This report is about our 3rd game of Viticulture including Tuscany. We played with the Advanced Visitors (replacing the old ones according to the rules) and Mamas & Papas.
Second game of the campaign.
This time we played a 5 player game with players who played 2 times before (2) one time before (2) and me who played 2 multiplayer and 5 solo games so far.
With the mamas and papas people had different starting positions which was helpful to not having everyone trying to do the same, but still 2 players went for a cottage on round one and 4 players went for another worker, including me who started with an additional worker due to my Papa. One player went back to -5 points for extra money and a structure while the rest stayed clear of tasting rooms and wind mills for the start of the game. I decided to not pursue vines the first round and went for a more card-heavy strategy and keeping my worker advantage. Nobdody harvested the first year.
Rounds 2 to 4 were pretty common for my understanding of the game which means, the players drew cards, built structures, started harvesting and wine was made and in round 3 the first player shipped some wine and in round 2 more players shipped wine.
In year 5 the big point run started and at the end of year 5, 4 players were at 14 and 15 points with one player trailing behind at around 5 points (the player who invested 5 VP at the start of the game).
The later winner was at the start of year 5 below 5 victory points and hat a great year five and a decent year 6.
In round 6 the run for points started and so 3 players used their grande worker to play summer visitor cards for points and I needed to play a winter visitor to get the necessary wine tokens which cost me my grande worker then. So I was just 1 spot behind to ship a second order in the last year and lost the game with 20 to 22 points. 2 of the shipping spots were blocked by the player last with a big margin, but as he improved his score I couldn't blame him for king making.
The winner chose Properties as the next unlocked expansion.
We still like the game although we are saturated for now and I won't bring it tonight or next week as there are still so many other games that deserves playing. The progression through the expansions feels very slow even though we are unlocking an expansion every game, but especially the tier 1 expansions don't feel that game changing so far. The advanced visitors make the visitors better and imho also better balanced and the need for an early cottage less important as you still need luck with the visitors but you can utilize a bigger percentage of those.
The mamas and papas just don't really impact the actual game that much, but help with the first year of the game at least.
Starting order still feels pretty important and is probably one of the reasons I think that the sweet spot for this game lies at 3 or 4 players (trending towards 3) even though I have not played with that number yet.
I expect to bring the properties to at least change actual game play something as the sell grapes action is rarely utilized in our group so far and it might work out well to really get more than 1 good action space (no one ever sold grapes without getting the VP) with flipping properties.
I'm just not sure if it wouldn't have been better to add the patrons directly with the Mamas & Papas to have a change to the actual game play, but well. We started this way and as long my game group doesn't object we'll continue that way.
PS: I'd like to hear some opinions on what I should try to focus with the session reports. At the moment, I try to give an overview (as I remember as I won't take notes) and some more of my strategy. Do you think it would be better to remember my actions more detailled or just keep the style or stop posting those as you don't care?