Recap: Uluru and Fleet First Impressions, Plus Sentinels
This week I got to try my hand at Uluru, the logic game about Australian dream birds. Despite getting some notable attention across the pond, it has yet to be printed over here. That’s a shame, because Uluru is pretty darn good. I also got to try out the multi-player mode of Puzzle Strike, and suffered a harrowing defeat to Akash’bhuta in Infernal Relics.
Uluru. Uluru is about dream birds and logic. The game gives each player an island with six spots and six bird pegs that can be placed there. Then, on the main board, you are told what each bird wants. Different cards have random desires that are then placed onto a board marking each bird. So it might be that the pink bird wants to be across from the green bird, the green bird wants to be on the biggest side, the yellow bird wants to share a corner with the the white bird, while the white bird cannot be on the same side as the orange bird. It can be challenging to satisfy all of the desires.
Complicating this further are desires like, “I want to do whatever the blue bird is doing.” Or, worse, “I want to do the opposite of what the yellow bird is doing.” And if that bird is also doing something based on another bird, it can cause you to waste precious time running through different logic gates.
The thing that makes it challenging, is that the game comes with a 45 second timer. That seems to be the perfect amount of time. It isn’t so little that you are randomly placing birds and hoping for the best, but it is definitely short enough that you often don’t have the time to think about every permutation. For every unsatisfied bird, you get a token. Least tokens over six rounds wins.
I really enjoyed the game. I love logic puzzles in general (and often do them for fun), and Uluru was a great, constantly changing one. The added time element meant that sometimes you either have to take your lumps or go with your gut. It’s quite the exciting game.
Fleet. Fleet arrived from the Kickstarter and it was time to get it to the table. In the first game, we had a pretty lopsided result: eighty-four to sixty-four to forty-four. I think this disparity was largely due to being unfamiliar with the game. The player that went to forty-four paid seven dollars for a cod license in the first auction of the game; he didn’t know what the true value was. Maybe late game that would have made sense, but early game that simply set him back too much money to be competitive. He was basically out round one.
On the other hand, I grabbed a lobster license in the beginning, followed that up with a processing vessel license to get more money, and then dominated the shrimp licenses. I got three of them. Three! That meant that all boats and auctions were three bucks off. Combining that with my processed fish, and I dominated all of the auctions. I was able to get all three Fisherman’s Wharf cards.
While this first game was pretty one-sided, I think now that we’ve seen how the cards interact it will be far more balanced in the future.
Infernal Relics. In this corner, we have Akash’bhuta, an embodiment of Nature’s chaotic destruction. In this corner we have Young Legacy, Mr. Fixer, Absolute Zero, and Unity. And the winner is: Akash’bhuta! Yes, I’m sad to say that this is my second loss in a row to Infernal Relics villains.
We decided to play on the advanced rules. I don’t know why we did. There were only four of us and she has 200 HP to start with. But the advanced rules didn’t seem too bad. A tiny bit of damage reduction. So what? That is, until she flipped over. Then the advanced rules have her doing crazy amounts of damage each turn. And that is what sunk us. In our game, she definitely stayed around on her flipped side longer than her starting side.
We got in some good hits, though. In the beginning we were mashing down her limbs pretty effectively. Then tons of new limbs came out, damage started flying, and she started getting rid of our ongoing and equipment cards. And that is especially brutal for Absolute Zero, whose standard power is being able to damage himself. Without equipment, his power is a slow suicide.
I think, in the future, I’ll save the advanced rules for groups of five, or for when we pick power teams. Although I have no doubt that those four heroes could work together effectively, they definitely aren’t the biggest damage dealers. With two hundred health, perhaps we should bring some heavy hitters next time.