Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
We had three players, and the player order was myself, Trevor and Craig. I decided to buy the $5 card where a recruited worker comes in not exhausted, and you get a re-roll. I liked the re-roll, but I didn’t want to follow a path where I constantly recruited. This is the wrong approach, as you have to use the strengths of your card as much as possible. Trevor bought the $3 card which gives $1 per round. Craig bought a bed, I think.
I didn’t recruit much workers with my card. I was trying to get many goods along the advancement track.
Trevor built up to 6 beds and even defensively spent a $1 to clear the cards in the above row to deny some of the beds to us. Trevor then sent 3 workers to go exploring to try and get the maximum, and one time even had to injure a couple of workers. This was working well, and he only had 4 workers the whole time. He had spent $5 to recruit the girl that gives 1 explore on a roll of 1, 2 explore on a roll of 2.
On the other hand, I was unfocused, and Craig bought the card that gives 2 VP per worker. I had no bonus card, $7 leftover, and an un-built cave. Trevor was able to win over Craig by 5 pts.
Trevor 58 (11 advancement, 9 building, 3 reputation, 31 card bonus),
Craig 53 (11 advancement, 8 building, 2 reputation, 32 card bonus),
Norbert 45 (19 advancement, 8 building, 8 reputation, 10 card bonus).
Trevor did all this with 4 workers.
Trevor wanted to play again using a different strategy. Player order was Craig, myself and Trevor. Craig bought a bed as there was no card that allowed hired workers to come into play ready for use. I bought the $2 card that gives a reroll and $1 per amethyst/ore. Trevor bought a card that gave $1 per round, I believe, but it wasn’t the $3 one.
After a few rounds, it became clear that Trevor wanted to play an above ground strategy, focusing only on those. After exploring, I got a below ground bed, and to make use of my first card, I spend $11 to get some amethyst. This got my income up to $8 after I got both of them onto my advancement track.
After I got up to $10 income, the game was starting to wind down. Craig bought the $17 building, the one that gave 2 VP per paper and amethyst, which I wanted. So on the 6th round, I had to settle for the $16 building that gave 7 VP and 2 VP per underground building. Trevor pointed out that the 2 VP per villager would be a good buy, but we left it. Trevor had bought the 2 VP per above ground building now, and he had 10 or 11 above ground buildings.
On the 7th round, I bought the $12, 2VP per ore and potion. I had one more explore action, with 3 characters and getting the 7 explore maximum value, I scored a fish and an ore, worth 7 VP to me straight up, but the ore was also worth 2 VP, so in fact it was a 9 VP explore. Trevor bought the 2 VP per villager building. It was a close game as Craig harvested his goods, resulting in 6 different types.
Norbert 58 (21 advancement, 7 building, 5 reputation, 25 card bonus),
Craig 56 (26 advancements, 8 buildings, 2 reputation, 20 card bonus),
Trevor 53 (2 advancement, 10 building, 3 reputation, 38 card bonus).
My tableau that squeaked out a win over Craig's 6 goods on advancement track.
The more we play this, the more things we are seeing to optimize our play. I think trying to maximize your explore action to get the bigger payout is the way to go now. Even injuring the workers to get the biggest payout possible is worth it.
Mage Wars: Beastmaster's Pet
Thanks for posting this. We played for the first time yesterday and I did well (but lost) by buying a low-scoring star card! Lots to explore (see what I did there) with this game.
Thanks for posting your sessions. It's nice to see what strategies other people use. I played my second game last night and had a great outcome.
74 = (38 advancement, 8 building, 7 reputation, 21 card bonus)
I only recruited one additional worker. I had good fortune on exploring. I had 7 of the 8 goods and I received 4 of those 7 on explorations. I had to injure my explorers twice to get the maximum pay off, but it was worth it.