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The Penguin Ultimatum» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report rss

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Kevin Nunn
United States
Houston
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Waiting at a local game store for the last roleplayer to arrive, Mike M., Becca and I found ourselves with time to kill and decided to give Jim Doherty's latest design a try. This particular group of roleplayers hasn't shown much intererst in complex boardgames. Hovever, knowledge of Jim's other designs--Who stole Ed's Pants and Monkeys on the Moon--suggested that Penguin Ultimatum would be a good bet for the crowd.

One quick read of the rules (already well-covered in Tom Vasel's review and in Greg Schloesser's session report) and we were on our way. The giggling started with the declaration that the table represented the iceberg on which the penguin's party was being held. The giggling continued when we moved on to a lengthy discussion over how, exactly, sheep could ever have made the trip to the iceberg in the first place.

Silliness aside, we found Penguin Ultimatum to be an engaging game with plenty of real decisions.

Early in the game, I explored a strategy of collecting every performer I could. Concerned that the endgame bonus points wouldn't be enough to make up for the points everyone else was accumulating, I switched to a surround-and-score strategy in the midgame.

At the end, each of us scored the bonus in at least one color. Mike pulled the bonus in two colors, but it wasn't enough to make up for the lead I'd established over the last few turns. Most importantly, though, was the fact that everyone enjoyed the game and expressed a desire to play again. Penguin Ultimatum has found a place in my travel box.

Although my unintentionally-hybrid strategy pulled the win, I'm not convinced that you can't win by simply point grabbing and totally ignoring the chance to snag performers. Repeated plays (something this game is sure to get) will prove me right or wrong.

Final Scores: Kevin 73, Mike 66, Becca 62
 
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Steve Oliver
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Great session report.

kgnunn wrote:
I'm not convinced that you can't win by simply point grabbing and totally ignoring the chance to snag performers.


I agree for the most part -- you definitely need to go for the points. But you do want to win a few entertainers, especially early in the game, because you can use them later on to pay off a Mingling Fee -- sometimes those can be quite a lot, so having a few entertainers helps out.
 
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