SOG SR: Mar 1, 2004: Oasis, Industria
- Session Report: March 1, 2004
Games Played: Oasis, Industria
Gamers: Marianne, Sara, Chip, Mike, Josh, Lewis, Sue
Thanks to Rob for hosting.
I'm still infected with the "new game" bug, so when Mike suggested Oasis, I jumped at the chance. Mike was the only one who had played before, and after a quick rules explanation, we began.
I made a few mistakes early on in the game, taking multipliers because I thought I would be able to develop all the different types of areas and camels. I soon realized that some sort of specialization would be required, and I concentrated on grasslands and wheat fields, ignoring stone and camels completely. Marianne specialized in camels (and camel multipliers), which proved to be a winning strategy. Josh mostly complained about his lousy cards and being last all the time.
When revealing cards for the auction, I tried the following strategy. I'd flip the first one and see if it would appeal to the current starting player. If so, then I'd flip one or two more in order to create an irresistible offer. Otherwise, I'd cut my losses, hope that someone wanted my single card, and take two cards to increase my chances of making a good offer the next round. In other words, if I couldn't get the starting token (and the associated bonus), I wasn't going to put much of an effort in. This isn't to say that second place is bad (as you have a better selection of stuff to take from), but I'd like to try this strategy again to see how it works out.
There was a question about whether the penultimate player was forced to take the last player's offer (as otherwise, the last player would have to take his or her own offer). There aren't any rules clarifications on boardgamegeek.com, but I did find "He may select any from the table except his own (unless its the only one left)." on RPG.net's review of the game (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10088.phtml). I can't remember exactly how we played it out, but I think that's what we agreed upon.
I tried to imagine what the game would be like if players could select their offer from their hand, rather than just flipping over cards from their stack. While it would offer players more control, I think it might also slow the game down and threaten analysis paralysis. I'd be willing to try it as a variant, though.
I liked this game a lot and look forward to playing again soon. Area control games tend to appeal to me, and Oasis is no exception.
To everyone's shock and surprise, I requested Industria, so when Lewis brought it out, I felt some sort of obligation to push for it, even at the expense of a game of Alhambra (which Lewis also brought). Sue, Sara, and I were new to the game, and Lewis, who had played a few times previously, explained the rules.
I think the last player (myself, in this case) has a bit of a disadvantage in the beginning as he or she might not profit from an auction until the first epoch is over. Fortunately, this wasn't really a problem, as the auction moved around as players kept things that they wanted. I had more than enough cash throughout most of the game, which is a pretty good indication that I wasn't bidding enough.
There was a certain amount of pain in this initial game as plans seem a bit fragile - players might not bid on your auctions, forcing you to take things you don't want, and a player might not build a factory that produces the item you need to finish your building before your turn. These are problems that probably become less frequent with repeated playings.
In terms of not being able to do everything you want to, this game reminds me of Princes of Florence. However, Industria seems a bit more forgiving - everyone was able to do something during the last few rounds.
I'm not sure how I feel about this game. I think I'd have to play it again to be sure.