The only thing worse than losing after being sure you’re going to win is losing after other players are sure you’re going to win. I seem to be great at leading the pack but lousy at the end game. See, a lot of games where you’re scoring points net you points while the game is going on, but also give out points for meeting certain conditions at the end of the game. Like most of this type of resource, or largest something, or fewest whatever. And these are often make or break in a game, especially for players who are good at playing the long game. They’ll sacrifice the quick and easy score for building towards those bonuses. So while I’m whooshing out in front and they’re lagging behind, by the time we reach the end, I’m done scoring, and they’ve got a couple of dozen points in their pocket they spring on me and leave me in the dust. There’s probably a moral there somewhere.
That proved true tonight with Elysium, which I touched on briefly after playing it at Dice Tower back in June. I was raking in coin, I was moving cards around with ease, I was pretty much doing what I wanted. “Oh, you’ve got this,” one of my friends said, and I felt pretty good about my chances. Until someone snagged away a bonus I thought I had. And then someone else took another one. And since those had been pretty much what I was building towards, I had no other options left. While the winner had 53, I ended up with 45, not that far back, but also just a point above last place. I just sometimes get so caught up in the mechanics of the game, how this one thing can let you do this thing which then gives you these things with let this other thing happen. Which is fine and all, but I don’t knit that into any kind of coherent strategy. I’m just doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff. Sometimes it comes together, sometimes it doesn’t, but I can’t say I’m not having fun.
Speaking of having fun, we also beat the crap out of a giant robot. Sentinels of the Multiverse is a favorite that I just don’t get to the table enough. Fortunately a friend of mine wanted to try it, since he’d played the app version and found it kind of difficult. We went after the same villain he’d struggled with, the not-Ultron robot Omnitron, and I guess we stumbled on just the right combination of heroes, because while we had to work at it, we managed to take him down in about 45 minutes. This game is also right up my alley as far as game play; since you’re drawing random cards, you have to play a little more reactively, making the best of what you have rather than building an engine for some long-term plan. It’s the same reason I enjoy 7 Wonders. I guess I prefer the tactical to the strategic.
Or maybe I’m just really good at beating up giant robots.