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Subject: Set collection was less than successful rss

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Melissa
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With four people for games night, and a wish to try something new, Rüdiger Dorn's Traders of Genoa seemed a good choice. I've enjoyed all the Dorn games I've played – Louis XIV, Goa (currently my only full '10' rating) and even his lighter card game Gargon – so buying this one had been a no-brainer.

The first thing we noticed was the rules. They suc—well, they're not very good at all, are they. Admittedly, we had a couple of interruptions (one called Biggie and one called Otto ), but it took us a good hour just to get through them. There must surely be a better way to explain this game than that – the constant "see below" references throughout the rules were really quite annoying.

The first couple of rounds, while we got used to the mechanics and flow of the game, went very slowly, although we sped up after that. There was lots of negotiation, lots of tough and aggressive bidding and some discussion of how to pinpoint an actual value for money. In retrospect, I think a lot of our bids were on the low side – the highest price paid was, I believe, 45.

Fraser and Peter started to claim ownership of buildings very early, while Neroli focussed on collecting and completing large orders. I decided to try out a set collection strategy, visiting villas to collect cards.

We all completed a couple of large orders and a small order or two, plus occasional messages (I got really lucky at one point and picked up a message that was already almost completed). Once the others clued into my set collecting, they each bought another card, limiting me to a total of seven for the game.

I don't know what the odds are of this, but my buildings, in the final tally, were distributed pretty evenly around the board. I had one cluster of three, one of two and two singles – for a total, pathetic, bonus 110 points. Even if I'd had one better grouping, I still would only have picked up another 30-40 points or so – well short of enough to win!

As far as bonus actions go, we all chose the 'additional action' or 'building action' tiles – I didn't really see as much value in the 'choose starting position' action (and I don't even remember what the other one was … don't think anyone chose it during the game).

Final results gave a convincing win to Neroli (around 700), 100 or so points ahead of Peter (who squeaked in ahead of Fraser - both around 610/590). I was an ignominious fourth (540), a good fifty points behind Peter and Fraser and 150 behind first place.

Overall, I liked Traders of Genoa but didn't love it. I see its influence in Goa and in Louis XIV, both of which I prefer. I'll give it another try, but I doubt this one will ever be a high-rating game for me.
 
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