Loot, THEN pillage.

Picking up where I left off… Here are the next eleven turns of the game (turns 11-21), explained in (mostly) gory detail.  If that seems like a lot of turns to cover here, there are a few in the middle that I can cover in a short amount. You’ll see.

Overall Strategy: To win, I am going to need 2 Great Treasures, 10 Fame and 95 recorded Gold (30 x 2 VP I put in Gold plus 35 Gold for my starting Gold and starting belongings). That means Treasure Hunting and Trading with Natives to win. No Combat in the First Encounter.

My initial plan is was to spend one week (7 turns) trying to discover as much of where things are (with emphasis on tiles with treasure sites). The next two weeks, I will try to meet my VP goals based on the places I found. The final week will be heading to a Dwelling where I can cash in. I might not need a whole week, but I have played before where I started heading to sell things just a day or two too late. That’s the general plan.

Here’s where we left things on Day Ten:

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DAY ELEVEN:
Birdsong: (A)M CN4, (SL)S, S, S

I COULD stay in this Clearing and do a Hide followed by (hopefully) two Search phases (one from the Shielded Lantern) to try to find the Cairns. But if I fail the Hide, I won’t even get to do the Searches. Plus the Tremendous Spider will still be there and I’ll just have to Hide again next turn. Instead, I Move with my Amazon Move Phase to Cavern 4 and do three Searches. If I find that Secret Passage from Clearing 4, great, I will have more movement options in this tile. But really, I am just trying to lure the Spider away from the Cairns.

Sunrise: I roll a 3 and a 4 for prowling monsters. Giants, Trolls and Wolves and Goblins. That is not going to lure the Spider to me. Instead, it just brings a Tremendous Troll from Row 4 to my Clearing.

Daylight: I do three Searches and don’t find the Secret Passage. I needed a roll where the high die was a 3 or less, but I roll 2-6, 4-5 and 3-4. Darn! That 3-4 roll on Turn 10 would have let me find the Cairns site!

This is how things look at the end of Day Eleven:

I think I am going to try one more turn here in the Cavern. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to make a break for the Ledges and High Pass tiles. On the way, I’ll see what Dwelling is in Dark Valley (though I won’t be able to visit that Dwelling on the way).

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DAY TWELVE:
Birdsong: (SL)M CN6, M CN3, M CN2

With my Amazon Move phase, I could get out of the Cavern entirely, but I hang around one move short to see one last time if I can get that Spider out of the Cairns. If he comes over to me, I’ll go back to the Cairns, otherwise I’ll start a sprint for the Ledges. The Cairns is just too good not to give it one more try before I leave.

Sunrise: I roll a 2 and a 3 for prowling monsters. Nothing is going to follow me, nothing new is going to show up.

Daylight: I move through to Cavern 2 and now it’s definitely time to go.

This is how things look at the end of Day Twelve:

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DAY THIRTEEN:
Birdsong: (SL)M AV2, (A)M AV5, M MW2, M DV1

Even though my first move is to a non-Cave Valley clearing, since I am STARTING this phase in a Cave Clearing, I can still use the Shielded Lantern for that Move. I also get my Amazon Move, plus my two Basic Move phases. (Since I DID start in a Cave Clearing, I won’t get any “sunlight” phases.)

Sunrise: I roll a 1 and a 5 for prowling monsters. That is only relevant for any prowling Native groups, since I will be ending my turn in a Valley tile.

Daylight: I leave the Cavern into Awful Valley, pass through the Maple Woods (I don’t get to look at the chit there, but it’s nothing that would interest me at this point anyway), and end up in Dark Valley. The Smoke V chit there brings the House and the Soldiers to Clearing 5. I am on the other path that runs through this tile though, so if I wanted to visit them, it would be a long trip. The Company and Bashkars COULD show up there but don’t because they are not prowling this turn. Since the Company and Bashkars are both unfriendly to the Amazon, and the Soldiers are Neutral, I won’t be making that trip.

This is how things look at the end of Day Thirteen:

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DAY FOURTEEN:
Birdsong: (A)M DV4, M BL1, M L3, S, S

I can make it through Dark Valley, one non-Cave Clearing in the Borderland, and then into the Ledges and even have time to do two Searches to try to find the Hidden Path there. If I want to go to the High Pass, that shortcut could be helpful.

Sunrise: Since this is the 14th day of the month, after I roll the Monster Roll, any prowling monsters that meet that roll will return to the Setup Chart. Last time, nothing went back on the chart. This time I roll a 4-4, so only one row returns, but it IS all the Giants and Trolls, so the Troll at the Vault is now gone, but it’s so far away now!

Daylight: I get to the Ledges OK. Both my Searches on the Peer table to find the Hidden Path fail (4-5, 1-5). I do find Clues but since I am ending my turn on this tile, I am going to turn up all those chits in this tile anyway, so the Clues result means nothing.

I turn up Stink M and the HOARD in Clearing 6! Oooh, that’s a good one. It IS guarded by a Tremendous Dragon (who does not show up this turn because Dragons are not prowling), but it also has 4 Small Treasures and 5 Large Treasures and there are NO special conditions to Loot this site if I can find it. No Lost Keys needed, no chits to fatigue. Just LOOT!

The Dragons are not prowling but the Giants are, and the one of the two Giants I had just returned to the Set-up Chart shows up in my Clearing.

This is how things look at the end of Day Fourteen:

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DAY FIFTEEN:
Birdsong: (A)M L6, S, S, S, S

Super simple turn here. Move to the Hoard using my Amazon Move phase and Search for 4 phases. I have to discover the Hoard before I can start looting its Treasures.

Sunrise: I roll a 5 and a 6 for prowling Monsters. The Giant is not prowling and won’t follow me, but the Heavy Spider WILL show up this turn in my Clearing after all my Searches.

Daylight: I move to Ledges 6. There is a Hidden Path from this Clearing to Clearing 4 but I’m looking for the Hoard, which I can only find using the Locate table and Hidden Paths can only be found on the Peer table. But who needs that Hidden Path with the Hoard right here? I’m not even thinking about going to High Pass now.

Now, I am looking for a “Discover (Chits)” result. That means I need to roll two dice and have a 4 as the highest die. That is 8 chances out of 36 chances or about a 22% chance on each roll. How do I do on my four chances on this turn? All duds! (2-3, 1-3, 1-3, 3-3) As a math nerd, this set of rolls kills me because the chances of getting a 3 as the high die (which I got on all four rolls here!) is only 5/36 (~14%)!

The Spider shows up to mock my failure.

This is how things look at the end of Day Fifteen:

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DAYS SIXTEEN through DAY TWENTY-ONE:
Birdsong(s): H, S, S, S

I do the same thing for the next six days. Hide on the first phase, and if successful, do three Search phases. If not successful, wait until the next day.

Sunrise(s): Here’s one thing to note about the First Encounter in the 2nd Edition Rules. If you are Hidden at the end of your turn, Monsters already on your tile will move to your Clearing (the Giant shows up the first chance he gets on Day Sixteen), BUT no new Monsters will be summoned to your tile. The Dragon never shows up at his hoard because I either succeeded in my Hide roll, or the one turn I didn’t (Day 18), Dragons (or any other monsters that could have appeared) weren’t prowling that day.

Note that I could have also used my extra Amazon move phase to do six turns of (A)M L1, M L6, S, S, S. Then I would not have had to worry about failing a Hide roll. I would have been unhidden at the end of my turn and then this tile could have filled up with Monsters, but this trick (move away, move back, search, search, search) would have always worked in the First Encounter. But I didn’t think that out until just now when I was writing up this post! LOL So that’s why I didn’t do that!

So, in the end, five turns looked like this:

and one turn looked like this:

Daylight(s): As good as I appear to be at Hiding (I hide successfully on five turns, fail only once on Day Eighteen), I am also as equally sucky at finding a huge Hoard of treasure!

Day 16 Searches: 1-2, 2-3, 2-6 NOTHING! (Monster roll was a 1-4!)
Day 17 Searches: 1-6, 4-5 (at least I rolled a 4!!), 3-6 NOTHING! (Hide roll was a 3-4!)
Day 18 Searches: NONE! Got busted failing my Hide phase.
Day 19 Searches: After I roll a 4-4 on the Monster roll and cry, I wipe the tears from my eyes, do a successful Hide and FINALLY find the Hoard with ANOTHER 4-4 roll. YAY! I mark off the discovery of the Hoard on my Personal History Pad and start rolling on the Loot table! First day I find the Flowers of Rest (pretty useless in First Encounter from any standpoint) and Eye of the Idol!
Day 20 Searches: I hide successfully and Loot the Power Boots, the Oil of Poison and a Great Treasure, the Hidden Ring.
Day 21 Searches: I hide successfully again and loot two more Treasures…The Royal Scepter, my second Great Treasure (fulfilling THAT victory condition so far) and the Golden Armband.

It’s time to stop searching here. There are only two Treasures left and there is only a 1 in 12 chance of finding one of them. Let’s examine all my haul and see what is there and what it means for my game.

This is all my belongings (some of my starting equipment, the Shielded Lantern I bought and the 7 Treasures I looked from the Hoard at the end of Day TwentyOne:

I also have six Gold in cash.

Oh, and one more thing to note… The Monster Roll on Day 21 was 3-6 just like it was at the end of the first week and the same thing happens. Nothing goes back to the Setup Chart.

There are lot of treasures there and a lot to think about for what I want to do for the next 7 days and how close I can get to victory.

You should already know what the Shielded Lantern does, plus it is of Light Weight and is worth 8 Gold if I sell it. Here are the ones I picked up from the Hoard:

Eye of the Idol: For the First Encounter, I can ignore the Spell and the roman Numeral and just deal with the fact it has Medium Weight (so the Amazon can carry it). It’s worth 34 Gold if I sell it, but until then, as long as I hold it, I have 10 Notoriety and -5 Fame. Neither of those last two things help me at all, so this is a sure sale, first chance I get.

Flowers of Rest This Treasure is always supplying Gold Magic to its clearing but that’s irrelevant in the First Encounter. I don’t have any fatigued asterisks, so it has no effect on me.

Power Boots I immediately activate these to give me the effect of an extra Heavy Move chit that I can use to carry anything I find of Heavy Weight, which I couldn’t do before. Worth 8 Gold when I sell it, 3 Notoriety until then.

Oil of Poison Something that would be super useful to the Amazon in the Second Encounter, in the First Encounter, it’s just something I want to sell for 3 Gold.

Hidden Ring As with the Eye of the Idol, in the First Encounter, I can ignore the Spell and the Roman Numeral. The red dot indicates this is a Great Treasure, one of the two I need for the Great Treasure Victory goal. It also gives me 10 Notoriety while I’m holding it. The big problem is I didn’t put any VP in Notoriety, but I DID put one in Fame and this gives me -10 Fame while I have it! That more than cancels out the value it gives me for being a Great Treasure. It’s better I sell it for 20 Gold and get my 10 Fame back.

Golden Armband The Armor part doesn’t help in the First Encounter, but it IS worth 15 Gold if I sell it and if I sell it to the Lancers, I get 3 Fame to boot.

Royal Sceptre An Extra Hire phase won’t help until the Third Encounter. It IS a Great Treasure that is saddling me with -15 Notoriety (that doesn’t hurt me in any way), but if I can find the Guard and sell it to them, I will get 8 Gold AND 20 Fame, DOUBLE my VP Goal in Fame.

There are several different ways I can sell these things to fit VP conditions. None of them right now are winning combinations. I have a week to find something AND get to a Dwelling to sell everything I want to sell.

1) Sell everything but the two Great Treasures. That would meet my Great Treasure goal exactly, and leave me one short in Gold category and two short in Fame category. FINAL SCORE: -21 (I’ll explain where this Final Score comes from at the end of the game.)

2) Find The Guard and sell everything but the Hidden Ring. That gives me my Fate condition exactly, but leaves me one short in Great Treasures, and one short in Gold (BY TWO GOLD pieces, 93 Gold, need 95!). FINAL SCORE: -18 (If I can scrape up 2 Gold somewhere AND find the Guard, the FINAL SCORE would be -9.)

3) Find the Guard and sell everything. One over on my Fate goal, even on my Gold goal and 2 under my Great Treasure goal. FINAL SCORE: -16

The two best plans (given the Treasure, belongings and Gold I have so far) involve me finding where the Guard are located in time to be able to try to find a couple more Treasures. There are only two Valley tiles left, they have to be in one of them. Off to find the Guard I go.

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DAY TWENTYTWO:
Birdsong: (A)M L3, M BL1, M BL6, (SL)M BL3

The Guard is either in the Curst Valley or the Bad Valley. Curst Valley is two turns away, Bad Valley is three turns away, so I will head to Curst Valley first. By using my Amazon Move phase, I can get to Borderland 6, and since that is a Cave Clearing, I can use my Shielded Lantern to move to Borderland 3 in addition to my two Basic phases.

Sunrise: I roll a 3 and a 3 for prowling monsters. Only Wolves and Goblins prowling today.

Daylight: I get to where I want to go in Borderland 3. Dank C doesn’t summon anything, but Patter 2 summons six axe-swinging Goblins in Clearing 2, right in my way of getting to Clearing 5 in Curst Valley.

This is how things look at the end of Day Twentytwo:

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DAY TWENTYTHREE:
Birdsong: H, H, (A)M BL3, M CV2, M CV5

I really need to get to Clearing 5 in Curst Valley today and I have an extra phase to do it, so I am going to Hide twice just to make sure I can get past the Goblins.

Sunrise: I roll a 3 and a 5 for my Monster Roll. It only has the potential to summon Natives this turn, since I will be ending my turn in a Valley clearing.

Daylight: My first Hide works and I end my day in Clearing 5 and turn up the Stink V chit. DARN! That means this is the Inn with the Rogues (neutral to the Amazon). There are too many of them to buy drinks for to make them any friendlier. Thankfully, the Monster roll of 3 means the Patrol is currently at the Inn as well and they ARE friendly to the Amazon AND there is only three of them, so easy to buy drinks.

(Note that, in the First Encounter, prowling Natives show up at Dwellings whether you are Hidden or not. Only Monsters are not summoned when you are hiding in the First Encounter at the end of your turn.)

The real bad news is the Guard and the Guardhouse have to be in Bad Valley. Wow, remember how way back in Turn 2, I was debating taking a slight detour to see who was residing in Bad Valley? Now I really wish I had done that.

This is how things look at the end of Day Twentythree:

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DAY TWENTYFOUR:
Birdsong: T, H, (A)M CV2, M BL2, M BL3

First, I am going to Trade with the Patrol to see if they have any Treasures that can help me. Then I will Hide to try to get past the Goblins on my way to get to Bad Valley. I don’t care if this Hide fails as it will leave me only one Clearing short of where I want to be anyway and chances are around 70% it will work.

Sunrise: I roll a 4 and a 5 for my Monster Roll. None of the monsters in the Borderland are prowling today, so even if I fail the Hide, nothing new is going to be summoned and the Goblins won’t move.

Daylight: Trading with natives has been very good to me this game. The Patrol ends up having the Ointment of Steel armor that I don’t need or want, BUT they also have the 7-League Boots, which only have a base price of 5, but will let me carry anything of Tremendous weight(!) AND give me yet ANOTHER extra Move phase. I NEED THESE!

I buy drinks for the Patrol (3 Gold, reducing me to 3 recorded Gold), making them Allies for this trade and they end asking for Price x 2, or 10 Gold for these incredible Boots. I spend one more recorded Gold (dropping me to 2) and trade in my Short Sword and Helmet for the other 9 Gold. I check and make sure if I sell everything to the Guard, I will still meet my Gold victory condition.

I immediately activate the 7-League Boots and inactivate the Power Boots (even though I won’t get the extra bonus Move phase this turn since I had already recorded my turn at Birdsong).

My Hide works and I breeze past the Goblins on my way back to near where I started almost a month ago in the Realm.

This is how things look at the end of Day Twentyfour:

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DAY TWENTYFIVE:
Birdsong: (7LB)M BL5, (SL)M DW5, (A)M DW3, M DW2, M BV2

This is great. Even though I will be passing through a Cave Clearing this turn, limiting me to the two Basic phases, I also get THREE extra phases from the 7-League Boots, the Shielded Lantern, and my Amazon Stamina.

Sunrise: I roll a 2 and a 6 for my Monster Roll. That’s not going to summon or activate anything. The only possible prowling natives who ever come to the Guardhouse are the Patrol and they are going to be hanging out at the Inn for the rest of the game.

Daylight: I make a MEEP! MEEP! roadrunner sound as I blow through the Borderland and the Deep Woods to reach Bad Valley where I find the expected Guard and Guardhouse in Clearing 5.

Picking up the 7-League Boots was a fantastic find. I will actually have time to go to the Mountain on Turn 26 and see if there are any Treasure sites there, try to find and loot them on Turn 27 (if I do find any), and then still make it back in time on Turn 28 to sell everything off to the Guard!

This is how things look at the end of Day Twentyfive:

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DAY TWENTYSIX:
Birdsong: M BV5, M M4, M M2

There are four Treasure sites left I haven’t found. The Altar could appear at the top of the Mountain in Clearing 1, the Pool halfway up the Mountain in Clearing 6, the Statue in Clearing 2 or the Shrine next door to the Guardhouse in Clearing 4. The first two Clearings are Mountain Clearings that take TWO Move phases to get into, the last two Clearings are regular Woods clearings costing no extra move phases.

I won’t have time to get to anything in the Mountain clearings, find it and loot it and still make it back to the Guardhouse by the final turn in the game, so I plan to go to Clearing 2 and just hope for the best.

Sunrise: The Monster Roll is a 1 and a 3.

Daylight: My best doesn’t work out. When I end my turn in Clearing 2 in the Mountain, I do turn up a Treasure Site, but it is the Pool in Clearing 6. And the Monster roll ensures a big fat Octopus is sitting in that Pool waiting to Block me. So much for more treasure hunting. There is also a Ruins M chit there but that does not summon anything.

This is how things look at the end of Day Twentysix:

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DAY TWENTYSEVEN and FINAL SCORING:
Birdsong: M M4, M BV5, T

There is really nothing I can do except go back to the Guardhouse and sell everything for the best score I can get. I am going to lose. I don’t even need to play out the final day because nothing will/could change.

Sunrise: No need for a Monster roll.

Daylight: I go back to the Guardhouse and sell everything to the Guard. They are so happy I returned the Royal Sceptre that they announce it to the whole Realm and make me very famous!

My final results:

Great Treasures: 0 (Needed 2)
Spells: NA
Notoriety: 0 (Needed 0)
Fame: 20 (Needed 10)
Gold: 105 (Needed 95)

How that works out in Magic Realm Final Scoring…

I was 2 short of my victory condition in Great Treasures, so my Basic score for Great treasures is -2. But since it is minus, it is multiplied by 3 to make my Basic score for Great Treasures = -6. My Bonus score for Great Treasures is the number of VP I put into that category (2) times my Basic score. So my Bonus Score for Great Treasures = -12.

I was even on my victory condition for Gold, so my Basic score for Gold = 0. My Bonus score for Gold is the number of VP I put into that category (2) times my Basic score. So my Bonus Score for Gold also = 0.

I was 1 ahead of my victory condition in Fame (got 20, needed 10), so my Basic score for Fame = 1. My Bonus score for Fame is the number of VP I put into that category (1) times my Basic score. So my Bonus Score for Fame = 1.

So my overall Final Score for this game =

-6 (Basic Great Treasures) -12 (Bonus Great Treasures + 0 (Basic Gold) + 0 (Bonus Gold) + 1 (Basic Fame) + 1 (Bonus Fame) = -16 LOSS!

Well, that’s the official game score and a loss. But I am going to look at it as I made two of my three victory conditions, so MORAL VICTORY! LOL

I hope this detailed playthrough with my thoughts on strategies (good or bad!) will help de-mystify this game a bit for people!
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And a big THANK YOU to David Arlington for putting this playthrough together and allowing me to post it here.  This looks like a real fun game.  Apparently there are files out there where you can print and play your own copy if you’re interested, and used copies show up all the time on ebay and the like, so keep your eyes peeled if this tickled your fancy.

I’m in the midst of moving houses so I’m awfully busy, so I can’t promise another playthrough from me any time soon, but I’ll have a nice new gaming room to try out, so I’ll do my best.

Thanks for reading, even though I had nothing to do with it!  Game on!

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Guest Post: David Arlington

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Hi all:  I was witness to “DocSavage2001” over at BoardgameGeek post a fascinating string of posts (post – post – post) about an old classic game “Magic Realm.”  It was big, it was pretty and, well, Very Wordy.  So I asked if I could post it here, too, since it fit in and he agreed!  So I can say this is my first “Guest Author”!  Now over to David!


I know a lot of people find this game hard to learn despite three different editions of the rules, guides to learn how to play, simplified rules sets, etc etc. But I looked and I didn’t really see any SOLO session playthroughs of the regular base game.

So, what I want to do is what I did with Bios: Megafauna (Second Edition), and do a step by step detailed solo playthrough, complete with pictures of everything. I will be playing solo with a single character, the Amazon, the Second Edition rules with no Optional Rules and no Advanced Rules, and proceed Encounter by Encounter. (The Second Edition rules break the game up into four Encounters, adding in parts of the game, encounter by encounter.)

The first series of posts will be the First Encounter: Treasure Hunt. This includes moving, searching, trading, and running into Monsters, though there is no combat in this first encounter. The Monsters and natives can still block you and slow you down though.

And the first post will just be about setup and what my thoughts are on the various strategies I will be attempting to use. I’m writing this as I’m playing it, so everything might fail miserably, but at least I hope to explain what is happening and why and how. To try to demystify this excellent game which STILL holds up (in my mind) with the best Fantasy games of all time.

This is the initial setup for the Amazon with her Character card, the Setup sheet with all the Monsters and Treasures on it, (But no Spells yet, Spells come in the Fourth Encounter), and her Personal Record sheet where she will log all her moves and discoveries and progress towards victory (or defeat).

This is the Amazon herself. She has a Shield, a Breastplate, a Helmet and a Shortsword. In this First Encounter, she won’t need any of these (without combat), so a key priority for me is to find some natives to sell these things to so I can get Gold to buy things to help me find Treasures.

She has (like all characters) 12 Action chits, 7 Fight chits(which she mostly likely won’t need in this First Encounter either) and 5 Move chits. All her Move chits are MEDIUM weight. That means, unless she gets a Horse someplace, she won’t be able to carry anything of HEAVY or TREMENDOUS weight-only Medium or lighter. That may limit her ability to pick up some treasures.

She has one Special Ability she can use in this First Encounter, STAMINA, that will give her an extra MOVE Phase every turn. This is a good advantage in this First Encounter. She has no Allies in the Magic Realm, but no outright Enemies either. She is Friendly with the Lancers, Patrol and the Shaman (a visitor to the Realm). The Company and the Bashkars are Unfriendly towards her.

She needs to record FIVE Victory points. Here is what I chose for her in the First Encounter and why:

She can’t collect Spells in the First Encounter. Notoriety can be gotten from Treasures, but is more often awarded for killing things, which won’t happen until the Second Encounter. So, she is going to go for trying to find a lot of Treasure, with hopefully one or two providing the Fame she needs, two Great Treasures, and then sell off everything else she finds for the Gold value.

She starts with 10 Gold and 25 Gold worth of equipment, NONE of which will count for her final Gold total. All the more reason to sell all her equipment in the First Encounter. With 35 Gold to spend, hopefully she will find some Small Treasure with the Lancers or Patrol that she can buy to help her find more treasure. That’s my hope, anyway.

If she CAN find the Lancers and Patrol, that is. In the Solitaire game of Magic Realm, none of the Dwellings where the natives hang out start on the map. She has to find them as well as the treasures.

I did the Setup card and chose my character and have a game plan for her. Now to build the map. To do that, you put the Borderlands tile in the center of the table and shuffle the rest of the map tiles and play them to build the map one at a time. Except for the first tile you play after the Borderlands, all the rest of the tiles have to touch two other tiles. Any tile with six Clearings on it has to have ALL six Clearings connect back to the Borderlands tile (even if that path goes through secret passages). All other tiles have to have at least one Clearing connect back to the Borderlands.

Some other map building notes for the Solitaire version. You can’t play Valley or Woods tiles next to OTHER Valley and Woods tiles if there is any other place you can put them. You can see below that as I ran out of tiles to place, I didn’t have any other place to put some of the Valley and Woods tiles except next to each other. Here is my completed map:

Even building the map, I tried to use a strategy wherever I could to place tiles that would make things as easy as possible for me. The Amazon (if I recall correctly) does a bit better in the Mountain tiles than the Caves tiles (plus the Caves tiles can really slow your game down). So, I tried to put the Caves tiles out of the way whenever I could. I also tried to put “dead end” tiles out on the edges of the map, rather than in the interior where I would have to go around them. As an example, I put the really gnarly Cavern and Crag tiles out on the very outskirts. (Of course, those two tiles will probably end up being where the Lost City and Lost Castle end up being.)

One last bit of map-building strategy I used. In the regular game, all the Dwellings are placed on the map and your character starts at one of them. In the Solitaire game, your character enters from off-map and their first move of the game is to move onto the map.

I’ve plotted my first couple of turns to come in through Evil Valley, Search to see if I can peek at what chits are there (which will tell me what Dwelling is there or the Ghosts) and then end my first turn in the Ruins where I will flip all the chits and see what is there. (I covered the name on the Ruins tile with chits, sorry!).

From there, I can use the nearby Deep Woods as a hub location to get to pretty much anywhere on the map I’ve built. Also with a minimum of Cave Clearings or Mountain Clearings (that slow you down). I think the map turned out pretty good for me and I’m happy with the layout right now.

My initial plan is to spend one week (7 turns) trying to discover as much of where things are (with emphasis on tiles with treasure sites). The next two weeks, I will try to meet my VP goals based on the places I found. The final week will be heading to a Dwelling where I can cash in. I might not need a whole week, but I have played before where I started heading to sell things just a day or two too late. That’s the general plan.

Let’s talk about turn structure for the solitaire game. There are a lot of phases, but they are all pretty simple in the solo game. If I don’t mention it, it’s not relevant for solo play OR the First Encounter.
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Birdsong: Record your planned actions for your turn.

Sunrise: Roll two dice (for the solo game) to see which one/two rows of Monsters and Denizens are prowling this turn. If this is the end of a week, put all the prowling monsters (except the Ghosts) back on the setup sheet in this phase.

Daylight: Take your turn. Summon/move any prowling denizens.

Sunset: You won’t do anything here in the First Encounter.

Midnight: If you’re playing solo, you don’t need to flip the map chits back down as long as you remember denizens won’t be summoned to your Clearing if you are hidden in the First Encounter.
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There are only five actions I can do on my turn in the First Encounter. In the early part of the game, I will be mostly doing Move and Search.

When playing the First Encounter solo, with no Combat, I will only need to Hide if I get yourself boxed in by monsters with no way around them. The Amazon will try to use it as little as possible in the First Encounter.

Trade will be useful later when I find Natives or Visitors to trade with.

Unless I find one of the Treasure sites like the Pool or get Cursed, I shouldn’t need to Rest in a solo First Enounter game.

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DAY ONE:
Birdsong: (A)M EV5, M EV2, S, S, M R1

I am going to move from off the map (using my Amazon Extra Move phase) to Evil Valley 5, Move to Evil Valley 2, do two Search phases, and finally Move to Ruins 1

Sunrise:
I roll a 4 and a 6 for prowling monsters. Giants, Trolls and Bats.

Daylight: I do my two Moves and then I do two Searches on the Peer Table because I want to see what is in Evil Valley. Since, in the solo game, all the Valley chits are “substitute” chits, I can replace them immediately with whatever inhabits that tile. A Dwelling or the Ghosts. (in the regular game, all the Valley chits are turned up before the game starts and replaced with the Dwelling or Ghosts.) I use the Peer table because I want “CLUES” or “CHOICE” (which will be CLUES) and that table gives me a better chance than the Locate table.

My first roll is a 5-6, You find nothing. But my second roll is a 5-5 and I find the Bones V chit which means the Ghosts live here! I remove the chit and place the Ghosts in Clearing 5. (All Dwellings/Ghosts go in Clearing 5 unless it doesn’t connect back to the Borderlands tile.) That’s why I waited till I got to Clearing 2 to search. If I had found them in Clearing 5, they would have Blocked me and ended my turn.

I do my last Move to Ruins 1. That ends my actions for this turn, so I turn up the chits in the Ruins tile and find Bones C Warning chit and Patter 5 Sound Chit. The Bones C chit goes anyplace on the tile because the monsters it summons can appear anywhere and if you are unhidden, they will appear in YOUR Clearing. Sound chits go in a specific Clearing, in this case, the Patter chit goes in Clearing 5. If it summons anything, it will go to Clearing 5 this turn, not to where I am.

Warning chits activate before Sound Chits, so Bones C brings two Heavy Armored Trolls to my Clearing. They block me which is no big deal in the First Encounter. Note that my planned turn would be totally different in the Second Encounter with Combat. I would never end my turn unhidden in a Caves tile with the Amazon when they could fight me! The Patter 5 would bring the Goblins to Clearing 5, but their row is not Prowling this turn so they stay where they are on the Setup card.

For completeness sake, I should mention the Ghosts are also prowling this turn, because they are Prowling on EVERY turn. But only monsters on MY tile will ever move from one Clearing to another, so the Ghosts stay put. Forever.

I will show the Setup card here, after the Trolls have come to me.

This is how things look at the end of Day One:

Although I didn’t find any Treasure sites or a Dwelling with Natives I could Trade with, I’m not unhappy to find the Ghosts out where they are. It’s also valuable to know I will really never need to come back to these two tiles again. And I know all the other Valley tiles DO have Dwellings in them.

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DAY TWO:
Birdsong: (A)M R2, M DW2, M DW3, S, S

I have to move for my first action or the Trolls will Block me and end my turn. Even if monsters are not Prowling, they will Block you if you are unhidden in their Clearing at the end of a phase. And I don’t plan to waste action on Hides just yet.

I had two options here. Go through Deep Woods, pause and look for Clues, then continue up north to Bad Valley 5 to see what Natives are there. But there is only one tile with possible Treasure sites reachable from Bad Valley and then I would have to backtrack back through the Deep Woods. That seems like a waste of time.

Instead I decide to head to Deep Woods 3 and search for the Hidden Path that connects Deep Woods 3 and Deep Woods 6. Once I find that path, I can mark it off on my sheet and use it for the rest of the game. That seems like the better option at this point in my exploratory game plan.

If this was the Second Encounter, I would have picked the first option, but I’ll talk about that if I ever get to a detailed Second Encounter playthrough! (I hope he does! – Adam)

Sunrise:
I roll a 1 and a 4 for prowling monsters. Dragons and Giants and Trolls, oh my!.

Daylight: I move out of the Clearing with the Trolls and head to Deep Woods 3. For my Search phases, I want to find the Hidden Path now (because I’ll see the chits here at the end of my turn!), so I use the Peer table again. First roll is a 2-6, nothing is found, but second roll is Snake Eyes! 1-1 and I find the Path and mark it off on my Personal History Pad. I can use this path the rest of this game.

I turn up the chits and find Bones M and Howl 4. The Bones M Warning chit goes off first and summons a Giant to my Clearing. It blocks me, but First Encounter so… The Howl chit goes into Clearing 4, but the Bats it would summon from Row 6 are not Prowling this turn, so no Bats appear there. Note that the Trolls in the Ruins are also Prowling, but again, since they are not in MY tile, they do nothing.

This is how things look at the end of Day Two:

Two potential Treasure site tiles explored (Ruins, Deep Woods) and all I’ve found is Monsters and monster sounds. But at least I’m finding this out on Day Two, not Day Twenty when I’m looking for that last Great Treasure!

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DAY THREE:
Birdsong: (A)M DW6, M DW1, M DV4, S, M BL1

Again, the first thing I have to do is move away from the Giant. I could go north to Bad Valley, but now on the way back, I will have the Giant blocking my way past. I could also get to Borderlands 2 using the extra Amazon extra Move to get me in and out of the Cave clearing.

Instead, I make use of the Hidden Path I found last turn to move south to Dark Valley, do one Search there (to see if I can find out what Dwelling is there) and then move to Borderlands 1 without using any Caves (which reduce the number of Phases I can do on a turn).

Sunrise:
I roll double sixes for prowling monsters. Only Bats to worry about this turn!

Daylight: On the way to the Borderland tile, my one Search fails in Dark Valley (rolled a 2-6).

I turn up the chits in the Borderland and find Dank C and Patter 2. Dank C would bring Serpents to my Clearing if they were Prowling. They’re not. Patter 2 would summon Goblins to Clearing 2, but they are not Prowling either. So no Monsters appear. Good. But no Treasure sites found yet on three tiles! Bad!

This is how things look at the end of Day Three:

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DAY FOUR:
Birdsong: (A)M BL6, M BL4, M CL2

Do I go north to Ledges and High Pass? Or take a slow day through the Cave clearing in the Borderland to get to the Cliff?

If I go the Ledges/High Pass way, I can only get to those two potential Treasure tiles and even then I won’t be able to reach half the Clearings in those two tiles.

If I go to the Cliff, I not only can also get to the Cavern and the Crag, but also to the Dwelling that will show up in Awful Valley 5. That seems like the more flexible option. Plus now I am convinced that I really AM going to find the Treasure sites out on those tiles I stuck out on the edge of nowhere!

Sunrise:
I roll a 1 and a 3 for the Monster roll. Dragons, Ogres, Wolves, Goblins and the Octopus all Prowling!

Daylight: I make my way to Cliff 2 and turn up the chits. JACKPOT! I find the Dank M chit and the Lost Castle! The Lost Castle drops FIVE more chits in the Cliff. Three are Sound chits, Flutter 1 (in Clearing 1 up on the mountain), Slither 6 and Roar 6, (also up on the mountain), AND TWO Treasure sites! Clearing 3 ends up having both The Vault AND The Lair!

The Vault is useless to the Amazon unless she can find the Lost Keys somewhere because she is not going to have any Tremendous weight counters needed to open the Vault. But… The Lair, that is a good one with 4 Small Treasures and 3 Large Treasures.

There’s just this little matter of the Tremendous Dragon, who guards his Lair. Dragons ARE Prowling this turn, so he shows up at the Lair to keep me away from my looting desires! The Tremendous Troll does NOT show up at the Vault because his row is NOT Prowling this turn.

The other chits go off in this order: Dank M – Nothing since Spiders are not Prowling. Flutter 1 – brings two Heavy Flying Dragons to Clearing 1 (not where I am). Slither 6 does NOT summon Serpents but it DOES summon another Heavy Dragon to Clearing 6 up in the mountains and Roar 6 does NOT summon a Giant. (Giants and Serpents are not prowling.)

This is how things look at the end of Day Four:

Now I’m in a pretty pickle. I wanted a tile with Treasure sites, but so many monsters! (or potential monsters!)

It took me awhile to decide what I wanted to do on Day Five (and I haven’t played it out yet so stay tuned…), but I will try to show you some ways to try to get to those Treasure sites.

Even though these are the first Treasure sites I have found, I am pretty happy with how things are going to plan so far, according to my general game plan. I wanted to explore and I’ve gotten almost all the way across the map, ruled out four different tiles as not being good places to go back to, and found a good Treasure site. And I still have three days to go in my first week!

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DAY FIVE:
Birdsong: S, S, S, S, (A)M CL5

I decide to roll the dice on this turn and swing for the fences. And before you tell me how I am mixing metaphors, only the “swing for the fences” is the metaphor, the “rolling the dice” part is literally true.

In my best version of this turn, I roll a Monster Roll with a 1 and NOT a 4, AND I find the Hidden Path at the bottom of the Cliff to get from Clearing 5 (where I am) to Clearing 2 (with my back to the Cavern). A Monster roll of 1 would bring ALL the Dragons to my Clearing (including the Tremendous Dragon sitting on the Lair right now). NOT rolling a 4 means the Tremendous Troll WON’T show up in Clearing 3 to guard the Vault. Then I could run in there on my next turn and Search four times to find the Lair and try to Loot it.

My worst version of the turn is I DON’T roll a 1 and I DO roll a 4 and a 5 for the Monster Roll and I don’t find the Hidden Path in four tries. That would strand me in Clearing 2 (since if I don’t find the Hidden Path, my plotted Move with my Amazon ability will get cancelled, I can’t use it to move someplace else), drop the Tremendous Troll on the Vault WITH the Tremendous Dragon already there at the Lair AND it would bring a Heavy Spider to my Clearing. Then I’d have to back up into the Borderland, a direction I don’t want to go.

Sunrise:
I roll a 3 and a 4 for prowling monsters. Giants, Trolls and Wolves and Goblins. Well, that won’t bring any Monsters to my Clearing at the end of the turn, but the Dragons aren’t going to move from where they are and the Tremendous Troll is going to join the Tremendous Dragon in Clearing 3. Not good news for me getting to the Lair.

Daylight: My first three Searches on the Peer table for the Hidden Path fail (1-6, 3-6, and 5-5) and I am getting really worried. But fourth time is the charm as I roll a 2-3 and I DO get to Move to Clearing 5 with my Amazon Move.

The Vault summons the Tremendous Troll to the Vault and the Roar 6 Sound Chit summons a Giant to Clearing 6. Since the Dragons are not prowling, no monsters already on the tile come to my Clearing.

This is how things look at the end of Day Five:

Too many Monsters here now and my goal for Week One is exploration, so I am going to leave this tile behind and try my luck in the next door Cavern and go see what Dwelling is in the Awful Valley. Besides, the end of the week is only two days away and maybe some of this crowd of monsters will go back to “sleep” on the Set up card and I can come back here later.

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DAY SIX:
Birdsong: (A)M CN1, M CN3, M CN2

Now, I am going into a Cave Clearing in the Cavern this turn. Normally, I would only get to do two Phases this turn, but I can still use my Amazon extra Move phase even in Cave Clearings. I just want to see what is in this tile this turn, my main goal is to get to Clearing 5 in the Awful Valley next turn and see what Dwelling is there.

Sunrise: I roll a 1 and a 5 for prowling monsters. Great timing! That’s exactly the Monster Roll I wanted last turn! Dragons and Spiders are prowling this turn.

Daylight: I move to Clearing 2 in the Cavern and flip up the chits to find Stink C and Cairns 5. Oooh, that’s pretty good. Right now the Stink C Warning counter can only summon the Tremendous Troll, but his row is not Prowling. The Cairns is a Treasure Site that is REALLY REALLY good in the First Encounter, especially the way this tile is set up. It has SIX Large Treasures and only ONE Small Treasure, so if I can find it and Loot it, I will probably get some good stuff.

There is a “cost” to Loot the Cairns, every time you Loot it, you have to fatigue an asterisk on one of your Action chits. But in the First Encounter, you’re really not using your Fight Chits for anything, so I have PLENTY of asterisks to “spend”.

The BAD part of the Cairns is that a) it is guarded by a Tremendous Spider (which IS prowling this turn, so it shows up in the Cairns Clearing) and b) It is in a very hard spot to reach in the Cavern and c) You only get two Phases in Cave Clearings. I have one more day in my “exploring” week, so I am going to go see what Dwelling is in Awful Valley before I decide what I want to do starting in Week Two.

This is how things look at the end of Day Six:

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DAY SEVEN:
Birdsong: M AV2, M AV5

I am starting my turn in a Cave Clearing, so I will only get two “basic” Phases this turn, plus my Amazon Move. In this case, I don’t even need my Amazon move since the Dwelling will show up in Clearing 5 and I only need two Move phases to get there.

Sunrise: Even though there will be no Monsters summoned to a Valley tile, I still need to do the Monster roll this turn for two reasons. First, it’s the seventh day of the week, so whatever Monsters are prowling this turn that are currently on the map will all go back to their spots on the Setup Card. It sure would be nice to roll a 1 and get all the Dragons to leave the Cliff tile! The other thing the Monster roll CAN do this turn is summon Native groups or Visitors to the Dwelling I find there. The more things at that Dwelling, the more Trade chances I will have and choices of things to buy/barter for.

Of course, what I roll is a 2 and a 6, two rows on the Setup Card that have NO Monsters currently on the map! UGH!

Daylight: I move to Clearing 5 in Awful Valley and turn up the Dank V Dwelling chit. I turn up the Chapel and that’s actually pretty good for the Amazon. The main inhabitants here are The Order, a group that is Neutral to the Amazon. They have a bunch of armor, weapons and horses I am not interested in buying in the First Encounter, but they DO have two Small Treasures that I am going to want to look over next turn. The other good thing about The Order is that there are only FOUR of them. That means it will only cost me four Gold to “Buy them drinks”, which will make them one level friendlier on the Trade table. (Changing them from Neutral to Friendly for that one Trade phase.) There’s some groups that have like 7 members in them. That can get expensive fast, since buying drinks only lasts that one Trade phase.

The other good thing about The Chapel for the Amazon is that the two wandering Native groups that could show up there are the Lancers and The Patrol, which are the only two groups in the game who begin at Friendly with the Amazon. Neither of them show up this turn because their rows are not Prowling, but they could turn up any time I come back here and they have their own sets of two Small Treasures.

This is how things look at the end of Day Seven:

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DAY EIGHT:
Birdsong: T, (A)M AV2, M CN2

Since I am now about to start my second week in the Magic Realm, it’s time to start actively hunting for treasure. I think, despite the negatives above, the Cairns is the best place to try. But before I go there, I am going to see if the Order has anything good I want to trade for. With my extra Amazon Move phase, I can spend one Phase doing a Trade and then Move two Clearings back into the Cavern.

Sunrise: The Monster roll is a 3 and a 6. That means nothing is going to happen when I get to the Cavern this turn. The Tremendous Troll won’t show up for the Stink C and the Tremendous Spider won’t leave the Cairns.

Daylight: I have had some pretty bad luck at points in this game so far, but when I do the Trade phase and specify I want to buy from the Order so I can look at their two Small Treasures, I CANNOT believe what I find! Holy Cow! This couldn’t be better! Of the 47 or so Small Treasures, there are probably not another two I could use more right now than these:

Remember how I said I couldn’t get into the Vault without the Lost Keys and I wasn’t likely to find them? Wow! Number 1.

But even better if I want to go try to get stuff out of the Cairns is the Shielded Lantern which gives its owner an extra Phase when they are in a Cave Clearing! It has weight Light so I can carry it and it’s not TOO expensive… hopefully. Wow! Number 2.

I REALLY need that Lantern, so, still in my Trade phase, I “buy drinks” for the Order to make them Friendly for this Trade. (Don’t judge me for liquoring up the Order at a Chapel!) This costs me 4 Gold so I have 6 Gold left plus my belongings I can trade in as well. As long as I don’t get a “No Deal” or “Price x 4” (I will be ONE Gold short!) results, I can buy them. I roll a 2-3 on the Friendly column so they want “Price x 2” or 16 Gold. I say “Here. Take my Breastplate (worth 9 Gold) and my Shield (worth 7 Gold).” and walk away with my prize, which I immediately activate! I now have a Helmet and a Short Sword and 6 Gold left from my original starting equipment.

Note also, that even though I will be in a Cave phase during this turn, with the Shielded Lantern, I can’t take an extra phase this turn, because my turn had already been plotted and I couldn’t have guessed that I would find the Shielded Lantern at the Chapel!

I move back into the Cavern (nothing happens at the end of this turn) and can’t wait to use my Lantern next turn!

This is how things look at the end of Day Eight:

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DAY NINE:
Birdsong: (A)M CN3, (SL)S, S, S

This is fantastic with the Amazon having the Shielded Lantern. Normally, a character only gets two Phases in any turn when they are in a Cave Clearing during any part of that turn. But with the Bonus Move phase from being the Amazon and the Bonus “anything I want” phase from the Lantern, I am going to be as capable in Cave Clearings as I am in Sunlight!

I am going to use my Amazon move to go to Clearing 3 in the Cavern and then do three Search phases to try to find the Secret Passage from Clearing 3 to Clearing 5 with the Cairns.

Sunrise: The Monster roll is a 3 and a 5. My good luck the last two turns continues. The Tremendous Troll still won’t get summoned for the Stink C chit and the Spider will LEAVE the Cairns to come to my Clearing at the end of the turn because he is Prowling!

Daylight: I move to Clearing 3 and roll on the Locate table this time instead of the Peer table (Secret Passages can only be found on the Locate table.) More good luck as I roll a 2-2 on my first roll and find the Passage right away. I don’t even bother doing the last two Search phases. I mark it off on my Personal History pad (Yes, I forgot to mark off the Hidden Path I found in the Cliff. I corrected that after I took the picture.)

Lastly, as mentioned above in the Sunrise phase, the Tremendous Spider leaves the Cairns wide open for me as he prowls himself into my Clearing. (This would be a BIG problem in the Second Encounter, mind you, but it’s REALLY good in the First Encounter!)

This is how things look at the end of Day Nine:

Hopefully, turn 10 is the Loot run I want it to be!!

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DAY TEN:
Birdsong: (A)M CN5, (SL)S, S, S

Same plan as last turn, only this time I will be looking for a “Discover chit(s)” result. I can’t Loot the Cairns for its treasures until I actually find where it is hidden in the Clearing. To do that, I need a successful result on the Locate table again. I only have, right now, a 22% chance of finding it on any one dice roll. So I will probably need all three Searches. If I DO find it, then I mark it off on my Pad and I can just dig for Treasures any time I am here in the future on all Searches.

Sunrise: The Monster roll is a 5 and a 6. The Bats in Row 6 won’t come into the Cavern, but the bad news is the Tremendous Spider IS going to follow me right back to the Cairns. I hope I find something before he comes back!

Daylight: All the good luck I had the last two turns is lost for this turn. I need a roll of the two dice where the highest number is a 4 (and ONLY a 4)! I roll a 3-3, 3-5, and finally a 2-6. NOTHING! NADA! ZIP! and oh yeah, here comes back the Spider!

This is how things look at the end of Day Ten:

Let’s see. I am halfway into the second week of four in this game and I not only haven’t found any Treasures, Fame or Gold, but I am in the hole 12 Gold worth from where I started. And I haven’t even actually found a Site I CAN loot yet, I know what clearings they are in, but haven’t quite found their exact locations. Business better pick up soon!

For I am an honest Puck

Let’s check those out-of-town scores:

To figure out a game quickly, we can do some math.

MATH?!?

Hey, if you didn’t want math, don’t read a blog that has its first post be a playthrough of High Frontier, alright?

Anyway, the same night the Flyers and Penguins were playing, there was also a game featuring the Kings and Golden Knights as well as a game pitting the Wild against the Jets.  To quickly find the result, all we do is look at their matchups throughout the season.

There’s a ridiculous amount of ways one can do this.  I’m just going to make one up right now and see how it works.  The Kings shooting percentage is 9.4% with an average of 31 shots per game.  That means 2.9 or so go in.  Since goalies probably stop 90% (yes, a lot more) of goals, we can add 100% to say that about 6 goals is the max the Kings could pull off in a game.  So I can make a chart to show how many “Goal Worthy Shots” LA made during this first game using 2d6:

11-13 = 6 goals  14-16 5 goals 21-23 4 goals 24-26 3 goals 31-33 2 goals 34-36 1 goal 41+ 0 goals.

Now that I’m looking through their past, I see that there was one game that they one 7-0, but we’ll just go with this for now.  So it’s 2d6, treating 1 die as the 10s digit and one as the 1s digit. 25 gives us a 3 goal game for the Kings.

I do the same for the Golden Knights.  They get 3.2 shots in per game, or 6 and a half would be their highest, which we’ll round to 7.  A roll of 23 shows they got 5 goals.

A high scoring game so far.  Goalies need to shave a few points off.  Fleury shows he saves 82% of shots, so of the 3, he would, on average block 2 of them, and a roll confirms this.  So the Kings get one through to the Net.  Jonathan Quick blocks 90% of what comes through, so would block 4 and a half, on average (rounding to 5?).  Let’s see what the dice tell us. No, he only blocks 3. So the game ends LA 1, LV 2.

Probably too involved and there’s much easier ways, but it felt a bit fun to me (kind of like the soccer games in Time of Soccer).

For the other out of town game, I roll 0 goals for the Wild, and 0 for the Jets as well! Overtime!  Checking the stats, I see the Wild has one more Overtime loss than the Jets do, so I give them a teensy edge in the Overtime roll to figure out who wins, with a chunk of the chart showing shootout finish.  But it’s the Wild who wins in standard OT.

Out of town scores:

Los Angeles Kings – 1 Las Vegas Golden Knights – 2

Minnesota Wild – 1 Winnipeg Jets 0 OT


Meanwhile, back in the igloo:

We begin period #3 with a tie game.  All momentum and lines are reset and Giroux and Crosby are at center ice.  What’s say we play some hockey?

Giroux is able to get it back to Konecny who carries it over the blue line.  He tries to set up something, but is overpowered by Schultz who gains control off the puck.  Line change as Pittsburgh attacks.

Bryan Rust just barely starts an odd man rush as he dashes over the line, taking advantage of the line change, but Wayne Simmonds says “no,” poke checking the puck away from the man and gaining control for Philadelphia.  A new line is set as a Flyer waits behind the net to set up a new drive.

The new drive doesn’t get anywhere as Pittsburgh manages to overpower the Flyers in Pittsburgh’s zone, never letting the puck off of the boards.  Eventually the puck clears the blue line and lines change as Pittsburgh gains control. Buuuuutttt not much happens for a while. (Lull) I’m going to get some nachos-you want anything? No? Alright.

Another Lull.  Lines are long for nachos. 11:00 left in regulation.

What’d I miss?  Woah, look at this!  Provorov(1) to Read(0) to Gostisbehere(1)!

4b 3w

And Murray just sits on the thing, freezing the puck.  *sigh*  With how exciting the rest of the *crunch* grame wazh *m*, you wud nink *crunch* it wud shill *crunch* be gud *m*.  Should have gotten a soda.

Voracek and Letang fight for the puck in the corner, Letang comes out on top.  Another minute passes. *slurp*

The Penguins finally manage to power through the Flyer’s tough defense and get a Play set up.  Ruhwedel(0) to Sheahan(0) to Rust(0) *slurp* *crunch*

5b 6w

Mrazek slaps it down and passes it out to Gudas and we now have a three on one as they dash towards Murray!  Gudas(0) to Patrick(1) to Cole(0):

5b 1w

Murray(2) just gets a skate on it, but Courturier(3) flashes by and gets a stick on it, shooting!

3b 6w

gettyimages-949719698

When singing the aria from Carmen was a common victory celebration.

Only 8 minutes left on the clock and the Flyers are up by 1.  A lucky rebound can change the game, that’s for sure.

Ugh.  I’m too old to eat all those nachos.  Have you seen the line for the bathroom lately?  Is it long? Should I go now or what ’till later?

Fresh off the Philly goal, Filppula uses their momentum to make another play over Pittsburgh’s blue line: Laughton(1/2) to Raffl(1/2) to Filppula(1):

1b 2w

The puck gets deflected to the corner, Raffl(1/2) manages to snag it and go for a wrap-around:

4b 2w

The puck squirts out towards the circles, where Raffl(1/2) is able to take another swipe at it.

4b 5w

This time Murray is able to get the puck to his own teammate, almost having a two goal game appear with seven minutes left.

The Pittsburgh coach uses his last Skip to forgo the fourth line and jump right back to his first.  Of course, Philadelphia has both Skips still available, so does the same to get the best players on the ice.

And I roll a Lull!  Probably the LAST thing Pittsburgh needs right now.  4 minutes left on the clock.  Now the choice on when to pull the goalie.  Obviously 4 minutes is a bit early, but let’s see what happens. (BTW: You can not roll a Lull in the last 3 minutes of the game)

Giroux wins the face off (he’s on fire for face off wins this game), but Pittsburgh’s speed causes a turnover after a minute, and the Pittsburgh coach uses his “2x” chit to keep his main line on the ice while Philadelphia changes to their second line.  Since they have possession, they also choose to pull their goalie. Dun, dun DUN!!!!

Six Pens on the offense, passing and shooting, but a turnover happens; Neal Patrick races down the ice, six Penguins racing after him.  Here’s a roll on a seldom used chart: Deflection (shot vs. empty net):

Due to Pittsburgh’s lack of Squares on their team (noted for their offense, not defense), they are unable to get a stick on it: Empty Net goal for Patrick!

636305495686409618-ap-senators-penguins-hockey

Totally could have blocked that if I could just find my contacts.

Pittsburgh isn’t done yet.  Malkin wins the face off and rushes the net.  Letang(1) to Sheahan(0) to Malkin(3):

6b 3w

Right in Mrazek’s belly!  That was an excellent chance for the Pens, but just couldn’t put the Philly team down.  Mrazek dumps the puck behind the net and we are down to 1 minute of play.

Matt Read tak-OH!  Never mind, in center ice Conor Sheary decides that rather than winning the game, why not just beat the living hell out of the opposing team?  It’s apparently a clean hit, but as teams are want to do, they all gather together to have a nice talk about it (and ask each other to sniff their gloves).  When all is said and done there’s little time left to finish the game, so everyone leaves for their cars and I quickly run to the bathroom to wait for a year and a half.

Final Score

Philadelphia Flyers 4

Pittsburgh Penguins 2

Stanley Cup Playoff Rankings April 11th 2018 (Earth-018)

Flyers 1-0

Penguins 0-1

Kings 0-1

Knights 1-0

Wild 1-0

Jets 0-1

Certainly not the historical 0-7 of the actual first game, but it seemed to play out like a normal game to me.  What do you think?

 

This is a great game to play while at work, because it’s easy to roll a few dice until you hit a stoppage of play or a line change and then write down/type up what happened, then alt-tab back to work for a while.  I’ll keep playing out the finals, playing one game and doing out of town scores for others and see who wins the cup in my fictional universe.  If you like, I’ll report the results here, too.  April 12th had the Sharks play the Ducks, the Leafs in Boston, the Avalanche facing the Predators, the Devils and the Lightening, and the Blue Jackets playing…what are their names?  Oh yeah, the Capitals.  I believe I already have the Leafs and Boston made, so they’ll be the ones I play out.

Welp, that was fun.  Now to endlessly debate if Pittsburgh should have pulled their goalie that early.

Score this goal if we be friends

8 minutes left in the 1st.  4 minutes of Philadelphia Power Play.  Let’s get it on!

Jake Guentzel takes the Face Off and dishes it to Zach Aston-Reese who dashes into Philadelphia’s zone to go for a short handed goal, or at least burn a bunch of time off the clock.  Shayne Gostisbehere is too fast for him and steals the puck, driving back to center and allowing a line change (Rolled a “Zoom” effect, pitting two players together and checking for the Speed trait.  Shayne had it while Zach didn’t, so defense won).

First line is out now, 3 minutes left in the Power Play.  (Another Zoom!) Voracek charges across the blue line, Dumoulin slapping at his stick.  Voracek is able to get off the pass and a play is made: Giroux(3) to Voracek(3) to Konecky(2) who shoots! Murray(3) tracks the puck as it’s passed around in front of him and…

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Edmonton Oilers

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Murray gets a pad on it and deflects the puck to the corner.  Gostisbehere picks it off and fires it back towards Murray.  Rebounds only have the shooters stars(1), but get +1 for each rebounded shot, and use the Goalie’s Shot save(2).

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Almost in the five hole, but Murray closes the door and kicks the puck out to Dumoulin who clears the puck.  We change the lines and see there is still 2 minutes left to play in the Power Play.

Gudas picks up the cleared puck and quickly shoots it to Cole in the center.  Cole(0) does a quick wrist to Raffl(0) on the blue line, who fires it at Couturier(3) to try and catch the goalie by surprise.

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Murray easily kicks the puck out to Ruhwedel who clears it.  Only 1 minute left in the Power Play.  The Flyers fumble the puck in the neutral zone and Hagelin and Sheary breakaway!  Brassard ends up with the Shot.

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The Flyers can’t get the puck out of their own side of the ice, the Penguins are keeping on offense in this last minute of the power play!  Finally the Flyers are able to play it smart and get the puck out as the power play clock ticks out and 4 minutes remain in the game and we are back at even strength.

Where I immediately roll another Penalty event.  Because of COURSE I do.  This one is another Philadelphia penalty, this time on Matt Read.  Hooking, 2 minutes.

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Sad Read is Sad.

Pens get the face-off and go on the attack.  Whichever team has the most triangles gets to create a play, and it’s Pittsburgh right now, so another big play for Mrazek to deal with.

Kuhnhackl(0) to Aston-Reese(0) to Guentzel(1).  Not possible, but rebounds make anything possible.  Mrazek faces the shot and…

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Mrazek sits his butt down on the sliding puck, freezing it as players flail and swing away at his pads.  Petr is glad for his cup.  This burnt enough time off of the clock that 1 minute is left in the power play.  Line change and let’s go at it again.

Giroux is able to win the face-off.  Sadly no Philadelphia circles since Philly has one of the worst Penalty Kill percentages, as if there was ONE on any of the four players on the ice, two minutes would be instantly burnt.  But NOPE.  We have to leave this minute to some more chance.

Another Zoom chance, and it’s Giroux v. Crosby.  A match up many a Pennsylvania has watched with glee.  The trait rolled is Power, which they both have.  That being the case, we go to tie-breakers which happens to be Momentum first.  The Team on the Power Play is always considered to have Momentum, so Crosby is able to overpower Giroux and take the puck.  BUT it is also considered to happen after a minute, so the Power Play is over and we have a line change.  2 minutes left in the period.

A roll of 10 lets us know if any defender has a square there is a change of possession (and if it’s double 5’s, it’s a breakaway play).  No double fives, but Provorov and Simmonds are on the ice, whom both have squares, so the Flyers good defense is able to steal the puck and go on the offense.  A rare treat for Philadelphia fans.

A 9 says whomever has Momentum gets control of the puck.  Pittsburgh still has it (they’ll only lose it on getting scored on or during a lull), so the crowd is still fired up after the Penalty, so even though Simmonds was able to do a fancy move to get the puck back, a big play was able to level Simmonds and get the puck back into Pittsburgh’s plan.  So far both of these rolls haven’t changed lines or moved time forward, so these are quick and big turnovers.  Looks like Philly is doing its best to get a goal on the board before the whistle blows, and Pittsburgh is letting them know it’s not going to happen.

We now zoom into a matchup between Oleksiak and Simmonds to compare skill.  Simmonds wins that attempt and so intercepts a pass from the defenseman.  1:00 left in the period.  Line change and probably last chance for a Philadelphia goal.

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Pittsburgh’s defense is unable to stop Philadelphia from making a Play, so we roll on the Play chart (on the Full Strength Play chart….that hasn’t happened often!).

Manning(0) to Raffl(0) to Filppula(1).  Not a good shot, Murray(3) should easily block it.

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Actually, Murray is able to swat it down and pass it past the blue line for a breakaway for Pittsburgh!

Maata(0) to Brassard(0) to Hagelin(0).  It’s sloppy, but it’s on  the side of the ice they want.

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Mrazek absorbs the shot and dishes it back to Macdonald who sets for a new drive, but the whistle stops any chance for a good play as the first period ends.

Philadelphia 0

Pittsburgh 1


Does anyone else remember that Charmin commercial with the kids going to learn how to skate, and the little girl ends up tying a package of Charmin to her butt, so when she fell it wouldn’t hurt?  No one around here remembers it.  Maybe it only played in Rhode Island, where I grew up.  For some reason that always resonated with me as a child.  Mainly because I was terrified of ice skating and never learned how.

Thank you for reading this between period entertainment.  Now back to our program.


Start of the second period is full strength, standard face-off with Giroux and Crosby at center ice.  Giroux wins the FO and Philadelphia takes control as the clock starts ticking down from 20.

AND I ROLL A 5!

We all know what that means: PENALTY EVENT.

This one is on Kris Letang of the Penguins, for Holding. 2 minutes in the box and we have another Power Play for Philadelphia.

Yup.  Typical Penns/Flyers game.  I mean, no fights yet, which is weird, but they’re still trying to hurt each other.

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Of course I was holding! Who wouldn’t?!

Crosby wins the face-off and dishes it to Kessel who dashes into the offensive zone, not really treating this like a penalty kill.  Provorov chases him down and skillfully swipes the puck from him, allowing Philly to reset, but a lot of time was taken from the PP for this little move (Zoom win for defense).

Line change and Couturier catches Maatta flat-footed (another Zoom effect) opening up a clear pass: Patrick(1) back to Couturier(2) to Simmonds(3) who shoots for the back corner!

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Right in the top shelf!  GOOOOAAALLLLL!

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So in period 1, we had a Pittsburgh goal in the first minute, period 2 a Philadelphia goal in the first 2 minutes.  I’m sure the crowd hates this…half of them weren’t back from the bathroom!

The third lines come out and we get 3 minutes of boring hockey as the Flyers calm down from their tying goal (losing their momentum marker).

Laughton wins the face off, and Filppula manages to get over the blue line before the bulk of players, setting himself in prime position for a play (his Triangle created this play): Cole(0) to Raffl(1/2) to Filppula(1).  Lack of Momentum (due to the Lull) means Raffl’s half star provides nothing, otherwise this shot would have stood a chance.  Now Philadelphia has to hope for a rebound.

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PING! Off of the post.  Lack of squares on Pittsburgh’s line causes Laughton(1/2) to get a shot off! Now he’s shooting at a 1.  Need another rebound to get some real odds here.

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Murray doesn’t allow it.  He snatches the puck in his glove hand, and dumps it back to Ruhwedel to get a new run started after a line change. 14 minutes left in the period.

Gostisbhere ALMOST gets the check in to stop the following play, but is just shy (if Philly showed TWO squares, there would be a turn over, but they are showing one and a half.)  Instead Pittsburgh’s fourth line get’s off a quick wrist shot: Letang(1) to Kuhnhackl(0) to Guentzel(1),

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Rather than risk a rebound, Mrazek merely smothers the puck and we get a faceoff in Philadelphia territory.

Philadelphia’s coach (which is me…..Pittsburgh’s coach is also me.  Weird, huh?) Decides to spend his “2x” chit.  No chits included in the game, but it’s a good idea to make something to help you remember.  During a game you can force a line to stay on the ice for two shifts.  Twice a game you can also skip a line.  These are the little coaching decisions you can make besides choosing your lineup.  I do this to get my better defensive line on the board against Pittsburgh’s 1st line.  Since it’s tied, it’s a good idea not to let them take the lead right away.

Back to the action, I roll a 12 on the face-off chart!  Crosby wins the face-off, but an “Unusual Result” happens.  This is starting to become quite the unusual game!  Another 9 means another Equipment problem. “Game halted after object thrown onto ice.”  Insert joke about Pittsburgh fans here.  This, however, burns a minute and forces a line change.  Guess I didn’t need that grand defense.  Ah well.

Patrick wins the puck and takes it into Pittsburgh’s zone, but then gets FLATTENED by Malkin.  No penalty (clean hit), but the crowd just eats it up.  (Pittsburgh gains momentum marker).

Malkin dances into Philadelphia’s zone and gets open for an easy shot: Oleksiak(0) to Sheahan(0) to Malkin(3).

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The tip of Mrazek’s glove knocks it away as he dives across the goal mouth, and Brandon Manning is there to gather the rebound.  Philly dodged a bullet there (1 less on the black die would have been a goal)!

We zoom in on Gudas and Hagelin now, but Hagelin quickly speeds past Gudas and turns the puck over to Pittsburgh. We are now half way through the second period.

Lehtera had a great chance to steal the puck from Dumoulin but waffles it, and Dumoulin is able to start a play: Dumoulin(0) to Aston-Reese(0) to Kuhnhackl(0).

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Lehtera picks up the rebound and tries to “clear” the puck to the neutral zone like it was penalty kill, but Maataa keeps it within the blue line.  However enough time was had that pressure pushed them over the line and Philadelphia was able to squeeze out possession of the puck.  Line change.   I’d argue some of this could have been summed up as a Lull, but that’s just me.

Pittsburgh’s coach uses his Skip ability to get his own best defenders on the ice for the first line.  He (me) wants to keep that momentum to get that second goal before these 9 remaining minutes are up.

And that coaching decision becomes the winning factor!  A play is created by the team with the most triangles, and Pittsburgh wins due to Letang’s triangle brought by that skip.  Ain’t I a stinker?  Crosby(2) to Kessel(2) to Hornqvist(2).

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Off the post!  So dang close!  There’s a scramble in front and Crosby(1 1/2) get’s a stick on it and goes to flip it over Mrazek’s leg! So with Momentum and the rebound, that will count as a 3!

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Mrazek swats it away past the tangle of bodies in front of him.  A Flyer back near the blue line grabs it and spins for a breakaway play!  Konecky(2) to Giroux (3) to Provorov(1 1/2).

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Technically that’s a goal, but when a goal equals a seven, there’s a chance for a “Spectacular Save!”  Murray has 2 1/2 stars in Spectacular save.  Let’s see if that’s enough:

2 stars or better, goalie makes incredible save! Otherwise goal!

DENIED!  Provorov gets robbed as Murray’s skate manages to get it out of the goal mouth right before the puck crosses the red line.  The pile of rushing bodies then slams into the goal, dislodging it, causing a stoppage of play and a new face-off.

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It’s okay buddy, tell me all about it.

Second lines come out and we start again.  Pittsburgh fans think they’re unbeatable right now and the roof is ready to come off of the Igloo (I know the arena is called something else now….it will ALWAYS be the Igloo).

Philadelphia wins the faceoff, but Dumoulin knocks Couturier off of his skates and wrests control (another win with the Hit statistic).  The lines change and Raffl is able to skillfully steal the puck away from Oleksiak in the neutral zone and then Laughton gets some revenge for the big hits Pittsburgh’s been dishing by laying waste to Sheary against the boards, finally taking a bit of steam away from the surging Pittsburgh team (stole the Momentum marker).  With a team member down, a play is made: Filppula(1/2) to Raffl(1) to Laughton(1/2).

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Off of Murray’s pads, it bounces out to the top of the circle, where Filppula(1) is able to get the rebound!

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And Murray smothers the puck to prevent any more rebounds.  Each team has had excellent opportunities to pull ahead in this game, but they just can’t get it into the net.  Still 6 minutes left in the period, though, so a lot can happen.

Like Guentzel winning the face-off and immediately starting a play!  Letang(1) to Kuhnhackl(0) to Guentzel(1):

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Stick save, and the puck is brought behind the net to start a new drive.  Philly still has momentum.  We zoom in on Voracek and Dumolin as Voracek crosses the blue line.  They’re both fast, but Voracek is just a step ahead to get a play off. Giroux(3) to Voracek(3) to Konecky(2).

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That 3 white keeps the puck out of the net!  And Murray is able to hand the puck off to a Penguin, starting them on offense.  5 minutes left in the period.  Pittsburgh is just able to set up a series of passes that just makes Philly look stupid (comparison of Smart qualities) and they set up their own Play: Oleksiak(0) to Rust(0) to Sheahan(0).

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If only any of those guys had a star!  Instead Mrazek smothers the puck, and we get closer to ending the period.

Philly wins the face-off and Powers their way into Pittsburgh’s zone, setting up a play: Filppula(1/2) to Raffl(1/2) to Laughton(1/2).

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Saved by Murray’s skill!  There’s a scramble in front and Laughton(1/2) gets his stick on it and fires it back towards the net.

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Another skillful save, but Laughton(1/2) is again able to fight the puck back towards Murray.

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Murray kicks it wide this time, allowing Raffl(1) a chance at a shot (this will be at +3)

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GOAL!

Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers

3 minutes left in the period, Flyers up, 2-1.

Pittsburgh doesn’t give up, though.  They come out of the face-off with an immediate play: Guentzel(0) to Kuhnhackl(0) to Anton-Reese(1).

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Off of Mrazek’s pads, Kuhnhackl(0) picks up the rebound and shoots!

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Mrazek takes it in the chest, then dumps it back to Lindblom, giving the Flyers a chance to catch their breath.  2 Minutes remaining.

Pittsburgh thinks about using another coaching chit to get better defense against Philly’s first line, but decides to hold it for the 3rd period.  Of course, a roll of 11 shows that two squares were needed, and even their best defense didn’t provide that, so dangerously another play begins.  Konecny(2) to Giroux(3) to Gostisbhere(1).

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Another Spectacular Save? Let’s see!

Goalie twists around, reaches–GOT IT–AMAZING save!

Another denial by Murray.  Pittsburgh better be buying this man a drink after this game.  He deserves it!

Lines change for the last minute of play.  Pittsburgh against plays to their smarts and manages to get one more play off before the buzzer: Malkin(2) to Rust(0) to Sheahan(0).

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A simple wrist shot, and seconds before the 2nd period ends we have a GOOAAALLL!!!

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End 2nd period.  Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 2.


And that will end it for today.  We’ll look at the out of state scores, as well as the rest of the game tomorrow.

It must be tomorrow (or after)

 

 

If we shadows do offend

Tags

Greetings sports fans and welcome to-

Wow, that was a LOT of people clicking the ‘X’ button at once.  Okay, so the stereotype is that people who play boardgames are not the type to enjoy the sports-ball.  I get that.  But it’s not everyone, so I expect a few people to still be here.

Also, there are many a-game out there that are based on sports that are fun to play even if you don’t have any knowledge of the game.  Take Blood Bowl, for instance.  Orcs and Skeletons playing American football (kinda) while slinging spells and crushing each other.  FUN!  Or Time of Soccer, a tough management game where the actual playing of a match is a simple roll of the dice, yet hella fun.

But there are also games that are made for the sports fan, the kind of guy who likes to get their nose into the nitty gritty.  Or just people who like math.  Statistics is definitely a must for these folks because we are going to enter the world of Sports Simulation.

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The sport I am going to focus on for the next few posts will be hockey, because that is my sport of choice.  However, if you can think of a sport, odds are there is a Sports Simulation game somewhere based on it.  Looking at Plaay.com, which is just one company I see: Hockey, Baseball, American Football, NASCAR, Football, Entertainment Wrestling, Bowling, Golf, Canadian Football, Lacrosse, and Roller Derby.  Phew.

So what, exactly, are Sports Simulations, and why are they a “thing,” that’s different than boardgames or are somehow different than what you would find at your Friendly Neighborhood Gaming Store?

The difference is usually in what their intent is.  Boardgames’ intent is to provide a balanced, playable contest between players (or between the players and the game mechanics) to provide a fun evening.  Sports Simulation’s intent is to provide a realistic result of a particular game/match/whatever.  The amount of detail and realism and the amount of fun and balance is different from game to game and company to company.

So, while a boardgame version of hockey might let you roll buckets of dice to check an opponent and have him go flying into the boards in epic fashion, it would also only play 16 turns of a game and result in 4 shots each of which the goalie only has a 1 in 6 chance in blocking.  Not exactly realistic, but it might be fun.

A Sports Sim can be as granular and realistic as tracking the puck every second of the game, rolling for each pass to see whether the pass is made or intercepted based on the accuracy statistics of each player in their past season’s games, with a single game taking 5 or 6 hours to actually play out or as quick as rolling a few dice to see what the final score was, who scored the goals and who sat in the penalty box to create the box score page in the paper the next day.  10 minutes, tops.

Most games fall somewhere in the middle, letting you watch some bits of the action in detail, while glossing over other bits.  Player input is from the coach’s point of view: Making the lines, when to hold back players on the line change, when to pull the goalie and not much else.  Might not sound like fun, but 2-player hockey games happen all over the country as coaches watch their teams win and lose, and they are able to trade players and do all that weird nerdy stuff that your office mates do with their fantasy football teams and yet they still think playing a boardgame is somehow weird.


Anyway.

Let’s look at how this works.  90% of the game is based on the individual player:

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Well, if that just isn’t the greatest player ever! (ahem)  In Hockey Blast, all players have the following stats:

Shot – Assist – Traits (Speed, Skill, Smart, Power, Hit, Star) – Offensive Play Maker (Triangle) – Defensive Play Maker (Square) – Power Play Defender (Circle) – Power Play Offense (CircleStar) – FaceOff Percentage – Fight Rating – Injury Rating and Penalty Rating

First we see Wayne has 3 stars in his Shot Rating, which is derived from the average number of goals made by the team.  If you shoot around average, you get 1 star, if you shoot half again better, you get 2, if you shoot double that average, you get 3.  So you know that Wayne Simmonds gets double the average amount of goals the typical Philadelphia Flyer gets.

Same goes for Assists, so he’s average when it comes to that.  Which is weird considering he’s always right there with his butt in the goalie’s face, but all these numbers I pulled off of hockey-reference.com so who can argue?

The traits I must admit I have added randomly.  Each team gets a certain amount of traits based on their total points (not goals) by the end of the game.  You get more points, your team gets more traits.  So at the end of the 2017 season, Philly ended up with 47 traits which I randomly assigned to the top 13 players.  I simply don’t know enough about the entire NHL to know who is better suited for “Skill” than “Hit” or “Power.”  I figure if I do it randomly for each team, it’ll even itself out.

The Triangles and Squares are for “making plays” and are based on a bit more complicated math than I will type out here.  Usually each team gets 3.5 of each of them (a half will be an outline of a square or star or something, which only counts if your team “has momentum”), but if actual points don’t match what your traits say you should have, they get altered.  Yeah, it took me about 3 seasons before I figured it out.  Purchase the how-to guide from plaay.com if you want to see it (only $3).

Circles and CircleStars are based on the team’s ranking in Power Plays and Power Play Kills.  Philly is ranked in the middle for Power Play kills so gets the normal 2 Circles given to the best two defenders on the team, but they rank near the lowest on Power Plays, so get no CircleStars, meaning there will be many attempts that they will lose because no player has that ability.  Dang.

Face Off Percentage is easy to add to the card as that’s a statistic that’s grabbed right off the player’s stat page (though you want someone that’s done more than 100 or so face offs for it to count).

Fight number is based on Penalty Minutes.  You spend a lot of time in the box, you’re probably more likely to fight.  The higher the number, the more likely to drop the gloves.  It’s an inexact science.

Injury rating is based on how many total games played in the season.  Nothing fancy there.

Penalty rating is also based on Penalty Minutes.  Very similar to Fight Number.

And there we have it.  Our Players.


So, my goal was to replay last year’s playoffs.  I looked up the schedule and found the first games that were played on April 11th, 2018:

Los Angeles Kings at Las Vegas Knights

Minnesota Wild at Winnipeg Jets

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

I was still in the process of making all of the player’s cards for last season, and it would seem that I already had Philly and Pittsburgh, so I guess that will be the first game I shall replay!  For those of you who are curious, the game ended in a ridiculous 0-7 sweep by Pittsburgh.  I hope this game will be a little bit more exciting.

RINK

Here’s my board.  It looks huge, but this is just one way to play.  What comes with the game is a little 8 1/2″ by 11″ rink with spots for one line at a time.  Every time a line change occurs, you deal one card from each pile to the bottom of the deck.  This adds some time to the game, so this way we have 4 offensive lines and 3 defensive lines all showing and we just put markers beside which line we’re using at any one time.  Saves time, though it’s a bit easier to mess up.  So our first lines are marked and we get out our little book that contains all the charts and things we’ll need for the entire game.

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There’s only 15 pages in this bad boy, and you really only use 2 of them 80% of the time.  So here we go, the face off between Claude Giroux and Sidney Crosby to start Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

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A roll on the Face-Off Chart scores an 8, and the Home Team wins the face off, letting Crosby cut the puck back to Kessel or Hornqvist.  Then a roll on the Normal Minutes chart comes up as a 5: “Penalty Event.”

Yup, definitely a Penns/Flyers game.  A Penalty in the first minute.  A few rolls later, it is determined that Giroux is cited for Interference.  Guess there was a bit of a late hit on Crosby there.

This gives Pittsburgh Momentum for the next two minutes.  This mechanic “simulates” the seeming swings that hockey tends to have when a team is “clicking.”  It also means Giroux is sitting in the box for a bit.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers

Woops, my bad, guys.

This time Voracek takes the Face Off and wins against Crosby.  However, he burns very little time as a roll on the Power Minutes chart shows a Play made by the Man Advantage team.  A roll on that chart shows a pass from 03 to 02 to 01 for the shot.  That means its: Crosby to Kessel to Hornqvist for the shot.

Here’s how shooting works.  You add up the Assist stars of the first two players and the shot stars of the last player and add all of them together.  You want the black die to be less than this number to be a shot on goal.  So in this case we have 2 + 2 + 2 = 6.  So everything but a 6 is a successful shot on goal.  Yeesh.  Maybe 0-7 is a possibility.

The goalie, however, has stars in “Play,” in our case Mrazek has 2 1/2.  Flyers don’t have momentum, so he only has 2.  If the white die shows 2 or less, then the shot is blocked, no matter what.  Then you just roll both dice and see what happens.

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And according to the Goal chart, that’s a one-timer.  So a pass over the blue line from Crosby to Kessel, who slides it over to Hornqvist who fires it straight into the net.

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So in 1 minute of play, we’ve had a penalty and a goal.  Whoooo boy.

Back to normal minutes, let’s get to the second minute of play with the second lines.  A roll of 7 shows us Wayne Simmonds wins the Face Off, but it is immediately followed by a Lull.  What’s that, you ask?  It’s 3 minutes of play where not much happens.  Lines change, maybe a penalty happens, but it runs out.  Maybe some shots, but they didn’t have much of a chance.  Either way after three minutes we end up right back where we started, with Simmonds and Malkin facing off.

It’s a neat mechanic that prevents us from playing out every single second of every game. So we roll again, and this time roll a 12!  Another win by Simmonds, but an “Unusual Result” happens.  I think I’ve only seen this happen once, so let’s see what happens: 9 – Equipment problem – Brian Dumoulin apparently just faceplanted due to a rut in the ice that needs to be fixed.  Huh.  So let’s look at what has happened so far –

19:30 – Interference 2:00 Giroux

19:00 – Goal Hornqvist (Kessel/Crosby)

15:00 – Game halted for ice issue.

Five minutes of hockey with about 7 rolls of the dice.  Obviously, the closer the dice come to ‘7,’ the more typical your game is going to be, but sometimes strange things happen, as we’ve already seen.  So now after a brief rest, our third lines come out and we go to another Face-Off.

Brassard wins the face-off, but we get another Lull.  So we go again.  Brassard wins again!  But on the Normal Minutes chart, I roll a 7 which is…..Lull!  Another 3 minutes pass.  6 minutes since the game was halted for the ice issue and little has happened.  Most of the crowd are on their third pretzel.

Brassard kicks the puck back again.  We roll a possibility for an odd man rush!  Of course, with the third line, it’s unlikely, but let’s see.  We roll to check o3, which is Brassard (Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!).  If he has a Triangle, he creates a Play and Pittsburgh gets a shot off, otherwise the Flyers gain possession.  No Triangle here, so the Flyers take the puck from Brassard and go on Offense.

And roll 5, for a penalty event.  But it’s on defense this time!  Jamie Oleksiak, and we roll a major penalty (he has a penalty rating of 1.5), so let’s see what he did!  High Sticking + Injury.  It appears to be Travis Sanheim who was the recipient of the High Sticking, but he’s only out for the rest of the game.  Ian Cole is called in to take his place.  Oleksiak takes a 4 minute major.

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Awww, rub some dirt in it.

8 minutes left in the period, and 4 of them will be a Philadelphia Power Play.  Could be the chance to tie things up.

But there’s 0 minutes left in my day, so that will have to wait.

You can find part 2 here.

Gaming while sick

So I’m a gamer who LOVES to talk about games.  I love playing them, and I love showing people why they’re awesome.  I love seeing that “a-ha” moment when some mechanic or some theme ‘clicks’ and someone realizes that they’re having fun with the choice I made for them.

But sometimes, my brain tells me I don’t love these things.

You see, my brain is a jerk.

I have a mental illness.  I’ve been diagnosed Depressed for a good 15 years or so, and know I have been a good decade or so earlier.  It sucks.  It’s like having an arm strapped behind your back, but only on some days, and you’ll never know which ones.

But here’s the worst part:  I have a hobby.  It’s pretty central to my life.  Most of my friends I have through gaming.  My vacations are to go to gaming conventions.  My evenings are often times spent playing games with my wife.  During low times at work, I’m reading about games.  I find games fascinating.  How some people live and breathe football, politics, music: for me, it’s games.

But my brain chemistry is screwed up.  Some days, games are no longer fun.  Or, at least, my brain TELLS me they aren’t.  I’ll stare at the games closet and shrug and walk away, none of my options looking fun.  I’ll see posts on BoardgameGeek and just hit “All Read” because none of the content interest me.  I’ll just sit in front of the TV at night (or worse, go to bed early) because that’s less effort than matching wits with the missus.

I know it’s lying to me.  I KNOW it.  But damn it’s hard to create desire when there isn’t any.  I’m going to a gaming convention next week, and I’m actually dreading it, because my brain is telling me I won’t have fun.  The jerk.

Why am I rambling on this?  Because this is why I haven’t been playing John Company and the posts have been coming in fits and starts.  After the first day, I was no longer interested in playing, and I didn’t want you to think it was because the game wasn’t good.  It’s me.  I look at the program and go to click on it and go, “meh,” and find something mind-numbing to do.

The other posts I’ve made have been a struggle to fight past the ennui and get going, and when I do, I’ve got no problem creating a full post for ya’ll.  It’s just getting there.

There’s another thing my brain does during these times: Prevents me from talking about it.  That’s another reason I’m posting this.  The jerk (my brain) can’t win if I post about it.

So I’m sorry for not continuing the John Company game.  I’ll continue to try, but I’ll be honest that the odds are not very good.  Just being awake right now is a win, let alone playing a game.

 

Thank you for reading all this.  I hope it justifies my actions and provides a swift kick to the lobes for me.  I hope to get something going after the convention next week.

All out of one glass

I better make these posts longer….I don’t remember all the words to that song.

So where was I before I was so rudely interrupted by my real life?

madras-army-east-india-company

Ah yes, the Military Director putting our plethora of Officers to the various Presidencies.  Looking at our pile o’ cubes, we have 3 Hastings, 2 Benyons and a Jones.  As the maximum amount of Officers a Presidency can handle is 3, that’s not too shabby.

This is where I strategize and look at the Elephant and figure out the odds of anyone attacking one of my Provinces  (when you take over a location, its defense drops to zero…you’re in charge of defending now!), and decide to send the 3 Hastings to Madras to get the most money (with a Plunder of 3, that’s $9 right into the family coffers!), and the other Officers over to Bombay for the lesser gains.  Bengal, where all of our money lies, will have to rely on its two Cannon and stack of money for mercenaries to defend itself.

Now up to the director of trade, who has one Captain available.  That Captain is offered a boat for sale.  As the cheapest boat is $5, and the Hastings only have $1 to their name, the Captain goes back to the family pool, head held down in shame.  Then I give the goods to Bengal.

Now let’s start blowing stuff up!

I mean, let’s start establishing a protective force inside our interest’s borders.  Or something.  It doesn’t look like anyone is going to attack Bombay this turn, so I’ll tap all three Officers to get the max amount of dice (3).  Subtract Bombay’s defense of 1 and I’m rolling 2 dice.  I’ll spend 2 to hire some Prussians and get that third die back and roll those bones!

4,4,6

Because I suck.

Money spent, Officers exhausted, nothing happened.  Bengal has $2 to spend, which I could go for a long shot and try to sail…but I’ll save that money for next turn.

Now same thing at Madras!

1,2,6

Success! (’bout time)

Captured

The position doesn’t get filled until the next Company action, but more importantly, each Officer gains $3 of plunder, netting the Hastings their $9.

And then Bengal successfully sails, making us some money ($18 to be exact).

Benyon’s net $4 for their Presidential bonus and then the Company has to start paying expenses, which is now $8 for the 2 Cannon and 6 Officers.  Down to a $10 gain.  Dividends?  Eh, that only costs $2, and one goes to the Benyons, so I’ll do that once. $8 goes back to the company.

Not great.  Let’s hope the economy goes better in the events phase.

Event2

Hey, hey!  Good news everyone!  We can trade with China now! And we only have one Event to deal with!  That should help.

Attrition knocks out the President of Bombay (good, he was awful), the President of Bengal (guy worked hard), and the Military Affairs Officer (Also a hard worker).  Neither family can afford the Royal Wedding yet, so they all just go back into their respective family pools.

And what’s our Local news?  Bengal falls into a depression.

Poopie.


The Families buy a Shipyard and some stock to try and get the Company back up and running (and to get some money into the China Trade Office.  Even the Jones’s invest a bit in a Shipyard and some stock, though they still make yet another Officer and Captain.

Now we have to fill some vacancies.  The Chairman has to fill the Presidencies, and since I can’t pull from the same family (and the Chairman is a Benyon), so he grabs a Hasting out of the Ship Purchasing Office and promotes him to President of Bombay! *insert trumpet fanfare*  He also grabs one of the Officers who fought in the great Madras Uprising (as they are now calling it) and is Promoting him as the Governor of Madras.  Not a glamourous job, but necessary.  And Finally the Goods Purchasing Officer is Promoted to President of Bengal.

We’ve got to dip into the Writer’s box to get a President of Trade with China, and we still have to pull a Hasting due to Nepotism, so one of them gets the job.  See, you can move up in the world!  It’s just luck, not hard work!

Finally the Director of Trade hires the three Purchasing Offices from the Writer’s box, and the DoT is a Hasting, so he grabs three Benyons and loads them up down there, and we’re now all staffed and ready to get to work.  It’s always good to keep an eye on Writers, as if you don’t have enough to fulfill all roles, that role is just skipped for that turn.  Can lead to a real issue later on (of course, if you wantto tank the company…).

The DoT moves some boats around so we can deliver a bunch of Tea to China and get a ton of money.

This time Bombay is successful in its conquering attempt!  I guess they just needed a new President to get things right.

And a few more successful sail actions (including the Tea) gets me a total income of $30 this turn!  After all expenses, including one payment of dividends, we end with $18 to spread among the various offices.  Looks like things are looking up.  The Hastings are only $2 shy of being able to buy the Royal Wedding.  I could pay out two more dividends to put them at the needed $17….which would cost the company $8.

BUT WAIT!

I forgot something, the Governor of Madras collected his taxes.  It was only $1, but there you go.  Now, he can put that in his office to use for Investing into the region (and pulling it out of its depression) OR I can just dump it into the family coffers.

Let’s be altruistic here….everyone LOVES a Royal Wedding!  So that’s another $1, and another Dividend gives them the $17 needed.  Now all we need is a Hasting to retire from an Executive office and BAM, fancy hat time.

And then this happens:

event3

Which means the Chinese Office could close at any turn, and we have FOUR events this turn.  Yuck.

Oh no!  And what’s happening now?  The people in Bombay are revolting!

“But they’ve always been revolting!”

“Yes, sire, but this time, they’re rioting.”

*ahem*

I can stop the discord with a Police action, but I would need 5 points of Police…..I used all my military might to take them over in the first place, so that’s a big NOPE.  So Bombay declares its independence and closes all trade with the EIC.  The Bombay Presidency is dissolved and everything that was attached to that Presidency is discarded.

THAT could have gone better.

Oh crap!  They’re revolting in Madras, too!  They have a strength of 6!  I can only provide strength 4 in defense, so BOOM yet another Presidency destroyed in one fell swoop.  Probably should have seen this coming and prepared for it, but I love living by the seat of my pants…the pants that was made by cheap labor I won by shooting cannons at things.

thatsnew

A-yup, only two locations are trading with me now.  That and China, anyway.  And that can be taken away from me with one Event card.  Oh, and here’s something fun: If 7 locations are “Closed,” (meaning not trading with you), the game is over.  Because you stink.

I’m starting to stink juuuusssstttt a bit, methinks.


There’s a lack of Benyons and quite a few job openings, so I had to chuck a few of them into the Writer’s box for the family action, while the Hastings are broke, so I made some Officers out of them.  The Jones’s bought THREE factories and made another Captain.

We fill up our jobs (though the Director of Trade had to be a Benyon, which made all the lower jobs Hastings….messed that decision up).  We can actually buy a boat and a Good, getting the Benyon’s a dollar and the Hastings two, respectively.  The Military Affairs Officer puts that young Jones upstart from last turn over to Bengal to try and keep things in line, and the director of trade gets to sell a ship to Captain Jones.

“Meeeeeeeeeeee and Captain…..Captain Jooonse!”

No?  No one else went to Me and Mrs. Jones?  Just me?  Huh.

All those boats get sent to China.  This turn goes much quicker with only 2 Presidencies to deal with, and another $30 in Revenue gained.  I decide not to pay Dividends (It would cost the company $3 to pay $1 to the Benyons and nothing else), so the Stock Price drops to 4.  No problem there.

I spread out the money…..and you know what event I draw for the turn?

THE EXACT SAME ONE I DREW LAST TURN.

So I shuffle it back in and get stuck with 4 events AGAIN.  Whoo boy.

First Maratha tries to take over Hyderabad.  I don’t let that happen.  But then Hyderabad’s economy collapses.  You know what happens then?  I lose one ship for each successful order there.  How many successful orders?  THREE.  Whooo boy.

But yet, just like that, Mysore and, more importantly, Bengal’s economy GET’S BETTER.  Phew.

I forgot to mention the retirements.  The only one was the Chairman, but I didn’t put him anywhere (as a Hasting, I could buy other prizes as they already had a Royal Wedding.  I still need to put a Benyon there, but scoring future points is still scoring points.  Again, my weird solo rules).  A good reason being there’s only one Benyon (and 2 Jones) in the Court of Directors.  If there are no player cubes in the Court?  Boom.  Game Over.  We’ll need that money to re-invest in the company.

theend

So that’s the end of turn 4.  In an “introductory” game, you play to turn 6.  A full campaign is 10 turns, and the EIC’s monopoly is revoked somewhere in the middle, so you’re able to start up your own companies….yeah, it gets kind of awesome.

 

Any questions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let us drink and be merry…

Turn #2…

How can we sum up last turn?  Abysmal failure?  Actually no, not really.  We’ve achieved our first goal: Mawwage.

Not only that, but we’re only down $6 as a whole as a company.  We’ve gained a boat (which cost us $6), so according to our books, we’re actually at a flat 0 on our gain/loss report (I’m an accountant, so this comes naturally for me).  Not only that, but we’ve opened trade with Hyderabad, which means this turn should go a little better since we won’t have to waste money there opening trade, we can just use our money on the sail action.

So more money should be coming in to the Benyon family.  If this were a competitve game, Hastings would be happy to be the Director of Trade, because he/she could hold boats back and give them to the other Presidencies to keep Benyon from getting that big Presidency bonus.  While Benyon could put “the health of the company” as a bargaining chip, it might not hold water as the Hastings aren’t as invested in the company as the Benyon’s are.  But for now, we’re all hunky dory, so let’s check on Family Actions.

This goes in order from the Chairman around the table.  As there is no longer a Chairman (he retired, remember?), we go from the FORMER Chairman around the table.  It’s good to be the king.  So the Beyon’s have few choices because they’re BROKE.  No money.  Zilch.  So the three options available are: Captain (possibly buy a boat next turn: Will he have the $6 available for a boat?  Not likely), Officer (There’s already a giant pool of officers coming this turn, might not want to bloat the military even more) or Writer  (You know, the boring play).

So into the Writer’s pool two members of the Benyon family go.  Don’t worry, champ, you’ll work your way up.  Just don’t get the plague before you do.

The Hastings have a few more options with $4 available to spend.  I expect getting a few dollars in through plunder this turn (Three Hasting Officers will be sent to India this turn), so spending $3 on another factory  is a pretty good prospect.  That gives the Director of Goods Purchasing (Also a Hasting) two player controlled factories to buy from first, and all that money will flow right back into the Hasting coffers.  And the cost of goods is still $2, so you can’t beat that.

On to the Jones’s!  One shipyard built, TWO factories and yet another officer.

turn2

To the Company phase!  The only job we have to fill is the Chairman’s.  That gets filled from the Court of Director’s.  Each cube in there gives you a vote.  Going to the right of the former chairman, you can delegate someone as suitable for chairmanship and everyone votes, majority rules.  It’s very formal and downright silly some games.  I love it.  In this case, the Benyons are the only family in the Court of Directors (the Jones family never holds a position in the company), so one of the cubes in the Court of Directors moves to the Chairman space.  Promotion!

Now we move down the red carpet and do our work.  Phew, it’s tough to be a militaristic iron-fisted exploitative governing power!

Ship Building gets to take a day off as he has no money to spend.  Goods purchasing has $6, so can buy 3 Goods.  2 come from the Hastings factory (1 from a Jones factory), so the Hastings net $4 out of that.  Not a a bad take.

Now we go to Military Affairs.  YIKES!  They get to buy one Cannon at $2 (again from the Jones factory) and then they have to hand that out along with 6 Officers.  The maximum amount of Officers you can place in each Presidency is 3, so I’ll have to spread these bad-boys around.


And then my real life job exploded and this post had to take a back seat.  Hang tight, folks.

 

And one to my lass….

choices

Okay, we are now with the President of the Province of Bombay.  This member of the Hastings family has a number of choices to make.  The first choice to make is whether or not a “Campaign” action will happen.  This is when the army goes in and takes over the location, providing a few benefits for the company:  It creates a new Office:

gov

You can jam a family member there and they will be able to Campaign further (this one could take over Punjab, Mysore and/or Sindh), and they will be able to Invest in Bombay to possibly get it out of any economic depressions.  Or they can just collect taxes and pocket them because politics are hard and stuff.

In order to take over a location, you need to roll some dice.  You start off with zero dice, and then add as many Officers as you are willing to Exhaust (they won’t be able to be used for defense during the rest of the round).  Each one gives you a die to roll (3 Officers can be given to each President).  Then you can Exhaust as many cannons as you like, each of those giving you a die as well (no limit to those).  Then for each $2 you spend, you “hire a mercenary” and gain a die.  Then you subtract dice based on the Defense of the location you’re going after :

Defense

Whatever dice you have left, you roll!  Then you take the lowest number rolled: 1-2 Success! 3-4 Failure!  5-6 Ridiculous Failure, so bad that your family member is immediately fired with no possibility for retirement!  So there is risk in all rolls for things to go very, very wrong for you.

In this case, the President of Bombay has no Officers or Cannon, and only has $8.  Which means if I spent ALL money, it would be 3 dice, not great odds.  So let’s move on to the next choice.

Open Trade: This one is fairly simple.  For each $ you spend, you gain a die.  If you succeed, you take a Province from the “Closed” locations:

Closed

These are all the locations that are currently not trading with the EIC.  You can bring them under your wing, though with this Open Trade action fairly easily.  Benefits for this: More places to trade to = more money AND if you lose the last Province attached to a Presidency, that Presidency becomes CLOSED and you lose EVERYTHING attached to it, money, boats, EVERYTHING.  So why wouldn’t you just Open trade with EVERYONE?

Because Sailing everywhere is harder than sailing to one place.  The next action, “Sail Action,” is more difficult the more Open locations there are.  But I have $8, so I’m going to try and bring some folks on board.  So I will Open Trade with Mysore.  I will spend $3, so I roll 3 dice: 4,5,6.

YIKES!

Well, that’s that.  Shows you how nothing is for certain.  3 dice is clearly not a sure thing.  You need 4 or 5 to start feeling good about your roll.  So now action 3: Sail.  This is how you actually do your trading.  You roll 1 die for each dollar you spend, but you have to subtract dice equal to the number of open locations in the Presidency minus 1.  First one’s free!

Bombay is currently in an economic depression, and the Director of Trade only gave the President access to two boats, so the only thing it can trade is Spices which will earn the company $5.  Because of that, I will spend $4 so I can get a $1 profit.  Not great, but it’s something.

3,6,6,6

*blink,blink*

So, um.  Guess that’s not happening.  Guess Bombay is not going to be successful this turn.  So we move on to the Madras Presidency, who has the same three choices.

Again, Campaign is right out as we have no army to speak of.  I’m going to forgo trying to Open Trade as holding on to some money might be a good idea, so let’s just jump to Sailing.

Again, we only have 2 boats which can ship Handicrafts which earns $4.  I’ll roll 4 dice: even though this results in no gain, it will be able to give money to a more lucrative location (I hope Bengal will be this).

3,3,5,6

Oh COME ON!

*grumblegrumble*

Let’s just go to Bengal.  Here we have a Cannon, which isn’t enough to take Bengal over, but we’ll think about it later.  I’d love to open trade with Hyderabad:

Hyd

It’s the most lucrative location.  You only need one boat for each location, so with 3, you get $15.  Of course, the way these dice are going….Eff it.  3 Dice for Opening trade to Hyderabad.

2,3,4

FINALLY!  Okay, now I have 2 locations to ship to, so I’ll use all the rest of my money ($5) to roll 4 dice and hope to ship to all of them.

2,3,4,5

WOO HOO!

Capture

With a boat and a Good, I ship Indigo to Bengal.  And two boats and a Good, I ship everything to Hyderabad.  I put a black disk on all four of those numbers to show they were delivered and I move up the Revenue track to $21.

And that ends the Company phase.  Now we do a bit of book-keeping where we pay company expenses and distribute income….and maybe skim a few bucks off the top.

First the players receive any bonuses they would earn from a few bonuses.  The only one that is available is the “Presidential Bonus.”  For each black disk down for a successful delivery results in the family earning $1.  So the Benyon family nets $4 for the Bengal Presidency.

Now the Company has to pay for expenses, they are:

– Debt (The Chairman can place a black disc in the Court of Directors to gain $10 at any time during the Company phase, but at this point, for each black disk the company has to pay $1)

– Military Upkeep – $1 for each Officer and Cannon (costs $1 for this turn, our Revenue drops to $20)

-Shareholder Dividends – Every turn the company should pay $1 for each cube in the Court of Directors (this money does go to the family who ones the cubes).  If this is done once, the share price stays the same.  If this is done more than once, the share price goes UP.  If this is NOT done, the share price goes down.  If the share price is already 3, then you have Angry Shareholders and the government bails the company out.  It’s a big deal and I’ll explain later if we get close to that.  I have no problem with paying out $3 (since 2 will go to the Benyon family) as we’ll still have $17 to go to the Company and we’ll be able to earn a ton more next turn (and we’ll need it for the huge army that’ll show up).

After that, the Chairman puts the remaining money where ever you like.  I put a bunch in Bengal, a few in the other Presidencies, and the remaining in the Goods Purchasing Office so we can get some more.

Now the last phase is the “Evening Post” phase.  This is where we open the newspaper and go “Dear God!” because something awful is going to happen.  Sometimes.

news

First is Events Abroad.  Things happening in England, which is a Law Before Parliament.  This is a vote among the players (again, another time for wheeling and dealing).  Popular Support shows where the vote is currently, so this is going to vote “Yea” without player input.  So each player has a certain amount of Political Power, which is how many votes you get to cast.  It’s equal to the amount of Shipbuilders and Factories your family owns.  You can then spend $1 each for more votes.  This law would make those extra votes cost $2.  Not great for me because I only have one factory.  When I play solo, I make the Jones family always vote against me.  They only have 1 votes, so right now it’s +3.  I have one factory and it’s +2.  Is it worth spending $2 to make it fail?

Eh, the way my dice are rolling, I need to hold on to every dollar I have.  Besides, I could buy more factories and such if I need more voting power.  So the Reform Act passes.

Now we roll for Attrition.  This is where we see if our family members retire.  The chairman retires on a roll of 4-6.  Executive positions retire on a roll of 5-6, and Senior positions retire on a roll of 6.  So let’s see what happens:

*rollrollroll*

The only retiree is a member of the Benyon family who was formerly the Chairman (at 50% chance, that’s believable…but I’ve played games where the dude held on for generations…I hate that guy).

Now I can see if I can retire the former Chairman to a nice comfy gig.  According to my self-made solitaire rules, I have to have him marry a member of the Hastings family.

Wedding

The Chairman is an Executive position, so it costs $7 to purchase.  How much money does the Benyon family have?  Why, $7!  So we break the bank to move up in British aristocracy.  Typical.

Now we move on to Local News.  This is where things go….weird.  If you look our newspaper, it says there are 4 Events in India.  That means the “Elephant” (yup, an elephant meeple.  It’s awesome) will move 4 spaces this turn, triggering an event each time it moves.  It starts at location 1, so right away, it moves to location 2 (Maratha) and triggers an event:

Maratha

If you look at the right side of the card, those are the possible events that will happen with the Maratha Confederacy.  It’s an awfully aggressive location!  Let’s roll to see what happens!  Right now, India is balanced, so we just roll a d6 and see what happens.

3

What that symbol means is Maratha tries to conquer Hyderabad with a strength of 4.  Uh oh.  We’re trading with Hyderabad, that would be bad for us, because Maratha would forbid Hyderabad to trade with us if it became a province of Maratha.  Hyderabad has a defense of 3, so it would need 1 more defense in order to stave off the attack.  The Bengal president can Exhaust Officers, Cannon or buy Mercenaries in order to add to Hyderabad’s defense.  So, this is an easy choice, I exhaust one cannon and the battle is a losing one.

That was Event #1, the elephant walks to location #3, which is ironically Hyderabad.  Let’s see what happens there. I roll a 5 and that means Hyderabad falls into a depression.  Unfortunately that means instead of $5 for each delivery, I’m getting $4.  Also, that makes India more chaotic, so events now get 2d6 rolled and you take the higher number.  Blah.

Event #3 is in Mysore, I roll 2 & 3 which also flips Mysore into a depression.  Finally we go to Bengal.  4 & 5 means Bengal also flips to a depression.

*sigh*

So now I refresh everything (un-exhaust the cannon, move the Officers and Captain to the Officers that will deal with them, and move the turn marker to 2).

Jeez, Mysore is the only location that is not in a depression.

Can you get Lexapro for a country?

Turn 2 tomorrow?