Age of Renaissance was fully concluded on December 5th. Turn 7 saw Josh expand to the new world, while I was able to purchase Industry. Industry increases all payouts by one space. Steven, however, continued to possess the most advances and this is usually a good indicator of the leader.
Turn 8 saw the amount of market fights increase as players tried to increase their holdings in certain commodities, which is a good indication of the actual cards they currently hold. This only works, however, if your turn is last or next to last as others will attempt to reconquer the markets you just seized. Spouey attempted this tactic regarding the silk market, but was only ultimately successful in seizing one silk territory.
Turn 9 saw token bids of 12, 18, 20, 30 and 31. Buckle up! Steven now had the Industry and Institutional Research advances and was reaping huge rewards. He feared a mass attack as he was the one with 12 tokens. He therefore purchased Cathedral, which forced everyone to follow suit. Josh played a religious strife card, which has the effect of increasing everyone's misery by 3 or 4. This pushed Willerd and Spouey to the 250 misery level. I fortunately had played an Enlightened Ruler and was immune to these effects.
Turn 10 saw Steven complete the purchase of all 26 advances and therefore end the game.
Player Advances Cash Misery Total
Steven (Venice) 2100 (26) 158 -200 2058
Jerry (Paris) 1530 (22) 238 -125 1643
Josh (London) 1230 (18) 322 - 80 1482
Spouey (Barcelona) 1160 (18) 187 -250 1097
Willerd (Genoa) 880 (16) 191 -500 571
Ratings: Jerry 10, Steven 9.5, Josh 9, Spouey 8, Willerd 2
Steven had possession of the Crusades card early and held the entire Near East for the entire game. He also controlled much of the Black Sea area. I played Paris and opted to not purchase any galleys and did not acquire Seaworthy Vessels until turn 7. It was too late to challenge Steven by this time. My co-players either could not or would not heed my warnings about the situation. Of course, Steven did his best to point the finger of leadership at me due to my previous experience with the game.