Gary Heidenreich(bop517)United States
April 3rd, 2012
Election day again and once again we played a five player game of Tammany Hall. We all played once before (April 5th, 2011) with the exception of Aaron. I have not looked back at any detail of it, except the final scores. Those showed it was a tight two man race for first/second, third and fourth was tight with fifth way behind. How was it going to stack up?
All the districts were used and we were working with the people to gain power and favors. A lot of favors were gained as the population grew. After the first elections, I was slanderized early, putting me back as I was gaining a stronghold of people on the southern docks. Timm had a pretty good hold in the southern tip of NY. Chris was way out in front early with power in some of the northern wards.
This game works on a few different levels. You get points by ruling a ward. That is done by having bosses in the district and favors from people in the district. You gain favors by adding different groups (Italians, Germans, Irish, English) to the board. You add an Irish cube, you get an Irish favor. Those favors are used to take over districts. At the end of an election, if you are the boss for the most of a group, you get three favors from that group. That is huge and cannot ignore that (as it won the game). It is a unique area control type of game and I find it thematic as all get out.
Anyways, even though Chris had a nice lead, Timm was building his power pretty high. He had accumluated all sorts of favors and was flexing his muscle. I had laid back the first couple of rounds, gained some favors and by the time the third election rolled around, I was able to overwhelm the docks and have my bosses in place. Chris, Aaron and Kevin were fighting for some of the smaller wards in the north. They might have been getting points, but they were not able to amass favors as there weren't as many people in those areas. Because I consistently worked with the Italians and stockpile favors, I was able to use that to my advangate by adding Italians in other wards to gain an advantage. It worked well. as I couldn't really be stopped in the last election. I ended with 28, Timm had 17, Chris had 16, Kevin had 14, and Aaron had 8. I know that type of win will not happen again. We discussed it as the end was fairly anti-climatic. I think it comes into playing it more often. Remembering you need to watch and pay attention to how many groups you have control of. Getting those favors is huge.
We had time for one more so I pulled out The Prototype. I had not played it with five yet and was anxious to do so. Aaron was new to the game but learned it pretty quickly. I was worried that the points would be curtailed as we had max amount of players. Not that it matters, I guess, but something I was thinking about. Well, I should not have been worried. Timm ended up with 18, Kevin had 14, Aaron had 9, Chris 3, and I ended with -1. With five, all the cards are used. Also, with five, I think a wide range of scores is going to be the norm as it becomes more difficult to get points. We sat and brainstormed some on a name for the game...nothing yet.