Two rookies and 2 veterans of the game. To teach it, I randomly set up 2 boards in the middle of a game - a few Jesters here, a building there, a couple of works on the table, a bonus card, etc. Then Julie and I stepped through a sample round, explaining the highlights of each object and illustrating that she really shouldn't let me have a 3rd jester for only $600. Then we covered buying a building and the effect of builders, produced a couple of works, one with 2 Bonus cards, and generally covered the basic mechanisms to show how all the objects "fit together." This proved BY FAR to be the most effective way to bring new people into the game, as this was one of the quickest PoF games we've ever played.
I was fortunate this game in that my first 4 Profession cards (initial + 1 purchased) were 2 University and 2 Hospital. So early on I knew I'd go for those buildings. Julie bid very well to keep me from getting cheap Jesters while never hurting herself by getting something she didn't really want or need. The game proceeded normally, every player staying fairly balanced among all the objects and producing works into the final round. The works consistently hovered just above the minimum, with occasional spikes from Bonus cards, with Beth actually getting a 25 WV work at one point.
In the end it all came down to Prestige Cards. I had nothing else I needed in the 7th round, so I bought one just on the chance it would be a good one. Since a Jester would only get me 2 points (2 WV x 2 Works / 2), it was worth the gamble. I did get the Most Works card for 7 points, but it wasn't enough. During the game Julie had picked up 2 Prestige cards pretty cheaply, and worked to fulfill those objectives, netting her 14 points at the end, giving her the win even though I had produced 6 works to her 5. This was her first PoF win, I believe. So it goes to show that it isn't ALWAYS the most works produced that wins. Ah, the "delicious agony" of this game as it almost always seems to come down to a photo finish.
Winner(s): Juile W.
Finish: 1-Juile W. (67) 2-Michael W. (56) 3-Beth R. (53) 4-Jerry R. (44)
Session Report generated by GameTracker (©Goldraven 2002)