Dominion

I bought Dominion. That’s the first Eurogame I’ve bought. Okay, I played a bunch of other Eurogames before at a board game shop (while they are opening and hence playing is free; they didn’t have Dominion, though), but none of them was bought. On retrospect, I should have bought some; they are probably cheaper than this $40 for Dominion, but oh well.

Here as college (university, whatever) students, we need break time. While I do play computer games and what else often, sometimes it’s good to play board games with friends. This has never been a regularity until when I brought Saboteur and Bang! from home, though; added with Catan that my friend bought and the usual French deck of cards for some general fun, we started playing regularly.

At some point, we discussed about buying another game, because why not. A few came to my mind. Carcassonne was rejected by a friend because he has played it and it wasn’t fun. I didn’t even propose Paperback because nobody would play an English-heavy game. I played Quantum on Board Game Arena quite often, and I enjoyed it, but it’s probably difficult to teach. Also, it’s awfully expensive on the online market here, and international shipping is equally expensive. Other Eurogames didn’t quite come to my mind, so we settled with Dominion. It was initially mostly a joke, but the more I thought of it, the more I wanted to get my hands on a physical copy of it. Also, it would be the first time ever I bought a Eurogame.

And thus the deed was done. I actually ordered it a few days ago, and it arrived yesterday. It will be left there until the midterm week (next week) is done, though, because my friends are busy studying. (I’m also studying, but not as much; after all, I’m still typing this post.) Let’s just hope I don’t have the impulse to buy much more and drained my money that’s supposed to be for my life here…

Also, just because, I observed that the most common confusion for novice Dominion players is the text “+1 Action” (and “+2 Actions”). Most players think that you need to pause your resolution on that card to play another action immediately. (It actually means you get one extra Action you can use later in the turn, but you need to finish the card first before using it.) Which just means I should play my first game with some tokens to represent Actions and Buys.

The Genius, by A Skymin’s Mind #7

Monorail

Used as Death Match of Season 3, Round 10 and Season 4, Round 6. (Discussion of S4E6 in particular will come later.)

Rules

The objective is to be the one that completes a train track, or to be the one that declares it’s impossible (correctly).

There are 18 square tiles used in the game. Two of them show straight tracks, the station tiles, which are already placed on the grid; the remaining 16 tiles can be made to show a straight track or a bend track, which are to be placed. Players place tiles so that sides match (a track leading to a non-track side is not permitted; think of tile-based games (such as Dominoes or Carcassonne, where sides of tiles must match). A player may place one to three tiles at once, but all of them must be played in a straight line contiguously (think of Scrabble, where you cannot place your tiles separated, only that it’s even more strict; the tiles must be contiguous, not separated by already existing tiles). However, the track itself doesn’t need to be connected; as long as the tiles placed are connected, it’s fine.

The person who places the last tile, completing the track using all tiles already placed, wins. However, a player can also declare that it’s impossible to complete the track, in which the opponent must either complete it (for a win to the non-challenger) or resign (for a win to the challenger).

Also see this video from the Facebook page, which is unfortunately in Korean, but gives illustrations.

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The Genius, by A Skymin’s Mind #3

Tactical Yutnori

Used as Death Match of Season 1, Rounds 3, 4, 10, and Season 4, Round 2.

Rules

Basic yutnori rules apply, as follows. Wikipedia is also pretty complete.

The game uses a special yutnori board. Players cast yut sticks which can be “up” (plain) or “down” (marked). There are thus four sticks cast. The number of up sticks is the player’s score: one up stick is 도 (do), scoring one space; two up sticks is 개 (gae), scoring two spaces; three up sticks is 걸 (geol), scoring three spaces; four up sticks is 윷 (yut), scoring four spaces; and no up sticks is 모 (mo), scoring five spaces, unlike the others. In addition, yut and mo also allow the player to cast again, thus possibly accumulating several yuts and mos before a different cast is thrown.

Each player has two pieces on the board. After a move, the player can move any of their pieces for the score cast. In case of yuts and mos, they can choose where each cast goes to, but a cast can be only used for one piece. (For example, with a yut and a gae, one can use them to advance a piece six spaces (4+2) or a piece four spaces and another two spaces, but not split them into three and three.)

Normally, pieces travel along the outer edge of the board. However, when a piece lands on a corner or the center of the board, it has the option of following a different, shorter route. Note that the piece must land on the corner or the center to allow the alternative route; simply passing by doesn’t count.

When a piece lands on another of its own, the two may decide to merge and continue together. When a piece lands on an opponent’s, the opponent piece is returned back to home and the player gets another cast. (It seems that if one gets a yut or a mo in this new cast, it doesn’t give another cast.) A player wins if they get both pieces back to the home after circling the board.

That concludes yutnori rules. However, as this is a tactical yutnori, additional rules are in place.

The two Death Match players each chooses a partner. The partners also play, but they cannot win. Each player holds two sticks, one is “up” on both sides and one is “down” on both sides, and each throws one stick of their choice. (Teammates may discuss, of course.)

In addition, there is a variant called “back do”. If one gets a do, instead of advancing by one space, a piece is retracted by one space. (If one doesn’t have any piece on the board, the turn is skipped.) Note that this allows a piece to retract back to home and beyond by back dos, and it’s still counted as circling the board.

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