We played two back to back games of Kotay last Monday (July 10, 2017) . Yes, Monday (thanks to Karthik’s work cycles)
Players – Game 1 – Filippo (replaced by Karthik in the 2nd half), Pavan, Pushkar and I
Game 2 – Kshiraja, Karthik, Vignesh and Pavan
We implemented the new victory condition as follows
When 4 players are playing – 20 gold to win, when only 3 players remain – 25 gold to win
In the 1st game which lasted about 2 hours (after accounting for our food break!), I didn’t get to build a lumber camp till round 3. This set me back but I did make a productive two gold producing economy. As usual, I was the first to be taken out (by Pushkar!).
Filippo built a very balanced kingdom which was stable and resource rich. Karthik took over for him post dinner.
Karthik and Pavan had drawn up battle lines and were having a few skirmishes of their own before realizing the threat that was expanding towards them.
They combined forces (perhaps a little too late) against Pushkar. Their attack however suffered from lack of co-ordination and places to spawn forces.
They also choose to fight rather than plunder (destroying buildings). This meant that at one point in the game Pushkar was getting 6 golds per turn.
Vignesh suggested we move the mark up to 25 gold when the game came down to 3 players. Pushkar won with 25 gold. His capital had 2 forts outside and survived 6 attacks with a D4. It was a close game.
Overall, this was a more satisfying end point, but it seemed (n=1) to make the first attacker quite powerful. We will have to test that out over time.
In the 2nd game, within the 3rd round, every one had a gold producing economy. Pavan and Vignesh teamed up forcing an alliance on K and K.
Karthik took out Vignesh’s explorer and about 35 min into the game he built a Kotay on the central tiles. This unfortunately did not last very long.
eWe drank a lot of Lapsang souchong from the special banaras cups
About 2 hours into the game, many Kotays had been destroyed and the impetus to build more was waning.
Pavan mobilized his army units which had some difficulty advancing.
We had to resolve a rule ambiguity – Character Pieces (explorer, cannon and cavalry) can move over tiles occupied by their own pieces. The rule is that at the end of the turn, only one character piece and one building can occupy a tile.
The fogginess of this rule created some problems. Pavan wonders whether building Kotays is actually strategic given this rule. As it makes Kotays accessible to cannons ((which move only one step per move) within 2 turns.
Karthik seemed to have a good strategy but some really bad luck with the dice. Here is the thing with the dice throws though – they were routinely bad and unexpectedly good – and a lot, though not everything, hinges on them!
Pavan won by aggregating 20 gold.
I am afraid the game is tending to become a quest for gold and prompt annihilation of gold hoarders. We will have to play more to see if this alters the balance. So far it seems to be enhancing the battle phase of the game.