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Subject: Session Report rss

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Playtesters this week:
Paul Randles
Daniel Stahl
Richard Garfield
Bill Rose

Games for this week:

We have played this game several times now, and we have yet to see anyone even attempt any other winning condition than 1 house in each territory.

We feel that the strategy behind flipping over each upcoming territory as you go down the line to be tedius and unecessary... we would prefer to flip them all over entirely before each round.

We also feel that the influence markers are unecessary and can be removed without hindering the game all that much. We are trying to determine if its just as easy to remember who's influence is who's.

The bidding system is very interesting and a good component of the game. There is still a lack of flavor to the game which leaves it as just another great mechanic with a theme slapped on.

We are still arguing over the fact that you can number count the face down influence and thus determine where to place additional influence that is one by territory. I personally feel that it is unfortunate that someone can figure out your influence that is face down.

One idea has been to have additional tiles to add bluff element into battles later in the round... not sure how that would be implemented though.

All in all a good game to play for the hidden bidding system.

Cardinal & King
We've played this game fairly regularly in the last few months as its a quick game. We're still trying to determine a way to benefit the last player (who seems to get stuck with the least amount of plays in a four player game).

Early strategies seem to always involve the center of the board. It has proven very unwise to attempt a cardinal strategy unless others are doing the same. If you are the only player in the cardinal strategy, you are likely to lose.

France, Greece, Italy has been a favorite cardinal strategy thus far for an easy 12 points(on average) if you have no other cardinal strategy.

First round scoring seems negligible compared to the margins at the end of the game.

Still wish there was a way to make it so that turn order didn't matter though. Being last in this game seals your doom.

Princes of Florence
Our first test of this game was long (almost 2 hours) but interesting nonetheless. We agree that the game does have a good theme to fit the mechanic, although it is still hard to determine which came first... the theme or the mechanic.

We felt that one of the strengths of the game was the multiple ways to gain victory points. It's good to play a game where you always feel you have options.

Many comments on the first game were about how little we felt like we were playing against each other. There was little to no concern for what others were doing, and in fact, most of the time, you just didn't care.

One strategy that might have effected the other players was an attempt to monopolize a personality combo - Wald/Speach for example... thus making "clones" that less effective (as they are a little too strong imho).

Most bonus cards, or prestige cards were not drawn until the last turn.

Auctioning seemed wrong. Perhaps limiting the auction to one type of terrain period per round would solve the four player problem of everyone getting what they want.

Money management was important and I liked that... although the winner had excess funds, while last place had 0 money.

We might try this one again, to get a different feel.

Our first game was played with three players... and we played at least 4 games.

An elegant quick game that seems to play the same no matter how many players. (which is good!)

There was a little confusion about field connection rules and I felt a little cheated a few times by someone claiming their field connected, when I felt it did not.

The first player seemed to have an advantage of an extra placement in a three player game. We attempted to fix this by having the first player not draw a tile, but play on the opening tile. In the end, it felt that the first player had LESS placements and that was even worse.

In all though, we enjoyed this game, and will play again soon.

Reported by Daniel Stahl
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