Mace returned from Australia this morning, so was kind of out of it. David brought his son Avi back.
R-EcoNadine 18, Jon 16, Tal 3
Second play for Tal. We played with the random chips variant. Nadine says that it's a lot of luck, but there sure was a lot of thinking going on for a luck game. I know that I had numerous tactical choices to make during the game.
I was the only non-dumper which was worth 4 points, but it was not enough to beat Nadine's high powered chip collection.
Notre DameNadine 58, Avi 46, Mace 45
First plays for both Avi and Mace. Mace was zonked, and Avi is only 10 or so [DK: 8] and speaks English only so so. That they did as well as they did is amazing.
IndustriaDavid 64, Hillel 62, Jon 55
This was our first play. I've tried to get the game out before, but the closest we ever came was learning the rules. I had forgotten all of them by now, and I had to relearn them as we set up.
In fact, I got them all wrong time and time again as we played. By the middle of the second set of cards, it was obvious that so many things had gone wrong that the final scores weren't going to mean much. Nevertheless, we forged on to the end of the game.
In addition to getting the rules wrong, we had no idea what was flying in terms of strategy. We had no idea how to value the auctions or tiles. Only as we neared the 2/3 point, did we begin to get a grasp on what was going on.
It's actually a darn good game. Aside from the rather strange auctions, there are a whole lot of different little strategic options to pursue, and they all fit together rather well. My only complaint is the auctions itself. There's an unfortunate problem of two players being able to ruin the auction for the third without suffering much in the way of consequences. Perhaps this will clarify as we play more times.
I used up my money too quickly, and found it hard to recover. I still eked out a decent result. I concentrated on the technologies, which were flush with points, but not enough to cover for the lack of resource production. Meanwhile, David and Hillel had resources covered nicely. It still ended up close. I will definitely play again.
TorresDavid, Jon, Hillel, Ari
First game for Hillel. We got about halfway through this game before David and Ari had to leave. It looked like David had a pretty clear lead, but who's to say. I wasn't doing too shabbily, either.
Puerto RicoJon 64, Rachel 52, Nadine 51
Nadine and Rachel selected the buildings, and chose a few combinations that I would never choose. We played with Harbor, Commodities Exporter (which is a Harbor for indigo and sugar only), AND Aqueduct. That was my strategy, and it did pretty well, as you can see. Didn't hurt having a tobacco monopoly, either.
Only Nadine took Factory, and she ended with two big buildings and a late Harbor. Rachel started in third position, and netted a lot of early victory points, and more with a Discretionary Hold.