2012 Golden Thingummy Award: First Game-Off
The contenders for the first game-off were chosen to be Carcassonne and Dominion. Two classic games in their own right that are massively different in just about all respects. We had a free afternoon, so cleared the table, lined up drinks and got started with Carcassonne…
We haven’t played Carcassonne many times with the full rules and not for some time now, as we have been through quite a lot of new games over the last few months. So it was nice to get this old favourite out again and start laying tiles. As usual, the only rule I really have for myself is to not deliberately play to cause problems for Miss B. Other than that, I try not to make dumb moves. This time, I wished I was playing harder. For the first time, Miss B made a really good play of a farmer which, combined with having a pretty good run of the tiles throughout, meant that she solidly and comprehensively beat me. Smiles and high-fives all around. This is the sort of a buzz that I always hoped for when we started playing these games, and it is great when it works out right.
After a short break we cracked out Dominion and Miss B set to choosing the kingdom cards. Her selections seemed pretty reasonable, though most of them were four-cost cards, which I felt might restrict the game. I suggested she might want to swap a couple to give more variety but she was happy with the way things were. Fine. So off we went.
I’m pretty inexperienced at Dominion and there were a couple of cards in this setup that I’d not used before, but it was really gratifying to see Miss B exploring some of the possibilities as much as I was. Very soon she was finding that she could combine the Adventurer card (which cycles through your deck looking for treasure) with assorted other cards to great effect. I don’t think she was really thinking of it in terms of building combos, but she was able to work out the best order to play her cards and it was amazing how often she ended up with a hefty fistful of treasure by the end of the action step of her turn. In the end we had a brilliantly close game that genuinely came down to the count at the end. And I won this time. Just.
This must have been one of the best gaming sessions we have had yet. Both games worked really well and gave us lots to think about. Dominion in particular seemed to be close to its best, playing quickly with the two of us using very different strategies but both doing well with it. I guess it’s all about the card mix — I’m kicking myself for not noting down what the cards were (though if I look closely enough at the photo I took, maybe…).
Anyway, Miss B insisted that I let her type her thoughts, so here we go…
“I like dominion becos i liked seeying who won.I like carcassonne becos i like the meeples 🙂 Missb wrote this.”
On sober reflection, Miss B has announced that Carcassonne scored 8 out of 10 and Dominion had 10 out of 10, so we are pleased to announce that Dominion is the first finalist for this year’s Golden Thingummy award.