To take a break from all the new Essen games we brought out one of the slightly older games. This hasn been played much at all. The last game we played was with 5 players, and the game seemed like a rollercoaster with little control, and Steve got effectively knocked out of the game very early. As wed split into 2 gorups of 3 we thought wed try the game with less players. Hence Oggie, Steve Tiller and Tel sat down to see if it played better.
The first 5 tiles off the stack were all island tiles, so we built up quite a hefty land mass. Steve was quick to pounce on an opportunity to claim one of the 4 pt islands for himself. Tel then sent some of his and Oggies pieces on a voyage of discovery that managed to successfully navigate 4 water tiles before finding landfall. A couple of these successful exporers set sail soon after with less joy, so the rest settled into a quiet and peaceful life with Tels and Oggies pieces happily sharing the tile. However back at the other side of the board, Tel, Oggie and occassionally Steve were waging war over Hawaii. On a couple of occasions Oggie managed to shoo everyone else away only to find they had returned by the start of his next turn. Tel claimed his first royal Island, right below Steves Island to effectively block off expansion to the West. Steve and Tels pieces were tooing and frowing amongst the Southern Islands without actually acheiving very much. Oggie finally managed a convulted Chain reaction that saw him gain solo control of Hawaii and end the game in the same turn. This solo occupancy of Hawaii was enough to win the game for him.
The game played much better with 3, and became a decent game. There appeared to be much more control, and the opportunities existed to set up future moves that just didn exist in th e5 player. I would be happy to recommend Tongiaki to people now as a 3 player game, but would advise against it with 5.
Scores : Oggie 26, Tel 25, Steve 22
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 8, Steve 7