Participants: Jon, Abraham, Miriam
Some participants were off to a play, and others promised to show up and didn’t *ahem*. Miriam returned for her second visit. Yay, Miriam!
Jon 30, Abraham 26
Gardens 4, Laboratory 5, Library 5, Market 5, Courtyard 2, Conspirator 4, Torturer 5, Ambassador 3, Navigator 4, Bazaar 5.
I thought the simplest strategy was Bazaar / Conspirator. So that’s what I did. Each of us also picked up an Ambassador and proceeded to trade coppers and estates. He decided to ignore the Conspirators and take instead Navigator. We split the provinces, but I also had two Gardens at the end.
Abraham 34, Jon 27
Woodcutter, Workshop, Throne Room, Conspirator, Torturer, Moneylender 4, Sea Hag, Outpost, Treasury, Wishing Well
Abraham emptied out the Treasuries, while I got two, and some Throne Rooms and Conspirators. I used Moneylender and Woodcutter to get some early provinces, but he used Sea Hag to clog up my deck with 6 curses, and I had no way of cycling past them. Again we split the provinces.
I won the first game by a large margin. In the second game, I thought I was doing well. I lopped off half the board leaving me 11 pieces and him 10. However, I think I made a mistake somewhere, and he won by 1 disk.
Abraham 210, Jon 203, Miriam 182
First play for both Abraham and Miriam. I have the German edition, so though I explained the cards to them and there are symbols on the card, the symbols are not unambiguous, and so they needed to ask me what the cards were during play. Or, failed to ask me, and misunderstood what they had drawn.
The game was incredibly tight after the first phase, with Miriam one point ahead of me, who was one point ahead of Abraham (Miriam’s point was from jumping over both of us). At the end of the second phase, I was at 111, Abraham at 104 or so, and Miriam at 100. We each had our little castles, and shared control of the king’s castle.
Miriam then moved the king to a small castle on one side of the board, and started working on it. Unfortunately, I built the last free space and jumped onto it, which made it impossible for anyone to build past the second level, and so no one got the king’s bonus in the final phase.
I was just barely ahead of Abraham, but he played the jump two levels as his final card, after everyone else had played. Which gave him the game.
Settlers of Catan
Miriam 10, Jon 5, Abraham 5
Miriam had only played two-player. We needed something quick, and while we could have played a filler, this also fit the bill.
I placed first, and made a mistake when placing my second settlement. I decided to go ahead what I knew to be true: math. My first settlement was on 8/10/5. Instead of placing my second settlement on a 9/10/5 (which gave me all the resources, and had good values, but limited me to very specific dice rolls) I placed on 9/4/11, which also gave me all the resources, diverse numbers, but worse math. I should have stuck to what I knew to be correct.
After all, not only is it better math, but concentrating on certain numbers is actually a better strategy, since the dice roll screwy, anyway. If they roll screwy your way, you win. If they don’t you lose. But if you choose an assortment of mediocre middle, one of the other players will be benefiting from the screwy numbers more than you will be.
Anyhoo, Miriam lead off by blocking off one of my road, and then wrapping around and blocking the settlement in the other direction, as well. Then she hosed by 8 ore, which rolled about 5,000 times while the robber was on it. Abraham lost a few bricks from the short time that the robber was on his 6. And Miriam escaped nearly all injury, took an early Longest Road, and sailed to an easy victory.