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Subject: Everybody's picking on me - for good reason rss

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Greg Jones
United States
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I got to go first, but my first two black tile draws were bad, so I ended up not placing anything. Ron set up on the west side of the board, John in the northeast, and Dirk in the center. The southeast corner looked like it was a safe distance from everybody and was chock full of resources, so I set up there with my Corinth city center. It was boxed in, though, so I also started a settlement in the southwest.

Boy, was I wrong. Before two turns had gone by, John jumped past me a set up a new settlement right next to Corinth, and Dirk extended his settlement around the other side of Corinth. I built my fountain to cut John off from connecting the eastern shrines, and then every space around Corinth was blocked without me getting a single free build out of it.

Ron declared at the start of the game that he wasn't going to do his usual thing of making a beeline for the shrines, and it was true. He was developing a cluster, not a line, in the west. Still, it was getting pretty big, and wasn't far from connecting the shrines. I eventually blocked him out of the southwest shrine and was even able to cordon off the west edge of the board. Mild interest now turned to Dirk, who had connected the southeast shrine. There was a path available to the northwest shrine, but several choke points could cut it off in one play.

Eventually, John built three streets along the north edge of the board. At first he had been trying to connect the eastern shrines, now he was in position to connect the northern shrines. Savvily he placed a single building in a new settlement right next to the northwest shrine. He now had a gap of only one space (off the board) between his main body and the northwest shrine, and still hadn't connected the northeast shrine, but was one away there too, with no one with a settlement back there.

Dirk exhausted two stacks. He could have used the tile to place a spoiler tile to keep John from getting the easy connection, but he decided to try for the win himself. He built a bridge to the southwest shrine, and on his next turn he used an amphora to build all four streets down the bridge. I took a draw turn, and I could have exhausted a stack and placed the spoiler tile against John, but I made a mistake. He drew one and connected to the northeast shrine, then placed his tile, and drew another and placed it to win by shrine connection.
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