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23160Re: [SR] GSG 6/21: Maharaja, Rumis x2, Medici, Linkity x2, Scottish Highland Whi

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  • James Torr
    Jun 24, 2005
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      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.

      James

      --- In Unity_Games@yahoogroups.com, "W. Eric Martin" <eric@t...> >
      > > MAHARAJA: James, Eric, Bob, Steve, Richard
      > > Mike won again, what a surpriseĀ… 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.
      >
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