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Subject: TVB - 3 Player - Around the Horn we race, but never to SF rss

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Richard Pardoe
United States
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Our second game of the evening was Cape Horn - a game that Dave had acquired in trade, but had yet to get to the table to play. Cape Horn is a race game wherein players are racing their ships around the southern most point of South America. Movement is via "wind tiles" that indicate the distance and direction from the currently occupied space to the next. There is a bit of resource management as players have a hand of wind tiles to manage as well as "sail points" which allow additional actions such as move again, ignore the current wind tile, and draw additional wind tiles. Sail points are gained slowly gained (additional points can be gained by not moving) but quickly spent as actions usually cost multiple sail points. Also on the map are navigational way-stations in one of 3 colours in 3 different regions. The winner of the game is the first to reach 3 different coloured way-staions in each of the 3 regions. Or the first to reach 2 differently coloured way-stations and then race to the finish line on the way to San Francisco.

Our three ships started abreast, but Dave quickly tacked over to hug the Eastern coast of South America hoping to reach the Red #1 way-station. Jeff sailed straigh hoping to reach the Yellow #1 way-station. Rich had first tried to draft behind Dave along the way to the Red #1 - but suddenly found himself stalled and was forced to change sea lanes and follow Jeff. With the first markers collected, the race continued to the second markers deep in the south of Region 2. Dave headed for Yellow #2 while Jeff was headed for Red #2. Rich realized that being behind he would waste time trying to follow the other ships, so decided to change tactics and sail for Region #3 to pick up his second marker and perhaps sprint for the finish line.

With Dave and Jeff picking up their respective markers, they both now needed the Green #3 to complete their sets and win. Jeff then managed to play a wind tile that would point directly for the Green #3 and placed his ship on it setting up the win for his next turn. Dave's only hope was to reach the Green #3 before Jeff on this turn. Dave had the necessary tiles to maneuver to the way-station, but a second moves costs 5 sail points and Dave needed to ignore the current wind-tile at an additional 3 sail point cost. But Dave had only 6 sail points so couldn't afford the move. At this point, the game was conceded to Jeff.

An interesting maneuver, resource management game. Rich found himself hampered by drawing a lot of wind tiles with only 1 movement point while it appeared that Jeff and Dave did have more wind tiles with movement of 2 and 3. But to be fair, Jeff and Dave did spend their sail points to get more wind tiles while Rich perhaps spent his points to "ignore" his current tile. As new wind tiles cost 1 sail point while ignore costs 3 - 3 wind tiles can be drawn for a single ignore action. Therefore, it is probably a bit more economic to have a larger collection of tiles rather than forcing movement ignoring the current tile.

As the course is laid out as players set sail, the game is likely to have a different flavour each time. Not much that can be done to directly impact other players other than to occupy a desired spot or change a wind tile on the board. So the game might have a bit of a solo race feel, but there might be enough interaction to have a tight race as preferred sea lanes are likely to be developed as the game progresses.
 
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