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Subject: Are these ATV's hybrids, do you think?: First-time players tackle Tobago rss

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Suzanna
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Last night at Games Night, I sat down to a 4-player game of Tobago. This was a bittersweet beginning for me. I have been trying to get Tobago for ages, and the FLGS had a copy. I mentioned it to a guy at last week's game night, and said I couldn't afford it, so he asked if I would mind if he bought it. Of course I had no grounds to mind. Last night, I played that very copy with his wife, and two other gamers who came. This was the first time playing for all of us, so we needed to go through the rules first, but the rules are well-written, and the game isn't terribly complicated, so we were off and running pretty quickly.



Placing the clues to narrow down the locations of the treasures turned out to be fairly intuitive for most of us. We narrowed down brown pretty quickly, and started oh-so-subtly moving our ATV's in the direction of the most likely spot. Three of us had clues that would mark a slightly different location on that beach, but it was going to be that beach, and we knew it. In the end, I managed to find that first treasure. I had only placed one of the clues, so I got that treasure draw, plus one more for finding the treasure. Still, luck was with me during the splitting up of the loot, and I came out with an early lead.



We went along without too many dramatic upsets for most of the game. Most treasures had at three of us drawing on the treasure, which worked out well, because there was always someone to act as executor. I guess we could have managed if we were all bidding, so long as we just had a blind draw, but it was still nice that way. For most of the game, most of us were pretty even, in terms of the size of our gold hoard. One interesting thing, which may have been a rookie thing, was that we tended to ignore the amulets in favor of going after the next treasure. This is how it happened that when I found one particular treasure, I found myself on top of one amulet, next to a second, and in sight of a third. I picked those up as quickly as possible, needless to say, and started scooting to the other side of the board, where black had been narrowed down to 4-5 hexes in one lake.



I made it to the hex I wanted the same turn as one of the other players. I, however, had three amulets. I narrowed that location down the rest of the way and found the last treasure, ending the game and giving myself a few draws in that last treasure division. I picked up a little more treasure, and then that same unfortunate opponent, who showed me the card she had been going to play, which would have found the treasure, drew the Curse card. I actually felt a little bad for her. It was a close game among three of us, gold-wise, but I came out slightly ahead with 31, over 29 for the runner-up.



I very much enjoyed this game, and am eager to play it again. I think it should have pretty good replay value. Having played, I'm not sure whether or not I am still upset about the game having been bought out from under me, as it were. Yes, it's a good game. I'm just not sure it's the one I needed to make a big purchase on.
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Rick
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Just remember everyone that still has a stake in the treasure gets cursed, not just the person who draws it.
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Steve Duff
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asmyr42 wrote:
Most treasures had at three of us drawing on the treasure, which worked out well, because there was always someone to act as executor. I guess we could have managed if we were all bidding, so long as we just had a blind draw, but it was still nice that way.


I'm confused by this description, as it doesn't really sound like how the treasure distribution should be done. There is no "bidding", no "blind draw", and there's no mechanical difference between 1 player or 4 players being involved.

It's always - let the players involved preview the number of cards they are allowed to, add a dummy card, shuffle them all, turn a card face up, move through the tokens in order asking the owner if they want to use that token to keep the card or not.

Even if just one player is involved, it's very easy for that player to shuffle and turn up the cards and announce his decisions.
 
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Suzanna
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Yeah, I guess it wasn't necessary, but we just did it that way, where one person sort of "administered" it. S/he never had any agency, so the mechanic was the same. We were all first-timers, so it made sense at the time. It didn't actually make any difference, though.
 
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