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El Grande» Forums » Sessions

Subject: New Purchase; First play rss

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Matt Jenkins
United States
Fresno
California
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After playing through the introductory game by myself yesterday afternoon, I convinced my wife to give El Grande a go, 2 player style.

El Grande played surprisingly fast, despite the fact it was our first play and that we opted for the full length game. There were times when I had to consult the rulebook for an explanation of what each special power card did (whats up with the two or three cards that just cut off entire lines of text?). That took very little time at all though, as the cards are lumped together according to rank in the rulebook. My wife and I also had a five minute debate about whether or not she could place one of the mobile scoreboards upside down (0/0/4) vs (4/0/0). Of course the mighty rulebook and I soundly won out in the end.

At least she cared enough to argue.

After the final round, she had around 7 or 8 caballeros left to my 1. I would imagine this was what led to my 12 point victory, as she made more "cunning" plays than I did throughout the game. At one point, she selected the special power card that allowed her to score the region with the fewest caballeros. Right as I started to move her marker forward to score a region, she said Wait! She then placed her caballeros to force a three way tie among regions, all of which she held! She scored something like 13 points on that move. Very nice play.

The one thing that I consistently did, which she did not, was place caballeros into the castillo. This allowed me free reign on the board when selecting where to place them. I didn't have to worry that she may be selecting a different region and stealing away one of my majorities...she had nothing in the castillo! I could leisurely choose which territory would grant me the biggest payout if I were to take majority control.

In our discussions, we talked about how much more fun the game would be with 4 or 5 players, the changes in strategy this would bring about, and how absolutely essential it is to have some presence in the castillo. I hope to break this out again soon with a few more players involved.
 
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Barry Roy
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Montclair
New Jersey
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you are very lucky. i never found anyone who would play this game. Had to trade it away.
 
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Adam Daulton
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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My wife loves this game. We've never played it yet with two, only four players. This is has quickly moved to my top 3 games. I think you will like it even more with more people.
 
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John Richert
United States
Springboro
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My ONLY problem with this game is after playing with 5, you never want to play with fewer than 5.
 
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Matt Jenkins
United States
Fresno
California
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I played it again last night with 3. It was still enjoyable, but the two people I was playing with (my brother and his gf) were new to the game and struggling to get the flow of the game down. It was also 2 in the morning, and they were more or less zombie'fied by that time.

Here's hoping for a full compliment of five in the future.
 
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