It's been a long time since this clever Michael Schacht title has hit
our table. We were playing it quite a bit for awhile as there are very
few 5 player games which have this much depth AND can be played in less
than an hour. I was tempted to use the Vatikan expansion, but since
Michael had never played and it was over a year since most of us had
played, I opted to stick with the basic game.
We did use the variant wherein a player who first places a piece into a
territory can add one or two cloisters, but no advisors.
I was again playing to set myself up for the final scoring round,
placing several advisors in the first round. I generally follow this
strategy as it seems to work well. Michael, however, concentrated on
cloisters, foregoing the placement of any advisors until the second
After the first scoring round, I was, naturally, behind on the scoring,
but felt I was in a good position to make a run for victory on the
strength of my advisors.
Round 1 scores: Michael 12, Joey 12, John 12, Jim 10, Greg 7
I managed to scoop a majority of advisors in four neighboring countries.
This was going to yield considerable amounts of points. However, late
in the game, Jim managed to steal one of these majorities from me,
costing me two adjacent links. I returned the favor by stealing one of
his, but it wasn't enough to make up for the points he had cost me.
Meanwhile, Michael, who had few advisor majorities, was clearly doing
well with his cloister placements. He also managed to get a bonus for a
4 point trade route. Normally, his lack of advisor connections would
have doomed him, but the rest of us fought so hard over the advisor
majorities that only Jim was able to gain a significant advantage.
However, he was so far behind Michael, he was unable to catch him. This
resulted in a victory for Michael.
Before Advisor Scoring
Michael 42, John 37, Joey 31, Greg 29, Jim 23
After Advisor Scoring
Michael 48, Jim 42, John 41, Greg 39, Joey 39
Ratings: Jim 8, Joey 7.5, Greg 7, Michael 7, John 6