Last night was our last gaming session with Dave and Liz before they go off and do something the majority of us dream doing, but so so few do. Plus they are young enough to do it. And that is go travelling for a year (or just over) in exotic parts of the world.
For this final game session we played Cry Havoc. This is the third in the territory control, action selection style game that we have played. Liz does like this type of game. Would she like Cry Havoc?
It had been nearly a year since I had played the game, plus I hadn’t had time to refresh my memory to the rules (ie watch the Watched It Played! video). This was also a first for me, because this was the first time I had played the game at the full compliment of 4 players.
One thing I did do for this game after my first play was to print out the blog posts off the Portal website that gave tactics advice for each of the 4 factions.
It was interesting with the Troggs in play. Because you still start off with the tokens spread around the board. So when the other factions start to expand out to grab crystals and territory, all of a sudden the Troggs go from having 3 units out to having lots when the tiles are revealed. I thought the ability of the troggs to build traps was also pretty powerful, especially in removing attacking factions before a battle took place. Justin played the Troggs, and he had built up a pretty well defended territory that had 9 points of crystals on it. I think if I hadn’t been doing battle with him on another territory for 5 crystals then he might have been able to fend off the attack from Liz. Mind you if he had defeated me and Liz in that final round victory would have been his.
With the right tactic cards in hand it’s possible to turn what looks like a losing position into victory (as long as you don’t misplay it that is). There is a nice card that reverses the resolution set. So killing units is first, then taking prisoners and finally the majority for control. As long as the other player doesn’t cotton on, you can work it so that you only need one on the majority for control, and kill off or take prisoner the difference.
I made a little mistake in the penultimate round in my battle with Justin for that 5 point crystal when I misunderstood the prisoner phase of the battle, it was take one unit prisoner, not take one for each unit I had on the prisoner phase. Which meant I gave the victory to Justin and had to retreat. In the end it worked out in my favour I think, because I returned just as strong in the final round to take the region. But still I felt a little salty on that. Which I think Justin did once or twice on the final round. Liz commented that this was the most competitive she had seen us both. Things were getting real!
The final shake up of the game after final scoring saw myself taking the victory, while Liz rushed in and took second. Justin having had 15 points taken from him in that final round, came in third. Up until that point he had been threatening to win the game. Then in last place with a respectable score of 33 (iirc) was Dave.
Cry Havoc is yet another one of those games that really deserves to see more time at the table. Yeah nearly a year later I still enjoy this game. When I let Inis go I made the right decision. Don’t get me wrong I liked Inis. It’s just, and I think I said this at the time, I had 3 other similar games that I would play before Inis. Scythe, Kemet and Cry Havoc are better games in my opinion, and given the choice I’d play them over Inis every time. I’m looking forward to the new expansion for Cry Havoc, have I played the base game enough to warrant getting the expansion? No. Will that stop me getting the expansion? No.
It was a great evening of gaming. Everyone loved Cry Havoc. For Dave and Liz they will be off on their travels in the next few days, so I wish them a safe journey, and hope they have lots of fun experiences. Justin and I, well we will be revisiting Cry Havoc along with Kemet and Scythe I’m sure in the pretty near future.