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Subject: First Time - 3 Players rss

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Philippe Keppens
Meldert (Aalst)
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Players: Bruno DJ (red), Koen (green) and Philippe (blue, myself)

It was the first time we played this game, but I had read some reviews here and pointed out the importance of camels and the caravan to the other players.

Week 1:

In spite of the fact I explained that the caravan is a good way to score points, most of us - including myself - focused on the souks. There was always an interesting group of dice in 1 of the 4 neighborhoods like 1 in the vase give tou immedeately 4 points, even 2 in the vase giving you 6 points. There were also a lot of camels and gold, so everybody grabbed as soon as it was his turn to those camels to make sure that nobody would use the supervisor to screw him. Because we all had a lot of camels and gold, The paddock (+ 1 camel) and the shop (+ 2 gold) were build by all of us. Koen and Bruno DJ sent of one cube to the caravan near the end of the first week, just because there wasn't any group of dice by whom they could fill an entire souk in one turn.

Score after week 1:

Philippe: 14
Bruno DJ: 14
Koen: 12

Week 2:

Koen decided to try the caravan - strategy and invested in the hammam (move the supervisor 1 upto 3 spaces more or less for free). He also had cubes on both the white buildings. Bruno DJ stayed focused on the souks, but wanted to take the bigger ones, the 8-points in the coffin and barrel-neighborhood, filling them in multiple turns. I wanted to start putting cubes in the caravan, but first concentrated on having more gold and camels to build the caravanserai (a card from the deck if one of your cubes is sent to the caravan). Koen could sent 2 more cubes to the caravan and filled up some souks, me and Bruno DJ only one, but could do some damage control with some entirly filled souks and I was able to also build the holst (1 extra cube in souk). Bruno could complete only one of his 8-point souks, but was inspired by my extra card to also build the caravanserai.

Score after week 2:

Koen: 39
Philippe: 38
Bruno DJ: 32

Week 3:

For a strange reason Koen decided to change his strategy and to focus on the buildings, so he took camels and gold on most turns and ignored the caravan completely for the complete third week. He was able to have all 6 of them, the last building giving hem a nice 10-points bonus, but he had only a few extra souks left for scoring some points. I had cards for extra camels and gold when sending two more cubes to the caravan, which gave me the advantage I could also build all 6 buildings. Bruno DJ concentrated on the souks, but the smaller ones this time, counting on his 2 extra bonus points for each completed souk by building the bazaar. He also had some luck: the card he got from his caravansrai when he sended one cube to the caravan just gave him an extra cube in the caravan, which gave him 4 cubes in total. And it was that one cube in the last turn, that costed me the victory. Bruno DJ had filled 5 souks (inclouding the 12-points in the vase-neighborhood :s), giving him 10 extra points trough the bazaar. But when counting the caravan he had 4 x 3 = 12 points extra and Koen and I only 3, giving me 9 points and Koen 6 points extra.

Final scores:

Bruno DJ: 80
Philippe: 78
Koen: 70

Afterplay thoughts:

This game really rushed by. We spended 45 minutes on this game, including explaining the rules! We liked the speed this game had, but I think 4 people is better. The downtime is a bit too short :-) With 4 probably more people would choose taking a card or moving the supervisor, because there are only neighborhoods left with one die in.

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