For anyone who read the spoilers section of my last post on the subject, I was pretty sure that I was going to win the next two (maybe three) games of Seafall. I didn’t have a set plan, mind you, but I did have a couple of advantages that my opponents did not, so how could I possibly lose?
Well, I will say that it’s possible.
I wound up losing the first game of the day because of a strategy I basically implanted into Sam’s brain. He was feeling a little morose last week when he had two bad beatings that gave him some pretty major setbacks. He was trying to come up with a plan on what to do, and I advised that he just sail out and start exploring islands. Well, he expanded upon that plan with a pretty precise schedule of what he was going to do when, and that really worked out for him. He wound up mopping up with the strategy and earning a first place victory (one more turn, and he still would’ve won, but I’d have earned four more victory points to close the gap).
In that first game, he had tried to convince Albert to start attacking me, saying that would be in his best interest. I fundamentally disagreed though. I figure that attacking me for the sake of attacking me gets him nowhere. He expends effort and resources to hurt me, and gets little benefit. The result is instead that he helps everyone but the two of us and keeps himself down.
And you don’t want to be the prince. The prince has the honor of being in first place through the campaign, but gets no other benefits otherwise. In fact, there are a number of disadvantages to being the prince (I guess this is a spoiler, but I won’t go into details. Suffice it to say, the game has some built-in ‘catch up’ mechanics). So, what you ideally want to do when you’re in second place is to win the game (thereby getting the bonus for doing so), but also to keep the prince relatively close. That way you get the advantage for winning, but don’t have any disadvantages of being in first place.
Sam saw it differently. So, when he got into second place, he decided to enact his plan. Only it really didn’t work out well for him. Sure, he managed to hurt me (destroyed a building off one of my colonies), but that basically only took a single victory point from me. It also made sure he couldn’t attack anyone for the rest of the game though. In short, it didn’t help out much.
Now, practically speaking, that one victory point did cost me the game, but that was only because of a fluke move by Albert. I was set to win the game by either 2 or 6 points (Depending upon which way I wanted to go), but Albert went out and explored a new territory and accidentally scored an objective in the process, skyrocketing himself to a victory. So, even after scoring six points on the final turn, I would’ve merely tied him (and lost the tie, due to being the prince). That was pure luck on Albert’s part though, both to explore a 10, and for that 10 to be the exact one he needed.
But now I have an issue in the game going forward. Sam is not one for logic or reason, and he never seems to change his mind–so I now seem to have an enemy that will be incessently nipping at my heels throughout the game. Even if it causes him to lose, he isn’t likely to back down, because that’s not how he plays things. My hope is that this doesn’t cause any sort of animosity in our friendship and that we can leave that on the table.
So I think I now have a new plan in the game. This is no longer a campaign about winning or exploring the game, but rather one about experimenting with how one deals with Sam. I have had very little luck rationalizing with him in the past, or getting him to change his ways. So, I’m now about to undertake a social experiment with him to see if I can find another way of working things out with him. I’ll let you know more about that as the campaign continues.
At this point, we’re six games in and we’ve opened four of the six chests (we’re seemingly poised to open the seventh one any time now). I’m a little worried that the campaign is going too fast. I’m having a hard time believing that we’ll somehow have seven or eight games in a row without opening that final chest, but I guess time will tell.
Well, on to the “spoilers…”
Stop here if you don’t want to read them.