My daughter and I played Candamir again tonight. This was the fourth game for both of us, so we were equally experienced. Until very near the end, “Leif” (red) and “Gisla” (blue)
were within one point of each other, with the lead going from one player to the other several times. Leif won the roll for first turn, but that was about the only good luck I had this game.
Gisla used her scout ability to good effect–she managed to find all four pieces of equipment, most of it early in the game. But she failed to leverage the +2 bonuses provided by it, as she shied away from fighting bears and wolves, helping the lumberjack, and taking adventure cards unless absolutely necessary.
Leif’s ability to turn snakes into potion ingredients proved worse than useless as nearly all “catch snake” attempts resulted in lost endurance instead of potion ingredients. Dumping experience points onto Agility only seemed to draw faster snakes or lower die rolls.
Gisla was able to explore very effectively, taking 14 of the 24 tiles by the end of the game, including 4 of the 5 cattle/goat victory points and the aforementioned equipment. (Just mentioning it again. I’m really not bitter about this. Not much, anyway.) However, her unwillingness to help the lumberjack often left her unable to build anything since she lacked lumber cards.
By game end Leif had only 9 of the tiles, due to frequent snake bites. He often went out of his way (literally!) to help the lumberjack. This proved to be a winning strategy as he was almost always able to build something while in town. Leif also actively pursued adventure cards which enabled him to take (and hold) the “adventurer” victory point.
In spite of being plied with mead by Gisla several times near the end of the game, Leif was able to make a final trip to the mine. Upon returning to town, he built a weapon for Candamir, laid down his 10th victory point cube and claimed the win.
Final score was Gisla 7, Leif 10. The game took approximately 1.5 hours, including setup time.
- Lumber is the most important resource in the game. Without it, you can’t build anything.
- Potions are handy, but they aren’t worth VP‘s. Focus on resources!
- In a 2-player game, it’s very difficult to take a bonus VP away from your opponent. Jared and Candamir each have 8 “wants”. If your opponent has fulfilled 3 of them (and gained the bonus), then you need to fill 4 of them to take it away. You may have fulfilled 2 (at most!) already, so this means you have to meet at least 2 more needs before you opponent fills in their 4th point and locks in that bonus VP. You’re probably better off putting your effort into one of the other bonus VP’s.