This game had just arrived at my house a few days before departing for Gulf Games. I had managed to read the rules, but had not yet played. So, I was eager to give it a try and was joined by Chris Lohroff, James Miller and Ian. I forget who taught us the rules, either James or Chris. They did a masterful job, but I had constant trouble remembering what action each card allowed. The game absolutely BEGS for a player aid chart.
Many have described the game as a 'multi-player solitaire' experience and, to an extent, they are correct. There are a few things you can do to hinder your opponents, and the selection of the cards certainly has an effect on the actions your opponent will take. Still, the interaction is minimal, something of which I'm not normally fond. However, in this game, it didn't bother me. I felt the juggling act I was forced to perform between the many factors was quite challenging and tough. Still, I can't help wondering if the novelty of the game will wear off after several playings. I have played once since Gulf Games and again enjoyed the experience, so I do have some hope that the game will have staying power.
I took an approach that would have shocked the 'Green' party or local liberals. I basically ignored my pollution track early, instead concentrating on improving my technology in terms of labor and commodities. This allowed me to grant early retirements (sounds better than 'fire', doesn't it?) to several of my workers and produce finished products with fewer goods. As the deck began to deplete, however, I quickly scooped a card which allowed me to clean-up some of my industrial waste. Amazingly, I managed to escape paying any fines throughout the entire game!
I also kept my factory moving on the chart and was the first to reach the '20' value, thereby ending the game. Sure enough, my tactics paid off with a victory.
Finals: Greg 58, Chris 54, Ian 48, James 44
Ratings: James 8, Chris 7, Greg 7, Ian 7