Saturday, February 18, 2017

Punic Wars and the Trial of Louis Riel

Bruce and I got together this week for a few hours of gaming. We started out replaying The Punic Wars (as a campaign engine for Aurelian). I was again Rome and tried not to make the same mistakes as last time. Annoyingly, I ran into the same economic issue anyhow, with Carthage way out producing me.

I got a luck event (revolt in Spain) which helped me bridge the economic gap. About four turns in Hannibal decided to descend from Gallia to the coast to try and stomp Scipio's army. He has about a 3:2 advantage. Looking forward to trying my luck on the miniatures table against the dog's breakfast of troops that the Carthaginians have to field.

Bruce then brought out The Trial of Louis Riel, a new boardgame he got. Very fun game in four rounds. First round the players use cards to reveal information about jurors (randomly assigned traits). Then the players winnow the pool down to six jurors.

Then there are two rounds of card play representing the trial and here the players can fiddle the jury a bit but mostly they "make arguments" to sway particular characteristics towards their cause. This moves markers on the board and shapes the eventual scoring. For example, if the jury pool is heavily catholic, the each player seeks to move the catholic marker towards them.

The final round is summation and entails a hand of cards that the players have each set aside during the first two rounds. This gives players a chance to make last minute adjustments. Like most card-driven games, the lesson here is read the cards you put away carefully... .

At the end you score, revealing each juror's complete set of traits and scoring them as per the tracks on the game board. To convict, the prosecution needs 100 points. There are also two tracks allowing the players to seek a win through overwhelming evidence (crown) and insanity (defence). Louis got off this round, mostly because the jury was heavily catholic and mercantile.

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