While its a little short of being a full year since our last game, it was timed to coincide with a visit of a gaming friend who moved out of state earlier this year. Also, for some reason, my posts of our games over the last several years do not seem to be in the forum any more.
Anyway, it was a full board 7-player games, but utilized the tournament rules played at the WBC, meaning no Asia, and no Crete. That hurt, too, as Crete is my favorite. Standard commodity trading with 2 true cards was also in effect, as it should be in all games. It was the 2nd game for several players, 3rd game for another, but the rest of us have played multiple games.
A late start occurred as we did not get underway until almost 10:30, rather than 9:30 as planned, due to some morning challenges. Also, our half hour lunch break was well over an hour as a family issue came up with one player. while it was still a typical 10-hour-ish game, it simply didn't end until almost 10 at night. As everyone brought lots of pre-Halloween food to share, that part of the day was most excellent.
But the game happened. All the board edge countries were in play, but the real winner almost turned out to be the game itself. Calamity combos were especially brutal on at least 5 of the players, with the remaining 2 being the ones who almost always traded away all their calamities, the whole game. They then became the secondary recipient of most calamities for that reason, for the rest of the game.
Egypt, who had been at 7 seven cities, dropped to 2 and was stopped on the AST while rebuilding/killing barbarians/killing pirates. Illyria, who had been at 8 cities, was reduced to one, stopped on the AST, and spent 3 turns rebuilding/fighting pirates, and getting more calamities. Babylon, usually a solid position, seemed to get the flood every other turn, when not getting hit with something else, and only got to 8 cities once, and spent most of the game in the 4-5 city range. Assyria, taking full advantage of this debacle, grew to 9 more than a few times.
Africa and Iberia (the infamous calamity traders), grew to 8-9 cities and only had to deal with multiple secondary effects. Africa had also pushed into Egyptian areas during the flood/barbarian/pirate challenge and with agriculture and architecture, had no problems.
Iberia, despite having agriculture and able to support all his people, was determined to take Illyria's board edge space, and did. Illyria was hoping to get the barbarians, at least once, so they would have to kill the Iberians to get through them to his stuff. He then went after Thrace, with the excuse it was better than killing off his people due to over population, which he didn't have. His comments were usually called an insult to the others players intelligence, and he slowly became a limited trading partner. However, Iberia did have the magic touch when drawing cards, though, and almost always drew trade cards that matched what he already had, almost always.
Crete was reached by both Illyria and Thrace, with Thrace taking the east side city sites and the islands themselves, and Illyria getting the city sites on the Adriatic coast. Assyria got there later and became a nuisance.
The game ended in a last turn calamity fest and card buying frenzy as Africa reached the finish box first, barely. Illyria, Iberia, Thrace, and Assyria were one space behind, with Babylon and Egypt one space behind them. Civ cards, trade card values, cities, and treasuries were totaled.
A note here that Illyria was $4 short of having enough to buy another card (some players were even closer) but rather that trade in a 4-set of silver worth 96 $s which would have allowed him to get 490 pts of civ cards, saved that set and turned in his other set and enough $s to get 2 civ cards with the most discounts that totaled 430 pts.
Iberia ended with 3830 pts...and was second. Illyria (me, by the way) ended with 3839. 2 other players were over 3800 as well.
Scores were rechecked, and victory was confirmed.
Our marathon day left us happy for playing a game we do get to play enough, but also exhausted as most of us are...older...now, and a 12+ hour day is a real push.
But we hope to do it again before another year passes.