Okay; now that I have met my posting deadline, I can tell the full story a little more relaxed-ly(?!).
Most Wednesday nights with friends we actually have… you know… dinner. Sometimes, like tonight, there is just not enough room for snacks and dinner to co-exist in my stomach. We opened a rose that wasn’t entirely convincing, but not sufficiently un-convincing to move on to something else instead.
There was cheese. There is always cheese. Ken is our cheesy friend. Oh, also dip. And Ritter Sport chocolate, which is hard to resist and should never be left near me. I ate almost the entire block of marzipan-filled chocolate before anyone had the presence of mind to save me by removing it from my reach.
The dog looked on hopefully. But no crackers for him tonight.
He got honey-rice-puffs instead.
Don’t even ask.
As I was starting to fill up on chocolate and cheese and assorted fruit, Abbey suggested that we hadn’t actually had dinner yet. Abbey voiced some concern over carby pastizzi for dinner, but frankly, Wednesday is our night of sin and we eat whatever anyone puts on the table. I wasn’t going to argue.
I only managed two or three pastizzi, but I think I managed to hide that fact from the others.
And then the baking began.
And then the gaming began.
Dominion is a game with deceptively simple rules:
- You have five cards
- You can play one action card
- You can buy one new card
- Then you discard anything left
- And you draw five new cards
- When you run out, reshuffle the discards and start from the top
Once you deplete three stacks of cards from the supply, the game ends, and then the person with the most victory points on the cards in the deck they have collected wins.
Each of Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue has 25 types of cards over-and-above the standard money and victory-point cards. At the start of the game you select 10 cards for the game. The manufacturers provided some standard recommended combinations, but we decided to randomly draw 10.
As a result, you play every game by a different set of rules. Every game is different. No strategy works twice in a row.
It’s a game of learning to adapt to circumstances.
We chose 5 cards randomly out of the two sets of 25. Using just this selection method, there are (25! / (5! x 20!))^2 = 2,822,796,900 different rules combinations possible. Oh, and there are about 5-6 more extensions to the game with anywhere from 15-25 new cards each.
It’s a great way to stretch the mind.
The first game I won handily with 106 to 90. It was really lucky that I caught on to Ken’s strategy early on when he was collecting a powerful combination of Duchy’s (3 points) and Dukes (+1 bonus point for each Duchy) which enhance each other for scoring purposes. I managed to keep pace with his buying while monopolizing the Provinces (6 points) which narrowly put me over the top.
The second game was all Ken’s. I wasn’t sure how many points either of us had, but I had the sneaking feeling that Ken had managed to get many more Provinces than I did (8 to 4), and we were racing for snapping up the remaining points towards the end. He won about 68 to 56.
This is another game that is great to play with a larger group, because the rounds are very quick, meaning that everybody stays more easily engaged with the game.
And then it was time for tea with whatever remained of the snacks/chocolate. Ken tried the tea that was supposedly Rooibos-like with a hint of wood and honey. When I tried it all I got was wood and not much else.
And I got myself a cup of spearmint… but not before inhaling the box of loose-leaf tea first. I was expecting tea-bags, but I mentholated my eyes instead. It was a very refreshing experience that I don’t wish to ever repeat.
And by the time Ken was getting ready to go home, it was already around 10 to midnight. So, I had to excuse myself and rush to the study to do my 365-duty and quickly edit a picture and write a brief post.
This longer post is mainly because I felt guilty about the rush-job the other post was.
I think I have managed to ramble here instead.