Four of us (two couples, Natalie and I, Roman and Ulrike) regularly get together and play Siedler but this time we wanted to try a new challenge. Our games are always hysterical with lots of laughter but at the same time with lots of pleading, threatening, sulking, threats of divorce, withdrawal of carnal privelege etc. I had recently bought PR and HvG and we all thought that our normally raucous gaming sessions would suit a highly interactive game. We thus decided on HvG.
During the rules explanation there was the moment of eyes glazing over but after playing a couple of turns everyone agreed the rules were intuitive and straightforward. I had never played the game before as well so it could well be that my rules explanation was the cause of some initial confusion.
Needless to say playing a couple of open turns really helped explain things so as a tip to new starters, don't spend too long on dry rules explanations. Hands on experimenting worked well for us.
So, after the first full round I offered a restart since we now had the hang of things and since I was "obviously winning and didn't want to have a boring game" (ehehehe you know it is with pyschological tactics). Everyone agreed to continue and so we went on.
Natalie's tactic was to quietly collect privelege cards - a tactic we all overlooked until it was far too late. Roman kept trying to possess my Kathedral and there was a
few quick token exchanges there. Ulrike tried fulfilling "großer Aufträge" and getting the dosh together that way. Meanwhile I owned the center of the board and kept collecting very nice rents with every action much to the disgust of my colleagues.
The other couple, Roman and Ulrike were very soon threatening divorce, no-sex-for-you-for-6-months-you-swine etc as some of the dirtiest blood sucking capitalist deals were being extracted from each other.
My wife and I meanwhile were haggling over the Park privelege card which I stupidly swapped for a measly 30 Dukat and a privelege card. My wife just has this sad puppy look that I can't resist and she applied it expertly that night.
The rounds flowed quickly as we got better and it seemed like very little time had passed before the game was over. The Market cost us a round only once in the game but it added a nice bit of uncertainty to the game duration.
End result: Roman 570 Dukat, Rich (me) 640 Dukat, Ulrike 660 Dukat and Natalie a whopping 950 Dukat!! Nat ended up owning a line of 8 Privelege cards with my Park card playing the central linking point.
I got 30 Dukats for a card that gave Nat 350 Dukats. Next time I haggle with my wife I shall have to close my eyes and ignore the breathless "C'mon darling, please...".
This game is simply brilliant. 10/10