Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Mike Garrett has asked for another game, this time around, I thought I'd blog the whole stupid match and include some running commentary. Think of this as an ultimate session report. I realized that I didn't "publish" the running score at all, oh well.
This is my standard choice for a two player start and the exact same start set I've used in the last three games with Mike. Each of the 3's, 2-wild, 2-ship.
I started and used a fairly standard opening move - placed a 3 for maximum effect, and placed my 2-ship on one of the cities with two totems to win. Either city is about the same, I picked this one for no reason in particular. The three city is pretty key in a 2-player game - you do not want all three pieces going to the other guy. In all three losses, Mike let me have all three. This time, he is apparently not going to let that happen.
Mike has apparently learned his lesson and (much to my surprise) unloads his 3-wild and his Ronin. The Ronin is always good for a steal, so I'm surprised he used it now on this. Unfortunately, he has put me in a bad spot and is poised to take all three totems from this city.
To keep Mike from all three, I nail down the hat - I also give him a shot at the other hat. He passes up that and lays down his 2-ship and a 2-wild. I have to hope now that his tiles keep him from being opportunistic the rest of the game. My preference is not to lock onto one type this early, but its looking annoyingly like I may be for a bit. Getting my two swap tiles in my hand is nice and a drawback - I don't want them yet, and they are limiting my other choices.
Mike finally does something boring - he places a 3-Buddha tile for maximum effect. What to do?
I gambled. I swapped out the tiles and used a crappy 1-wild to take a Buddha. I hope he doesn't have a 3-rice AND I hope I get a decent draw. I did get a decent draw - my 3-wild came up. Now the worst that can happen on the swapped rice is he gets his 3-rice in which case I can tie him. He could get a ship too, but that's a lot to waste on a single rice.
Mike laid out his 4-hat. I have lost my train of thought now. I have no clue what to do - I stall and throw out my 1-wild. I'll probably lose a rice.
Yep, gave Mike a rice. I got my Ronin though, so maybe I can use that to my advantage. I still have lost my way for the moment. I'm playing defensive rather than attacking.
Mike took the easy piece (a hat) with his 1-wild, leaving me to take the three pieces I've setup with my last move. No surprises here.
Yuck. I'm in a crappy position. Mike has at least 2 Buddhas and one rice pretty well wrapped up. I think the BEST I can achieve at this point is a tie - and only if I play VERY carefully. I need to get Mike to help me clear the hats without him stopping to take the Buddha and rice in the middle of the board. If he takes those, I'm pretty sure nothing I do will win the game. I'd be very pleased with a draw now.
He didn't quite take the bait. Instead, he's trying to nail down some rice. Looking at the tiles he has, I think I should be able to get two of those three top totems. If he has the swap and uses it for his 3-wild, I'm hosed. As long as he just takes one thing up there, I should be able to tie this up.
He had the swap and went for the 4-hat??!? I won rice and he tied the hat. Now it'll be easy to split the other two - he gets a hat, I get a Buddha. He should have gone for the 3-wild. That would have given him the lead in rice and a chance at the hat. I just realized a flaw in my plan. If he swaps that hat with a rice, he will extend the game long enough to win (probably). PLEASE DON'T HAVE THE SWAP!
Hrrm. He had the swap. Unfortunately for him, I think he swapped the wrong piece. I think he really had to swap out for one of the rice on the end of the island. Instead, he swapped the hat towards his zone of control - putting the Buddha in my reach. He needs two turns to capture those two pieces. He doesn't have two turns, nor does he have the ability to keep me from that Buddha. I'm leading with one majority now (hats). When I win the Buddha on my next turn, I'll have two majorities...

1 comment:

sourwyrm said...

well, at least i'm getting better -- i can't remember why i picked the wrong piece, but it was deliberate (not a misclick)

re-re-re-rematch? (that's getting ridiculous)