Friday, April 6, 2018

The big choke

I did well in my Thurn and Taxis and Agricola leagues last time.  In both I was promoted and I was feeling good about my chances this time around and hoping to put in a good showing, if not get promoted again.  My feelings of confidence were unwarranted as I look likely to be bumped down a rank in both leagues. 

In Thurn and Taxis my problem is kind of ridiculous.  One of the players in one of my games never accepted the invitation, and then we remade it and it still didn't get accepted, and then all of the other games were done and this one game was still not complete.  The game being incomplete is partly my fault as I should have gone to the moderators about it instead of just shrugging and waiting.  I don't quite know how to apportion blame here because the person who simply ignored the invites and refused to acknowledge the emails is at fault, but I have some degree of fault for not getting on it and pushing it harder.

Now I may get relegated to a lower league simply because our game is never going to get done in time and so the people being bumped down will end up being selected from that group of players.  I don't envy the moderators that have to sort out this crap because there are no good solutions.  It sucks extra hard to get bumped down based on this kind of thing rather than just plain ole' getting beat but there aren't exactly a lot of other options available to the mods, so no blame there.

Definitely not the triumphant romp I had hoped for.

Agricola is going badly for entirely different reasons, mostly to do with the interface and me screwing it up.  One game I came third 47-42-39-38 on the back of a disastrous play where I Renovated before growing with Farm Steward in play, turning the Steward from a strong power play into a total waste.   Throwing away a high draft pick, an action, and a food is terrible, especially considering Church Warden was in the game so doing this cost me an extra 3 points just for fun.  I would have easily gotten second place without that terrible blunder and could have threatened for first.

In another game I had a plow down that lets me plow three times when I take the plow action, and I could do this twice a game.  After I plowed the second time I realized that I had only five fields - which shouldn't be possible when I get to plow three fields two times!  Somehow I had managed to only click twice to plow fields so I just missed out on an absolutely free point.  And of course that single point mattered in the end, and it may get me relegated.

Both of these errors are things I could have easily fixed in a live game.  I realized my disastrous mistake with the renovate just seconds after hitting Confirm, but in a game in person I would simply have taken the renovate back and done it properly.  Same with the fields, I would just have put the extra field on.  But you can't do that online, once you hit that Confirm button it is all over.

That isn't to say I have played perfectly otherwise!  Far from it, I am still learning.  But it seems like I may get bumped down in both leagues and in both cases meta issues really influenced the outcome.  I guess that is the struggle with a game run by the computer.  You get all kinds of benefits but the rules are enforced in the strictest possible way, so you have to play right.

All my fault, no doubt.  But these sorts of errors are the most annoying kind!

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