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Subject: First play for 3 newbies rss

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Craig Liken
New Zealand
Christchurch
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The Pillars of the Earth

Had first play of this the other night with my wife and my brother. Once we got it set up and I explained the rules (I'd beeen through them before a few times) we set off.

Somewhat tricky to know exactly what strategy to take, so we just kind of felt our way - I had read that metal was quite important so shared this with the others (I didn't want to win the first play just because I had better info about the game).

Anyway once we got past the first round everyone was into it and it played quite simply. In the end I settled on a mainly stone and wood strategy - eventually getting the 4-capacity mason and the 5-capacity Carpenter. Didn't upgrade sand past the 2 for 1 Mortar Mixer (but needed him for the Mason anyhow). Also used the toolmaker for the first few rounds and then swapped him with the Glassblower that appears in round 4 (I think?). My wife mainly went for sand and wood - got a 3 capacity potter, plus the woodworker that converts to gold. Can't remember exactly what my brother did - he was heavy on stone in the end and seemed to like the scupltors.

The lead jumped around a bit through the game - my wife started well (she got the 3 VP privilege card in the first round) and I went well in the middle stages, getting my nose in front for a while. Interesting with the master-builders - the tax/metal at Kings Court was extremely popular. My brother was keen on Shiring castle (for extra workers) and the Archbishops office - I never once used either of these (mainly becasue I didn't gey the chance).

The last round was a humdinger - pretty close going into it. I went heavily for wood, using my carepnter to convert five and selling the other 3 for 2 stone and using my Mason. Tom Builder also gave me a stone to convert (I had picked him up in the first round) I also had the single sand and metal I needed for the glassblower. Finished with no resources over - one gold and 50 VP.

My brother converted a lot of stone with his scupltors - he had also bought the 2 capacity glassblower, but my wife shut him out of the metal spots with her Master Builders so he couldn't use it. He finished with 49 VP and 2 gold (tantalisingly close).

My wife was a bit behind into the final round, but got the bellmaker and managed to get the two-metal required to use him to full effect. She also had a 3 capacity potter. I think she also went to the market and bought some stone to convert to VPs. Unfortunately while at the market she forgot that her Potter only had 3 capacity and she didn't sell her extra sand that she had. She had the goldsmith the converts 3 gold to 1VP so the 2 gold for the sand and the single gold she had would have given her one more victory point. You guessed it, she ended up on 50VP with one gold for a DEAD HEAT with me. As she had the single sand we conceded it was a moral (but not actual) victory - I'm sure she won't make that mistake again.

Anyway great game - I suspect it will never be that close again, might even hit the table again tonight.
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Bill Gallagher
United States
Torrance
California
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I had a similar experience in my first game this past weekend (three newbies). The final scores were 51, 50, and 48 (me). I was handicapped by the event that limited me to two master builders (my two opponents were able to negate that event).

The Archbishop, King's Court, and the two areas with cards were very popular. There were rounds in which no one went for victory points or the market. Quarries were more popular than forests or gravel pits.
 
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