Mace, David, Eszter, Nadine
I’m still learning, getting better at the mechanics. I didn’t get enough land to put out most of my cards, and Mace killed the one I had out. I had Instants and some other stuff but they didn’t seem worthwhile. I forgot to use a card once. After Mace won he looked at my hand, and pointed out 3 or 4 powerful things that I could have done. So I need a lot of practice. David built a deck from Mace’s boosters while we were playing, David had tons of cards out, and Mace ended with none, he didn’t get enough land. David said he probably had much more land in his deck than Mace did.
Eszter 55, Mace 43, David 35, Nadine 31
I’ve played at least twice, but not so recently, and don’t know the game well enough to teach it easily. I had reread the rules, which are a bit confusing, but we managed to understand the game. David joked that the game ends when 4 tiles are left or at midnight, when we stopped at 11:45 it wasn’t a joke, though David did buy the last tile to officially end the game. Eszter was the only one doing irrigation for most of the game, which put her far ahead. She also did well with resources and the camel track, she was ahead in tiles til the end; everyone got the 5 point bonus for 3-4 tiles except me with one. I got the third level bank card, but it wasn’t worth it. I didn’t get a camel card, though I did OK on the track. I had money, but not enough resources. David said he made a lot of mistakes, and lost two resources at one point. Mace was happy to not lose after not starting out well, but he caught up with a high camel card, and sold resources for points. Everyone liked the game. I did much better in my first two plays.
Comments from Jon on his blog, and his house fix that I forgot about:
When you are first player, if you have first crack at the only resource giving worker, you’re in great shape. If there are three resource giving workers in a three player game, then your turn advantage has basically given you nothing. And the reverse, of course: if you’re last player and there are enough workers to let you get a resource, great. If not, you’re screwed. Very, very rarely will someone not take a resource giving worker as first player, and that’s only if there are enough of them that it will come back to him anyway (for slightly higher cost).
Once again, I have to shake my head a this mechanic and ask: didn’t they see this as a problem during playtestiung? It wasn’t just this play: the same thing happened last play, and all the plays by the guy who taught me the game.
Next play: I solidified one problem with the game and proposed a fix, which we played with this game. Namely, that an infinite number of recruiting cards of all types are available for cost 3. This ensures that the highly undesirable, but all too often, occurrence where a resource card is not available for you as last player, but on the other turns was available to all players, can not wreck your entire game, so long as you have a little money set aside. The high cost ensures that it’s a last recourse, but at least it’s a recourse. The fix worked perfectly, and was used three times during the game.
I really like the game, and so did everyone else. It has an emergent cooperation property, where you might do something that benefits someone else because their subsequent action then helps you. It has multiple paths to victory, but unlike games where this just means you can get six points here or half a dozen points there, the entire mechanics and play are different in the different areas.