Regarding Maharaja, I've also had a disappointing feeling toward the
endgame sometimes, since it's often pretty obvious how they will play
out. In our game on Tuesday, I think we were in the third-to-last turn
when Phil asked how it was going and I said "I think I might win."
Then as that turn played out it became clear that you (Eric) had more
money than me and that I would not be able to catch up. In the
second-to-last turn I kinda screwed up a gamble I was trying, so I
didn't build my seventh palace, but I'm quite sure you would have had
more money than me even if I had done things differently. In the game
before that, I knew by turn 3 or 4 that Mike was unstoppable once he
claimed all those outer roads.
I'm not sure that the issue is inherently an endgame problem. Instead
I think it goes back to fact that Maharaja seems to have a steep
one-game learning curve, and can be pretty unforgiving of early
mistakes (with, as you said, no obvious catch-up mechanism). On
Tuesday we were playing with 3 newbies, and it was clear from the
get-go that only you and I were really in contention for the win. Bob
was able to build 2 palaces in one turn because he had so much money
because we kept using his roads, but even then I didn't think he was
really in contention. So I think the endgame might be more interesting
and less predictable with 4 or 5 players who understand the game well.
(I also feel like my first couple games, in which *nobody* had played
before, were more balanced with closer finishes, or maybe I just
wasn't able to predict the endgame as well.)
Playing two characters would probably also add more chaos and less
predictability, but again, you'd need experienced players.
--- In Unity_Games@yahoogroups.com
, "W. Eric Martin" <eric@t...> >
> > MAHARAJA: James, Eric, Bob, Steve, Richard
> > Mike won again, what a surprise
OH WAIT! Mike wasn't even playing
> > (he wasn't even at this session). I don't know who won, but I
> > suspect it was James, as he was thumping his chest and nodding his
> > head toward the game's end.
> Alas, James thumped a bit too soon. I don't think he realized quite how
> much money I had as I was able to build a seventh palace before anyone
> else and took the win without even having to resort to the tiebreaker.
> I've played Maharaja twice now, and while the planning and route
> building agree with me, the ending of both games has been kind of a
> downer. In the first game, everyone knew a couple of turns before it was
> over that Mike would win; in the second game, I knew (if no one else
> did) that I would win a couple of turns before I actually did. There's
> no obvious catch-up mechanism, and once I was ahead on palaces and money
> in the mid-game, there seemed to be little that others could do to hold
> me back.
> I'm definitely up for playing the game again, if for nothing else than
> to see whether this feeling still holds.