I thought I'd combine the usual Working Lunch post with some tales of the weekend gaming as well.
First game to see play on Saturday was Glory to Rome. Both of us have played those early games where we just do things to see what happens and we are starting to develop Plans to harness the chaos.
Where we are in that process is another matter.
My planning is more or less seeing a couple of buildings I think will combine their forces well and then I try to get them into play and see what happens. My wife seems to have gone a bit ahead of me and has better control over the game's tempo. Witness our first game: I go for the Temple as the bigger hand had rocked in a previous game and it seemed like a good idea again. Then I was looking around for the next stage of my master plan. Meanwhile my wife had Laborers working hard and had absconded with quite a stockpile. She plays the Wall with military regularity, so lots there is always a good thing. But she turned the screw by getting a couple of Merchants going and, basically, filling her Vault to bursting. My master plan (add sarcastic quotes if you like) countered her gathering by making my clients laborers and then added my own merchants who I expanded into the flexibility to be whatever they liked. This mighty multi-faceted juggernaut was making its presence really felt ... as she ended the game by building on the last site.
Our second game was less of a blow-out but again she seems to be anticipating my moves. OK, I thought, I need to develop my foundation a bit before charging ahead. So my wife took the best clients as I was going to take them. Clearly I have some way to go with this one.
Next up, at her request, was Caylus. Our first few games of this were like the games I just described for Glory to Rome. I would scratch around trying to make something work, while she racked up the big points. This time, however, she wanted to try something a bit different. She dominated the initial castle building, while I chipped in a little but otherwise built a few useful buildings. Then she pushed a cloth and gold approach, building those that gave her points that way and making minimal impact on the castle walls. I had enough money (the one resource for 6 coins was mine) and developed enough resource gathering that I got to the point I could gather up 2 batches for the castle without a problem and delivered them up for points. I pushed out into a big lead, then with some gold-assisted plays she caught up. But then I just galloped ahead again while she headed back to the gold mines. She conceded, dissatisfied with how it went. But really, she gave me too much freedom to collect the basic 3 resources. She wanted the game to allow a minimalist castle builder strategy; I suspect that might be more feasible in a multi-player game, but in a head-to-head game, some stifling of the resources to your opponent must be managed.
I picked next and I chose Taluva, as it hadn't seen play for a while, is very pretty and (importantly) is another game that my wife is much better than me at. I think in this case it is that she is a visual learner/thinker, a definite advantage in this game. Once again, she won with both temples and towers played, though i made a bone-head play that my two settlements got relinked when I was supposed to be splitting them apart to play my final temple. Not visual, see?
A final game to mention, which is of course Parade. It had been away on loan but as my friend put it, after he won the first few games, his wife began to work out the game's timing, so he gave it back. One particularly funny game we played this weekend: the first 5 colors dealt out to the parade were different colors. The missing color refused to show itself for a long time, though we both picked up either low cards or majorities in the other 5. Finally the first green card appeared: the 10 of course. So the contest became who could avoid the green 10 the longest, as it sat at the back of the queue, just waiting for someone to claim it. Now we were well into the deck, green cards had appeared in ym hand, so I put them aside and made my best play with the remainder. When there were 3 green cards, it became trickier. With 4, I ended up taking a bunch of red I didn't really want, but rather that majority than the alternative, as taking green would end the game and playing to get the green majority in that time was a doomed prospect. So of course, the 5th green card comes into my hand and my doom is set. I play down my lowest greens and hope, and am rewarded by my wife playing only 1 green (the 0). So I hold the green majority and my chances go up. Except that she played a red as well, bust my red majority and yes, I am indeed doomed after all.
For the Working Lunch game of the week, encouraged by fellow BGGers, I brought out Glory to Rome again.
It was new to Mike and Tom appreciated the recap anyway, so we started rather slow. A timer was added by Rick in the form of his Forum, though he was initially slow to add clients. J took to building and I looked to gather, build and merchant. Tom and Mike both took early Legionary clients - which did prompt the other 3 of us to put up some defenses. Rick got a patron client as his 2nd client and added a couple more rather quickly, with the forum complete he was threatening his win, but lack the legionary. He had a couple of hopeful attempts to spike the pool with one so he could get that last piece, but J gathered one of them and then Mike completed a Garden and took most of the pile to his clientele.
And with the game nicely poised - the time ran out.
Technically I was winning with 15. I don't think I can claim victory though. Tom was still grappling with the flow; both J and Rick displayed extreme doubt that this game could ever be completed in an hour. So I'm not sure it will be back next week.
Then again, Rick wanted to borrow it. A very good sign.