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Subject: Very close 5-player game rss

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Philippe Keppens
Belgium
Meldert (Aalst)
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Players were: Bruno D, Bruno DJ, Wim, Koen and Philippe (myself)

This was also the order we were sitting, so Bruno D was on my left.

First rounds:

Fate decided I was the first king. I had on my hand the blue temple of 1, the green martket of 2, the red casern of 3 and the yellow palace of 5. The architect was the open character out of play and the covered one was the king. So I decided to take the assassin and take money for building the palace. I killed the merchant (rather boring, I know), which turned out to be Wim. Bruno D builded the purple keep of 3, Bruno DJ builded the red prison of 2, but he was warlord so had 3 coins left for next turn and Koen also collected money, but lost his starting money to Bruno D who was the thief.

Next turn I wanted to benefice from my yellow palace immediatley, so I took the king. I suvived the assassin (who killed Koen this time) and the thief was out of play. Bruno D had taken the magicien. He builded a blue monastery of 3 and then exchanged his cards with me angry, leaving me with...2 green taverns of 1gulp So instead of taking money I took 2 cards, which were a green shop of 2 and a blue monastery of 3, which I took and builded. Bruno DJ took the warlord again, which gave him 3 money as an income, together with the 3 he had, he builded the purple dragon gate of 6, worth 8.

3rd round: I knew that if I dared to take the magicien, Bruno D would take the assassin and just kill me, so I took the architect, hoping he would leave me alone. Unfortunately for me Wim took the assissin and yes, he killed for some strange reason the architect :s Bruno D had taken the bishop and used the extra income of 1 to build my yellow palace of 5, so the best card of my 4 was out.

Further developments:

Koen and Wim were the next kings (which was kind of good for me, because I could choose as 2nd and 3rd) and then started the dominion of king Bruno D. The king was either the open, either the covered character who was out of play, either Bruno D took the king, when the assassin was out and he had no money in stock, so the thief couldn't hurt hem. In fact Bruno D stayed king for the rest of the game (which also meant I was last every round). Bruno D also managed to build all the cards I originally had, but the blue temple of 1 was destroyed by the warlord. So he had a blue monastery of 3, a purple keep of 3, a red casern of 3, a yellow palace of 5 and a green market of 2. This was worth 16 points + 3 bonus points for having all the colours. Bruno DJ had been killed a lot, so he was slowed down a bit, but had 15 points with only 3 cards (red casern of 2, purple dragon gate of 8 and green city hall of 5). Wim and Koen were somewhere in between. Wim had 13 points with a lot of green and blue buildings and Koen had 12 points, with 4 cards, but all 4 had a different color (just missed green). And what about me? Well I was robbed once, managed to get some money, and being the architect I drew a red prison of 2 and a green trading post of 3, which I could both build immediately, giving me an impressive total of 8 points cry

Game near the end:

The wind started to change. Bruno D was killed on most turns, and stayed at 16 + 3 points. Bruno DJ had 18, Wim 17, Koen 16 and me still 8 (I hate the thief!). But there weren't a lot of buildings on hand, so most got a bit stuck. I had taken the architect and got another green tavern of 1 (still had the other 2) and a red fortress of 5. I was afraid that people would come after my cards, so with the 4 money I had I just builded all 3 the taverns [Note: In the Dutch version (Machiavelli), it is allowed to build the same building more then once; that's a good thing I believe], giving me 11 points with 6 cards. Then I could steal some money (3 coins) with the thief and I took the warlord. Bruno D had managed to build a yellow castle of 4 and nobody so far yet as a warlord had used his money to destroy one of his buildings. So I got the warlord. Took 2 money incom, build my red fortress of 5, and used my 2 income as a warlord to destroy Bruno D's blue monastery of 3, which made him lose not only 3 points, but also his 3 points colourbonus. He didn't like me that much for the moment devil

Last round!

Situation:

Bruno D: 20 points (4 different colours); 2 money, no cards in hand
Bruno DJ: 23 points (misses 2 colours), 2 money, no cards
Wim: 20 points (but also has all the colours, so + 3); 1 money and 2 cards
Koen: 17 points (4 different colours), 4 money, 1 card
Philippe: 16 points, 2 money, no card

The character that's out for certain is the warlord, so there will be no destroying of buildings. Bruno D is still king and the 2 characters I can choose from or the magicien and the bishop. I take the magicien.

The king calls for the assassin. All stays quiet. The assassin was the covered character that was out, so everybody would have a turn.
The king calls for the thief. Bruno DJ responds. He decides to take 2 cards from the deck. He thinks for some time and gambles that there will be an extra round [but as the subtitle is last round you allready know this would be a wrong guess wow; he could choose from a building of 2, which he could have build, but took the purple school of magic, counting on the fact that he would have an extra income as a thief]. Because Wim had a lot of blue buildings and Koen also had 2, he decides to steal from the bishop [2 wrong choices in 1 round :s].
Then it's the magicien's turn. I take the 2 cards of Wim. He has a blue monastery of 3 and a yellow palace of 4. I take a (big) risk and decide to build the yellow palace of 4, which gives me 8 buildings so the game will end. I have 16 + 4 + 4 = 24 points and I'm hoping Wim won't draw good cards from the deck.
It's the king's turn. Wim had taken the king because he wanted to avoid the thief and assassin picking him out. He has 1 yellow building, so has 1 gold income, 2 money in total and he needs a building of 2. He draws 2 cards from the deck and...can build the blue church of 2. That gives him 22 + 3 bonus = 25 points. Damn, I will lose this one, but will Wim win?
No bishop in this round.
Koen is the merchant. He takes his 1 extra money as a merchant (he know has 5) and takes 2 building cards from the deck. Destiny meets Koen as he can build the green city hall of 5, green being just the colour he needed to have all 5. Koen now has 22 + 3 bonus = 25 points!
Bruno D is the architect. If he can have a blue monastery of 3 he will win (blue is the only colour he misses, because I destroyed his blue monastery) and with a blue church of 2 he will equal the scores of Wim and Koen. But he had run out of luck some time ago and can only build a green shop of 2, which gives him 22 points as a final score.

So we have:

Wim: 22 + 3 bonus = 25
Koen: 22 + 3 = 25
Philippe: 20 + 4 = 24
Bruno DJ: 23
Bruno D: 22

We have tie! We never had that before, so I grabbed the rules. They say (in the Dutch version, I learned it's not in every language like that): in case of a tie, the one who has the most points with the buildings in his district, without any bonus, wins. But Wim and Koen both had 22, so we don't have a winner yet. I mailed to Bruno Faidutti (who responded very quickly) to ask him if there were any other tie-breakers. he answered that the tie-breaker in Dutch was added by the publisher (999 Games) and that he doesn't like tie-breakers at all, so we just had 2 winners. So be it!

It never has been this close as this before, but what I really learned from this session is that you never have to despair in this game (I actually did quite a lot in the beginning and middle of this game). The 2 Bruno's who had the most promising starts ended on the 4th and 5th place. And with some luck, I could have won this one, but Wim and Koen had also at the right moment their luck and both won. Congratulations!





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Noel Mitchell
Ireland
Co. Dublin
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Thanks for your session report.

I have also found that despite doing badly early (e.g. assassin and thief hit you in first two rounds) you can often come back to win the game. It plays very well with 5 players and is often quite tense at the end where several players have a chance to win, and the Warlord is often the key at that stage. I have not seen a tie however!
 
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