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[SR] GSG 2/1: Capitol, Carc the City, Maharaja, 6 Nimmt, Dragon's Gold, Coloretto, Quo Vadis

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  • Phil Alberg
    ATTENDEES: Bob, Phil, Eric-4, Mark, Mike, Brian, James, Jeremy, Stephanie, Gil GAMES PLAYED: Capitol, Carcassonne the City, Maharaja, 6 Nimmt, Dragon s Gold,
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 3, 2005
      ATTENDEES: Bob, Phil, Eric-4, Mark, Mike, Brian, James, Jeremy, Stephanie, Gil

      GAMES PLAYED: Capitol, Carcassonne the City, Maharaja, 6 Nimmt,
      Dragon's Gold, Coloretto, Quo Vadis

      It was the first Tuesday of the month, so that meant it was time for a
      road show. Bob, a.k.a. the grumpy-old-bastard, broke form and
      graciously agreed to host, and so ten of us descended on his place in
      Plainville for a fine night of gaming.


      CAPITOL: Eric, Phil, Brian, James
      It's the beginning of the 'C' fortnight, so Eric suggested that we
      play Capitol. Eric and James had never played before, while it had
      been a long time since Brian and I had played. Brian jumped out to an
      early lead after the first set of auctions, but spent all of his cards
      in the process. James fell behind after the second set of auctions,
      having buildings in only two areas. Eric and I monopolized the
      amplitheaters, and so we were gaining 9 cards each turn instead of the
      normal 6 cards. This gave us some extra flexibility that the others
      could not overcome. We managed to catch up to Brian after the third
      auction -- in fact you can say Brian experienced some Capitol
      punishment over the last two rounds. However, in so doing I spent all
      of my cards in winning the doubling temple, leaving Eric in an
      enviable position with many cards heading into the final round. We
      ran out of building stories during the fourth round (it turns out that
      Eric's copy came with just 85 stories instead of the prescribed 90
      stories. Curse that Inspector #17!), which caused some interesting
      jockeying for building placement during the round. In fact, Eric was
      left with three 3-story buildings that he couldn't place! This
      resulted in him saving cards for the auctions, and he wound up winning
      both fountains and the last doubling temple to squeak out the win.
      The final scores were: 45, 43, 33, 31.


      CARCASSONNE THE CITY: Mark, Bob, Mike
      I don't have any details about this game, other than Mark taught it
      and won. It sure is a pretty looking game.


      MAHARAJA: Mike, Brian, James, Mark, Stephanie
      Again, I don't have any details, but I suspect that Mike has turned
      into a Mahara-shark, as he's won every game that he's played. Mike,
      Brian, and James each built 7 palaces (the others built 6), but Mike
      won the tie-breaker on money, 25-11-7.


      6 NIMMT: Bob, Eric, Phil, Jeremy, Gil
      Gil and Jeremy had never played this game before, and Bob wanted to
      play again since he had won last week (and wanted to prove to Brian
      that this is a game of skill). The game lasted four rounds; Gil took
      a boatload of points during the first two rounds, then took none in
      the third round, but took enough in the fourth round to exceed the 66
      point threshold. Bob took 31 points over the first two rounds, but
      then put up goose-eggs over the last two rounds. Eric and I didn't
      take much over the first few rounds, but we each wound up eating 20 or
      so points in the last round. Jeremy gloated a bit too much after
      getting 0 points in the second round, but wound up taking 36 in the
      third round and more in the final round. In the end, Bob wound up
      winning (again!!). This game *must* be broken. Final scores were
      something like: 31, 33, 49, 56, 75.


      DRAGON'S GOLD: Eric, Jeremy, Gil, Phil, Bob
      We found this in James's bin of games, and as none of the others had
      played before I was happy to teach it. As this was their first game,
      we opted to play with the basic rules, and so did not play with the
      spell cards. The rules say killing dragons is easy, but dividing up
      each dragon's gems can be a tricky proposition, especially with the
      timer running down. However, in our game only once did a gem
      negotiation come close to not being completed before the timer ran
      out. The black gem (worth 7 pts) came out early, and changed hands a
      couple of times due to thieves before the game ended. No one seemed
      to want to help me defeat dragons, so I had my heroes tied up in one
      dragon while the others cooperated and slew many dragons. Although I
      got to keep all of the gems from the two dragons that I killed by
      myself, it took so long that I could not develop majorities in any gem
      colors. Eric and Jeremy seemed to be involved in most all other
      dragon encounters, and so managed to each specialize in a couple of
      colors. In the end they each won two colors (Gil won the remaining
      color), and wound up sharing the victory. Final scores were: 49, 49,
      33, 24, 23. Gil was enthralled with the game, and is now actively
      seeking a copy.


      COLORETTO: Bob, Jeremy, Gil, Eric, Phil
      We continued with the 'C' games and pulled out this quick filler. It
      wound up being a nasty game, with no one holding more than four cards
      in any one color. I had a chance to acquire a fourth card in the last
      round, but Bob spoiled it for me by taking the column just ahead of
      me. I wound up with three negative colors each containing two cards,
      which really ate into my scoring. I'm not sure who won (I think it
      was Bob), but I only had 17 pts, which was two fewer than Eric's 19
      and far below Bob's 23.


      QUO VADIS: Gil, Eric, Phil, Jeremy, Bob
      We started this game after 10:00PM, which meant that my brain had
      already switched off. So did the others sympathize with me? Heck no,
      they just pulled out this quick negotiation game, hoping (I think) to
      take advantage of me. [Did I tell you that paranoia also starts to
      set in after 10:00?] Gil was all smiles during the game, and wound up
      lending his support whenever he could -- for a price, of course. He
      placed the first pawn into the senate, guaranteeing that he would have
      a chance at winning. Eric did well pushing a couple of pawns up the
      right side, while Gil and I pushed some up the left side. I don't
      know what game Jeremy and Bob were playing, as their pawns stayed in
      the lower committees for most of the game. Towards the end I moved
      Caesar to the spot between the senate and the committee shared by me
      and Gil. At this point Gil, Eric, and I each had one pawn in the
      senate. I told Gil that if he entered the senate first then I would
      follow. In retrospect this was probably not in my best interest, as
      Gil had more wreath tokens than me, but I knew many of his were 1 or 2
      valued ones. He agreed, and I followed, thus ending the game. Bob
      and Jeremy were shut out of the scoring. Gil won, and I wound up
      taking third. The scores were something like: 23, 19, 18.


      Thank you for hosting, Bob!! We'll be back at Mark's house for next
      week's GSG session.

      - Phil

      --
      Eastern MA Gaming, Unity Games 10 - TBD
      http://www.unitygames.org/

      "Pain is temporary; film is forever" -- Peter Jackson
    • W. Eric Martin
      Thanks to GOBob for playing host and serving brownies! A few comments on ... Good thing I messed up, right? Otherwise I couldn t have won enough in the last
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 3, 2005
        Thanks to GOBob for playing host and serving brownies! A few comments on
        Phil's report:

        > CAPITOL: Eric, Phil, Brian, James

        > <snip> In fact, Eric was left with three 3-story buildings that he
        > couldn't place! This resulted in him saving cards for the auctions,
        > and he wound up winning both fountains and the last doubling temple
        > to squeak out the win. The final scores were: 45, 43, 33, 31.

        Good thing I messed up, right? Otherwise I couldn't have won enough in
        the last round to carry the win -- except that if I did place those
        buildings I would have stolen points from Phil anyway, so I might have
        won in any case. Hmm, interesting...

        James said Capitol was too dry and calculating for his tastes; dry and
        calculating is right up my alley, which is probably why the game hit me
        just right.

        > 6 NIMMT: Bob, Eric, Phil, Jeremy, Gil

        > Eric and I didn't take much over the first few
        > rounds, but we each wound up eating 20 or so points in the last
        > round.

        Why did I play the 85 and save the 86 for the final round? I was trying
        to leave myself a safe spot and instead boned myself, eating the row
        with the 85, thus pushing me past Bob. Next time I'll play the cards in
        the opposite order -- and next time it will bite me another way.

        > DRAGON'S GOLD: Eric, Jeremy, Gil, Phil, Bob

        > Eric and
        > Jeremy seemed to be involved in most all other dragon encounters, and
        > so managed to each specialize in a couple of colors. In the end
        > they each won two colors (Gil won the remaining color), and wound up
        > sharing the victory. Final scores were: 49, 49, 33, 24, 23.

        If Jeremy hadn't stolen a yellow gem on the final turn, I would have
        scored in that color as well. Alas, I had to settle for a tie.

        > QUO VADIS: Gil, Eric, Phil, Jeremy, Bob

        I placed only three senators on the board and still managed to land one
        in the senate. Perhaps it was all those special favors I performed for
        Caesar behind the colonnade. You getcher laurels where you can....

        Eric-4

        --
        W. Eric Martin - TwoWriters.net
        "To be happy one must pay attention, but to be unhappy one must also
        have paid attention." - Phillip Lopate
      • James Torr
        ... Stephanie, Gil ... Yes, once again Mike just ran away with the win in this game. Two components of his strategy stood out: 1) Build houses in the villages
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 4, 2005
          --- In Unity_Games@yahoogroups.com, Phil Alberg <palberg@g...> wrote:
          > ATTENDEES: Bob, Phil, Eric-4, Mark, Mike, Brian, James, Jeremy,
          Stephanie, Gil
          >
          > GAMES PLAYED: Capitol, Carcassonne the City, Maharaja, 6 Nimmt,
          > Dragon's Gold, Coloretto, Quo Vadis

          > MAHARAJA: Mike, Brian, James, Mark, Stephanie
          > Again, I don't have any details, but I suspect that Mike has turned
          > into a Mahara-shark, as he's won every game that he's played. Mike,
          > Brian, and James each built 7 palaces (the others built 6), but Mike
          > won the tie-breaker on money, 25-11-7.
          >

          Yes, once again Mike just ran away with the win in this game. Two
          components of his strategy stood out:

          1) Build houses in the villages on the outer roads (and take the
          Builder early on to help do this). Often the shortest route between
          two cities (and by shortest, I mean fewest villages) involves one or
          more of the perimeter roads. So Mike was usually not paying much to
          travel, and often people were playing him – usually only 1 or 2 gold,
          but it really added up. Mark in particular fell behind early, and I
          think a big reason was the he built several houses along the inner
          roads. I will definitely tell new players about the outer roads when
          teaching the game from now on.

          2) Mike usually selected the same 2 actions – "Build a Palace" and
          "Character Card," and after a while so did the rest of us. Since we
          were playing with the Yogi, we came to the realization that rather
          than choosing a specific second action, you should usually just choose
          "Character Card," then pick the Yogi to get the extra action chip, and
          then either do whatever action you want with it or save it for later.
          Depending on circumstance, sometimes we would select a character other
          than the Yogi, but it was clear that choosing "Character Card" every
          turn was a good way to go.

          I hope this is not the single best strategy for the game. The "choose
          two actions" mechanic is nifty, and will be less so if one of those
          actions is always the same. I won't go so far as to say we shouldn't
          play with the Yogi, but future playings will tell.

          Once again I built the most central palaces (3) and had a large amount
          of cash going into the endgame, but I was behind in the
          palace-building race and had to blow all my cash to catch up. I also
          fiddled with the "which city is next to score" track, which is a ton
          of fun to do since it frustrates everyone's plans, but while I was
          doing that, Mike was building palaces.

          James
        • Stephen Cope
          ... after about 15 games of maharaja, our group decided that the inclusion of the yogi does more harm than good. i think the yogi destroys the heart of the
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 4, 2005
            > Depending on circumstance, sometimes we would select a character other
            > than the Yogi, but it was clear that choosing "Character Card" every
            > turn was a good way to go.

            after about 15 games of maharaja, our group decided that the inclusion
            of the yogi does more harm than good. i think the yogi destroys the
            heart of the game: having to choose the two best actions _in advance_
            to help you accomplish your short-term goals. because a player is
            allowed to take an extra action as soon as s/he claims the yogi
            character card, there is very little incentive to NOT choose him. why
            not just wait and see what's going on before making that critical
            decision?

            some argue that being stuck with a number 7 for the round is the
            'cost' of taking the yogi. but most likely, the yogi will be taken
            from you before scoring occurs anyway. this trade-off is definitely
            worth having up-to-date information on the state of the game when
            choosing one of your actions.

            every game we have played since this realization has been without the
            yogi and i find the game more enjoyable. of course, as with any
            opinion, ymmv.

            --stephen
          • Brian Stormont
            ... I d like to play this game again. I found it interesting that if I had just saved all my cards during round 3 instead of building places I was going to
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 4, 2005
              W. Eric Martin wrote:

              >Thanks to GOBob for playing host and serving brownies! A few comments on
              >Phil's report:
              >
              >
              >
              >>CAPITOL: Eric, Phil, Brian, James
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >><snip> In fact, Eric was left with three 3-story buildings that he
              >>couldn't place! This resulted in him saving cards for the auctions,
              >>and he wound up winning both fountains and the last doubling temple
              >>to squeak out the win. The final scores were: 45, 43, 33, 31.
              >>
              >>
              >
              >Good thing I messed up, right? Otherwise I couldn't have won enough in
              >the last round to carry the win -- except that if I did place those
              >buildings I would have stolen points from Phil anyway, so I might have
              >won in any case. Hmm, interesting...
              >
              >James said Capitol was too dry and calculating for his tastes; dry and
              >calculating is right up my alley, which is probably why the game hit me
              >just right.
              >
              I'd like to play this game again. I found it interesting that if I had
              just saved all my cards during round 3 instead of building places I was
              going to lose in both rounds 3 and 4, I might have ended up winning.
              Had I won the auction for doubling the points in my locked-in plat in
              round 3, I would have gotten an extra 8 points over the course of the
              remainder of the game. Both you and Phil would have received fewer
              points (since you instead got the doubler). Of course, if you all saw
              I wasn't using any of my cards in that round, you would have known what
              I was up to, so the plan may have not worked anyhow.

              It's an interesting game.

              Brian
            • W. Eric Martin
              ... Yeah, there seemed to be a lot of potential for the If he does this, then I ll do that... and so forth. I ll bring Capitol again Tuesday and maybe we can
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 6, 2005
                Brian Stormont wrote:
                >>> CAPITOL: Eric, Phil, Brian, James

                > I'd like to play this game again. I found it interesting that if I
                > had just saved all my cards during round 3 instead of building places
                > I was going to lose in both rounds 3 and 4, I might have ended up
                > winning. <snip> Of course, if you all saw I wasn't using any of my
                > cards in that round, you would have known what I was up to, so the
                > plan may have not worked anyhow.

                Yeah, there seemed to be a lot of potential for the "If he does this,
                then I'll do that..." and so forth. I'll bring Capitol again Tuesday and
                maybe we can use Chiclets or something for the missing five blocks.

                Eric-4

                --
                W. Eric Martin - TwoWriters.net
                "To be happy one must pay attention, but to be unhappy one must also
                have paid attention." - Phillip Lopate
              • Brian Stormont
                ... I d definitely be up for playing again. I have a copy, so I ll check how many blocks it has. Or I can just bring 5. Or, better yet, stash some in my
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 6, 2005
                  W. Eric Martin wrote:

                  > Yeah, there seemed to be a lot of potential for the "If he does this,
                  >
                  >then I'll do that..." and so forth. I'll bring Capitol again Tuesday and
                  >maybe we can use Chiclets or something for the missing five blocks.
                  >
                  >Eric-4
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  I'd definitely be up for playing again. I have a copy, so I'll check
                  how many blocks it has. Or I can just bring 5. Or, better yet, stash
                  some in my pockets before the game. Hmmm.... maybe then I can win....

                  Brian
                • Mark J. Edwards
                  ... Hey guys I have Capitol. I m not sure why it never comes out because I think it s quite a good game. I also have Manhattan if you want to compare and
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 6, 2005
                    At 12:46 PM 2/6/2005 -0500, Brian Stormont wrote:

                    >W. Eric Martin wrote:
                    >
                    > > Yeah, there seemed to be a lot of potential for the "If he does this,
                    > >
                    > >then I'll do that..." and so forth. I'll bring Capitol again Tuesday and
                    > >maybe we can use Chiclets or something for the missing five blocks.
                    > >
                    > >Eric-4
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >I'd definitely be up for playing again. I have a copy, so I'll check
                    >how many blocks it has. Or I can just bring 5. Or, better yet, stash
                    >some in my pockets before the game. Hmmm.... maybe then I can win....

                    Hey guys I have Capitol. I'm not sure why it never comes out because I
                    think it's quite a good game. I also have Manhattan if you want to compare
                    and contrast.

                    On a side note, I think the next time we play Maharaja we should play
                    without the Yogi and without Mike too. ;-)

                    Mark


                    "Logan... you renewed!"
                    Francis-7
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