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Subject: Four Player Yspahan rss

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Earl Bailey & Michelle Corbin
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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We had an impromptu game night last night with attendees Earl Bailey, Michelle Corbin, Anne Churchill, and Josh Hunholz. This was Anne's first play of the game and our first time playing with four players.

Previous games had been centered on building the various structures and filling as many neighborhoods as possible. We had mostly used the supervisor as a punitive measure (as mentioned in other session reports), but had discussed whether using it on your own pieces might be a viable strategy. This game Michelle decided to try it and see how it might work.

The game felt very different when compared to our previous plays. Some of this was certainly due to the difference between 3 player games and 4 player games. It seemed common in this game for the fourth person to take a card due to the lack of other good options. In the 3 player game this was much less frequent.

The game also had a serious lack of camels, due to the dice rolls. Players spent a lot of gold to roll the extra yellow dice to increase the odds of getting reasonable camel numbers, but this was only of limited effectiveness.

Michelle ended the game tied for first with 4 people in the caravan. She had no points for structures, and had gotten the large 12 point neighborhood twice through fortunate rolls of the dice. In the end, we felt that the caravan strategy would have worked better if another player had been using it as well.

Earl ended tied for first as well, mostly by filling neighborhoods and getting the 2 point bonus structure early. He was unable to finish his structures due to a lack of camels in the game.

Anne finished third through building all her structurss. She had a lack of neighborhood points which cost her in the third week.

Josh finished last, although a good roll in the last week might have changed his position somewhat.

The three players who had played before agreed that they preferred the game with 3 players rather than 4 players. This was certainly in part because camels were so limited in this game. There were many turns where only one die was in the camel space!

 
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Jonathan Degann
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Tarzana
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Quote:
Players spent a lot of gold to roll the extra yellow dice to increase the odds of getting reasonable camel numbers, but this was only of limited effectiveness.


That seems like a tough way to go. With 3 gold dice, you're only adding an average of 1/2 camel. 3 coins for a half camel is a bad deal. In fact, you can even hurt your camel count. Suppose you'd normally roll no 1's and two 2's. Your gold dice are 2-2-1. On the surface you'd expect to increase your camels by 2 because you now have four 2's, but of course now the 1's take precedence and so you've only got one 1 - and one camel to take.

It seems to me to be better to just roll and if you don't like the results to take a card. There are some cards that award you 3 camels and some that let you trade gold for camels. Like that 3 gold you'd otherwise have wasted.
 
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Earl Bailey & Michelle Corbin
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Cary
North Carolina
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Yes, I agree (as the only player who did not spend gold on dice). It was a very strange game - none of the camel cards were drawn. None of the trade camels and gold were drawn.
 
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