Regular readers - there's at least four - will know that my haphazard experimenting on the first play last week resulted in the kind of scores you hesitate to blog about, even in a dusty corner of the net such as this: I'd managed to finish both Dirk and I in negative points. Not so much engine-building as throwing carburettor pieces randomly into a lathe. This time I was determined to finish with a positive score, even if it was only 1 point.
I went through the basics with Stan and we were off. This time I had a better idea about how to go about things, and though some options still remained untaken, our choices had a bit more of sense of methodology about them. Stanley ignored my positive musings on the wonders of sheep, and built a ship instead. Then he proceeding to sail the seas (raiding/pillaging/plundering/whaling) to see what he could raid/pillage/plunder/whale (rolling the dice; adjusting scores for ore/stone/swords/spears).
He did well, only failing to return with a bounty twice in several trips.
He also, in the main, ignored surrounding the bonus spots on his player board - forsaking bonuses - while I fiddled about, trying to activate all the bonuses by surrounding them. I'm blaming my focus on this for my poor showing elsewhere: I was late to the pillaging and my die-rolling didn't have Stan's consistency.
We played for about an hour and a half before tea, and an hour after. Stanley, to my pronounced chagrin, filled up his player board in the last round: meaning he would get no penalty points! I did much better than last time, but was nowhere near that. A late flurry of hunting and setting snares meant we could feed our hungry vikings on the last - most expensive - round.
Stan's board, with 3 vikings to go...
And - it was fun! It wasn't the kind of fun I would introduce to non-gamers, of course, and it's not some gamers cup of tea either - for obvious reasons of length/mechanics/abstraction. But Stanley loved it and I really enjoyed it too - eclipsing my slightly irksome experience of a week ago.
When I get the inevitable rule corrections, I'm sure it'll be even better!