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Evan Duly
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Langley
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I've played this game approximately 15 times, always with 2 or 3 players.

What we have found is that it seems almost impossible to beat someone going for a quick flea party/gala show, ie just grabbing any card that will contribute to finishing the gala show, as soon as it appears, regardless of the value.

It is specifically the 10 point bonus for completing the Gala that puts it over the top for the win. There have been a couple very close games (1 point difference) but that extra 10 points almost always squeaks out the win. The slow build of putting down trios just can't compete with the speed of the Gala.

This has the unfortunate effect in some games, especially with 2 players, for it to kind of devolve into who gets the luckier draws off the deck. I know this is a lighter game and I am fine with that, but it was a bit off putting that a few times now, whoever has the lucky draw of the right color 7s is quite sure to win the game.

I read that in a previous version of the game, the publisher did not include the extra 10 points for the gala show. I am not advocating to houserule out the 10 bonus points or anything as I think that would change the game in a way I wouldn't enjoy but I am curious as to other players experiences with this, and perhaps maybe we are missing some strategic element to the game?

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Billy McBoatface
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Lexington
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Re: Played 15+ times - Gala Show wins 95% of the time (Grail Games edition)
It depends on how many cards you typically have out. If my opponent is going for a flea party (the old name for gala show I guess), I just never flip a card, always take one showing and go for triples. Usually they go bust often enough to let me get a couple triples down and win.
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C Sandifer
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EvanDevan wrote:
I read that in a previous version of the game, the publisher did not include the extra 10 points for the gala show.


This is the version that I'm familiar with. It worked Ok for us back in the day (and now, even), so you might try it at least once.

As a side note, I would never play Circus Flohcati with only two players. The "special" cards work much better with at least three players, and the game's more of a party game than a serious strategic game.

Just my 2 cents.
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Mark Nicosia
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Portland
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EvanDevan wrote:
I am not advocating to houserule out the 10 bonus points or anything as I think that would change the game in a way I wouldn't enjoy


Doesn't have to be all or nothing... just make the bonus worth 8 points, or 5, or whatever your group perceives as balanced.
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Chris Johnson
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Azusa
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You should be playing the game.

That means counting cards, targeting the leader, and generally making choices with at least a minimal consideration for what is actually going on in the game.

The people that do these thing best tend to do well in the games I play.

A triplet or two easily offsets the gala points.
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James C
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Great Falls
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Same results for me Evan, though with only 7 plays. Because of this the games are finished so quick as well, another thing I don't like.
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Stephanie K.
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wkover wrote:
As a side note, I would never play Circus Flohcati with only two players. The "special" cards work much better with at least three players, and the game's more of a party game than a serious strategic game.


I agree 100% with this. In fact, I have an older German copy and the player count is listed as 3-5. Until I read this thread I had never heard that you could play it with 2 players.

I track cards when I play, so I usually have a good idea of what colors people have/need to prevent the gala if possible. Meanwhile, you can make triplets with crazy things like 5s or 6s! Always fun.

Tracking also helps when you get a steal card and you're trying to fish for the color you need. If you know who has it in their hand... I've stolen to make a gala several times.
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John Fleming
United States
Lexington
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Hi Evan --

In the "Zirkus to Circus: Rule Changes" thread there's a post from Gerald McDaniel (gamesgrandpa):

"However, we did modify the points for a gala. When playing with five people or more, it's not easy to get a gala, so we decided it's worth 15 points. Seems to work well for us."

So Gerald and his 5-player group -- with some justification -- made the gala worth 15 points. My experience with 4-player groups is that a 10-point gala seems about right. Yet with 3 players (of which number I've no experience), perhaps the gala should only be worth 5 points.

But as some other posters assert, certainly the game is not to be played with merely 2 players.

-- John





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Evan Duly
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fnord23 wrote:
You should be playing the game.

... targeting the leader...


So quick question: how does one "target the leader" in the game?
 
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Chris Johnson
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Azusa
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One of Alabama 3's finest songs, especially the versions on the single this image is from...
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Take cards from them. Pick up cards they want before they do.
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