Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Monday, August 18, 2008

Something else about Byzantium (and another car-cast)

One thing this blog is good for is correcting mistakes & omissions in my podcasts. After recording the recent one about Martin Wallace games, I forgot to mention the interesting and authentic-feeling arms races that happened in our complete 3-player game. Though Ryan & I both agreed that Mike was out to a big lead, we ran into trouble going after him during the middle & end of the game. Because you build up your army which is located in one city--not distributed strength throughout your holdings--it becomes a local juggernaut. No matter how much I knew Ryan was building his juggernaut to go after Mike, it became unnerving to see that large threat in my unprotected rear area. Even if I thought Ryan would stick to the plan & attack Mike, what would he do the following turn? Although he might wish to keep going after Mike, the board connections sometimes restricted him from doing so. Worse, they might leave him with no other good opening but to attack me.

Strictly for points, you understand. :-)

So then what? Well, I build up my army in a location where I can still go after Mike, but I can also counter Ryan if he opts to go after me instead (or in addition). That threathens Ryan, and he is delayed in his attack on Mike to be sure he knows what I'm up to. See where this is going? See who wins from all of this uncertainty and anxiety? Mike!

Though some might not care for that dynamic, calling it kingmaking, turtle-ing, or something similar, it's not either of those things. It's an added diplomatic development in a game that has no specific rules for diplomacy. In fact, the nature of the game--playing both sides of the conflict--discourages anything like alliances. I just found it to be an interesting development.


P.S. Despite my own misgivings, the limited feedback I've received about the podcasts recorded in the car is that they're fine, particularly if they let me put out more material. I've got an old one in the can, and a new one from just today. I guess I'll still dabble with those things. I've downloaded Levelator, and I'll give it a try on the car-casts. (Though I think Levelator is primarily good for evening out different audio levels from two or more speakers, not filtering out road noise.)


Blogger surya said...

I don't mind your car casts either :)

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the car casts. I always enjoy hearing your comments any way they come.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you know I approve of carcasts. ;)

6:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home