Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Run roughshod in Robber Knights

Kathy's winning wine
over my losing beer
Thursday's cocktail hour saw my wife and I break out last month's impulse buy from FunAgain GamesRobber Knights (designer RĂ¼diger Dorn [website in German], artist Michael Menzel [website in German], publisher Queen Games).  We like this game as a quick encounter with not a lot of set-up time but plenty of thought and tactical play.  The game requires a certain balance of resources vs. scoring opportunities.  It often poses the conundrum between seizing more points that are vulnerable to stealing and taking fewer points that are protected.  

This round, I think I lost sight of the resource-conservation aspect of the game, as I grabbed every big-point play I could make.  Early on, my blue knights thoroughly dominated the board, and though I knew some of the points were destined to be stolen, I thought that I'd sufficiently saturated the board that I could protect a substantial number of acquisitions and maintain a lead until the end of the game.  

But by the middle game, Kathy had taken over a significant portion of my holdings.  Although we were at one point fairly even in number of remaining tiles and knights, she had taken a lead and locked in quite a few positions that left me little opportunity for cherry-picking any points away.  Again I burned up tiles and knights in the late game, so that by the end, I had only two knights and two tiles (a city and a forest castle - which meant that I'd be unable to score the city).  Kathy meanwhile place a city tile with three sides open so that she'd be confident that she could reclaim it if I tried to steal it from her.
Close observation reveals the number of my blue knights covered by my wife's green for the score

The bottom line was a strong win for my wife, 34-22, thanks to taking full advantage of my impulsiveness and her making judicious use of resources to dominate the board.  

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