, he didn’t do much catching up in those two turns. I fiddled around, getting myself lined up, and Derek inched closer. When Sam moved away from my port, I snatched the points to win–but didn’t see Derek having an absolutely astounding turn. He wound up discovering an island, earning a milestone, and buying a large treasure with money he had earned earlier in the day. That scored him a whopping 14 points and pushed him over the top. Heck, he had to roll over on the point track to actually accrue all of those in a single game.
After that, Sean and Sam both went and they each looked for ways to attack me and take me down in points (they weren’t concerned about how to score points themselves, but rather how to make me lose by more). Both were out of position though, so there wasn’t anything they could do.
We only played one game that day because of a Star Wars tournament that some guys had to go to so we wrapped things up quickly. There was a fairly large factor we overlooked at this point though. More on that in the spoiler section below.
STOP HERE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ SPOILERS:
The issue lied with “the Patriot.” Sam had used him twice during the game to attack me for a single enmity. The rules for that particular advisor state that if you raid a more prominent country that you’re already at war with, it uses only a single enmity for that raid. The only thing is, he wasn’t at war with me the second time.
The first time, he was at war with me because he started with one of my enmity. I never bothered to attack him though, so the second time, he would’ve had to have given me the full five enmity to raid my treasure room.
I didn’t realize this until I had time to go over the game in my head. That week, I had actually gotten into a car accident, so my head wasn’t really in the game throughout much of the week. The day of the game, I laid in the bath-tub going over what I planned to do: worrying about what I’d do if I faced the patriot again. Then it hit me, that he really couldn’t attack me twice in a single game. But somehow he did.
I brought the suggestion up to Sean (the first to arrive) and he didn’t want to honor the additional enmity because the game had passed and I didn’t notice it at the time. The thought was that we had made other mistakes in the campaign, so why go back to right this particular wrong-doing? Frankly, I didn’t care for that response, but it wasn’t completely invalid, so we agreed to put it to a vote when the guys showed up.
When Sam showed though, he immediately recognized the issue and started sticking his enmity on my board. I felt secure for future games that he wouldn’t be attacking me for a while based upon this, so then the next game is limited to just economic warfare, right?
Two other unlocks came into play in this game: Patmos and Arados were both discovered–one immediately after each other. Frankly, I wasn’t keen on this, because it really took the intrigue out of them. Patmos’s effect was unique, but was immediately overshadowed by the discovery of Arados one turn later. We didn’t really get to play with either though, as the games ended immediately.
Sean did spend his entire stack of money looking for a suitable raider to purchase so he could attack me, but that never happened (I originally thought that was due to some luck on my part, but there’s also a finite amount of raiders in the game–and Sam & Albert had already purchased most of them).
Well, that’s all I have to say about game game 10. On to game 11!