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Subject: Playtest 188 (Rounds 7-9) rss

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Keng Leong Yeo
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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Introduction

I am one of the co-designers of Three Kingdoms Redux. The other co-designer is none other than my better half, Christina Ng.

As you may expect, I have taken part in many a playtest (total of 191 playtests at the time of writing). Despite being the co-designer, I can't say I am very good at my own game; My Significant Other beats me regularly, as do our more frequent playtesters. One of them is my Significant Other's younger brother. He has been playtesting with us on a weekly basis since his graduation in May 2013, and has improved to the extent of beating us me regularly. blush

My Significant Other had posted the draft rules a while back. It is perhaps appropriate now to run through one of those playtests, so that BGG users who have downloaded and read the rules can develop a better understanding of the rules and gameplay.

This session report pertains to a recent playtest with her brother, playtest 188, which turned out to be a very tight game. The session report is split into three parts, owing to its length. This is part 3 of 3, and covers rounds 7 to 9. You can read part 1 via this link and part 2 via this link.


Players
Wei 魏
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Wu 吳
Keng Leong Yeo
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Shu 蜀
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Round 7

Conflict Phase

Select Alliance Action Space:

Bid turn order: Wu 1st, Shu 2nd, Wei 3rd

Wei is in a good position for the domestic development and rank scoring categories. It would have been in a stronger position for the Domestic Development scoring category had Wu not made the last minute bid for the Develop Farm or Harvest action space the previous round. To get back on track with the Domestic Development scoring category, it proposes the Develop Farm or Harvest as the alliance action space to Shu. Shu takes up the offer; It has two flipped farm tokens to harvest and could be looking to reduce its stationed armies upkeep by doing so.

Bidding:
State
Wu
Shu
Wei
Wu
Shu
Wei
Wu
Shu
Wei
Wu
Shu
Wei
Wu
Shu
General Assigned
*Sun Jian (combat 4) + 1
*Zhuge Liang (administration 5)
Pang De (combat 5) + Han emperor
*Lu Su (administration 5)
*Wei Yan (combat 4)
Jia Xu (administration 5)
Zhuge Jin (administration 4)
Li Yan (administration 4)
Cao Cao (administration 5)
Huang Gai (leadership 2) + 2 naval units
Zhao Yun (leadership 2) + 2 cavalry units
Xiahou Dun (leadership 2) + 2 cavalry units
Sun Quan (combat 3)
Liu Bei (administration 4)
Action Space
Control Han Emperor
Develop Marketplace or Collect Tax
Produce Crossbows/Vessels
Construct State Enhancement
Demand Tribute
Win Popular Support
Construct State Enhancement
Hire Instructor and/or Import Technology
Develop Farm or Harvest
Improve Tribal Relations
Improve Tribal Relations
Improve Tribal Relations
Produce Spears/Horses
Develop Farm or Harvest
*Sun Jian: When Sun Jian is the first general assigned by Wu, his contribution towards the combat total is increased by 1.
*Zhuge Liang: After Zhuge Liang takes the "develop farm/develop marketplace actions" and there is at most 2 flipped farm/marketplace tokens on Shu’s farm/marketplace development space after he does so, he receives 2 rice/gold.
*Lu Su: When Lu Su takes the "construct state enhancement action", the construction cost is reduced by 1 gold or 1 rice.
*Wei Yan: After Wei Yan takes the "demand tribute action", he receives 1 additional untrained army, as well as 1 weapon of his choice for each border location occupied by Shu (up to a maximum of 2).

Short Analysis of Bidding:

Wei: With numerical inferiority this round, Wei bids more prudently, going after the action spaces that are likelier to be of lower priority to the other two states. It does put in a very strong bid for the Produce Crossbows/Vessels action space. This is because there is only one border location requiring cavalry units left for it and Wei needs to increase its options along the borders. Wei also deliberately puts in a strong bid for the Win Popular Support action space, forcing Wu to have to place two generals, one of which is probably *Sun Quan, should it want to recover the popular support it had used up in the previous round.

Wu: Wu has another go at the construct Puppet Theatre before taking the Control Han emperor action space plan. Placing first on the Control Han emperor action space is sufficient to stave off any lingering hopes that Shu was harbouring for the rank category. Sun Quan is blocked out of the Win Popular Support action space and takes the Produce Spears/Horses instead, with the similar view of increasing its options along the borders. Wu also decides to spend a general to push its tribal relations level to reach 12 one round sooner, so to be able to buy a popular support for 2 rice every round from hereon.

Shu: With numerical superiority, Shu makes a challenge for the Domestic Development scoring category by bidding for both development action spaces. Shu can enhance its chances of winning the Domestic Development scoring category greatly by developing both its farm and marketplace, but has to watch out for the resources required for its stationed army upkeep. In the meantime, it continues to build up its army units and looks to be in a comfortable position. Shu seems to have given up on the Rank scoring category.

*Sun Quan: When Sun Quan takes the "win popular support action", he receives 2 popular support tokens instead.

Resolution Phase

Action turn order for current round: Wu 1st, Shu 2nd, Wei 3rd
Bid turn order for next round: Shu 1st, Wei 2nd, Wu 3rd

Action taking:
State
Wu



Shu




Wei
General
Huang Gai
Lu Su + Zhuge Jin
Sun Jian
Sun Quan
Zhuge Liang
Liu Bei
Wei Yan
Li Yan
Zhao Yun
Pang De
Jia Xu
Cao Cao
Xiahou Dun
Action Taken
Increases tribal relations level by 2 levels, pays 2 rice for 1 popular support
*Collects 2 rice and #constructs @Puppet Theatre, paying 1 less gold
Pays 1 gold, promotes 1 rank, leaves Sun Jian face down on action space
*Collects 2 spears and 1 untrained army
*Collects 2 gold and develops marketplace by 1 level
Develops farm by 1 level
*Collects 1 trained army, #1 untrained army, 1 horse and 1 vessel
Pays 1 rice to flip 2 untrained armies, draws 1 Unification state enhancement card
Increases tribal relations level by 2 levels
Collects 2 crossbows
Collects 1 popular support
Develops farm by 1 level
Increases tribal relations level by 2 levels

Note that Wu needs to take Huang Gai’s action first to buy the popular support, which is then used as part of the costs for the Puppet Theatre. Wu also needs to play the Puppet Theatre before taking the Control Han emperor action so as to meet Puppet Theatre’s prerequisite.

*Zhuge Jin: When Wu is in the alliance and Zhuge Jin takes the "alliance action", he receives 1 rice before taking the action. If Wu is not in the alliance and takes at most 4 actions, Zhuge Jin receives 2 rice before Wu takes its actions.
#Lu Su: When Lu Su takes the "construct state enhancement action", the construction cost is reduced by 1 gold or 1 rice.
@Puppet Theatre (prerequisite: ranked not higher than Prime Minister, costs 1 popular support + 2 gold, 1 VP): You prevail in the case of a tie (1st or 2nd) during scoring of the rank category.
*Hereditary Army System (no prerequisite, costs 1 popular support, 1 VP): After you take the "produce spears/horses action" or "produce crossbows/vessels action", you receive 1 untrained army.
*Zhuge Liang: After Zhuge Liang takes the "develop farm/develop marketplace actions" and there is at most 2 flipped farm/marketplace tokens on Shu’s farm/marketplace development space after he does so, he receives 2 rice/gold.
*Training Ground: (no prerequisite, costs 1 rice, 1 VP): When you take the "demand tribute action" to receive 1 untrained army, you receive 1 trained army instead.
#Wei Yan: After Wei Yan takes the "demand tribute action", he receives 1 additional untrained army, as well as 1 weapon of his choice for each border location occupied by Shu (up to a maximum of 2).

Reduce Tribal Relations Level: NA

Receive/Activate Benefits (at end of round after all actions taken):
Wu: Wu activates *Barter Market to trade 1 spear for 2 rice.

*Barter Market (no prerequisite, costs 1 gold, 1 VP): At the end of each round when you did not take the "trade rice and/or trade weapons action", you may trade 1, and only 1, weapon for 2 rice.

Update and Maintenance

Flip criterion markers, Wu receives Han Emperor token, Wei pays 1 rice, Wu pays nothing and Shu pays 1 gold + 2 rice for stationed armies’ upkeep, no popular support upkeep required, 4 military VPs awarded for Wei and Shu and 3 military VPs awarded for Wu, round track marker advanced to Round 8.


Round 8

Conflict Phase

Select Alliance Action Space:

Bid turn order: Shu 1st, Wei 2nd, Wu 3rd

For this round, there is the risk that Shu manages to win both development action spaces again and be in control of one of the endgame conditions. To prevent that, Wu picks the Develop Marketplace or Collect Tax action space as the alliance action space. Wei or Wu may also control an endgame condition by winning the Control Han emperor action space.

Bidding:
State
Shu
Wei
Wu
Shu
Wei
Wu
Shu
Wei
Wu
Shu
Wei
Wu
Shu
Wei
General Assigned
Zhuge Liang (administration 5)
Jia Xu (administration 5)
Huang Gai (combat 4)
*Wei Yan (combat 4)
Pang De (combat 5)
*Sun Quan (combat 3) + Han emperor
Liu Bei (leadership 2) + 2 infantry units
Xiahou Dun (combat 5)
*Zhuge Jin (administration 4)
Li Yan (administration 4)
Sima Yi (administration 5)
Lu Su (administration 5)
Zhao Yun (leadership 2) + 2 cavalry units
Cao Cao (administration 5)
Action Space
Develop Farm or Harvest
Control Han Emperor
Win Popular Support
Demand Tribute
Recruit Armies
Win Popular Support
Battle Shu – Wei
Train Armies
Develop Marketplace or Collect Tax
Develop Farm or Harvest
Construct State Enhancement
Trade Rice and/or Trade Weapons
Improve Tribal Relations
Develop Marketplace or Collect Tax
Wu moves *Huang Gai at the end of bidding to the empty Produce Crossbows/Vessels action space.

*Wei Yan: After Wei Yan takes the "demand tribute action", he receives 1 additional untrained army, as well as 1 weapon of his choice for each border location occupied by Shu (up to a maximum of 2).
*Sun Quan: When Sun Quan takes the "win popular support action", he receives 2 popular support tokens instead.
*Zhuge Jin: When Wu is in the alliance and Zhuge Jin takes the "alliance action", he receives 1 rice before taking the action. If Wu is not in the alliance and takes at most 4 actions, Zhuge Jin receives 2 rice before Wu takes its actions.
*Huang Gai: After all bids are made, Huang Gai may be moved, together with any Han emperor or popular support tokens placed with him, from a common action space to any empty common action space. A tie on the action space he left counts as a loss for Wu.

Short Analysis of Bidding:

Wei: Wei is administration strong and has a one-general advantage over Wu. Shu, having given up on the Rank scoring category, leaves the Control Han emperor action space open for Wei to bid for first. Wei then retains its administrative strong generals until the end of bidding as protection. Wei also senses the end of the game is nearing, and prepares more trained armies for that eventuality. If the game ends the following round, Wei would gain 2 VPs from holding onto the Han Emperor token at the end of the game.

Wu: Wu realises the construct Puppet Theatre before taking the Control Han emperor action space plan was implemented too late. The failure to do so in round 5 is proving to be costly. Wu therefore concentrates on the Civil Harmony scoring category with *Sun Quan. *Huang Gai provides much-needed protection to Sun Quan’s bid.

Shu: Shu knows it is definitely out of the running for the Rank scoring category. With sufficient resources in its supply, it pushes the envelope on the military front by bidding and winning the Shu-Wei Battle action space, then stationing Liu Bei with two armies. In the meantime, it bids strongly and wins one of the two development action spaces. It can choose to either to maintain its lead over Wei in the Domestic Development scoring category by developing its farm by 1 level, or to reduce its stationed armies upkeep by harvesting.

*Sun Quan: When Sun Quan takes the "win popular support action", he receives 2 popular support tokens instead.
*Huang Gai: After all bids are made, Huang Gai may be moved, together with any Han emperor or popular support tokens placed with him, from a common action space to any empty common action space. A tie on the action space he left counts as a loss for Wu.

Resolution Phase

Action turn order for current round: Shu 1st, Wei 2nd, Wu 3rd
Bid turn order for next round: Wei 1st, Shu 2nd, Wu 3rd

Action taking:
State
Shu




Wei




Wu
General
Zhuge Liang + Li Yan
Liu Bei

Wei Yan
Zhao Yun
Pang De
Xiahou Dun
Jia Xu
Cao Cao
Sima Yi
Sun Quan
Zhuge Jin
Huang Gai
Lu Su
Action Taken
Harvests by moving 3 flipped farm tokens onto granary space
Stations Liu Bei at Hua Rong Dao with 2 infantry units,
flips and places border location token on treasury space
*Collects 1 trained army, #1 untrained army, 1 horse and 1 vessel
Increases tribal relations level by 2 levels
Collects 2 untrained armies
Trains 2 untrained armies
Pays 1 gold, promotes 1 rank, leaves Jia Xu face down on action space
Develops marketplace by 1 level
Constructs *Crossbow Armoury
*Collects 2 popular support
*Collects 1 rice and develops marketplace by 1 level
*Collects 2 crossbows and 1 untrained army
Trades 2 spears and 1 vessel for 7 gold, trades 3 gold for 4 rice

*Training Ground: (no prerequisite, costs 1 rice, 1 VP): When you take the “demand tribute action” to receive 1 untrained army, you receive 1 trained army instead.
#Wei Yan: After Wei Yan takes the "demand tribute action", he receives 1 additional untrained army, as well as 1 weapon of his choice for each border location occupied by Shu (up to a maximum of 2).
*Crossbow Armoury (no prerequisite, costs 1 crossbow + 2 gold, 2 VPs): After taking the "produce crossbows/vessels action" to produce 2 crossbows, you receive 1 additional crossbow.
*Sun Quan: When Sun Quan takes the "win popular support action", he receives 2 popular support tokens instead.
*Zhuge Jin: When Wu is in the alliance and Zhuge Jin takes the "alliance action", he receives 1 rice before taking the action. If Wu is not in the alliance and takes at most 4 actions, Zhuge Jin receives 2 rice before Wu takes its actions.
*Hereditary Army System (no prerequisite, costs 1 popular support, 1 VP): After you take the "produce spears/horses action" or "produce crossbows/vessels action", you receive 1 untrained army.

Reduce Tribal Relations Level: *Wei maintains its tribal relations level. *Wu also maintains its tribal relations level and pays 2 rice for 1 popular support.

*Jia Xu: At the end of each even round, if Wei did not take the "improve tribal relations action", Wei's tribal relations level is maintained.
*Ling Cao: At the end of each round after Ling Cao has been stationed with a naval unit, Wu's tribal relations level is increased by 1 (or maintained at 12) instead if Wu did not take the "improve tribal relations action" that round.

Receive/Activate Benefits (at end of round after all actions taken): NA

Update and Maintenance

Flip criterion markers, Wei receives Han Emperor token, Wei pays 1 rice, Wu pays nothing and Shu pays 2 gold and 1 rice for stationed armies’ upkeep, Wu pays 1 rice for popular support upkeep, 4 military VPs awarded for Wei, 3 military VPs awarded for Wu and 6 military VPs awarded for Shu, round track marker advanced to Round 9.


Round 9

Conflict Phase

Recruitment:
Wei: Xu Chu, Cao Hong, Yang Xiu
Wu*: Jiang Qin, Gu Yong, Lu Xun
Shu: Pang Tong, Dong Yun, Guan Ping

Crossed out generals are generals not recruited during the draft.

During the recruitment, Wu activates *Imperial Academy to buy 1 popular support with 2 rice. This is to cement Wu’s first position in the Civil Harmony scoring category.

*Imperial Academy (no prerequisite, costs 1 gold + 1 rice, 1 VP): You may draw 1 additional general card or pay 2 rice to receive 1 popular support token during each recruitment of generals.

Conflict Phase

Select Alliance Action Space:

Bid turn order: Wei 1st, Shu 2nd, Wu 3rd

Wei is in control of an endgame condition via the Rank scoring category. Having taken the Control Han emperor action during the previous round, Wei is holding onto the Han emperor token. This implies that if the game ends this round, Wei would gain the 2 VPs that come with the Han emperor token. It is also currently sharing first place in the Domestic Development scoring category with Shu.

With the above considerations, Wu deems Wei to be in a stronger position. Wu tries to use Shu against Wei by choosing one of the development action spaces, Develop Farm or Harvest, as the alliance action space. It hopes to get Wei and Shu bidding against each other for individual first place in the Domestic Development scoring category. Wu also enjoys two vital advantages this round, numerical superiority and placing bids last.

Bidding:
State
Wei
Shu
Wu
Wei
Shu
Wu
Wei
Shu
Wu
Wei
Shu
Wu
Wei
Shu
Wu
Wu
General Assigned
Pang De (combat 5) + Han emperor
*Zhuge Liang (administration 5)
*Sun Jian (leadership 2) + 1 + 1 naval unit
Cao Cao (administration 5)
Li Yan (leadership 2) + 2 archery units
Lu Su (leadership 2) + 2 archery units
Sima Yi (leadership 2) + 2 gold
*Pang Tong (administration 5)
Jiang Qin (combat 4)
Xu Chu (combat 5)
Wei Yan (leadership 2) + 2 gold
Sun Quan (combat 3)
Xiahou Dun (administration 2)
Zhao Yun (administration 3)
Zhuge Jin (administration 4)
Huang Gai (administration 3)
Action Space
Control Han Emperor
Develop Marketplace or Collect Tax
Battle Wu – Wei
Win Popular Support
Battle Shu – Wei
Battle Shu – Wu
Improve Tribal Relations
Develop Farm or Harvest
Battle Wu – Wei
Control Han Emperor
Improve Tribal Relations
Battle Shu – Wu
Construct State Enhancement
Hire Instructor and/or Import Technology
Hire Instructor and/or Import Technology
Construct State Enhancement

*Zhuge Liang: After Zhuge Liang takes the "develop farm/develop marketplace actions" and there is at most 2 flipped farm/marketplace tokens on Shu’s farm/marketplace development space after he does so, he receives 2 rice/gold.
*Sun Jian: When Sun Jian is the first general assigned by Wu, his contribution towards the combat total is increased by 1.
*Pang Tong: When Shu is in the alliance and Pang Tong takes the "alliance action", he receives 1 gold before taking it. If Shu takes 5 or more actions in a round, Pang Tong also receives 1 gold before Shu takes its actions.

Short Analysis of Bidding:

Wei: Wei recruits a combat strong general and goes all out to win the Rank scoring category. This is expected as it can gain 2 VPs from holding onto the Han Emperor token at the end of the game. However, this leaves it somewhat shorthanded on other fronts, and it is only able to ensure 2nd place in the Civil Harmony scoring category. Wei spends gold on its Improve Tribal Relations action space to retain the option of bidding for a Battle action space, should the opportunity arise, but it was not to be.

Wu: Wu shifts its focus from the Rank scoring category to the two borders. With numerical superiority, if Wu manages to win both Battle action spaces and stations at both borders, and the game ends this round, then Wu can score maximum points in the Border scoring category. Should the game not end this round, it has sufficient resources to pay for its stationed armies upkeep and claw back the military VPs gap developing between it and the other states. Towards the end of bidding, it takes out bids from Shu and Wei for the Hire Instructor and/or Import Technology and the Construct State Enhancement action spaces respectively.

Shu: Shu hires an administrative strong general in Pang Tong to try and win the Domestic Development scoring category. It puts in bids with its administrative strong generals on the two development action spaces. Wei, somewhat surprisingly, does not offer much resistance. Perhaps it is pre-occupied with the Han emperor… With its remaining combat strong generals, it bids for and wins the Shu-Wei Battle action space, thus guaranteeing itself of at least one border victory. As Shu needs to push its tribal relations level to the maximum of 12, it has insufficient manpower to make a bid for the Shu-Wu Battle action space.

Resolution Phase

Action turn order for current round: Wei 1st, Shu 2nd, Wu 3rd
Bid turn order for next round: Shu 1st, Wu 2nd, Wei 3rd

There is always the possibility that a state may not take the action it won the bid for. In this case, Wei may choose not to take the Control Han emperor action that it won. If indeed so, then the game will continue for another round. The determination of Bid turn order for the following round is still carried out because of this possibility.

Action taking:
State
Wei



Shu




Wu
General
Pang De + Xu Chu

Cao Cao
Sima Yi
Zhuge Liang
Pang Tong
Li Yan

Wei Yan
Sun Jian + Jiang Qin

Lu Su + Sun Quan

Zhuge Jin
Huang Gai
Action Taken
Pays 1 gold, promotes 1 rank, leaves Pang De face down on action space
Game end condition triggered
Collects 1 popular support
Pays 2 gold and increases tribal relations level by 2 levels,
Collects tax by exchanging 1 flipped marketplace token for 4 gold
*Collects 1 gold and develops farm by 1 level
Stations Li Yan at Qi Shan with 2 archery units,
flips and places border location token on treasury space
Pays 2 gold and increases tribal relations level by 2 levels
Stations Sun Jian at Chi Bi with 1 naval unit,
flips and places border location token on treasury space
Stations Lu Su at Bai Di Cheng with 1 archery unit,
flips and places border location token on granary space
Draws 1 Unification state enhancement card
Constructs *Wooden Ox

The sum total of gold and rice is the tie-breaker for the game if there are any ties in scores at the end of the game. Aware that the game end condition has been triggered, Wu maximises its gold and rice by stationing only 1 archery unit with Lu Su. It therefore returns the crossbow to its supply and able to activate the *Barter Market later to trade it for 2 rice.

*Pang Tong: When Shu is in the alliance and Pang Tong takes the "alliance action", he receives 1 gold before taking it. If Shu takes 5 or more actions in a round, Pang Tong also receives 1 gold before Shu takes its actions.
*Wooden Ox (prerequisite: have stationed at least 3 armies, costs 1 gold + 1 rice, 1 VP): Collect 1 farm token from the general supply and place it on your granary.
*Barter Market (no prerequisite, costs 1 gold, 1 VP): At the end of each round when you did not take the "trade rice and/or trade weapons action", you may trade 1, and only 1, weapon for 2 rice.

Reduce Tribal Relations Level: *Wu maintains its tribal relations level. Wu chooses not to pay 2 rice for 1 popular support as it has already has sufficient popular support to claim individual 1st position in the Civil Harmony scoring category. Sum total of gold and rice is the tie-breaker for the game if there are any ties in scores at the end of the game.

*Ling Cao: At the end of each round after Ling Cao has been stationed with a naval unit, Wu's tribal relations level is increased by 1 (or maintained at 12) instead if Wu did not take the "improve tribal relations action" that round.

Receive/Activate Benefits (at end of round after all actions taken):
Wu: Wu activates *Barter Market to trade 1 crossbow for 2 rice.
Wu: *Jiang Qin receives one-off benefit of 1 untrained army and 2 vessels at the end of the round he was recruited.
Shu: *Li Yan constructs #Garrison.

*Barter Market (no prerequisite, costs 1 gold, 1 VP): At the end of each round when you did not take the "trade rice and/or trade weapons action", you may trade 1, and only 1, weapon for 2 rice.
*Jiang Qin: At the end of the round when Jiang Qin is recruited, he receives 1 untrained army and 2 vessels. After he takes the "recruit armies action" or "train armies action", he receives 1 vessel.
*Li Yan: At the end of rounds 3, 6, 9 and 12, Li Yan may construct 1 state enhancement.
#Garrison (no prerequisite, costs 1 army, 1 VP): After you take the "win popular support action", you may train 1 untrained army.

Update and Maintenance

Update and maintenance is not carried out because the end game condition has been triggered.

(The above picture has two errors: i) The bid order for Round 10 should be Shu, Wu, Wei and ii) Wu's supply is missing 1 untrained army and 2 vessels due to Jiang Qin. Both errors do not affect the end-results. Apologies... blush)

Final Scoring
Scoring Category
Military
Border Location
Border
Domestic Development
Civil Harmony
Rank
Han Emperor Token
State Enhancements
Deficit Tokens
Total
Wei
16
2
0
2
6 (4 + 2)
10 (5 + 5)
2
4
0
42
Wu
13
4
5
0
9 (4 + 5)
5 (3 + 2)
0
5
0
41
Shu
18
4
2
5
4 (4 + 0)
0 (0 + 0)
0
10
0
43

Military: Read off military VP track for each state.

Border Location: Count number of flipped over border location tokens on each state’s treasury and granary.

Border: Wei loses both borders (0 VPs); Wu wins both borders (5 VPs); Shu wins one border and loses the other border (2 VPs).

Domestic Development: Wu is individual third (5 levels; 0 VPs), Wei is individual second (7 levels; 2 VPs) and Shu in individual first (8 levels; 5 VPs).

Civil Harmony: Shu is individual third on level 12 (4 VPs for level 12 + 0 VPs for third), Wei is individual second on level 12 + 2 popular support tokens (4 VPs for level 12 + 2 VPs for second), Wu is individual first on level 12 + 4 popular support tokens (4 VPs for level 12 + 5 VPs for first).

Rank: Shu is individual third on Governor rank (0 VPs for rank + 0 VPs for third), Wu is individual second on Duke rank (3 VPs for rank + 2 VPs for second), Wei is individual first on Emperor rank (5 VPs for rank + 5 VPs for first).

Han Emperor Token: Wei holds onto Han Emperor token (2 VPs). Note that update and maintenance is not carried out once the end game condition has been triggered, so it is the previous round’s winner of the Control Han emperor action space that gains these 2 VPs.

State Enhancements: Each state totals up the VPs on their respective played state enhancement cards, including any bonus VPs from their played Separation deck cards. For example, Shu played *Pulp Papermaking and manages to construct the most number of state enhancements, thereby earning it 2 bonus VPs.

Deficit Tokens: Nil for all states.

*Pulp Papermaking (prerequisite: have constructed at most 2 state enhancements, costs 2 gold, 1 VP): At the end of the game, you are awarded 2 VPs if your state has constructed the most number of state enhancements, or 1 VP if there is a tie for the most number.

Final Analysis

Wu wins two of the four comparative scoring categories (border, domestic development, civil harmony and rank), but still finishes last, primarily because it has fallen too far behind in the military VPs and did not make up for it with more state enhancements.

Wei wins one of the four comparative scoring categories and has the Han emperor token but finishes second. Indeed, it is just one development level away from winning the game.

Shu wins just one of the four comparative scoring categories but enjoys a healthy lead on the military VPs track. Its decision to station Liu Bei in the penultimate round was possibly the winning move of the game. Shu’s other decision to play the *Office of Minister of Finance in round 6, despite its limited benefits at the time of its play, was also critical as it more or less guarantees the 2 bonus VPs from *Pulp Papermaking.

*Office of Minister of Finance (no prerequisite, costs 1 popular support, 1 VP): Collect tax immediately after you construct this state enhancement.
*Pulp Papermaking (prerequisite: have constructed at most 2 state enhancements, costs 2 gold, 1 VP): At the end of the game, you are awarded 2 VPs if your state has constructed the most number of state enhancements, or 1 VP if there is a tie for the most number.

Shu takes a narrow 1 VP victory! We used to beat my brother-in-law regularly, primarily due to our experience of going through so many playtests. That was before he started playing with us on a weekly basis. He has since improved by leaps and bounds and has been turning the tables on us in recent weeks. He didn’t say too much after this particular game, but we could tell he was pretty pleased with himself.

You can also download the official session report via this link: Session Report 188
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Keng Leong Yeo
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My Significant Other spent some time to produce a neater version of the session report using images of the game components. You can download it via this link: Session Report 188

She also spotted a few parts where I omitted explanations of general/state enhancement benefits. I have edited the session report above to include them.
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