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Subject: Condottiere - 2 [session report]s rss

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First time playing this game

First game was really short since it ended after just one battle for a city was completed. At that time, another person joined us and we stopped waay short and decided switched to another game. There isn’t much to say other than it was a 5p game and it came down to me and another player battling it out for Roma. Didn’t pace myself well as I used up all but one mercenary card to win. Good thing we stopped after that, as 4 miscellaneous cards left (2 scarecrow, 1 drummer, and one surrender) + 1 1-mecenary wouldn’t have done me much good.


Second Game
Turn order going clockwise...
red < me
purple < 1st player

-there was several bouts where many Mercenary cards got played, but then the Bishop card made all of that effort a waste

-a pretty sweet battle to watch unfold was one player throwing down smaller valued cards (5 or less), but with a Drummer to match another player’s overall, higher valued cards. Things peaked at 38 to 40, then went back down to 30 vs 32 after each player Scarecrowed a card back, and then the “non-doubler” ended it with a Surrender

A pretty sweet win for me. Not only was it clean and quick, but also cunning, which isn’t usually like me when I’m picking up on games for the first time (Technically second time if you count the incomplete first time as a valid run). I played a 10 Mercenary card. 3 other people played a single card per person of 1, 3, and 6, while the other 2 players passed. On my next turn, ended the round with a Surrender card. Not bad.

-I tried pulling the same stunt again the next battle, except since I was fairly certain they wouldn’t want me to pull that same trick again, I was hedging on that they would block me with high numbers. It worked at first. I played a 10, white didn’t want to take the chance that I had another Surrender so he played a 10. I was going to play a Scarecrow on my next turn, but somewhere in between a Bishop card was played, wasting our 10s. My effort to draw out people’s high cards only worked on one person, but also costed me my 10 Mercenary as well. Oh well.

This province was battled for 3 times. First two times, back to back. All part of yellow’s attempt to get us to dump some of our cards. Overall, it worked out well

-I tried to play the “throw some Mercenary cards, Winter it, then throw a red card for the win” tactic. Furthest I got was 2 Mercenary cards and a Winter until someone played a Surrender card and won it with his high 7 card. That would’ve been aggravating, except I still had my Red card and another Winter card, so I could still pull it off if I wanted to......

I won this one. I still don’t know why I got so far into it. That Napoli was all the way on the southern tip of Italy whereas my other 2 territories were north, but I figured it was a spur of the moment “let’s just have some fun type of situation”. Spent a moderate amount of cards to do it too, down to a single mecernary and a couple of non-Mercenary cards. Was finally able to follow up on my tactic of playing some low black Mercenary cards, a 10 red card, and calling Winter. That cinched me for the province.

-blue was last to move. He could’ve had picked the next battle at Bologna which would’ve given him the win, but he decided to set it at Parma instead to weaken other players’ hand of cards, even though that would allow yellow to get the victory if he won it. Blue passed right away. I followed suit. 2 others tossed in a Mercenary card and joined the rest of us. Suffice to say, it came down the wire between yellow and green. Yellow had to beat green’s final hand of 16. He was able to do just that by throwing down 9 and doubling that with a Drummer.

Game took about 1 hour 15 minutes

Refer to this map for which provinces were won…

I had: Genova, Mantova, and Napoli
White: Spoleto, Urbino, and Ferrara
yellow: Lucca, Parma, and Mantova < winner
green: Torino, Veneza, Ancona
purple: just Sienna
blue: Roma and Firenze

final thoughts
We tend to be a ‘lil more protective about our cards and that mentality, so even the rules allowed discussion and showing of our hands to stop a player from dominating and winning, we never did that.

For a game that's rates "2 out of 7 light bulbs" in difficulty, it wasn't really that hard or long to learn. Playing it well is another thing entirely as that takes some bluffing, card counting, and analysis of the situation. Not a game I'd like to play all the time. All that bluffing and analysis can really make me overthink, but I certainly would be willing to give it a few more go's if the opportunity presents itself.
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