January 24, 2007

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Zack, Dylan, Adam, Eyal, Binaymin, Rachel

Eyal returns again, as does Dylan, but we push off roleplaying yet again.

Mykerinos

Jon 49, Nadine 46, Gili 30, Zack 25

This was our first play. For a review, see my blog entry.

In our game, I started by securing an x5 in black and brown. I didn’t realize brown’s potential until too late; I will correct this in the next game. I decided to pick up either first or second in three areas each round, and either first or second seemed about equal to me, since there is typically enough left over for second place that whatever first place chose, I simply chose something else equally good.

Another thing I sort of missed in my first game was the value of third and fourth place wins in the first two rounds, where cards are typically left over. Another thing to correct in the next game.

Regardless, I still pulled off a win of 49 points, to Nadine’s 46. Zack, who only had a single x5, and Gili who had none, were not really in competition.

Caylus

Dylan 93, Eyal 76, Adam 69

Adam taught these two how to play. The game actually went fairly quickly ending around the same time as our Mykerinos game.

Poker

Adam, Dylan

While waiting a few minutes for us to finish Mykerinos, Adam and Dylan played a few hands of five card stud. Another first for the game group.

Princes of Florence

Gili 54, Jon 48, Nadine 46, Binyamin 45, Zack 36

Proving that most Jesters doesn’t equal the win if you spend too much on them, and especially in a five-player game. The order of play was as follows, with me starting first. In our game, players may choose one profession out of two, instead of out of five, and the twenty-first profession is flipped up and available for recruiting but may not be purchased.

Jon Zack Gili Binaymin Nadine Notes
Recruiter 800
Travel
Profession
Jester 1200
Profession
Opinion
Builder 700
Travel
Profession
Lake 200
Profession
Watch Maker [+2] (+3)
Forest 200
Profession
Opinion
Second player is the one who can afford not to buy a profession in the first round (and if he doesn’t, third player can also skip, and so on), but Zack bought, so everyone else did, as well. My Recruiter came cheaply, partly because others didn’t recognize them as more valuable in a five player game (despite my warning).
Recruiter 700
Opera [+3]
Choreographer [+0] (+3)
Builder 900
Laboratory [+3]
Religion
Forest 200
Opinion
Bonus
Jester 1200
Travel
Bonus
Lake 200
Travel
Bonus
I get a second cheap Recruiter. The professions were all gone last turn. Since I am last player, it is easy for me to take the three point bonus, while playing a work for cash. I still have five more works to
play.
Prestige 200
Bonus
Bonus
Forest 200
University [+3]
Philosopher [+0] (+3)
Recruiter 700
Religion
University [+3]
Jester 1100
Religion
Poet [+0]
Builder 600
Opera [+3]
Composer [+2]
I didn’t realize that this was Binyamin’s second Jester, or I would have bid one more time. Gili and Zack are both shy on cash at this point.

There are eight more actions to go; I have five works to play, which leaves me three actions, and I have two bonus cards. At this point I figured three more bonus cards and then five works, each with a bonus. Except that I didn’t think I would be able to get all my works out without a Jester or two. Also, my Prestige and Bonus cards both required me to have Lakes, as did half my works.

Lake 200
Bonus
Religion
Jester 1100
Library [+3]
Bonus
Prestige 200
Philosopher [+0] (+3)
Workshop [+3]
Recruiter 900
Opinion
Theater [+3]
Park 400
Laboratory [+3]
Physicist [+3]
Zack and Binyamin both have two Jesters each, but they’ve paid high prices for them. Now Binyamin is also working on Recruiters. I get my first Lake, which is good, but I take Religion instead of a Bonus, thinking that the +3 for one of my works, plus potential +3 for something I recruit, is better than another Bonus.

In this, I’m wrong, as I had plenty to recruit that used Lake and Travel, so I used Religion only
for that one work, and a Bonus would likely have been at least as good or better.

Gili fought briefly for the Park, and Zack is out of cash, again.

Lake 200 [+3]
Mathematician [+4]
Bonus
Park 600 [-6]
Bonus
Jurist [+6]
Prestige 200
Bell Maker [+6]
Bonus
Builder 300
Cartographer [+4] (+3)
Library [-3] [+3]
Jester 800
Chapel [+3]
Bonus
Zack and Binyamin both pay the price for not having enough cash. I gain some cash and points carefully from my works. I’m starting to worry, because I know I can’t play all of my works and I don’t have the Jesters that I need. My second Lake helps both Prestige and Bonus.

Even now, I don’t see Gili sneaking up behind me.

Jester 400
Painter [+8]
Watch Maker [+8]
Lake 200
Botanist [+10]
–pass–
Park 200
Theologian [+10]
Studio [+3]
Recruiter 600
Dramatist [+6] (+3)
Tower [+3]
Forest 200? [+3]
Organist [+7] (+3)
Bonus
I was thrilled to get a Jester at this price, even though I still couldn’t play my last work, yet. I was less thrilled when Binyamin picked up his second Recruiter.
Jester 400
Composer [+8]
Physicist [+8]
Prestige 400
Alchemist [+11]
–pass–
Park 200 [+3]
Bonus
Sculptor [+11]
Forest 400
Jurist [+10]
Astrologer [+12]
Lake 200 [+3]
Bonus
Pharmacist [+14] {+3)
I was again thrilled to get a Jester, which finally allowed me to play my last work. However, Nadine took a second Lake which reduced my Prestige bonus from +6 to +3. Gili ended up unable to play both of her last works, so she took a bonus and played one of them. I thought that that was that.

However, my Prestige card was worth only 3, Zack’s was worth 7, and Gili’s two cards were worth +13, which gave her first place.

Wildlife

Zack+, Binyamin

Binyamin and Zack wanted to play this, and Binyamin was only willing to play two or three players, since it was already ten o’clock. They played two player.

Tichu

Jon/Dylan 210, Adam/Gili 90

We played three hands. Dylan called Tichu in the second, but Adam went out first, which would have been the same result if Adam had simply called Tichu first. In the third hand, we both went out before our opponents.

Puerto Rico

Rachel 47, Jon 45, Nadine 41

The scores were predicted from our seating position, according to Nadine. However, the seating position is less relevant when we are using different buildings (and especially no Small Market), and when I screw up the classic opening by starting with Builder/Construction Hut.

We almost never play with Construction Hut, but I was playing with a four point building that gave +2 VP for each quarry you have, so for once the building was worth it. Unfortunately, still not enough to beat Rachel.

Nadine was able to man and produce indigo on the second turn thanks to the unusual opening. Both Rachel and I acquired early Hospices on our next plays, because Corn hadn’t made a showing on any of the first three settlement pools, which implied that they would be readily available in later pools. This was correct, and combined with my Construction Hut, made Settler always productive for me.

Meanwhile, Rachel was using Hospice just as well. Nadine had early trading in Tobacco, and I followed it up with early trading in Coffee, but she was also able to secure Tobacco shipping (producing three each time), while I was never able to ship Coffee. Rachel took Tobacco as her fourth good type and acquire Harbor. Even though she ended with no big buildings, she had 31 shipping points to my 7, which was enough to clinch the victory.

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