AndyA and I met up this evening for his first game of A Few Acres Of Snow, by Martin Wallace. I've played this a number of times face-to-face and many more times online through Yucata, so the balance of probability was strongly leaning in my direction.
|First contact was between Kennebec and Fort Halifax|
That being said I'm a huge fan of the game and eager to share that experience with new players whenever I get the chance.
I spent a good 30 minutes walking through the rules and then guided him through the first few turns to make sure that he felt comfortable with the options available.
AndyA - British / GaryG - French
|Money, Money, Money...|
During the early game I settled Kennebec threatening to raid Fort Halifax / Permaquid / Deerfield with Indians, but he managed to shore up Fort Halifax pretty quickly and made Kennebec and Quebec vulnerable to similar counter raiding actions.
The British concentrated much of their early actions in building up cash reserves and using it to buy new empire cards (Rangers, Home Support etc.).
This money was under a constant piracy threat from the French around Louisburg and gradually through spending and piracy the British coffers ran dry.
|The British port of Halifax falls to an Indian raid|
By turn 13 the British had settled both Halifax and Fort Beausejour opening up new raid possibilities between these colonies and the valuable French Port Royal. I had become a little complacent and despite taking my first cube (from Halifax), I left the 3VP Port Royal unprotected for two turns. The counter-raid however didn't happen and I got away with it, but it could have been a costly mistake on my part.
This proved to be a bit of a wake-up call for me and a turning point in the game. Both decks were getting unwieldy and needed more than a little thinning with the governor cards. I purchased a settler card and began a program of upgrading settlements so that I could dump the location card through my governor. Soon I was down to only 3 or 4 disks remaining, whilst AndyA still had 8.
|Niagra, Presqu'ile and Detroit. Key expansion for the French|
This deck thinning was coupled with a westward push to settle Fort Niagra, Fort Presqu'ile and ultimately the hugely valuable Detroit.
The British had little in response, although they did settle as far as Cumberland to the west and threatened Indian raids along that side of the board.
|The final French play|
It was all too little too late and I managed to close off the game by upgrading Fort Niagra and using up the last of my disks.
AndyA - British 43
GaryG - French 63
A hugely enjoyable game as always, but over-confidence on my part would have proved costly against a more experienced player. AndyA played very well for his first game and picked it all up very quickly indeed. Hopefully he now has a taste for the game and is already thinking about what he could do differently next time.
Ultimately, AFAOS is a game that offers many strategies, but doesn't often reward you for trying to encompass too many of them into one game.
Cheers again for the game Andy!