This turned out to be a great 20 minute game of Quo Vadis. It was me, Kendra, William and Jason.
William and I quickly filled up the 5-space forum. He set off on a race for the top, paying everyone anything just to get in. He handed way too many points to Jason twice. Jason was playing a cocky game offering practically nothing, expecting to do it alone. Soon Kendra, William and I were in the Senate.
At this time I felt Jason had the most points, but he wasn't in the Senate yet. Kendra was probably next, with me then William following in laurels. I made the comment that we don't let Jason in. He simply cleaned up too much with (in my opinion) William's bad deals. Everyone agreed that Jason wasn't getting in with any help from us.
At that point we all raced to fill up the Senate and end things. I didn't think I had a chance at winning though.
I can't remember now if it was William or Kendra who took the fourth spot in the Senate, but when it came to my turn I suddenly realized I had the chance to let Jason into the Senate from one forum on his next turn. By this time he was so desperate to get in that he was willing to pay some of those laurels he had piled in. I opened the discussion that I'd let him move in if he paid me six laurels.
That was quite a bit to pay, but he knew he was in the lead and I had very few tokens in front of me. Kendra and William despised me for even negotiating with this enemey--the one I had suggested we lock out. But at that point we both ignored the others and we realized the choice before each of us was to either lose for sure or risk handing the game to the other player with a last-ditch effort to win.
It turns out he agreed to pay me five laurels. I took it and it ended the game. We were surprised to find that we so perfectly made that final deal that we actually tied with 15 laurels each! Of course, I was in the Senate first, though, so I won.
That was a great session that reminded me of the many closing deals we've made in that game over the years. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes you hand victory to someone else. The tension in those moments is priceless though.
By the way, Kendra and William were not appreciating the game at this point as well as I was. I think this too is an excellent testament to the emotion evoked in this game.