Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
Player order was Don, Trevor, Gary, Tim and myself. The opening moves were standard enough, people were using the architect to move and build 2 cities. No one only built 1 city to deny me the cloth (what happens when this occurs is discussed in the next game).Going last, I was able to build a cloth city in Hellas and a brick building in Italia. I then used prefect to produce goods using the card bonus to collect a total of 3 cloth, and using the Mercator, I had a good income.
Gary was able to get some grain buildings and eventually buy the bonus card that gives 3 VP per grain city. Tim was the second one into cloth, and much to my chagrin, spent 4 goods to buy the cloth bonus city card (5 VP per card). Trevor had bought the brick bonus card, so the pickings were getting slim and I bought the wine bonus card, before I even built a wine city. In retrospect, I didn’t need to panic, since I think the wine bonus card distracted me from other cards such as the province bonus card.
Everyone else was using their special bonus card to collect goods: Gray got 6 grain once, and Trevor got 4 brick. Gary was expanding province by province by the grain cities or brick, since these cities only require grain or brick/grain.No one noticed that he had placed 13 cities, and by the time the card deck was winding down, Tim was playing coy to try and time it so that he could get the last card for the 7 VP bonus. But the game ended suddenly when Gary placed two cheap cities and he got the 7 VPs.
Gary 102 (1 Vista, 27 Jupiter (9X3), 14 Saturn (7X2), 8 Mercurius (4 X2), Mars 16 (4X4), 21 Minervus for 7 grain cities + 7 game ending bonus)
Norbert 101 (2 Vista, 35 Jupiter (7X5), 40 Saturn (8X5), 16 Mercurius (4 X4), Mars 4 (2X2), 4 Minervus for 1 wine city
Trevor 91(2 Vista, 18 Jupiter (6X3), 14 Saturn (7X2), 30 Mercurius (10X3), Mars 12 (3X4), 15 Minervus for 5 brick cities
Don 84 (3 Vista, 15 Jupiter (5X3), 24 Saturn (6X4), 12 Mercurius (6 X2), Mars 24(4X6), 6 Minervus (for 3 tool cities)
Tim 79 (2 Vista, 18 Jupiter (6X3)), 15 Saturn (5X3), 8 Mercurius (4 X2), Mars 12(3X4), 20 Minervus for 4 cloth cities)
Don is black, Trevor is green, Gary is yellow, Tim is blue and I am red. Gary's 15 yellow cities are what triggered the end.
Now if Tim chose to trigger the game end by buying 2 cards (there were 3 cards left), that would have likely left Trevor with the game ending 7 VP, plus the bonus card which might have given Trevor the win, and Tim would have probably 14 or more points. But as it stood, Gary was able to buy cheap cities (grain and brick) to close the game down and score the 7 VP bonus and squeak out a 1 pt win over me. As I mentioned before, I think the wine city card slowed me down just a bit.
Game 2: The turn order was the same. Now, there was some debate on whether the first player takes the cloth, and then produces for 2 cloth, and their income is decent. Don decided that was the best thing, and he took a single cloth city with his architect, rather than build 2 cities. I believe Trevor got the other cloth city that was in range. In fact, how it played out, as last player with $9, I could not find a place to build 2 cities simultaneously. So I used the diplomat on turn 1 to copy Don’s architect and built a wine city in Italia, just in case someone produced in Italia. On my next turn, I went to Gallia where there were 2 brick cities, and used my architect to put down 2 brick cities. Since I had the bonus producing card as last player, when I produced in Gallia, I got 2 brick and 2 wheat, so my game was going very well for only laying down 1 city in turn 1 (but was able to build 2 brick cities in turn 2).
I followed this up by getting the brick bonus city card; Gary was trying to duplicate his game 1 success by buying the grain bonus card again. I got wine soon enough when someone did produce in Italia, and I was able to also eventually buy the wine bonus card as well.
Possibly inspired by Gary’s 7 VP blitz in game 1, Trevor was trying something new: get no cards, build cheap cities and shut the game down as quickly as possible with no extra bonus cards. Unfortunately for Trevor, he proved that this does not work. His score would be the lowest. I was still collecting bonus cards like last game, and this game I couldn’t be denied, since I had much better Minerva cards.
Norbert 110 (1 Vista, 12 Jupiter (6X2), 42 Saturn (7X6), 24 Mercurius (4 X6), Mars 6 (3X2), 25 Minervus for 16 wine and 9 brick)
Don 89 (2 Vista, 32 Jupiter (8X4), 12 Saturn (6X2), 20 Mercurius (5 X4), Mars 8(4X2), 15 Minervus for 3 cloth cities)
Tim 88 (2 Vista, 27 Jupiter (9X3), 16 Saturn (8X2), 12 Mercurius (3X4), Mars 16 (4X4), 15 Minervus for 5 tool cities
Gary 74 (4 Vista, 8 Jupiter (4X2), 27 Saturn (9X3), 6 Mercurius (3 X2), Mars 20(5X4), 9 Minervus (for 3 wheat cities)
Trevor 67 (2 Vista, 22 Jupiter (11X2), 22 Saturn (11X2), 8 Mercurius (4 X2), Mars 6(3X2)), 7 for game ending bonus.
Game end: Don is black, Trevor is green, Gary is yellow, Tim is blue and I am red. The opening move to seize the cloth cities resulted in a different game, but going last I was able to adapt.
Minerva is such an important goddess in this game. Thanks for writing this, it's fun to read.