Participants: Jon, Nadine, Mace, Gili, Tal
Quiet game night.
Mace 1/2/2/x, Gili 1/1/2/x, Nadine, Jon
Mace selected this again, determined to win at least once. The last time I played, I thought that the game might grow on me some more if I played it more. Nope.
On the contrary. I have now fully formed my opinion that the game is unenjoyable. The main mechanic is to hope that a field that you have planted will flip up before it is ruined by someone else or by a plague. The second is to hope that you draw cards that don’t duplicate what you’ve already scored or what is flipped up, and that exceed what others have in play. All of this hoping is not only boring, it is also skewed. The game is too short (even when played several times through the deck) and the times your field is picked too infrequent, unless you’re amazingly lucky.
It’s slightly better with two players.
Mace 705, Jon 625, Gili 565, Nadine 505
First play for Mace, second for Nadine. I played the version called Traders of Genoa a few times. Back when I did, I thought the game was grossly long, and we had shortened the game by two turns … and had still been too long. I suggested that for this game we also shorten the game by two turns. Gili suggested a compromise of shortening the game by one turn.
In what is probably a first for our game group, we actually sailed through the first rounds at a relatively good speed. After three rounds, I suggested that we re-add the turn that we had removed, and so we did. The game took us only a little over 2.5 hours.
I concentrated on two early Large deliveries, which I thought did me some good; they did. But it prevented my concentrating at all on the end game scroll collecting. Mace meanwhile started collecting these, and while he didn’t have much cash in hand, he ended with a fist full of them.
When calculating whether or not to trade these cards to him, I valued them at only up to 50 (for him, but only 10 for me). Turns out that I had undervalued them; when he was able to join two groups of three into a group of seven, he ended up with far more than a 50 point gain.
Nadine is not much of a negotiator: she often wants to ignore that part of the game, or she sticks steadfastly to a negotiating position which is not all based on actual value. Still, she played gamely and I think enjoyed herself. Gili was the one who brought the game, and she had played some (rather long) games with her friends already.
Mace/Nadine 1000+, Jon/Tal —
Tal joined me for a game of Tichu; we had to remind Mace how the game was played, and how the special cards worked. Mace bid and made a Grand Tichu on the second hand (though Tal missed a chance to prevent him from making it). I bid Tichu only once, and lost. I also misplayed a different hand. The result was rather pathetic.