November 1, 2000
Roll Call: Rich, Dan, Joe and Mark
It was a pleasure to meet Joe Hartley, another RI gamer in search of a group. I'm sure there are more out there, we've gotta find em!
Kohle, Kies, and Knete:
I figured this would be a nice little warm up game, not too heavy and relatively short (45 mins to an hour). Well it didn't quite work out that way. Let's just say among my dozen playings of this game I've never played a KK&K session quite like this one. These guys were sharks! They were analyzing all the ins and outs right from the git go. Asking tricky questions about how and when cards could be played (I've never had anyone ask why clan cards can be played face up while the rest of you cards cannot be shown prior to use). Extortion ("I'll trash this deal unless I'm paid off") became commonplace. Recruitment cards were played in batches, Joe was soon without an investor, while Rich had *4* of them!!!
With Rich controlling the 4 investors the rest of us were doing everything in our power to keep him from completing deals by himself! Card hoarding was common, at one point we all had 12 cards in our hand. We finally broke Rich's monopoly on investors. Everyone was very stingy with card play, often going for the extortion threat first and only playing the cards if absolutely necessary.
I was leading at about mid game and then just couldn't get involved in any more deals. Not so much because I was being shut out by the other players but more because my investors just weren't involved, were optional, etc. I never seemed to be the vital cog in the last few deals thus I pretty much got the scraps. Meanwhile the 3 sharks were playing hard ball. Joe "Hitman" Hartley was the best extortionist. If you didn't throw him a mil or 2 he'd hose the deal. He never bluffed, when called on his threats; he followed through, time and again. We learned to throw him the payoff. Rich was the master of illusion, "Deal with me, I'm in last place!" and played his cards carefully. And Dan, well he was the same guy who used to beat everyone else at Monopoly all
those years ago. Just the right combination of tact and used car salesmanship.
In the end the corporate banker (i.e. the biggest shark) won out.
The game took over an hour and a half to complete!!! Unbelievable. Joe and Dan enjoyed the game, but it wasn't a favorite of Rich's. I think Rich likes more meat to his games, he's what I'd call a "gamer". Games like Modern Art, Tichu, Mu, the rail games, etc. are his type of games. But like any good gamer he'll play anything.
I've come to the conclusion that I'd like to change yet another thing in this game, the hand limit. Instead of 12 cards I'd probably cut it down to 8. I think the card hoarding just slows the game down unnecessarily.
Joe had mentioned that he had almost bought Acquire the other day. What better way to introduce him to the Acquire family than Union Pacific (Ok, I didn't have Acquire with me).
While everyone raced for UP shares, I settled in on the strategy of getting as many stocks out there as possible. The battle for UP was vicious, the lead changed hands several times, until finally it was set when UP stock ran out. Rich had a one stock lead over Dan who had a one stock lead over Joe. I happily took up the rear with my lone UP stock.
Rich and I battled over yellow for most of the game. In the beginning I had the lead in it and built it up nicely, but then the yellow stocks kept turning up just prior to Rich's turn so I abandoned Yellow to purse Green which oddly was neglected. Rich built up Yellow to the max while Dan did the same with the Royal Blue line. Meanwhile Joe was doing the same with Red. I was trying to lie low with many of the small stocks and I had majority for most of the game in green with a total of 3 stocks!
Towards the end Dan and Rich pulled a couple of moves that hurt my position. Dan did so by taking over the Orange line and then tying up the Black. Rich tied then past me in Yellow and then tied me up in Green towards the very end of the game. But I had Green stock to spare, which was now a pretty lucrative line, but I ran out of time. The last scoring card came up in Dan's turn, just prior to mine where I would've pulled ahead of Rich in Green. Doh!
Joe learned as he went especially the psychology of this game. You need other folks to build up your lines with you, sort of a team effort. But in the end you've gotta have the most stock down, but not too much, otherwise they'll never build the line with you. Just enough to make them think they can take the lead or tie, so they build along with you on the line, and then you pounce ahead! And then it's all a matter of timing and how greedy you are.
Great game which has quickly climbed into my top 10 (one of these days I'll actually have to figure out what those 10 are! I suspect I have more than 10 in that top 10. ;-) )
With just about a half-hour to spare I pulled out this little Knizia card game filler. The troops were somewhat suspicious that this was a quicky, given that I'd said that KK&K wouldn't last more than an hour.
But it went by as I had described and we finished it in under a half-hour. Rich took the victory.
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