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Subject: Session Report rss

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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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MEDICI
(Rich, Anton, Eric, Dan, Paul)

We looked for another good 5-player game and settled on Medici, a Knizia bidding game that's a lot less lumpy than Ra. In Medici, you bid VPs to get VPs and your bids can be exactly as large as you want them to be. The trick is to manipulate your set of commodities in such a way that lots that are valuable to you aren't worth bidding high on for others. Some lots are worth far more than others, but if you have to pay full value, you won't get an advantage. Rich is usually good at bidding games, but he hasn't had a lot of success in Medici. He wanted to try out a more patient strategy, letting others take lots first, to see whether it would bring him success.

In the first round, Paul filled his ship first, followed by Anton and Dan. Eric paid 11 for a lot that included the 10 card, giving him heaviest ship and a lead in metals. Rich, Paul and Dan had almost identical sets of commodities, tying for first in three commodities, while Anton was first in pottery. Although Eric scored the most points, he had paid the most for his cards, so it was a close game, with Eric in the lead and Rich close behind.

In the second round, Eric again got heaviest ship, but again paid a lot for his cards. He was also forced to accept a less-than-ideal commodity distribution, with Anton passing him in metals and the other three players achieving some differentiation. Again it was Eric in the lead followed closely by Rich, but Eric suffered from the handicap of having taken only eight commodities compared with Rich's ten.

The third round featured many low cards (the 10 and several of the 5's were buried,) and as a result we burned eight cards, leaving Anton with a partly-empty ship. Dan waited patiently for spice cards, his strong suit, and got heaviest boat together with the 20-point spice bonus to make a late run for the lead. Eric ran out of gas and was last seen by the side of the road as Rich and Dan zoomed by. Rich achieved a number of second places that were just sufficient to hold Dan off, and he was delighted to pull off a rare win in this game.

Final scores: Rich 110, Dan 105, Eric 83, Anton 69, Paul 47.

Eric's rating: 10. Medici is a wonderful game that plays quickly and offers tough choices.
 
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Pierre-Luc Thiffault
Canada
St-Laurent
Québec
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Re:Session Report
Eric Brosius (#30386),

This game worth getting? Got a new geeklist called Best of Reiner Knizia. This game is still in this geeklist, just like the two others.
 
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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Re:Session Report
dwarf (#34867),

I love Medici. It's my favorite Euro game. It's best for 4 or 5 players, or for 6 as long as you don't have card counters in the group. It's a quick game that forces tough, agonizing decisions. There's luck in the card flips, but the better players win far more than their share of games.

The game was published in a German version by Amigo and in an English version by Rio Grande. In my opinion, the graphics in the Rio Grande version are garish in the extreme, so I'd recommend the German version (though it is likely to cost more.) The components are completely language-independent (except for the rules; an English translation is available.)

The only reason not to get it is if you regularly play with only 2 or 3 players; it's not as good for 2 or 3.
 
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