Clash of Chaos and Confetti 2023: Splendor Duel

The Premise:

Every other week Chaos and Confetti will face off in a best of three series, playing a different board game from their collection.  The winner will claim the moniker of C&C Clash Champion.  The loser will learn they’re not the brightest gem in the bunch.  The lesser player will also get to choose the game for the next Clash.

We will maintain a record of wins and losses throughout the year to see who finishes 2023 as the ultimate board game champ in our household.

Pre-Clash Current Standings:

Our current C&C Champion is Confetti after winning last week’s Marvel: Remix battle.

  • Weekly Winner: 0 Chaos – 1 Confetti
  • Individual game wins: 1 Chaos – 2 Confetti

After losing last week, Chaos has chosen Splendor Duel

The Game – Splendor Duel

Splendor Duel is a variation of the popular game Splendor but specifically designed and tweaked for head to head competition between two players.  This strategic drafting, purchasing, and engine building game will have players scrambling to obtain and spend gems as they work to earn prestige among the guilds.

The game is set up with a board of twenty-five gem, gold, and pearl tokens.  Above the board there will be three tiers of cards available in the market space.  The higher the card is among the tiers the more expensive and more valuable it is.  There are also four noble cards and three privilege tokens on standby.

The player going second will get to start the game with one of the three privilege tokens.

During their turn, a player may take none, one, or two of the optional actions.  The first optional action is to spend a privilege token if they have one available.  This simply lets them take a non-gold token from the board.  Then, they may refill the board from the token bag.  However, refilling the board also gifts a privilege token to the other player.

After the optional actions, a player must take one of three actions for their turn.  They may grab up to three non-gold tokens from the board.  These tokens must be adjacent and in a straight line either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.  Again, they may take up to three, so they are allowed to grab only one or two tokens if they choose.  If a player is able to grab three of the same color tokens or two pears, they also get to pick up a privilege token.

The second action a player may pick from is to pick up one gold token from the board and then reserve a card from the market.  Golds can be used as wilds and the reserved card becomes exclusively purchasable to the one who set it aside.  A player may only reserve three cards at a time and they may not reserve a card if there is no gold to pick up.

Finally, a player may decide to purchase a card from the market or their reserve pile.  To do this they must spend the required amount shown on the cards lower left corner.  Purchases come with bonuses that make future purchases cheaper, as they act as permanent access to gem colors.  Some purchases will come with abilities that will grant players further benefits.  Others may show crowns on them.  When a player has accumulated three and then six crowns total, they will get to pick up a noble card.  Noble cards come with prestige points and often grant an ability as well.

Any spent gems, pearls, and gold pieces will be placed in the game’s bag until the board is refilled.  Then, a player will discard down to ten tokens if needed and pass the turn to the next player.  Gameplay will alternate back and forth until a player achieves one of the three win conditions.  

A player can win if they earn a total of twenty prestige points, ten crowns, or ten prestige through one color of stone.  Once a victory condition has been met, the game is over and a winner is declared.

It’s a battle of wit and strategy as Chaos and Confetti fight to see who will shine brightest!

Chaos’ Pre-Clash Thoughts:

Losing never feels good, so I hate that I started 2023 with a loss.  I plan to turn things around this week and get on the board.  With half as many clashes this year, that means that every game counts that much more.  Time to get my win back!

Confetti’s Pre-Clash Thoughts:

I’m excited that I got the win last week and I’m excited to play Splendor Duel. I’ve always like the original Splendor, so here is to hoping this one is equally as fun. 

Game 1 –

Confetti started the games and quickly picked up three of a kind along with a prestige.  Both players went back and forth, grabbing gems and buying cards.  It did not take long for them to graduate from tier one cards to tier two.  

Whether it was the best strategy or not, both Chaos and Confetti fought against being the one to refill the board.  They took smaller amounts from the board, reserved, and bought basically free tier one cards in order to delay the refill.  Finally, Chaos was forced to be the one to give in, allowing him more choice on his pick up but also giving Confetti a free privilege scroll.  Each time the board had to be refilled, it ended up being Chaos who triggered it.

While both players picked up some crown cards, Confetti did so at a slightly faster pace, giving her first dibs on the noble cards she desired.  Meanwhile, Chaos took the lead on prestige points.

At first Chaos hoped to out race Confetti to twenty prestige, especially since there was a lack of crowns on the board.  Then, he saw a different path to victory.  With a little help from the cards that can take on any color, Chaos pushed his white gems to ten prestige and won through that route.  After he reserved the last card he needed, Confetti could only watch since there was nothing she could do to stop him.

Game 1 Winner: Chaos by obtaining 10 white prestige

Game 2 –

Chaos started the second game and hoped to seal the clash with back to back wins.  Having learned from Chaos last game, Confetti opened her eyes to the possibility of winning through one color’s dominance.

This game, the opening tier two cards seemed a bit more expensive, so it took both players a while to ramp up into being able to buy them.  Until then, they added many tier one cards to their arsenals.  Confetti made the jump to tier two first, but Chaos was not far behind.

Certain aspects of this game remained constant from the first.  Both players still tried to avoid refilling the board and Confetti still couldn’t resist crowns when she could afford them.

For a while, Chaos’ engine seemed a bit too diversified as he lacked the power heavy single colored power to grab any of the tier three cards easily.  It also didn’t help that when he did take off with one color, green, there was suddenly very little to spend that green on.

Confetti meanwhile started to eye getting enough red to win through single color prestige.

As Chaos finally got things going and saw the gap to twenty overall prestige closing, Confetti slammed the door unexpectedly by swinging her weight behind her white gems.  Her plethora of red cards ended up being enough to buy her a lot of white prestige points.  Slightly mirroring the first game, Confetti used the single color prestige path to tie up the clash.

Game 2 Winner: Confetti by obtaining 10 white prestige

Game 3 – 

The final game started out as another slow burner.  Confetti started to gather a diversity of colored gems to her engine.  Chaos would have liked to follow suit, but his options kept pushing him toward amassing white cards again.  Confetti accused him of trying to win the same way, but he claimed the game was forcing him down that path.

This time Confetti played a lot more ruthlessly, reserving cards and grabbing gems just to spite Chaos.  While he could have followed her lead, seeing several ways to mess her up, he decided to focus on his plans instead.

Before long, Chaos seemed to be inching towards victory on several fronts.  If the right cards came up (they didn’t), he could win through white prestige again.  He also started knocking on the door of overall prestige.  He did lack in crowns but that is because they didn’t seem to be coming up in the colors he needed.

Confetti once again started building up her cache of red gems.  While she had a nice thing going, she couldn’t see herself actually beating Chaos this time.  She felt too far behind and decided to mix of advancing herself while hurting him seemed good enough.

The path for both players seemed set.  Chaos simply needed to buy one of the few options that would give him the three points he needed to win.  Confetti eyed an eight red cost card that came with a lot of benefits.  

With the board finally refilled by Confetti, Chaos knew he only needed to grab a single pearl and then buy his win.  So, of course he stalled a turn in hopes of maybe winning by both prestige and single-color prestige at the same time.  This game Confetti the turn she needed to buy her big red cost card, which gave her an immediate free turn, which she then used to buy another high cost card.  In the blink of an eye, she shot up six prestige points.  Chao’s strong lead morphed into a loss in an instant.  Woe to he who lollygags and blessings to those who seize an opportunity.

Confetti made the seemingly impossible comeback happen (note: the final two winning cards are missing from the picture above).

Game 3 Winner: Confetti by earning 20 prestige points

Your Winner and STILL C&C Clash Champion: Confetti!!

Chaos’ Post-Clash Thoughts:

Whelp, I’m an idiot.  Stupid stupid Chaos.

Confetti’s Post-Clash Thoughts:

I don’t really feel like I won this game, because Chaos just made a silly error in calculating my total points. We’re both sleep deprived, so I think in reality – the victory was really his. He owns his mistake though and wouldn’t take the victory, so I guess it’s mine by default. 

New Standings:

Post-Clash Standings:

  • Weekly Winner: 0 Chaos – 2 Confetti
  • Individual game wins: 2 Chaos – 4 Confetti 

Next Clash: Shovel Knight

One thought on “Clash of Chaos and Confetti 2023: Splendor Duel

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