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Subject: The faster hand in round 10 wins. rss

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Dave Wilson
United States
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At this point we had eight players, and rather than play one big game, we decided to split up into two groups of four. Jeff wanted to break out his copy of Simply Catan, so he took it to the dining room. Meanwhile, Jim, Helen, Rich and Sabrina broke out Factory Fun.

This was Helen's first try at the game, and Jim's second, so some time was spent going over the rules before starting. The first few builds were pretty uneventful, and pretty fruitful for both Helen and Jim. After the first three builds, both had a cash pool of $14, and both had a nice machine-to-machine interconnect as well (2 brown for Helen, 3 yellow for Jim). Rich, for his part, had one interconnect as well pushing 3 blue output into a 2 blue input. Jim was the last to choose his machine in the fourth round, and ultimately chose to discard it because he just couldn't make it fit. Rich was able to place a machine with a 1 Blue input to use that excess output from his previous interconnect. At the half-way point, Helen was doing best in terms of cash on hand, with $23 to Sabrina's 18, but Rich had the best set of interconnects, with 10 points worth to Jim's 5 and Helen's 5.

By round 7 all the players were growing their cash pool, and Helen has as much as $28. Jim, too, grew his cash base from $6 to $17, but he wasn't able to add any more interconnects, holding at 6. Unlike last session's game( ), he was having a much harder time with this game, and it continued into round eight, where again he was the last to choose a machine, and again he ended up discarding it. After nine rounds, Helen appeared to have the lead, with $35 in hand and 10 in interconnects. Rich looked to be in second, with $22 in hand but 11 interconnects.

Each round begins with one machine per player being turned up, and then players making a quick grab to get the machine they want. It makes what is otherwise a quiet puzzle game a little more dynamic. In the tenth round of this game, it also made a huge difference. Both Rich and Helen grabbed for the same machine, but Rich got there first. Helen chose instead the Magnetizer, with both blue and brown inputs. But after looking at it, and then looking at her factory floor more carefully, she discovered that those inputs just didn't fit. As it turned out, she had to discard the machine, and since she wasn't the last to choose, that discard cost her $5. Meanwhile, that first machine that Helen wanted ended up earning Rich $5 and an additional interconnect, for a net $10. And that made the difference. With the game finished, they tallied the scores. Sabrina had a nice cash reserve of $27, but only 4 interconnects, worth $20, for a $47 total. Jim had $12 and 11 interconnects, having gotten three more points there in the final round, for a total of $67. Helen had $30 and 10 interconnect points worth $50, for a total of $80. And Rich had $29 (still less than Helen) but 12 interconnect points worth $60, for a total of $89, and the win.
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