Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Phoenicia» Forums » Sessions

Subject: An unusual finish rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
David Goldfarb
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a big fan of all three of Outpost, The Scepter of Zavandor, and Phoenicia; but it's Phoenicia that I tend to take to board game meetups because its shorter playing time makes it easier to get onto the table.

This last Tuesday I got it onto the table, as a four-player game (I think probably the best number). It was Suzy and Pedro's first game; Sam had played it once but long enough ago that she had pretty much forgotten it.

First round: Sam was the randomly-chosen Overlord. She put up a Tracker. I warned everyone about letting the Tracker go for face value (IMO, letting someone get a Tracker in round 1 for minimum bid, so they can also immediately get their second Hunter, is a recipe for letting that person be the runaway winner). Suzy bid $4 -- if she hadn't, I would have -- and Sam upped that to $5, buying it. Pedro bought a Prospector. Suzy bought a Dyer for $3 and put her worker on Hunting. I bought an Indentured Worker and immediately put him on Hunting.

In the next few rounds, I got the other Tracker; Sam, in what would prove to be a fatal loss of focus, got the other Prospector; Suzy managed to get the other Dyer, and either one or both Glassmaking. Pedro got the other Indentured Worker and put him on Mining. I was faced with a choice between picking up a Fort and going for a Granary and risking the Fort being taken away; I decided to get the Fort and let storage worries wait. Sam and Pedro picked up the Granaries, which delayed Sam from using some of the workers on the Fort she bought.

The first round with Set 2 cards had a Dye House in it, which I was unhappy to see. None of us had enough money to contest it, so Suzy got it, and I feared that she was going to become a runaway leader. Meanwhile Sam and Pedro fought over the Smelters, splitting them but both paying more than the minimum bid, as I employed the workers from my Fort on Improved Hunting.

At this point I was worried about my chances. I didn't have Advanced Hunting, and wasn't going to get Mining (base, Improved, or Advanced) and there was no realistic chance of getting into Clothmaking either. That left only one path open, which was to try for both Shipyards. Fortunately for me people were involved in other things and didn't fight me for them.

Suzy made the opposite mistake from the one I see most newbies do, which is to try to do too much. In this game Sam, for instance, started out with a Hunting strategy and then tried to also do Mining and wound up not doing either one effectively. Suzy, by contrast, bought both Dye Houses and then spent too much time upgrading her production: in that first round with Set 2 cards, she could have picked up the City Center at minimum bid, and when she asked me about it I told her that I thought it would be a good idea, but then she decided to save money to upgrade her worker pawns to Clothmaking. For most of the game she actually had three tool disks (two on Hunting, one on Farming). Meanwhile Pedro and I managed to pick up the City Centers.

I was now facing some storage issues and was unhappy to see both the Caravans come out together at the end of Set 2. I did get one, but Pedro got the other.

When the Set 3 cards started coming out, I was able to use my big discount to get a Ships, then I addressed my storage issues by buying a Merchant Quarter. There was spirited bidding on the Refugee Settlements: Sam bought the first one for a fairly high price -- and then, as the endgame was approaching, Sam made the mistake of trying to bid Suzy up on the other one, and Suzy let her have it. This left Sam's cash flow permanently crippled.

Meanwhile I let Pedro have the other Ships at a high price, and picked up a Public Works, which put me in the lead on VP's. If Suzy had had more experience, I think she would have fought for a Public Works, but instead she bought a Merchant Quarter and used the worker pawn from it on Clothmaking. Pedro got the other Public Works and also created a couple of Improved Miners.

Going into the last round, I was Overlord with 26 points. Pedro had 21, and Suzy had 19. Even though my income was a bit lower than either of theirs, I felt I was well-placed since I had discounts on all Set 4 cards.

What came out was: City Walls, a Port, and both Tradefleets.

First I put up the Port. Pedro bid me up to 28 on it, and I let him have it.

Then I put up the City Walls. Suzy, with 8 cards in hand, was easily able to outbid me for it, and had enough money left over to train all three worker pawns and move them to the jobs with tool disks.

All this was fine: I'd planned for it. Even though I didn't get the really good developments, with my -8 discount on the Tradefleets I was easily able to buy them both, with nobody having enough money left to bid against me. That was 10 points to put me over the top, and with even enough left over to fill up the VP Purchase card.

If there'd been another round, Suzy's lead in production probably would have allowed her to overtake me; but there wasn't.

I've played a number of games, but this I think was the first in which I settled for Tradefleets as my Set 4 card, getting neither a City Walls nor a Port.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
David Goldfarb wrote:
Going into the last round, I was Overlord with 26 points. Pedro had 21, and Suzy had 19. Even though my income was a bit lower than either of theirs, I felt I was well-placed since I had discounts on all Set 4 cards.

[...] with my -8 discount on the Trade Fleets I was easily able to buy them both, with nobody having enough money left to bid against me.

This is a good example of the power of the Overlord.

A different Overlord could have probably opened a Trade Fleet first, let Pedro bid it up (since Pedro now isn't sure he will get a Port if you bid against him), and not let you get both Trade Fleets (you would have probably settled for a Port (33 VPs) and then possibly lost to Suzy depending on how much mileage Suzy got from her new workers (+11 isn't enough, given your +7 relative to her at start of round)).

However, part of this story is that Sam fell off the track and was unable to bid against you on the final round.

Quote:
[...] If there'd been another round, Suzy's lead in production probably would have allowed her to overtake me; but there wasn't.

When all players are experienced with Phoenicia, runaway production leaders vanish and the balance between production versus VPs versus storage becomes a lot tougher...
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I won the 5-p game I played last night, using 4 Hunters (Improved, thanks to an early Tracker) then two Ships (after purchasing a shipyard). Two Caravans to alleviate mid-game storage problems.

Apart from the first couple of turns, in which I'd held money back (which eventually allowed me to buy a Fort at face value after leaving it alone the round before), I held Overlord for most of the rest of the game.

I used Overlord to drive up the prices on cards I didn't want and chasing out the big money before auctioning what I really wanted (got caught with stuff I hadn't planned on buying a couple of times, but mostly it worked well).

I kept my plans flexible enough that the cards I didn't actually want were still put to good use - my left-hand neighbour spent the first half of the game assuming that I'd follow a path trodden several times before and make cloth, but I'd always intended to be more fluid than that.

The result was I had the game wrapped up and crossed the winning line before the first 4th Era card hit the table, by a large enough margin to embarrass. Only one player spotted that I could win, and he didn't have the wherewithall to stop me by that stage (FWIW, he had the other Shipyard, but was beaten to the punch on both early Ships when I twice bid exactly what he had - another benefit of being Overlord).

Two copies of Public Works and three VPs from a fully-loaded City Centre took me over the line.

After playing Outpost last week, I'm really struggling to say which game I prefer. Phoenicia seems to be about buying and using the right cards, whereas Outpost is about the factories and card income, but I haven't played enough of either to be an expert.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.