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Subject: Session Report rss

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Yehuda Berlinger
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Jerusalem
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Baruch 88, Jon 79, Nate 66, Adam 66, Gili 65

Let me just start out by saying: I love this game. It is so elegant, the rules appear to be something that were simply carved away, rather than having to be created. The whole rule book is just there to clarify and provide examples for the game. And the game just works so neatly, tense enough to have meaningful decisions, not so tense that you end up with AP or feel frustrated like in Caylus, rewards good play, a bit of luck via randomness, and still gives most players a chance throughout the game. Yummy.

If there is one negative thing to say about the game, it is a theoretical issue with the game play. There is no progressive scoring track during the game, but everyone's positions are out in the open on the board if you take the time to exactly count them. The "correct" way to play the game is probably to sit and recount all of the scores every round by adding up all of the regions on the board. On the other hand, the gentlemanly thing to do is not to do this but to glance at the board and estimate the relative positions.

To satisfy both types of players, there should really be an optional scorepad provided for those that want to play "correctly". This will avoid the downtime that these players would take on each of their turns. This is not necessary in an estimating only game, however, which is how we played it.

During the game I remarked how a valid strategy might simply be to not bid or bribe at all during the game, thereby earning a lot of cash, which are equal to victory points. I decided that I might do that next game. In the meantime, that is what Baruch did in this game, earning him the victory. Adam ended with even more money, but a much weaker board position.

Meanwhile, I managed to score the best region scores on the board, although Gili tried to block me a few times. She didn't try hard enough, however, and I could still outbid her for the rights to place the tiles that I needed. Nate played a middle position strategy, with middle success.
 
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Mark Crane
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A nice session report. Yes, there are those that play this as an exercise in math, and it is still tense and fun, but I much prefer an intuitive play. Unfortunately I have only played online, which tends to favor the mathematicians somewhat.
 
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