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Subject: Little-invested-in Russia achieves world dominance in 3-player game rss

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Edward B.
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Played a three-player game with “Xavier” (who had played once or twice before) and “Esmerelda” (who hadn't played before and is not a big fan of heavier games).

It was an interesting game. Starting off, I bought some low level bonds in each country (which I've usually found to be a good idea). Xavier and Esmerelda both opted for smaller portfolios.

I kept control of Russia for almost the entire game, despite only having bonds paying $6 million interest at the end of the game. I heavily invested in the United States and kept control for a majority of the game, although Esmerelda wrested control away at a few opportune moments (just in time to tax the country and collect a nice bonus). Xavier put most of his eggs in one basket - Brazil, although he had some late game investments in China.

China stayed pretty successful the entire game with a strong military and tax base. Investments stayed fairly low until late game, however, and I think everyone controlled China for at least a little while.

Esmerelda sunk most of her money into the European Union and, later, the United States.

I knew that Xavier was heavy into Brazil. Having only a bond of $1 million interest in Brazil, I put a lot of pressure on the country with the United States in order to keep Brazil in check and was fairly successful.

The end of the game was tight and came down to timing taxation and the investor card. Both China and Russia were within striking distance of the x5 marker and of hitting the taxation space on the rondel. Xavier had been saving up money and was planning on buying a large Chinese bond as he had the investor card. A few turns ago, I had calculated where Russia needed to be at in order to hit x5 and opted not to purchase a bond when I had the investor card. This gave me enough money to pay $10 million to advance Russia two extra rondel spaces and hit taxation, propelling the country to x5 and ending the game.

Final power scores of countries were:

India x1, Brazil x2, Europe x2, USA x4, China x4, Russia x5

Final score was:

Me: $130 million with (bond interest prior to power multiplier) $1 million in India, $1 million in Brazil, $4 million in Europe, $12 million in USA, $7 million in China, $6 million in Russia and $13 million in cash.

Xavier: $101 million with $2 million in India, $13 million in Brazil, $5 million in Europe, $0 million in USA, $10 million in China, $0 million in Russia and $23 million in cash.

Esmerelda: $117 million with $0 million in India, $2 million in Brazil, $9 million in Europe, $8 million in USA, $5 million in China, $4 million in Russia, and $13 million in cash.

Despite not being a fan of heavier games (and having to have several rules explained more than twice), Esmerelda did pretty well. She caught on enough to start investing into countries that were doing well late game.

I think Xavier could have taken the game except for two things. He passed up an opportunity to purchase an additional bond, which he later said he passed because he wasn't thinking. And, second, I think he forgot about being able to pay to move extra rondel spaces. I mean, he knew the rule, but I don't think he thought about me having enough cash to push Russia into the x5 slot.

Xavier mentioned that in the early stages of the game it's hard to tell what to do, and that the late game seems to hinge on timing your taxation hits right. I like the way the game plays out, but I don't really disagree with either statement. I usually use the opening rounds to feel out what other players are planning, to make some cash, and to position any countries I control for later turns. In most of the games I've played, the winner does seem to be determined by the last few rounds.
 
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Sheldon
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Burnaby
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It seems odd that you kept Russia for most of the game if they were the ones to hit the 5x spot. Usually in most games as soon as a country surges into the 3-4x spots they start getting bought up immediately.
 
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Edward B.
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Not sure why no one else invested in Russia. Russia did poorly in the other games that one of the players had been in, so maybe that was why. Also, Russia made two sizable leaps up the power track in the end to get to the x5 spot.
 
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