I reported on this well-balanced and excellent Euro recently but now feel the need to post that on my fourth attempt I have finally beaten my wife - Score 88-81 . Wwwoooooohhhhhoooooooo !!
Rather than use this as an opportunity to "gloat" - after having failed to secure victory 3 times before I will instead for the greater good of the BGG community pass on my observations of this game as my experience expands - (How altruistic of me !!).
I pursued a one long completed island / multiple short island tactic early on hoping to snare both point bonuses .
Our 4th game was very bizarre - 1 boatsmen / no warriors first round ; then only one of each again next round (with 5 ships too).
I developed a big lead in VP's early on the basis of islands nearly all settled with nobles , scouts etc .
By the end of the 4th round I was about 27 points ahead but was also having to live with constraints as I was seriously low on gold . For the first time I experienced having to dip into my VP score to finance a vital purchase .
As the final rounds began I realized that I would have to concede the 10 boatsman bonus and that my desire to gain the longest completed island would also be thwarted .
As we then tallied final scores my large lead was whittled down by the minute until I managed to hold on by just a narrow 7 points .