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Subject: Wooden Horses Could Not Stop Me rss

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James Lowry
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Had the gang over for one last game day of 2014 yesterday. We were scheduled for a five-player game of Advanced Civilization, but Mark was down with the flu. Normally, this would also strand Jason, who gets a ride from him. He's renting a car this week, and showed up just a little late. While I was out checking the train station for him, everyone else decided to stick with a four-player game, using the full map (by the rules, it should be three of the four panels...).

This definitely bent the game a bit, as everyone had plenty of room to spread out in, and minimized conflict. It also made larger civilizations more stable, and helped us get through the later stages of the game, where we normally stall out. Everyone was happy about that part, though I think some kind of slightly tighter format would be better. Also, it meant everyone needed to pay more attention to their token cycle, so it was instructive that way too.

Anyway, I took Egypt (picking second after Patch's Illyria), Dave took Assyria, and Jason Crete. The opening stages were fairly standard, with Crete heading into Asia Minor and me taking a one-turn bounce before building two cities to pass into the Early Bronze Age. The first calamity of the game was a Treachery that Patch passed me to take one of the cities in upper Egypt. Thanks to the fact that there's only a 2-space and a 1-space (and another city) adjacent, it survived as such for a long time, as there was no way to get seven people in to break the city. I eventually reduced the other city in a later calamity (probably Epidemic) and then tore down that one before rebuilding both.

Before that point, Patch passed me Treachery again, to take a city on the North African coast. And then Jason passed me Treachery to take another North African city. Horses, rabbits, ducks... are any of these giant wooden animals safe?!

Patch and I got into a lead as the mid-game commenced with Dave and Jason falling behind, partly thanks to various calamities. I figure I had a slight edge going into the Early Iron Age (got in slightly early with a three-advance purchase), and then got pounded by three round of calamities. Patch had been maintaining nine cities fairly consistently, while I was struggling between seven and nine. When the disasters got me, I couldn't get the token cycle to kick loose the population to rebound properly (probably too spread out), and I sunk down to five cities without a lot of growth.

And then Patch drew Civil War. He was at the height of his power, and for most of the game, the recipient would probably been Jason (Crete). But at this moment, I had more in my Stock than he did, and was suddenly boosted to a fairly stable nine-city configuration. Patch had already hit the first space of the Late Iron Age at this point, but couldn't pick back up before we quit for the day, and I finally hit the Late Iron Age on the last turn.

Here's the end of the day photo (African cities are from a couple rounds of Piracy):


And the final scores:
Side Player AST Cities Civ Cards Cards Treasury Total Place
Illyria Patch 1300 250 1350 48 3 2951 2
Crete Jason 1200 300 760 3 3 2266 4
Assyria Dave 1200 450 900 5 0 2555 3
Egypt James 1300 450 1470 40 7 3267 1


It was a fun time, and way too long since we've played AdCiv (2 and a half years? yikes!). The win is very nice too, especially since I've noted a tendency for Patch to do very well if I'm not adjacent to him.

Oh, and I finally drew Treachery myself near the end of the game. Along with two other calamities in a round with little trading. I passed Barbarian Hordes off to Jason in return for Epidemic. To my chagrin, random draw picked Treachery to not happen, leaving me with the Epidemic and Piracy.
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Rob Rob
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How long did it take?
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James Lowry
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We got started later than usual, probably 10:30 or so, and went late... hmm. Not sure when we broke up, probably 6ish, and we had a lazy lunch in there. So, maybe 6.5 hours. Our normal 6-hour sessions with 5 or 6 players don't get into the Late Iron Age (with, I think, one exception).
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