Clash of Chaos and Confetti 2023: Dog Park

Every week Chaos and Confetti will alternate between clashing for board game dominance and coming together in table top harmony.  This week it’s time for another round of…  

The Clash of Chaos and Confetti!!!

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 won’t be getting any treats this week.  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 Chaosi after winning last week’s Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels… duel.

  • Weekly Winner: 1 Chaos – 2 Confetti
  • Individual game wins: 4 Chaos – 5 Confetti

After losing last week, Confetti has chosen Dog Park.

The Game – Dog Park

In Dog Park, players are looking not only to walk a bunch of cute dog friends but also to build up their client list and overall reputation.  It’s a competition to please dogs, earn points from their masters, and dole out treats.

The game takes place over four rounds that are each made up of four parts, but first the game must be set up.

In order to keep each game and round varied, there are several aspects that change every game.  At the start of the game bred types will be randomly placed in a ranking for bred expertise.  The player with the most of any breed will gain points for that breed.  The higher the ranking, the more points earned.  Another randomly placed element are the forecast cards.  These impact each round, adding a special rule that players should pay attention to and strategize around.  Finally, every player is given two objective cards at the start of each game.  They must choose to keep one and discard the other.  If players can meet their secret objective, they will be awarded points at the end of the game.

After setting up the board, placing dogs in the field, and giving each player their starting pieces, the group should decide on a first player.  That player will be the first to line up to add a dog to their kennel during the recruitment phase.

Players will take turns lining up to bid on one of the dogs available in the field area.  Bids will be made using reputation, which are also the points used to decide the winner at the end of the game.  Players start with five reputation and should earn more through the course of the game.  Whether it’s better to spend reputation during recruitment to build a better kennel or to hold onto it for final scoring is a decision each player must make.  Once everyone is lined up, they will reveal their secret bids.  If they are uncontested or the highest bidder in their space, the player will take their chosen dog.  If they lose their bid, they still take whatever dog is leftover.  

It should be noted that since we played a two player game, there is the addition of an auto-walker.  This character can’t earn points but does add a bit more tension, while also working toward blocking other the human players.  During the recruitment process, the autowalker always lines up for the most valuable dog according to the breed expert chart, and then rolls a die to randomly place a bid.  Whatever dogs the autowalker gains won’t be walked, but will be counted at the end of the game as a way of blocking player achievements (more about that later).

After each player has secured two dogs, the game moves into the selection step.  Players will spend their resources to attach dogs to their lead for a walk.  The only limitations are that players must be able to spend the dogs’ costs and they can only bring three dogs at a time (unless otherwise specified).  Each dog taken on a walk will gain a token proving they’ve been out.  

Here players will want to pay close attention to each dog’s special abilities.  Some provide end of game scoring points, but many others will prove beneficial during selection or on a walk.  

Once everyone is leashed up and ready to go, the walk stage begins.  Starting with the first player, everyone gets to move 1-4 spaces on the walk track.  This will continue until everyone leaves the park.  Players will even have to choose which path they will take.  Along the way they can collect bonuses (points, resources, abilities).  Slower walks allow players to pick up more bonuses, but speed does affect reputation.  The first player out of the park gains extra points, and then each subsequent player gains a smaller reward, until the last player actually loses a point.

The autowalker in this case rolls a 1-4 die and moves that amount.  They can take a finishing spot, so this encourages players to keep moving forward when possible.

Finally, players will return home and collect two points for every dog they walked.  Then, any dogs in their kennel without a walked-token will cost the player a point.  

This four step process will play out four times.  After the fourth round, the players will move to final scoring.  Final scores are a combination of a few different elements.  First players add in their reputation tracked throughout the game on the board.  Then, they will add in any points earned from final-scoring dog cards.  Next, each players’ number of dogs of each breed will be counted.  This will determine who earns points from the breed expertise ranking.  If there’s a tie, all players with the highest amount get points.  If the autowalker has the most of any breed, then nobody gets the points. Players should also see if they met their secret objectives and earn any points that way.  Finally, spare resources may be spent for points.  Every five unspent resources will equal one reputation point at the end of the game.

The player with the highest reputation score at the end of the game can declare themselves the best dog walker in town!

Let’s find out who is the top dog and who is all bark!

Chaos’ Pre-Clash Thoughts:

It’s time for me to take Confetti to (obedience) school!  Today I prove I’m the real “good boy,” and the only treat I’m accepting is the C&C Clash Championship.  

Confetti’s Pre-Clash Thoughts:

I’ve been excited to play Dog Park since it was gifted to me! Hopefully I can pull out the win. 

Game 1 –

This was both Chaos and Confetti’s first time playing Dog Park.  The aesthetics definitely gave off a Wingspan vibe, which is a game that they both like a lot.  

Early proceedings saw a lot of each player playing a bit more cautiously and staying out of each other’s way.  They also avoided any real clashes with the autowalker, just letting him take the dog he wanted.  

Other than checking in with each other (and the rulebook) to make sure everything was being played correctly, Chaos and Confetti mostly stayed in their lane and played mostly separately.  The biggest area of interaction was during the walk where they tiptoed around one another and kept an eye on who amongst them and the autowalker was closest to the finish line.

As the game progressed, both players grew more confident and the pace picked up.  However, they still didn’t try to outbid each other or get in one another’s way too much. 
Any blocking could be labeled as completely unintentional.  

All told, it was a pretty bloodless and polite battle.  Surprisingly, both players were pretty dead locked at the start of scoring.  However, breed expertise is what really separated the pack.  

This is where Confetti came off leash and declared herself the alpha.

Game 1 Winner: Confetti

Game 1 Score:  Chaos 43 –  Confetti 67

Game 2 – 

Game two had Chaos and Confetti entering with eyes open to a lot more to what would matter at final scoring.  They tried to be a bit more strategic about the dogs they picked and even used a few more of the game’s mechanics.  During the first game, neither of them made any attempt to use the dog swap or top deck peek abilities, but this time they dipped their toes in the waters of the more complex.

Chaos even tried to outbid Confetti once.  He failed to do so, but he was showing an edge he lacked in the first game.  In reality, they both were trying to make more efficient and beneficial decisions.  Of course, when everyone is trying to do their best, they get in each other’s way a bit more.

Once again this was most evident during the walking portion of the game, where Chaos and Confetti both looked to grab items that seemed important or to possibly grab an item that the other would need.  Even the autowalker got the memo to push the envelope more as he kept trying to speed walk through the trail, giving Chaos and Confetti less wiggle room on the track.

All bets were off and teeth were bared, as everyone looked to howl in victory.

Now, we must note a point of controversy that happened during final scoring.  As points were being tallied, Confetti noted that Chaos didn’t give her the final end of walk point she earned.  He said “oops” and went to award both of their final end of walk points.  Confetti corrected him again, saying she didn’t get her end of walk point, but he already awarded himself his own two points.  Chaos disagreed saying that he didn’t think so, but he would take her world for it.  They both stood firm on their belief but also said they would concede if the other felt strongly about it.  

Should Chaos get the two points or not?  Usually, it’s no big deal, but then of course, this is a game where the two points actually mattered…but not really.  With the two points, Chaos beat Confetti by two points.  Without the two points, they tied, but then Chaos beat Confetti via tiebreaker for who had the highest breed expertise.  So it kind of mattered, but either way Chaos won.  Though Confetti still accused him of being a no-good, rotten cheater.  She also says that she ended the game with the beagle, so that’s its own ultimate victory.

Game 2 Winner: Chaos

Game 2 Score: 51 Chaos – 49 Confetti or… 49 Chaos – 49 Confetti (Chaos wins with tiebreaker)

Game 3 – 

Once again the fate of the C&C Clash Championship rested in the hands of a final game.  This time Chaos really started throwing his weight around.  He wasn’t afraid to bid against everyone for dogs.  He didn’t always win, but he sure tried.  Confetti did some bidding too, but mostly avoided conflicts.

Chaos tried hoarding high ranking breed dogs and ones with some final scoring potential.  Confetti grabbed what she could and tried to get some extra points through dogs that gave reputation during walks.  The autowalker was around and did its thing but mostly flew under the radar.

Both players bounced around on the reputation board as they gained points and bidded them away.

At the end of the game, breed expertise came together for Chaos as he scored higher breeds.  Confetti was neutered by the fact that the autowalker gained a bunch of dogs in the categories she might have leaded on, so she was shut out of anything that might have brought in a few extra points.  

If Chaos had a tail he’d be wagging it because he seized the bone of victory!

Game 3 Winner: Chaos

Game 3 Score: 59 Chaos – 47 Confetti

Your winner and STILL C&C Clash Champion: Chaos!!

Chaos’ Post-Clash Thoughts:

I did it!  I have the C&C Clash Championship and have evened up my score with Confetti for the year.  So, now I’m exactly back to how the year started and square one.  I’m going to think of this as a fresh start and go into next week looking to gain the lead in our clashes for the first time in a while.

Confetti’s Post-Clash Thoughts:

I lost, sadface. I think I could have potentially won in game 2 if I hadn’t gone with the beagle who didn’t work with the rest of my strategy…. But how can you not pick the beagle?

New Standings:

Post-Clash Standings:

  • Weekly Winner: 2 Chaos – 2 Confetti
  • Individual game wins: 6 Chaos – 6 Confetti 

Next Clash: Wrong Party

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