This was our (me and my wife's) secound outing with this game. After having played wrongly the first time.
The game started with both of us trying to get our companions to the volcanos with double gems (ie 2 of the same color).
The differnce I think came in the tokens that we landed on. I got 3 extra steps, 2 magic hand, 1 boatman, 1 small dragon while my wife got 1 extra step, 2 boatman , 1 small dragon.
So, as you can see above I had no hesitation in picking up the dragon egg most of the time as the extra steps and magic hand are pretty powerful tokens. On the other hand my wife opened 2 King's dragon and a couple of rings (she was also not lucky enough to open up the King's dragon token with the right color companion). So she focussed on taking treasure.
This gave me the edge early in terms of the dragon eggs and I used it close out the game with 9 eggs with my wife getting 6. I had 7 completed sets while my wife had 6 with a few extra gems. I won by 7 points.
So, how come with all the extra steps and magic hand I did not win by a wider margin?? The reason was POOR DIE ROLLING on my part which helped balance the game. I was rolling more 2's and few 3's while my wife was rolling 3's and a fair no of 4's. So, I really needed those extra steps. I am not sure if my wife could have used her boatman better but I feel it is an inferior token to extra steps and magic hand. Also, she could have put ring's on her companions early I guess to put some pressure on me but in a 2 player game that is less effective i guess.
Overall, it is a nice light set collecting racing game where grabbing items before your opponent, using your special powers wisely and timing the end game are some of the critical decision's to make. I have played only with 2 players and at this number some planning is possible because of less competition and perfect informatin once the tokens are open. With 4 it will become very tactical I guess with having to make use of whatever opportunities you get. It becomes more of a family game at 4 than at 2.