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