Lawrence and Ben arrived for an evening of games. Rich had suggested The End of the Triumvirate as this game is balanced for exactly 3 players. Don't know if it was the German or the confrontational aspect, but Rich was outvoted and Goldland was extracted from the game case as the game of the evening. This game seems to make yearly appearances at TVB - so I will assume this was the 2006 appearance.
From the starting spot, Rich and Lawrence headed North to uncover the adventures while Ben was the sole player to head East. Rich had uncovered a desert adventure with treasure, so worked to set up a camp in the desert and to dig up the treasure. Lawrence continued to work along the edge to acquire resources (and discovery tokens) while Ben concentrated right at the Eastern edge of the play map. There he uncovered not one but two deserts!
Rich continued to head into the interior of Goldland from his spot working his way through the adventures. Ben was doing the same from the Eastern edge (working North), but was also carefully placing tiles so that no path connected with the lands to his West. As the map developed, this meant that Ben was building a pretty exclusive path to the temple that others would have to follow. Trying to jump into the trail would require surviving an ordeal (costing more resources) to do so. Lawrence tried to work east along the northern edge of the board - but kept finding lake after lake and was short handed the necessary twigs to construct the rafts to survive those adventures. Rich seeing this, had to backtrack to the edge and run along the periphery to follow Ben on the path to the jungle.
Ben was the first to reach the temple by surviving a mountain adventure at the temple (paying the resource cost via the discovery tokens he had collected along the way). This earned him the amulet and gold coins. No one else was in position to reach the temple, so only Ben gained the Temple Bonus gold.
Lawrence managed to survive the ordeal and got onto the trail to the temple also. Rich followed Ben, but got distracted by some bandits. After the game, he realized that he already had the bandit adventure in hand, so should have spent the turn going for the natives and getting closer to the temple. As a result, Rich did survive another adventure, but gained nothing for doing so. While Lawrence and Rich were struggling towards the Temple, Ben was nicely gaining the Temple Resource Gold each turn putting time pressure on Rich and Lawrence to gain gold.
On the final turn of the game, Rich and Ben were close in points as Rich had done a good job of conquering adventures. He was the first to gain a desert adventure and no one had surpassed his total (though Ben had tied it). Looking at his options, Ben discarded most of his goods from his backpack retaining only 3 provisions (fish) and the temple amulet. This gave him 8 movement points - just enough to reach a desert adventure. Discarding the 3 provisions, he survives the adventure and claims the desert adventure token from Rich. Looking to maximize their gold, Lawrence and Rich both head to the temple to claim the last amulets and the game ends.
Lawr Rich Ben
Amulet: 3 3 3
Treasure: 6 3 -
Temple Gold: - - 7
Native Adv: - - 2
Lake Adv: 3 - -
Mount Adv: - - 3
Canyon Adv: - 3 -
Puma Adv: - - 4
Bandit Adv: - 5 -
Desert Adv: - - 5
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12 14 24
And the last minute acquisition of the desert adventure is key as it moved Ben from a tie with Rich to the outright lead. Of course, getting to the temple early (5 turns before anyone else) was also key thanks to the nice blockade on the paths. Rich (if he hadn't wasted time with the bandits) might have made it a turn earlier gaining 1 more gold also.
And that is one aspect I really enjoy with Goldland - there are multiple ways to gain gold, so it is not just a game of racing to the temple. Surviving adventures, digging up treasures can also lead to gold that count at games end. Ben and Lawrence both indicated they enjoyed this selection of game for the evening.