Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
The cities in play were: 14 prestige with 2 white/1 blue/1 green/2 red/2 black bonus, 13 prestige with 4 black/3 green bonuses and 11 prestige with 3 white/blue/red/black bonuses. Player order was Don, Craig, myself and Trevor.
The strategy in this expansion doesn’t change too much from the original game. You still have to look for cards that give you points efficiently and reserving those that you need. I decided to focus on the 4 black, 3 green city as that seemed the be the one that I could get without much interference. Trevor was collecting all colors to try and build up a base, while Craig and Don weren’t focused on black or green at all.
I got to 4 green cards first, and with the help of the 4 green bonus, I was able to purchase a 7 green for 4 VP card, which got me towards the 13 prestige. The concentration of green also allowed me to get a 2 prestige card requiring 5 green and 3 red. I was the only one to claim a city and win, with game taking about 40 minutes.
I was the only one who was focused on the 4 black/3 green city.
Game 2: Trevor shuffled the 7 city tiles and drew the exact cities from last game. So we flipped them over to get: 13 prestige, 2 white/blue/green/red/black bonus, 13 prestige with 4 red/3 black and 11 prestige with 3 white/green/red/black. Player order was Craig, myself, Trevor and Don.
Both black and red bonus were required, and I thought I would start with collecting black first. But Don started hoarding the red tokens, to deny anyone else. His thinking was to hoard them until a red card giving red bonus showed up as well. Don was able to get the 6 red cost for 3 VPs and a red bonus when that showed up, but this also meant Don was really slow as some turns he was simply recycling tokens.
This meant it was a tight defensive game. I switched gears, then and focused on the 13 prestige city with only 2 of each colors. But when a red card showed up, Craig would reserve it ahead of me. One time, he did that, another level 3 card giving red showed up, so I reserved that.
Soon Don and Craig had 3 reserved cards in their hands, so they couldn’t defense me that way until they unplugged their hands.
Then I need a black bonus to win the game, and there were none on the board. So I blindly reserved a level one card, with my thinking that since there weren’t a lot of black on the board, one would show up eventually in the deck. I actually drew a black card, and that won me the game.
My tableau to get the two of each color. Note that a black bonus level 2 card showed up after Trevor and Don took a final turn.
Trevor was close, about 8 or 9 prestige with almost 2 of each of the color bonuses. The game was about 45 minutes, and it was fun. I’m looking forward to trying the other 3 expansions.