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Subject: A Three Way Tie!! rss

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Thomas Eager
United States
Portland
Oregon
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"A Book should serve as the Ax for the frozen sea within us."-- KAFKA
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I'd been hankering to get Java back on the table after our recent games of Torres and Tikal, and had the perfect opportunity with only Matt, Kev and myself present at the session. I think three players is actually the sweet spot of the game, and today's result certainly reinforced that opinion.
Kev and Matt both opened with "private" cities (gaining 4 points each) while I chose to surge with a nine-point irrigation. Four cities were quickly thrown up on the following few turns, with all players jousting for rank in almost all of them. Kev and Matt both completed irrigation enclosures, and I countered with a twelve point enclosure (the largest of the game). Shortly thereafter we had seven cities constructed, each of us jockeying for rank, but everyone stayed close pointwise. I was able to sneak into a couple of easy builds toward the end of the midgame, and gained good points from festivals, with a couple of uncontested festival wins.
Going into the home stretch, I had built up about a fifteen point lead over Matt, and a ten point lead on Kev. Things were looking good. However, I had exhausted nearly all my small city-tiles getting that lead! Matt made a couple of nasty placements that split cities in his favor. Both players slowly closed the gap on me, and I was usurped from control in a couple of 10-point cities. On a couple of occasions I split festival points with either Matt or Kev, since this maintained my relative position on the scoring track.
I hoped my early lead would hold, and began pushing three-space tiles to end the game. Matt actually ended the game with the final placement and surged hugely (over forty-five points on his final round) and Kev surged a bit less to tie him. In my final turn, my lack of city tiles almost doomed me, and I thought I was going to finish last, but I was able to swipe a page from Matt's playbook, and used a single "grass" tile to sever a large city and steal the full ten points for it. But without any city tiles or extra action tokens remaining I only had sufficient action points to get a total of 31 points on my final turn, giving us a three way tie!
I could have broken the tie by calling a Festival in my newly built 4-point city, but with Kev holding three more cards than me, I refrained. As it turned out, I was right to do so, since examination of both our hands revealed that Kev would've taken the festival (and therefore the win) easily. As the game has no tie-breaker rule, we were all pleased with a "mutual" victory.

Final Score: Matt 111 Kev 111 Tom 111
 
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Jim Cote
United States
Maine
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Duplicate.
 
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