Sadly the monsters in Super Dungeon Explore seem to have silenced all the session reporters this week...well, almost all.
Ora et Labora
Barrie started. Gareth followed with the Spinning Mill (Money for having sheep), I cut wood and so did Keith. Play continued with my building the Cloister Courtyard (3 different resources into 6 basic resources of the same type) and getting lots of coins, some of which I invested in beach property. Keith built the Priory and used it to use my Cloister Courtyard for coins, buying land as I had. In fact everyone found some way to generate coins and buy land in the early game, with additional purchases later on.
As usual I was taking care not to build until my Prior was free, while others were happy to build without activating. Keith had a Builder’s Market, which turns coins into useful resources- including Stone, so making my Stone Buyer less attractive. Later on Gareth built the Quarry so there was plenty of Stone about.
Barrie raised some cash with the Fuel Seller, I generated cash and beer (surprisingly nutritious) with the False Light House, while Gareth built the Harbour Boat, the Peat Charcoal Kilm and later the Shipyard.
Various methods for generating VPs began to appear mid-game with Gareth constructing the monastic building which turns clay and metal into VPs, me investing in a Scriptorium and Keith going into Whiskey Distilling.
I had the Druid’s Cave, which reverses the normal order by turning valuable books into large numbers of basic items- Barrie had the Portico which does a similar thing with chalices. I also built the Locutory which is effectively a free building in terms of actions since it allows you to take back your Prior and build again. Barrie’s Slaughterhouse would also come in handy as a way of generating enough food for the Village and Hilltop Village in the last rounds.
Wood and Peat were harvested at varying rates by the players, with myself at one extreme clearing almost all the forests and bogs from my land while Gareth at the other had five left at the end of the game.
There was a bit of confusion when it emerged that Barrie and Keith had put their coasts and mountains the wrong way round, rather disturbing their planning; Keith was also disappointed to find he couldn’t build anything on the mountainside...
The final rounds saw a drive towards high Vp objectives. Keith succeeded in creating the 30VP sacred picture, partly through my Guesthouse, while I managed to build a Monastic building which gave 2 VPs per monastic building. Gareth had built the Castle so was able to play extra settlements, which probably contributed to his final victory.
Gareth 200 Philip 193 Barrie and Keith somewhat less.
From the land to the sea
Anyways, thanks to the rather broader patience of everyone else we got started eventually, and soon the cuteness of the pieces and uniqueness of the wave seemed to keep everyone interested.
So for the first round everyone added some pieces to their coral and left the wave until then end... It was here that Paul's evil side was open to all as he mercilessly attacked Amanda, setting the shark on her at every opportunity... I'm glad I'm not on his bad side, his wrath would appear to be quite vicious. Instead of kicking him under the table, which would've been my reaction, Amanda took this quite well and tried to focus on her reef, although dead fish were piling up at a rapid rate.
At this stage I realised we'd been playing the wrong side of the board... Doh... Which was why the shark had been so busy... From here on things went a little gentler, although Paul still seemed to be harbouring some kind of grudge...
Shamu was focused on his reef while my advantage at having played before (very badly as I recall) was obvious as I was finding a good balance between coral selections and dice.
The 2nd wave went a lot quicker as everyone wanted to get the bonuses to mend their reefs... Especially Amanda. Shamu managed to fix his and started to collect dice while Paul and myself were building a lead having rescued several friends.
3rd wave and the game started reaching an end phase. I had 1 more to get, Paul 2 and Amanda and Shamu Were both struggling to catch up. At least Amanda managed to clear her reef at this stage, but too late to do much with it.
4th wave and I picked up my last friend to bring things to an end.
Not a smooth game due to my selected remembering of the rules, and much longer than expected... Still we got to the end, although I'm not sure if the others really enjoyed it... Win some, lose some.. Or, if you're Paul, just lose some...
James 1st Paul 2nd, Amanda and Shamu vying for last.
P.S “I am the Monarch of the Sea” is a quotation from Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore