Antiquity and Innovation

Last Sunday we played a game of Antiquity. Typical results — a San Christofori win. Hannu played a good game and won the game just turns before pollution would’ve made his society collapse, or so. I played a weak game and was pretty far from winning, but at least I didn’t run out of wood…

Antiquity coverAntiquity is a curious game. San Christofori seems a bit over-powered. I think the game has some issues, which might come to surface a bit more if I played the game more frequently. Now I play the game barely once a year or so, it doesn’t matter as much. Also, at some level it just is that cool.

After a surprisingly quick finish, less than two hours, we played a game of Innovation. This one was the most exciting game ever, particularly the end. I managed to grab the last two achievements, while Sami had the most points. The achievements were 4-3-2 and you need five to win. If the game ended with the drawing of an 11, Sami would win by far.

I had to get a special achievement, then. Empire (three of each icon visible) turned out to be the easiest, as I almost had it. I was just missing some castles, which made it a bit tricky. Well, I just needed some splaying. In the end I almost got it on my turn. Then, on the next turn, Sami used Globalization. The card has two dogma effects, second of which would’ve won the game for Sami. Fortunately, the first one allowed me to return or score a top card from my board, revealing some much-needed castles and allowing me to claim the special achievement at that instant, winning the game. Talk about cutting it close!

Today I had a quick visit to the games, had to go buy a new suit (an amazing shopping experience, by the way — Hannu recommended a store and a suit to me, and what, 20 minutes later, I’m an owner of a brand new and rather gorgeous suit) and check out new glasses, so I only had time for a quick game. Innovation, that is!

Fortunately me and Hannu were joined by Ville, who had played Innovation before, so we could give the Echoes of the Past expansion a go. The expansion is coming out later this year, but if you pre-order, you get a PDFs of the cards for print’n’play testing. Rather clever idea, if you ask me.

Since I’m not allowed to talk about the new cards in detail, let me just say that if what you like about Innovation is the way the cards interact and create interesting situations and possibilities, you’ll love the expansion.

The new features are cool — for example the echoes, which are card abilities shown on icon spots. When you activate a dogma effect, you’ll first resolve all visible echo effects in the stack. Very nice! If you don’t mind some crafting, pre-ordering the expansion is an excellent idea.

Here’s a shot from our Antiquity game. It’s a real game situation, not a careful setup, so the photo isn’t perfect (the far edge of the fish token is annoyingly soft, the border of the sharp area goes through the fish token when it should go behind it; slightly smaller aperture or focusing slightly further back would’ve fixed it). I still like it, and it’s probably my candidate for the April Monthly Photo Contest unless I snap something even better — the composition just works. I also like the sharp details in the photo, particularly the texture in the lake.

Just a little fisherman

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