Wednesday, September 03, 2008

September 3, 2008

Participants: Jon, Gili, David K, Nadine, Tal

Low attendance, for some reason. Summer over? School starting?


Nadine 56, David 55, Gili 35, Jon 33

Scores are approximate. Nadine and David almost tied, but Nadine had one last point from her cash surplus.

Second play for me and David, first play for Nadine and Gili. Nadine complained a lot, and in the end said that she didn't like it too much. Gili thought it was a fun game and looked happy to play it again sometime. I concurred. David finds it ok. Note the correlation between doing well and not particularly caring for the game.

Last time I played I concentrated on the technologies. This time I decided against concentrating on them, and in any case the other players severely blocked my attempts to create connections with them. In the meantime, Nadine had five technology connections.

I also decided not to try too much for the bonus tiles. David ended up with four of them, and tons of corresponding buildings, which gave him some twenty points in bonus tile points.

David also secured many of the goods producing factories, which is what I was looking to do, but somehow didn't get to doing. But then he thought he ended up taking too many of them, even in the latter part of the game. It could be that the good producing buildings are more key at the beginning than at the end. That's what seemed to be the case, anyway.

So what were Gili and I doing while Nadine and David were mapping out nice strategies (Nadine denies doing so, but she did, anyway)? Floundering around, mostly. It seems that a balanced strategy doesn't work so well.

Nadine adds: Industria, like many games, would be fine if we didn't have better games around, and there's not really a buildup as there is in PR.


David/Nadine+, Jon/Tal

David opened with a Tichu, and they also ended up with all 100 points. I made a Tichu later, but had -10 points, so still lost ground. As we were losing by over 200 points, I decided to call a Grand Tichu, but couldn't quite pull it off. And I shouldn't forget to mention that David played some excellent card play during one of the hands. Perhaps he can describe it.

Race for the Galaxy

Jon 40*, David 33, Nadine 30

I have the same problem with RftG that I have with Lost Valley: it is easy for one player to push forwards and end the game early. It makes the game rather boring. There has to be a mechanism to prevent this. You can hasten the end of the game in Puerto Rico, but not quite as egregiously.

In our game, we all decided that the military starting world is too weak, so we ditched it. This meant that no one played military worlds at all. Which is another problem, although since we always need cards for tossing, not too bad.

My score is actually not correct. I realized close to the end of the game that a building that I built that was giving me 2 VP for consuming was really supposed to give me 2 cards. That changed not only the VP scores, but how I would have been playing the roles. Ah well.


Greg W said...

I have to strongly disagree with your decision regarding New Sparta. I've played almost 190 times and find that you can win with all the home worlds equally well whether you ever use their natural benefit or not.

For more analysis on the home worlds in a two-player games see

The game is called *Race* for the Galaxy. The point is to milk any advantage you have to cross the finish line before your opponents can pass you. That's not a flaw in the game it's a strategy you need to adapt to. Can I finish my tableau before you break the VP threshold, etc.

It's a card game though, so you won't always be able to catch up if you're running behind. San Juan and Puerto Rico fundamentally play out the same though in Puerto Rico you have more control of the direction you take.

David Klein said...

Regarding the Tichu hand. It wasn't that the play was so brilliant, it was just that I made the correct decision 5 times in a row. The major decisions were as follows

My hand was 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, j, Q, K, A (possibly another 8). LHO played a three of a kind and I decided to pass instead of break my straight. LHO played a singleton I played the J and my partner finally took the trick with the dragon (phoneix?). Partner played two pairs. I overtook with 9,9,10,10 and played out my straight. I then continued to make a few more good choices (don't remember the details)