We played our third Lost Valley match today. Johanna did the impossible: she won with river gold only! It’s the only thing she could’ve done, too, because she didn’t get a single mountain on her side of the river.
It was pretty neat, but also quite close. She had just 15 pieces of gold on her nuggets, while my three mountain gold nuggets had 11 pieces — next one I would’ve drawn would’ve been a four, making it an even game.
Johanna’s success kind of proves the point of how pure river gold sucks. Here we have a fairly optimal situation: she had bunch of river gold tiles near each other, the sieve and good food reserves. She was very fast and while I had some issues with food, I wasn’t too slow either. Sure, she won, but she played extremely well and it was still very close.
However, I think river gold just might work as a speed boost, but it needs some mountain gold to back it up. And of course, there’s one caveat: these are two-player game results, with no competition for resources. Competition should slow mountaineers more than river gold collectors.
We were thinking about an expansion, too. It would be neat, especially if it had some new way of getting gold, to widen the options a bit. Now we’re a bit afraid the game might get old sooner or later. Some incentives to explore the wilderness would be nice — I came up with an idea of slightly better tiles you could only place at certain distance from the river. That would encourage exploring the wilderness a bit. I wouldn’t mind having more tiles in general.
Anyway, playing Lost Valley sure is fun, even if the Goslars don’t approve the two-player version. There’s just a small shadow of doubt hanging over the game…