My friends Alex, Jenise, and I played the 3-player variant of Age of Renaissance, each of us picking 2 countries to become our 'allies for life'. After Alex picked Hamburg and Genoa, Jenise picked Barcelona and London, and I picked Venice and Paris, we were off!
Jenise got off to a strong start by letting her countries specialize: Barcelona became a wine baron, and London became a wool trader (even occupying Spanish territories to do so). As a result, she managed to cash in some rather heinous wool monopolies while Alex and I were still crippling each other's Meditteranean holdings.. Venice received Alchemist's Gold turn 1, and retaliated with a Genoan civil war.
As the game progressed, Hamburg and Paris started to shine. Although Paris got cut down to size twice by the Black Death, I managed to bring Venice to glory with massive silk and spice payoffs. In the meantime, Hamburg kept growing through military conquest... by the end of the game, Jenise and I did our best to kill the Hamburgian scourge, but the damage was done. Alex surged to victory through sheer military might. I scored 2nd place, mostly due to the fact that Venice almost made up for my pitiful plaguey Paris. Jenise, having bounced between Barcelona and London as her powerhouse civilization, scored 3rd.
Alex - Hamburg: 2260 (2010 advances + $320 - 70 misery)
Genoa: 1029 (1020 advances + $109 - 100 misery)
Nathan- Venice: 2159 (1950 advances + $309 - 100 misery)
Paris: 390 ( 640 advances + $100 - 350 misery)
Jenise- Barcel: 1522 (1480 advances + $217 - 175 misery)
London: 948 (1030 advances + $168 - 250 misery)