Haven't written a session report for a while, but this game was pretty well recorded in progress, so here goes.
Venue: At Kelly's. Players: Kelly, Laura, Ron and me. Ron gave us the sad news (for us, anyway) that he'll be moving away. He won't be easily replaced in our game group!
Round 1: Ron and Laura bid aggressively. Kelly took the gold 10, which we clearly all undervalued. In retrospect, its worth in securing most valuable ship hull was obvious, but for some reason I didn't assign it the worth that it deserved. This round was a bit odd -- I thought everyone was overbidding, so everyone completely filled up before I won any bids. I wound up picking up 5 cards, randomly, for free. I was lucky, drawing a hull worth 17, to tie Laura for third place there. Laura, the newcomer to the game, was thus at a disadvantage and had a bad start.
Round 1 payments: Laura 24, Ron 23, Kelly 21, Chuck 0.
Round 1 winnings: Ron 42, Kelly 39 (30 from best hull), Chuck 26, Laura 24.
Since we each started with 40, that made the scores:
Chuck 66, Ron 59, Kelly 58, Laura 40
Round 2: This time Laura bid more carefully and started a nice comeback. I spent big (10) on a single 5 dye, trying to dig out of a low hull point total. Kelly once again spent reasonably big on the 10 gold's lot, but got a good price. This is the round that won her the game, really. Ron had a bad round, neglecting the value of his hull.
Round 2 payments: Kelly 19, Chuck 18, Ron 15, Laura 14
Round 2 winnings: Kelly 44, Laura 37, Chuck 30, Ron 22
Totals after 2: Kelly 83, Chuck 78, Ron 66, Laura 63
Round 3: This time we made Kelly pay a bit more for the single 10 gold. She was the most aggressive bidder, but I wasn't far behind. Ron suddenly became stingy. I lost the game on the final card. Kelly and Laura had been the last ones in the running. Kelly won the previous card, giving Laura the final card for free. That card happened to be a 5 that pushed her 1 past me in hull value, costing me 10 points. I did well in commodity bonuses, but it wasn't enough. Nice comeback by Laura, and good job by Kelly in getting best hull every time.
Round 3 payments: Kelly 31, Chuck 28, Laura 13, Ron 4
Round 3 winnings: Kelly 47, Chuck 40, Laura 39, Ron 17