The Chronicles of Dunshire, part 2
(Click here for part 1
When we last left our band of budding warlords, they were 3 turns into the game and just starting to understand the mechanics. There had been a few skirmishes and even a couple reigning lords of the Cone of Decision.
Two weeks later, we sat down to finish the game. Well, we sat down to keep playing, at least, but we did end up finishing it nonetheless. Which was surprising, actually. Cones of Dunshire is so long and ridiculous, I expected at least some of the eight players to get tired of the game long before it ended. And, well, to be fair, we were all at least a little tired of it by the end, but we soldiered through and crowned a legitimate victor. If we hadn't finished, I would probably be lying to right now, telling you that we had and that the game was awesome, but I don't have to now, so that's a bonus!
Anyway, I will relate to you as best as I can our second and final session of the game. About halfway through I got kind of drunk, which severely handicapped my ledgerman capabilities and ability to recall everything in detail. I did manage to keep the hat on, though
Before the session began, I had to make a ruling on whether players could attempt to get challenge points from multiple gods on the same turn if they had troops at multiple god locations. This was actually a major decision because if players could only do one challenge per turn, the game would take at least as twice as long as otherwise, but if you could do multiple challenges, it essentially made it impossible for me to win as the ledgerman, since I had no troops to occupy multiple locations.
I decided in favor of a shorter game. I mean, how would it look if I won my own game anyway?
Turn 4 began with the arbiter, played by my friend Brian who was able to make it this time around. I asked Brian to arrive a half hour early so I could make sure he had down all the intricate rules. Instead he arrived half an hour late, so I just threw him mercilessly to the sharks. He had no idea what he was doing, but picked up the game relatively quickly. Maybe not the specific mechanics, but at least a general strategy of expanding as much as possible
. He was also able to kick the maverick's troops off his right border.
The game immediately got interesting on wizard 1's turn, when a chaos card went off that doubled all special points and turned them into "advance" points. Okay, well, that was a little lame, and the next couple players bandied about with some minor skirmishes and expansion, with a couple attempts to accumulate challenge points from the gods. It really got ridiculous at wizard 2's turn when the exact same chaos card went off in his hand. Now all special points were quadrupled and turned into "buy" points. So each special die rolled would net the player 20 buy points. If you had 11 dice to roll, that's 220 buy points.
So wizard 2 went crazy.
His troops weren't really in a position to expand, but he basically built everything he could on the hexes he owned and bought 10 agriculture cards from the arbiter (why not?). Now possessing all sub-cones, he set his sights on getting a troop on each god space to start accumulating challenge points from all 4 simultaneously.
Warrior 2 set out on a similar strategy, though she was having trouble getting challenge points from the minotaur. For, like, 4 turns in a row she kept getting cards that gave her no points because she didn't have any buildings on the black hexes.
I also took advantage of the mass of available "buy" points. The ledgerman doesn't roll any dice, but all "buy" points spent go to me, so I was also able to buy every building possible and continue my quest toward a yellow cone.
Rapid expansion continued to be the name of the game going into turn 5 as everyone had plenty of resources and started to realize the more you had of each building, the easier it was to accumulate challenge points. Tension grew when wizard 1's turn rolled around and another chaos card went off that forced him to switch avatars with another player, essentially changing all his powers. This was defused, though, when the random player turned out to be the other wizard, whose powers are exactly the same
. Rather anti-climactic.
This ended up being the most crucial turn of the game, however, because expansion was happening rapidly and all the free space was being swallowed up, which meant that it was getting increasingly harder to move troops around and get them onto the various god spaces. Wizard 2 acted the quickest, getting troops to each of the god points (with the help of some of his spells), and simultaneously closing off the hexes leading to the lava worm challenge space with his excess troops. With troops on each of the god spots, it was now only a matter of time before he accumulated enough challenge points to collect all 4 cones
This turn also saw the first acquisition of a full cone when the corporal successfully appeased the mighty kraken. He was very excited about it.
And immediately tried to wear it as a hat.
I, on the other hand, was doing particularly terribly. With only my avatar to move around and claim land or accumulate challenge points, I had to chose between the two. I stopped short of attaining a yellow cone to try and go accumulate more territory, so that getting cones in the future would be easier. However, wherever I moved would always get blocked by other players' troops before I had a change to build. I eventually claimed 2 hexes on the opposite side of the board, but it was far too little too late
The next full cone went the arbiter, who managed to get all 20 dragon points in a single challenge play due to his rapid expansion. He was having real difficulties getting past wizard 2's troops into the lava worm challenge, though, so his victory became less likely. The real contenders to the throne were warrior 1 and the maverick, but they hadn't been able to expand as much as wizard 2, so he was still a solid front-runner.
The next couple turns were a little less exciting, as all the viable territory had been claimed, and those who didn't have a troop on each of the god points knew it was too late for them to win anyway. It mainly became a game of waiting around to do the challenge plays to see how many points you could accumulate. A few more cones were handed out and eventually wizard 2 was in spitting distance of victory.
Wizard 2 had already received a kraken cone and was just a few points away from the other 3. Lava worm challenge? Done - another cone. Minotaur challenge? Done - another cone. Dragon challenge? A bad draw! He got only 6 challenge points, leaving him at 19 - one away from total victory
But all hope was not lost! One of the couples really needed to leave for the night, and one of them had control of the Cone of Decision. She said if the wizard could make it up to the summit, she would hand over the cone to him and give him the victory. So climbed, but when he got to the top, he still had to answer a dreaded trivia question
. And the board situation was far more complicated than when the previous trivia questions were answered. He tried to memorize as much as he could.
And then turned his back to answer the final question.
"What avatar does the green player control?"
He had just said it before turning his back, but could he remember? It took him a while, but he eventually yelled out "Arbiter," securing his 4th cone and becoming the Lord of Dunshire. The first and only Lord of Dunshire, as far as I can tell.
He was very happy about this.
(How I designed the rules
) (How to make your own
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