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Subject: Papal decree for the win! rss

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Dan Ward
United States
California
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Our usual three-player games (PR, Serenissima, Settlers of the Stone Age, etc) didn't seem worthy of a three-day weekend, so we broke out AOR and used the Euro rules posted here.

Barcelona got off to a very quick start, aided by a few good card draws. He pulled Civil War (and smacked me, Venice, very hard ), War (and smacked me, Venice, very hard for 5 cities), three of the four combat advantages, and some good commodities. I countered with Alchemist's Gold in both Epoch 1 and 2, costing him $40 each time.

Collectively, we fell into an exploration advance race, with all three of us neglecting religion. (Two picked up Patronage early; all other religions were picked up in the last three turns.) This was definately strange, as we normally are quick to purchase Holy Indulgence.

But the end game was very different from our norm....

Barcelona was ahead, with Genoa and Venice closely tied, but definately behind. B and G controlled all the overseas boxes. B and G controlled most of the Black Sea. G and V split control of the Eastern Med. B was poised to make a killing on Fur and/or Spice. I was set to make a killing on an induced shortage of cloth and a natural shortage of silk. B would very likely be able to purchase every advantage he lacked with his bounty. I could not pick up all I lacked. B had a slight misery advantage and cash advantage, as well. How was I to win?

Papal Decree. I had bid for all the tokens I could (33). This wasn't much of a surpise, as I had bid high throughout the game. Card play gave B and I our expected income. Then I banned the purchase of religion with Papal Decree. Barcelona purchased all his remaining non-religion advances. I bought all but religion and Cosmopolitan. (And with the credit changes, Cosmo would be free the following turn.)

Although my attack odds were not great, I won a few of the fights, and consolidated my ownership of the Metal market. If I bid enough to go last, I could create a shortage of Metal via wind-watermill. Conveniently, we also rolled a shortage of Metal. Two metal cards in my hand, all three Old World Metal spaces, shortage, and industry put 300 dollars in my coffers the next turn.

Obviously luck factored here as well. At the time, my thoughts on playing Papal Decree were to extend the game, with the hope that either V or myself would have a shot at catching B. But the pope smiled upon my actions, I suppose, and granted me a solid victory in that last turn.

We all agreed the changes to MR calculations were great. The advance changes also worked well. No silk/crusades/etc in the intial draw is also a very good change. I loved the wind/watermill change, as I was almost always in a position to create a shortage. (And I tended to have a some timber, some metal, more wine, and most cloth throughout the game.)
 
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Lou Correia
United States
Sacramento
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Excellent AAR. Thank you for sharing.
 
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