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Subject: Session Report rss

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Taj Mahal was the third and last of the Alea Big Box games we broke out, having no time left to bring Traders of Genoa to the table (ToG normally plays at four hours with us). Fred and I were joined by Ram and Nick in accumulating power in India.

Ram and Nick were new to the game, so Fred and I gave them a quick (15 minute) rundown of the rules. Then we were off, with Fred doing his usual thing of withdrawing first without playing to amass cards. I also played conservatively during the first three visits, bidding just enough to secure my Princess card. Nick and Ram, the newcomers to the game, racked up provinces with Nick laying down nice chaining possibilities with his palaces.

Fred had apparently planned to contest the eastern states, and he won enough palaces to chain with on that side. Nick had at that point won enough commodities to threaten to break the game open. Each resource tile or Province tile he picked up earned two to three extra influence on the average. Fred took the Princess away from me on visit five, and we were unable to take it from him until visit eleven.

It came down to Agra, visit 12. Fred, Ram and I had handfuls of cards (Fred the most) and Nick had just seven. By some error, we forgot to play a Vizier after he had played one, and he was able to withdraw and place a palace first, blocking the main chaining route that both Fred and I needed to catch up. Even with the Grand Mogul, we could not win and Nick claimed victory. Most of us had depeleted hands at the end of the game, and the widest color anyone had was just four cards.

Taj Mahal will probably hit the table again next time Nick is present at game day.

Nick: 48
Richard: 42
Fred: 40
Ram: 39
 
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