(Paul L., Evan, Dan)
Evan came in as we were finishing up Coloretto. His arrival justified our choice of an opening filler, as we were able to plug him into a game almost as soon as he arrived. With 6 gamers on hand, we split into two groups of 3. One group chose Wyatt Earp, an MVGA favorite (we've played it more than any other game except Puerto Rico in the past year.) Paul L. was new to the game, so we taught him the rules before starting. We play with the "instant photo" option that was in designer Mike Fitzgerald's original game, but didn't make it into the published version.
Evan started strong, pulling out to a huge lead early. He protected his lead by picking on Dan, the other experienced player, counting on Paul L.'s inexperience to hold him back. Evan might even have won the game in the second round (an unusual occurrence) if Paul L. hadn't played a pair of successful hideouts. The more we play Wyatt Earp, the more we appreciate how the various strategies interact, and the hideout is certainly one of the most effective catch-up tools in a player's arsenal.
Paul L. continued his precocious play in the third round, and when we totaled up the scores, he had won his first game by a narrow margin over two wily vets.
Final scores: Paul L. $29K, Evan $28K, Dan didn't want to admit to a score.
Eric's rating: 9. I really enjoy Wyatt Earp. It takes some effort to teach it to new players, but almost everyone enjoys it. I've had a lot of success playing with my family.