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[SR] GSG 04/14: Money!, Cuba, Metropolys

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  • Phil Alberg
    ATTENDEES: Anthony, Phil, Ken, Gary, James GAMES PLAYED: Money!, Cuba, Metropolys Anthony hosted GSG at his place in Cumberland. MONEY!: Ken, Gary, Phil,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 23 11:04 AM
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      ATTENDEES: Anthony, Phil, Ken, Gary, James

      GAMES PLAYED: Money!, Cuba, Metropolys

      Anthony hosted GSG at his place in Cumberland.

      MONEY!: Ken, Gary, Phil, Anthony

      Anthony shucked the shrink-wrap on the new Gryphon Games edition of
      this Knizia classic. Gone are the Swedish Krone, French Franc,
      Russian Ruble, and South African Krugerrand. These have been replaced
      with the Canadian Dollar, the Australian Dollar, the Brazilian Real,
      and the Chinese Yuan. Only the American Dollar, English Pound,
      Japanese Yen, and Euro have been retained. The cards are twice as big
      as those in the older version, but the tiebreaker numbers are still
      too small for me to make out.

      We only played one round, as James arrived toward the end of the
      round. I initially targeted Yen, but swooped in on an attractive Real
      cache midway through the game that got me close to completing the full
      set. Alas, Anthony held onto the last 30 that I needed. No one
      collected a full set of currancy, but Ken did the best at getting
      triplet 20s and 30s and eeked out a close win. Scores were something
      like: 510, 450, 440, 250.

      CUBA: Ken, Anthony, Gary, Phil, James

      Five of us went back in time to pre-revolutionary Cuba to produce
      resources and erect buildings in the hope of amassing the most, er,
      victory points. This game has such pretty components, yet it takes so
      long to play, and feels very contrived. I botched up the rule for the
      Lighthouse, for instead of substituting the incoming ship with one
      from the deck, I instead substituted the incoming ship with one in the
      harbor. I don't think I gained anything from this misplaying, though,
      for each time I tried to set myself up for a big delivery, someone
      else always managed to pile the goods onto the ship before I could.
      Drats! It didn't help that Gary came right before me in player order,
      and managed to deliver cigars from his factory before I could use the
      mayor to deliver my cigars.

      The game remained close throughout. James had to leave 2 hours into
      the game (I think this was turn #4), so we returned his buildings to
      the supply. Ken went the water route, converting 3 cubes into victory
      points during each of the last three turns. Anthony produced lots of
      rum, which he was able to deliver to ships on successive turns for
      lots of VPs. I neglected to build a VP-generating building, and so
      seemed to lag behind the other players. In the end, Ken was able to
      nickel and dime his way to a close victory over Anthony. Final scores
      were something like: 66, 64, 61, 59.

      I've played this game three times now, and each time it's come in at
      2.5 - 3 hours. There is simply too much downtime between turns, and
      while there is some opportunity for planning ahead, you most often
      have to reconsider your plan on your turn because other player's
      actions have scuttled your plans. This breeds frustration, not angst,
      and while this is tolerable in a 1-hour game, it is most unwelcome in
      a 3-hour game. I don't feel like I've accomplished anything while
      playing this game -- instead, by game's end, I simply feel like I
      survived. This is not good.

      METROPOLYS: Gary, Ken, Phil, Anthony

      Anthony taught us this game of establishing skyscrapers in a growing
      city. Each player has 13 buildings. On a turn, someone places a
      building on a space, and the next player may build a taller building
      onto a reachable adjacent space (or pass), with play proceeding around
      until all other players have passed. Only the last-played building
      remains on the board. The next turn starts with the player who placed
      the last building. The game ends when one person has placed all of
      their buildings.

      Each player has a card that indicates the special criteria that is
      necessary for buildings to score points at game end. In addition,
      certain spaces contain markers that indicate either bonus points or
      penalties that are taken for completing a building on the site.
      Finally, there are a couple of cards that yield additional bonuses or
      penalties for the player who has collected the most markers of the
      matching type.

      I had the bridge criteria card, and succeeded in placing the first
      four skyscrapers on the board. This was probably not a good strategy,
      as I had less flexibility in being able to compete for buildings for
      much of the middle part of the game. Anthony had the statue criteria
      card (it became evident fairly quickly who had which card), and there
      always seemed to be an empty space next to a monument whenever it was
      his turn. Ken had the water criteria card, and was also King of the
      Metro, as he had acquired 5 of the Metro markers (and thereby held the
      +3 Metro bonus card) at game end. But it was Gary, who held the edge
      criteria card, who mastered this game. He won very few early areas,
      but later in the game, as dead-ends started to appear, he was able to
      place several skyscrapers in succession and ended the game. Anthony
      and I ended with 4 unplaced skyscrapers (I'm not sure of Ken's
      unplaced amount). Final scores were something like: 41, 33, 30, 25.

      Thank you for hosting, Anthony!

      - Phil

      Eastern MA Gaming

      "But how do you plan for a bank full of nuns?"

      "When playing a game the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is
      important, not the winning."
      - Reiner Knizia
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