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Subject: What If Nobody Builds 2 Visible Prestige Buildings? rss

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Schema Man
United States
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What happens if all players finish their 3x3 grids and each player has less than 2 visible prestige buildings? I am not suggesting it's good strategy, but it seems possible that it could happen and that would mean condition 1 wouldn't be fulfilled which in turn would be mean neither of the items listed as triggering the end of game would happen because they both depend on condition 1. So here are my questions:

- Is it possible for all players to fill their grid without having two visible prestige buildings?
- If so, how could the game end legally since condition one could not be satisfied without going beyond the 3x3 constraint?
- If not, could you help me see in the rules what prevents that situation from occurring in the first place?

I know prestige buildings are important for end scoring and it may be bad strategy to not make any. However, as I understand the rules at this point, it is possible for all players to have less than two prestige buildings in their grids even if it is a bad idea.

BTW, I think this game is really clever. I am bringing it to a session this weekend and want to be sure I remember the rules well enough to teach it to others - thanks for helping!
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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You may always overbuild earlier buildings. Depending on the colour of that building it either stays in place and scores its nominal point value, or gets returned to the appropriate draw stack. You can find this in the rules halfway page 2. Note that hidden cards do not contribute to the prestige building score, but as indicated are still worth their own value.
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Paul Burkart
United States
Miami
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Maarten is correct. You can always build on top of your current tableau -- I've had this situation occur before in a 2-player game, where we each had 1 prestige building and a full tableau. We tried to build effective engines as quickly as possible and wanted them to run as long as possible to put ourselves in an advantageous position. In this case, eventually, someone will have to start building prestige buildings in order to win the game. It probably wouldn't take too long, either, as having fewer prestige buildings than your opponent puts you at a great disadvantage, especially if the number of Town Criers revealed meets the number in Condition 2.

If none of the players have built prestige buildings, honestly, trying to complete a 3x3 grid of regular buildings and characters which give you an effective engine is not a terrible strategy. I'd even argue that overbuilding with as many regular buildings and characters that have point values (as long as they match the color of the card they're being placed over) is a viable strategy if your opponents are slacking or struggling to complete their tableaus. A good opponent would recognize this happening and try to build prestige buildings as soon as possible to bring the game to an end.
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Schema Man
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Those are good points - thanks for the quick responses!
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