Yesterday I played a game with my mother and my brother. We had removed the mage and added the spellcaster. We also added the Artist.
The cards were dealt in the following manner:
Player A: place one card face down (blind)
Player A: pick one card
Player B: pick one card
Player C: pick one card
player C: place one card face down (picked)
player A: pick one card
player B: pick one card
player B: place one card face down (picked)
player C: take back the card previously placed face down (by C), then pick between that card and the card you received from player B (Which was usually the Artist.
This playstyle still gives a bit of a disadvantage to the last player, since the assasin was usually picked by the one who had possesion of the king (and on one occassion the one sitting next to the king). So player C has a chance between 66% and 33% of being hit compared to a 33% chance for A & B of being hit.
Most of the time I was the last player, but I didn't get killed a lot, because I chose a character that would be benificial for both player C as well as player A. I also played save picking the Artist. Which also came in handy securing my low value buildings against the warlord. Which was handy because my brother always has it in for me.
The game steadily progressed and we were very close together. I had 5 relatively expensive disticts build (3 to 5 points) one card in hand and 4 gold. I was in second position and I got the chance to pick the assasin, which meant I could get rid of allmost all my gold (one remained) so I could hardly be thieved. It also meant I wouldn't have any cards so I couldn't be robbed by the spellcaster.
5 district built (expensive)
1 card in hand
6 districts built (cheap)
1 card in hand
5 disticts built (moderate, one 2 gold building)
1 card in hand
The second passing of the cards I was very happy as well. I was left the Warlord/Condetierre, so I was sure I could demolish one of my opponents buildings and thus secure victory for the following round. Even if I'd be assasinated I would still finish.
My brother could finish that round, but he had to few points to surpass my buildings.
I assasinated the 5th character as I was certain it would be picked, because it would seem like a save character, yet both other players had enough benifits from them not to be totally worthless. It also isn't a character to withhold from me by putting it away, since I had no blue buildings.
Well it seemed I assasinated my seemingly biggest opponent when I announced I had assasinated the 5th character judging by the cheer of my mother (for not being assasinated). Then I built my 6th building so I had no cards left. Then my brother played the spellcaster and took the last card from my mother.
Victory is secure I thought. Chances were very slim to non-exsistant for drawing the right cards. Especially when she decided to go for gold when her king was called up, so she would have enough money when she became the architect and would draw cards that would be too expensive to build both. (She got 5 gold total)
But then she recieved the lighthouse and a tavern (she didn't have any green or purple buildings by then) and was able to pick the battlefield (a red 3 point building, a color which she also didn't posses). So she got 4 bonus for finishing first and 3 bonus for all the colors.
I did manage to get seven buildings with the warlord, but it was not enough.
Ah well at least I still got to demolish one of my brothers buildings for once which is always nice.