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Subject: 2 Player Thebes - Congress didn't win it. rss

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Danielle Anner
United States
Orchard Park
New York
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“A sense of superior to any religion so far devised.” ― Tom Robbins
Players: Nick & Dee

Winning Thebes (against competent opponents) is a study in luck, no doubt in my mind. However, I was beginning to suspect that the luck factor could be mitigated by a concentration in Congress cards. I still need to play more games to be fully convinced that it isn’t true, however our game went a fair way in quieting my concern.

With games that Nick and I play often (either in multi-player or two player) it becomes boring for us if we don’t experiment, even on the chance of a loss. That’s just the way we have individually developed an approach to playing games. So we went in to this game of Thebes with "strategies" in mind, to the extent they could be borne out.

The idea I had in my mind was a generalist, or rainbow strategy. Get a little bit of everything.

Nick, from what I can discern, opted to specialize in a few important (as dictated by the game!) areas, ie. take a study of efficiency to Thebes.

Efficiency is a very worthwhile strategy in most games, however in Thebes I have my doubts.

Here is how it shook out:

Nick concentrated on Congress cards, Mesopotamia and Palestine. He dug in Crete and Greece once and never dug in Egypt. He managed at some point to put on two small exhibitions. The most interesting thing he did during the game was to attempt to maximize the dig/pull sweet spot by going for high knowledge/low weeks in each of his digs at some point, with, of course, mixed results.

I didn’t concentrate in a darned thing. At some point in the game I was worried that I was being inefficient; however, I started a logical route in Mesopotamia and worked my way back up in 1903. When I dug, I usually dug for many weeks, not few.

I will say right here, that other than a 100% useless 6 week stay in Mesopotamia, my pulls were very good.

Another key in my mind is that Nick got a jump on me in digging in Mesopotamia and Palestine, but ran back to Rome to chase down a congress card. That left the other 3 one pointers for me to exploit.

What we ended up with:

Knowledge base:

Dee – 3
Nick – 2


Nick – 6
Dee – 2

Small/Large Exhibitions:

Dee – 3/1
Nick – 2/0

Nick: Full complement
Dee: 2/3 (added my second shovel very late)

I thought Nick would *crush* me with the congress cards, as I’ve seen with the cards in the past. Not so this time, and I was pleasantly surprised. I will close by saying that I strongly prefer Thebes as a 2 player game and list our scores:

Dee – 104
Nick – 93
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