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Subject: Very tight first play rss

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Adam Skinner
United States
Seven Hills
Ohio
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Protagonists: Neil, Rob, Joe, Adam, Lisa

Joe was kind enough to teach this one to us. We got set up and running, after he clarified a couple of points. I don't think anyone had any glaring misconceptions during the game, which was good. It's sometimes a challenge to balance information overload at the outset with giving people enough info to be able to play the game correctly. Joe went through all the aspects of the game methodically with us at the outset, and it worked out pretty well.

I personally felt like this game was very tight. It is "a balancing act between two different resources, tangible benefits, and impending doom". I made the decision early on to blow all 3 of my starting gold on a center placement for 6vp, since I was able to get another gold from the gold track. I was only once without gold to buy a favor from the people on the street, but I believe my strategy was adversely impacted by this decision. I would have had more freedom had I only put in 1 or 2. I'm a sucker for VP though.

Speaking of VP, during the outset the term was used and Neil showed his hand as a Euro newbie by asking "What is VP?". When he later asked to recind a move he had made earlier, he asked "Does anyone have a problem with that?" and I said "Not for a man who doesn't know what VP means!". Joe looked at me askance, a little incredulous. Neil didn't seem to take it the wrong way - I was just letting him know that we knew he was new at this kind of stuff.

Lisa was to my left and I was to the left of Rob. Rob was starting heavy on the VP track, while Lisa got the +1vp building with 2 cubes on it early on (first round?). I didn't pay too much attention to Joe or Neil, as I couldn't directly impact them (aside from the carriage).

I felt like my real competition was Rob. He and I were both pushing hard for VP, but he wasn't managing his rat problem. I'd kept a lid on my rats for all but the last 2 rounds.

During mid-game, I feel like I made a mistake. I was getting hit by AP a little hard, and I lost it. I had been trying to make sure I didn't have to shuffle cubes around, but I had to do it a couple of times. Less than everyone else, but still, it galled me a little.

I liked the "Special Friend" or whatever that guy is called. He's versatile.

I was able to snatch a final 5vp at the end of the game after maneuvering my carriage to the center. That first carriage move netted me jack, but later on I moved my special friend to the carriage (for 3) and was able to grab an open 4vp chip, which I got 5 for since I had the deuce in the park.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm no good with remembering scores. I know I had 56, Rob had 50, and Lisa had 47. I think Joe was in the mid-40s as well. Neil seemed to have ~30.

Neil really enjoyed himself though. This was clearly his first exposure to eurogaming and he took to it like a champ, with enthusiasm.

The game took longer than I was expecting. I was expecting it to be "super filler" in length (about 45 minutes), but it was closer to 90-100 with teaching. There were lots of difficult decisions, which I really liked. You don't have total control over what options are available to you, but you have enough control over what you get to maneuver to advantage.

A good game. It's staying on my wishlist!
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John Hilla
United States
Ferndale
Michigan
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Nice report, Adam! Looks like I'll have a chance to play this for the first time next weekend, and I'm really looking forward to it ... This was a helpful write-up to read beforehand. Thanks!
 
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Marco Grubert
United States
San Diego
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adam.skinner wrote:
The game took longer than I was expecting. I was expecting it to be "super filler" in length (about 45 minutes), but it was closer to 90-100 with teaching.
You can easily bring it down to 60 minute once peopl know what they are doing. I also like the fixed number of rounds in Notre Dame. The in-laws were waiting for us to finish the game and I could make status reports such as "66% finished".
 
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