Here we are again, in the midst of my expansion and fortification plan. The cards present themselves so I can fortify Fort Halifix – effectively nullifying raids incoming from above (geographically north west). To fortify a town or city you need the actual card for that town or city, and a fortification card – it also costs 3 gold.
You can see the fortification depicted by a solid black square around the town of Fort Halifax.
With my expansion, I want to start hitting out at the French along my borders. In order to do this, I need to have towns and cities adjacent (and connected) to French settlements and I need an offensive unit – so I buy up (for zero cost) a troop of Native Americans.
At the end of this turn, I replenish my hand with two cards, namely Pemaquid and Albany. You can start to see how your acquisitions begin to litter your draw deck and fall into your hand. In one instance they can be a valuable resource, and linking card, in another they can be simply dead weight, you need to sell or discard in the hope of more useful cards landing in your hand.
Turn 11 – Bruce
Bruce begins fortification of Kennebec, presumably because he has clocked sight of my Native American Raider purchases in the past two turns. He discards Gaspe from his hand. Similarly it seems as if his own acquisitions are beginning to hamper his hand.
Since my recent upgraded city of Albany dropped in my hand last turn, I decide to use the last Fortification card to boost it against raids. I feel securing such a high point city (8 Victory Points in total) requires such defensive treatment.
As you can see, fortifying a city, places a similar thick black square around the circular icon. Now that city is immune from raids.
I’m running desperately short on money. So, I decide its time to do some selling up of cards from my hand to fund my savings. If I’m ever to mount a siege attack of any sort, I’m going to need a pool of money to draw upon. I sell New York for 3 Gold.
I draw 3 cards to replenish my hand, and I get Boston, New Haven and Deerfield.
Turn 12 – Bruce
This turn, it looks like Bruce is trying to rid me of my cash and bleed me dry. His piracy lifts 2 gold from me, and he throws another card away. I should add at the time of playing, I didn’t really notice that his Piracy gains were being drawn from my money! I just got this feeling that I was always short of money, perhaps I was spending too much on fortifications?
The next couple of turns are really boring, mainly because I was selling up what landed. I had it in my head that I was woefully funded and needed to do all I could to rectify that situation. So I sold Boston for 3 Gold.
Then I sold Philadelphia for 3 Gold.
I drew 2 cards to replenish my hand, and I got St Mary’s and a Fortification card.
Turn 13 – Bruce
Bruce continues his expansion and he settles Fort Niagara. Plus he manages to recruit more Native Americans. He seems to be hoarding these raiders, waiting on the most opportune moment to strike. My paranoia grows. I need more cash!
Once again, I choose the path of avarice, and sell what I can to put some coffers in the bank. I sell New Haven for 2 Gold.
I then sell Deerfield for 2 Gold.
I think my plan of expansion and fortification early on, had drained me of my monetary reserves (along with Bruce’s piracy) and it caught me unawares, in a panic. So I didn’t really spend much time strategising, I was more running the turns fast, generating as much money as I could, and getting more cards into the hand. Sometimes this game gets you like that.
Anyway, I drew2 cards to refill my hand, and I get a Bateaux and Albany.
Turn 14 – Bruce
Bruce continues his expansion and takes Ticonderoga. What I didn’t know then, but I do now, is that in the adoption of the modified rules, the French get to make raids from two locations away not one – so from Ticonderoga Bruce can make raids and I can’t raid back! Bruce throws that troublesome trader card away.
Finally something drops that I can do positive things with. I settle Fort Win Henry using the link from the Albany card and the settler from the St Mary’s one.
Settling Fort Win Henry now affords me the ability to raid Tinconderoga directly. Finally, it could be time to begin harassing the French – if the cards drop.
I decide to buy another Fortification card, I figure if I can settle high value locations, develop and fortify them, I might stand a chance of winning on Victory Points alone.
I draw 2 cards to replenish my hand. I get Fort Halifax and Philadelphia.
Turn 15 – Bruce
Bruce makes a RAID on Deerfield! I knew he was gearing up for a hit. Luckily I had a Fortification card in my hand, which can block a raid, however I lose that card – so I’ll only start with four cards in my hand next turn. Bruce throws away two more cards – as the game progresses, wading through your own deck becomes a more and more less fruitful process. Still the deck building/game modifying mechanic is what makes this game so sweet and re-playable.
Join us next time, for the next five turns in the game. See if I manage to lay a single offensive action on Bruce, during bouts of penniless paranoia!