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Brent Mair
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Roy
Utah
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World 564
Players: 3 (Tom’s first game of 504)
Play time: 135 minutes including rules explanation
Final Score: Brent 43, Carson 38, Tom 29

This was my first three player game of 504. I had played with Exploration previously, but in the third position, and a different game with Roads in the first position. This was my first game with Military. The game was played on map 1 due to the Exploration module.

Scoring
Players scored by exploring non-water tiles, being the first to place a settlement on a tile, and taking a harvesting action with a resident on a tile. Non-city tiles only had one harvest action VP available. Explored city tiles had three available VPs, and should have had a red settlement and a resident (we missed that rule).

Income
Income was created by having a settlement on a tile that was connected through roads back to your capital. Cities beyond the first gave $15 income, mountains were worth $10, desert tiles created no income, and everything else was $5. You could only collect income for one tile of each type for every city you had. Therefore if you only controlled one city you could only collect income for one tile of each kind at most, even if you had connected settlements on more tiles. There was also a bonus of $10 if you had a set of one of every kind of tile, not including dessert.

All roads were neutral and stayed on the board even when a settlement was eliminated through war.

Gameplay
This was Tom’s first game of 504 and he picked it up quickly. Unfortunately, game exploration and the map wasn’t going his way. Both Carson and I had started building towards him, and by the end of the game he had explored at least six grasslands, but was not connecting them through roads since he didn’t have access to a second city and would not gain income from them. Due to our proximity, he was part of the first two conflicts.

Battling others wasn’t overly interesting since it was just straight attrition. No dice rolling, just one of your pieces lost for one of your opponent’s. That led to a loss from both players, which often benefited the third player. It was only attempted in order to finish a set or out of necessity of being hemmed in.

Summary
I appreciate Tom’s attitude through the game since pretty early on things didn’t go well for him and it was pretty clear there wasn’t a great way to pull himself out from being behind. He simply didn’t have the income to compete, and the dice was going against him. Carson and I had plenty of areas to expand into without encountering each other and I ended up with better cities and the only mountain for close to half the game. I’m not a great fan of exploring, although I will try it again in the second slot at some point.
I’m likely not going to visit this world again, although I did have fun in the game and I’m looking forward to encountering more worlds!
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Ryan E.

Lawrence
Kansas
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I'm soloing this using three players. What I'm finding is that one of the players is unable to get a 2nd city due to bad roles while exploring and the other two players fortifying their cities, making it militarily impossible for that player to take a second discovered city. Thus, that third player is stuck with $20 income each turn because there's no additional income until they've connected two cities (if I'm reading the rules right). * I finally let purple take income for settled land tiles even with just one city just to keep him somewhat competitive.



Here's my final map.
After approx. 3 hours of playtime my game of 564 finally came to an end. You can see that 4 of my 7 remaining tiles were cities (7 or fewer tiles remaining triggers the end of the game). And since cities grow your capacity to benefit financially from majorities, my players were stuck with limited income for the whole game which, in turn, limited buying more meeples which, in turn, limited exploring, road building, and everything else that would have sped this game up. (And this includes dumping deserts after a while since they weren't helping things go faster.) This eventually limited the incentive to build more settlements and roads.

Maybe different strategies would have improved the play of this world, but for the last hour I just kept looking at my remaining tiles counting down until the last round would finally come.
Final score:
Green 49
White 48
Purple 33

I hope all 5** worlds aren't this slow and as the original poster stated, I don't expect to revisit 564.
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