Aug 13 2011

I wanted a board game to play on the way to Def Con, so I got a copy of the iPad version of Ascension. Which certainly did its job of amusing us while traveling, and I’ve dipped into it a reasonable amount since then. (Zippy has had several achy nights recently, and Ascension is a nice way to pass the time while cuddling with him.)

I’m still trying to figure it out, though I’m slowly getting better. For a while, it seemed like I had a greater than 50% success rate playing against one AI but a worse than 33% success rate playing against two AIs; this suggests to me that I’m okay at executing on a fixed long-term plan but not very good at adapting to changing circumstances? (Both because you see fewer cards in a larger game and because more changes on the board between turns.) Recently, though, my success rate on matches against two AIs has increased; part of that is that I understand Mechana Constructs better (I’ve started to think of them as monsters that you can beat with the non-attack currency), and also maybe I’m getting a bit better at dealing with different scenarios in the start of the game? Or it could just be luck of the draw…

I’m still trying to figure out the start of the game, though: I like 5/3 starting hands much more than 4/4 starts (and the difference seems more pronounced and more banal than the difference between 4/3 and 5/2 starts in Dominion), and in particular I’m not at all comfortable with either being flooded with Heavy Infantry or with avoiding them and leaving points on the board during the opening. I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with trashing cards from my hand (these days I generally actively seek out cards that let me do so, possibly more so than is wise), but I’m not very good with cards that let you trash something on the board.

That latter bit also relates to an effect of playing on the iPad: I don’t pay nearly as much attention to what my opponents are up to as I do when playing games with physical cards. Definitely a drawback, though it got a lot better (when playing against humans) when we changed our seating arrangement so we could all see the machine instead of passing it along a row.

Glad to have bought it, glad to have it around, but right now I’m thinking I like Dominion a fair amount more. But, sadly, there’s no iPad version of Dominion, so I’ll make do with what’s available.

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  1. […] still playing Ascension a fair amount, and still trying to figure it out. I went through a big “trash your […]