August 15, 2007

Participants: Jon, Yitzchak, Adam, Gili, Rachel A

Ah, the light heady days of summer, when most people are on vacation.

San Juan

Jon 43, Yitzchak 40

I plunked down a first turn Prefecture, which is fairly deadly in two-player. I followed it up with a Smithy, Silver, and a rare-for-me Tower. I got the three six-point cards and managed to hold on to them and build them by the end of the game.

Yitzchak had Library around building number four or so, so I kept taking Prospector to make his life difficult. Eventually he built Prefecture, Quarry, Smithy, and Carpenter. He built three big buildings, too, and one more building than me, but his Triumphal Arch wasn’t as lucrative as my Palace.

Lost Valley

Gili 13, Yitzchak 9, Jon 8, Adam 8

I almost started Industria, but these guys had never played Lost Valley, and I liked the game enough to play it again. Especially since I know that some of the members who didn’t come don’t like it as much.

Adam went off in one direction where there wasn’t much mountain gold, although he eventually mined one mountain hex for three chips. Gili went off and mined her own mountain hex for four chips, which won her the game. Yitzchak followed me around a bit, which slowed both of us down.

Eventually, I mined three chips out of one mountain, giving him the last one. He went off to find river gold.

As Gili was ahead, she explored like crazy. With the last unexplored tile placed, the river was immediately capped. No one had been exploring the river, so it was only four segments long. The game then ended too quickly for me to open up a new mine.

Everyone appears to have enjoyed the game. I’m looking forward to playing again.

“Sawmill” in Hebrew is מנסרה (mansera). “Saw” is מסור (massor). –Adam

It’s Alive

Jon+, Adam, Yitzchak

Adam suggested this, and we played the basic game. I massed a lot of money at the beginning of the game. I was also the only one to be hit with Villagers, first a 4 and then a 6. Then a few more to boot, which I ignored.

Despite this, I won the game, which only goes to show you that it’s possible. I kept careful count of how little money my opponents had. They never had quite so little that I could abuse them, but still. I also got a little lucky pulling the card I needed after a few rounds at the end, although I had enough money to buy it from anyone’s graveyard, too.

Puerto Rico

Jon 60, Yitzchak 57, Rachel 56, Adam 40

Rachel requested this, and may even have done better if her attention hadn’t drifted for a few rounds in the middle of the game. We played the standard building set.

-1-
Y: Settler/Quarry, Adam takes corn, Rachel tobacco, I take coffee. I end up with a lucrative coffee monopoly during the game. Rachel does almost as well with her tobacco.
A: Builder/Small Market. Rachel builds Small Market.
R:Mayor
J:Prospector

-2-
A:Trader+, after some urging from me. If he does something like Settler and then Rachel takes Craftsman+, I will Trade+. If Rachel takes Trader+ and I Craftsman+, Yitzchak has no good and won’t Captain+.
R:Craftsman+
J:Captain+
Y:Prospector

-3-
R:Builder+/Small Sugar.
J:Settler+/corn. After this phase, Adam and I have coffee plantations, while Rachel and Yitzchak have tobacco plantations.
Y:Mayor+
A:Prospector

-4-
J:Builder/Coffee. Yitzchak builds Tobacco.
Y:Mayor. Now, Yitzchak will be trading tobacco, and I’ll be trading coffee. Rachel has Sugar and Small Market, while Adam has Indigo and Small Market.
A:Settler
R:Craftsman+. I thought this was rather a bad move, giving Yitzchak Trader++ next turn and a tobacco to trade. As a result of this move, cash was high for the rest of the game.

-5-
Y:Trader++/tobacco. Of course. Adam trades indigo, Rachel sugar, I coffee. Trading House empties.
A:Mayor
R:Captain++
J:Prospector+

-6-
A:Builder+/Factory. While Factory was indeed a scarcer resource than Coffee, this allowed my coffee monopoly to continue for longer. Rachel and Yitzchak both build Harbor. I’s at 6 doubloons, so I wait.
R:Craftsman+
J:Trader/coffee. Another full round of trading.
Y:Settler+/corn. Yitzchak wanted to take another quarry, but Rachel and I convinced him that this was the reason he had been losing his last few games so badly. One quarry is more than enough, and he needed more shipping goods, especially with a Harbor (same would apply to Factory). I won the building point game, and I didn’t have a single quarry (instead, I had coffee monopoly and Factory).

-7-
R:Builder/Tobacco. I built Factory. Yitzchak could not be dissuaded from building Hospice, which didn’t help him during the game. Adam built Large Sugar.
J:Mayor+. I was very wary of doing this, because it filled in Yitzchak and Rachel’s Harbors, and they already had goods to ship.
Y:Prospector+
A:Craftsman+

-8-
J:Captain++
Y:Trader+. This time Adam doesn’t have an indigo to trade, so one space is left in the Trading House.
A:Settler+
R:Mayor

-9-
Y:Builder+/Guild Hall. He ends up with a full Guild Hall by game’s end. Stupid building. Adam and I both build Small Market. After building, I still have 10 doubloons on my board.
A:Craftsman+
R:Captain. Rachel and I begin blocking boats with our trade goods.
J:Prospector+. I’m now looking at buying two big buildings, as I was flush with cash.

-10-
A:Mayor+
R:Settler+, Yitzchak takes a sugar plantation. Rachel has had a sugar monopoly until now.
J:Trader+. I fill in the Trading House with an indigo.
Y:Builder/Small Sugar. I build City Hall.

-11-
R:Prospector+
J:Craftsman+. The 5 boat had 2 coffees in it, and Adam was going to be producing coffee soon. I produced 2 coffees, but elected to not take an additional coffee as my bonus good, even though anything else I would produce wouldn’t ship. I preferred leaving the boat still partially full. I took an extra corn, beginning a long buildup of corn on my Small Warehouse.
Y:Captain+. Yitzchak always prefers to Captain when he is afraid he will be locked out, otherwise.
A:Mayor. Nobody has any monopolies anymore.

-12-
J:Builder+/Custom’s House. Not as much for the points it will give me, but for denying it to Yitzchak or Rachel. Turns out to give be a fair bit, after all. No one else builds.
Y:Settler+
A:Craftsman
R:Trader+. I debated not trading my coffee. Adam and Rachel were pretty much sure to get the other two big buildings before I could, anyway. I had two coffee barrels, and I could only ship one. But the other one could be left over to start another coffee ship. I decided that I would be crafting again by then, anyway. Also, I had my eye on a Wharf already at that point, as I was accumulating corn.

-13-
Y:Captain+
A:Builder/Residence. Rachel builds Fortress. I’m one shy for Wharf. I build Construction Hut.
R:Mayor+. All big buildings are manned.
J:Craftsman. I now have 7 corn. I’m totally aware that I won’t get to ship them on the next Captain phase, as Adam or Rachel or both will block me. But all three ships are going to empty, and the game isn’t yet going to be over, leaving me clear sailing to ship them all on the next Captain phase. My next concerns then were whether to worry about Wharf and manning it, or simply go for sending them on the regular boats. Sending on the regular boats helps cut off Harbor shippers.

-14-
A:Captain. I keep my 7 corn.
R:Mayor
J:Builder/Wharf. For my City Hall, and just in case I can do it again.
Y:Prospector++

-15-
R:Craftsman+. Rachel has since regretted this move, as others cut off boats before she could ship and the game ended due to victory point depletion.
J:Captain. I chose to ship 7 corns on a boat and block it, rather than Mayor and Wharf. This nearly doubles my victory point total for the game. Game end triggered. Adam hands me the game now by shipping his three coffees, allowing me to do the same, instead of shipping one sugar or indigo, which would have given Rachel three more victory points instead. It’s true that this is a slight flaw in the game.
Y:Builder. Yitzchak fills in his last production building. I build Hacienda.
A:Prospector. Adam is already ahead in any tie situation.

-Scores-
Y: 26ship + 21build + 10bonus = 57
A: 19ship + 17build + 4bonus = 40
R: 35ship + 15build + 6bonus = 56
J: 26ship + 21build + 13bonus = 60

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