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Subject: Two 4-Player Games, Basic Rules rss

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Andrew Nick
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The Vancouver Boardgame Meetup convened once again, this time at the lovely Heritage Grill in New Westminster. Once critical mass was reached, we split up along the usual lines: party-gamers at one table, and strategy gamers at another. While the party-gamers (Erin, Kristen/Kirsten, Dorothy, Jasmine, and Eugene) sat down for a rip-roaring session of Tri-Bond, the more comtemplative of us (yours truly, Hilco, Karl, and Colin) pondered the unique gameplay of Bazaar.

We were all first-timers, but the rules are very simple, and we were underway quickly. Hilco started strong, but Colin came on strong in the latter part of the game, which ended in a tie between Hilco and Colin. Colin took the game, however, because he ended the game with the least number of Wares.

A couple of issues came up during play:

1. It is unclear whether one must either roll the die or trade during each turn; due to a purchase of a Ware by a player prior to Karls' turn, he started his turn with the ability to purchase a subsequently revealed Ware. Obviously, he was in a position where rolling the die or trading would only hurt him, and the rule reads: ' ... each player may either roll the Color Die for another Token or "trade" Tokens in his possession.' There appeared to exist some latitude in the interpretation (due to the word "may", which perhaps should have been "must"), so I ruled to give Karl the benefit of the doubt, although both Hilco and I felt that the intent was that one must perform one of the possible actions.

2. It is also unclear whether or not Tokens in one's possession should be public or can be kept hidden. This makes a difference in how easy it is to decide whether or not to go after a specific Ware. Again, Karl preferred to keep his tokens hidden, while the rest of us displayed our cache in front of us.

Final score:

Colin: 16 (3 Wares)
Hilco: 16 (4 Wares)
Karl: 9
Andrew: 7

We played another game of Bazaar to end the evening, after the others were wrapping things up, and this time we were joined by Kevin, who arrived late, replacing Karl, who had to leave early. We decided to play where one must either roll the Color Die or trade every turn, although the ramifications of this decision did not end up coming into play this game.

This time Hilco started strong, and stayed strong, blowing everyone else outta the water (making up for his dismal showing in the previous game of Naval War ... ).

Kevin made a strong showing against his slightly more experienced opponents, noting that if you are going to end up with 3 or more tokens left-over after purchasing a Ware, the trade you make prior to the purchase might as well be one that gets you a lot of tokens, so that you're ahead for the next round, something I hadn't clued into.

Final Score:

Hilco: 25 (!)
Kevin: 12
Colin: 12
Andrew: 10 (an improvement, at least ... )
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