Playing: Sarah, Jay, Garrett, and Stephanie.
Stephanie is the only new player, and we teach her the rules without much ado. The rest of us haven't played for a while, so it's a good refresher for us, too. We get started pretty quickly.
At the first scoring round, Garrett and Sarah jump out to an early lead thanks to well played walls. Steph and Jay are way behind after one round, each of them with only small walls and no majorities.
By the second scoring round, things have changed considerably. Jay has a majority in purple (towers), which jumps him ahead quite a bit. Garrett's early positioning of his walls as hemmed him in considerably, and he's been unable to expand his Alhambra much. Sarah does about the same. Steph continues to struggle a bit, which is to be expected since it's her first time.
At the end of the game, Jay gets out to a pretty clear lead. Garrett has managed to fix his wall troubles, but it's not enough to help him recover from his round two hole. Sarah is close behind, thanks to a huge wall. Steph is pretty far in the rear, but she enjoyed herself nonetheless.
Final Score: Jay - 121; Garrett - 107; Sarah - 102; Steph - 74.
Stephanie: I liked it, but I suck at games! Easy, but very intricate. You can get hung up on something and get totally screwed!
Garrett: Same as always - I liked it. It's going to be a great car ride home [Stephanie is his wife]. Why do I ask my wife to keep playing games?
Steph: It's painful for me to play games unless I've played them before. I mean, it's painful for everybody. But I enjoyed it.
Sarah: Yeah, we can tell.
Steph: I got 70 points! Everybody else got hundreds of points! ... I like the sturdiness of the pieces. Good quality cardboard. Yep, good cardboard. 7/10.
Sarah: The first scoring round doesn't matter. An early lead means nothing.
Steph: Who won?
Steph to Garrett: Ooooo, you lost!
Garrett: I knew I was going to lose on the first four pieces. While Sarah said the early score doesn't matter, early positioning of the pieces does matter. 7/10.
Sarah: 7/10 for me, too.
Jay: Figuring out how to position my walls is always the hardest part for me. I got very lucky this game, and having Steph to my right (a complete newbie) helped a lot. 8/10.