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Subject: TVB - 3P - Experience pays off, but buildings almost win rss

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Richard Pardoe
United States
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With a bit of time left, Rich wanted to introduce this game to the group. As the game is a nice economic optimization, so Rich thought Dave and Shawn might enjoy this game also. This is really a card game dressed up with a game board that serves solely to hold the cards. Players will be buying workers (to generate money), buildings (to generate victory points), aristocrats (generate both), and upgrades (improve the previous types). The trick is that workers only generate money at the end of their phase, buildings at the end of their phase, etc. So the pattern of the game is 4 phases of acquisition, but with money generated every other phase. This pattern tends to make money tight in the game. Furthermore, as only 8 total items are on offer, there is a cyclical nature to the offerings. Workers start the game (so are common then), then are sparse the next turn before surging out once again. These cycles need to be foreseen and money reserved while the temptation to spend is great. But in the end, it is victory points that win the game (not money), so the game is about making money initially then converting that to victory points before the game ends.

Shawn started of with a building strategy buying lots of building early and jumping out to a large lead in victory points. Rich knowing the value of the aristocrats from previous plays passed on the early buildings hoping to gain from the aristocrats. Dave (probing the game system) was a bit diverse a mix of buildings and aristocrats. And as the game progressed, Shawn saw his lead slowly erode away. The key at game's end was the aristocrat bonus awarded for differing types of aristocrats. This let Rich jump ahead to claim the victory:

Rich: 119
Shawn: 107
Dave: 101

Both Dave and Shawn indicated they had enjoyed this one a bit more than Masons. Shawn did admit he had overlooked the aristocrat bonus (holding only 4 at game's end) and would have revised his strategy a bit. Dave commented that he had been caught short by the turn 3 worker surge so would be prepared for that next time. And this is what is enjoyable with this game. The game plays quickly enough that one can think back about things to do differently the next time. Hopefully this will result in the game hitting the table a few more times in the future.
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