I met the two Ollis and Antti from Board Game Society forums (he was picking up the Power Grid he bought from me) for games last Thursday. Little I knew that our peaceful off-season university cafe would be overrun by the attendents of a psychology conference… Well, we had a table for ourselves nonetheless, so no problems there.
We started off with Elasund. The game is different with four. With two, it’s pleasant 30 minutes, with four it was dragging 90 minutes… First it appeared that Antti would win, as he placed the first big building, scoring loads of points thanks to trade squares. He got to seven points. I decided I’d have to tackle him down and well, that’s what I did. It took a lot of time and many cards, but finally I had the goods: bunch of building permits (and since we were playing on rows 10-12, it was hard work to get them in place), loads of money and influence to overrun his big building.
That hit him pretty bad, as he lost a total of four points. He never quite recovered. Meanwhile, I only got to five points with that move, so when looking at the game state, it was a backwards move. The rest of it was slow and steady build-up — in the end it was between me and the two Ollis and in the end I won. I don’t know — the end game didn’t feel quite satisfying. There was tension until I crushed Antti’s big building with mine, then the game felt fairly flat.
I’m not sure anybody really enjoyed the game. Antti was quite disgusted with it, after this and his earlier experience from Ropecon and I think Olli M. (and I) preferred the game with two. It’s just so… well, there’s too much conflict for me, I suppose. I just don’t like that sort of struggling and fighting, at least not in this form.
We also played a game of Farlander. That was some proper chaos with four! The game felt completely random. My rating for the game plunged, as that was totally not fun. With two players the game works and I could still see myself playing the game that way, but not with more.
In the end Olli M. won, probably thanks to his earlier experience (I think this game is pretty hard for newbies, but once you’ve played it before even once, you’ll see how it works). My troops were neatly cleaned out, so I was out of the competition. I think it’s fairly easy to gang up on someone in this game, not that anything remotely like that happened in our game.
Ugh, play this one with two or don’t play at all, that’s my tip.