While Jay and I were finishing up our game, Fred and G had set up Rudiger Dorn's Goa at the other end of the table. Goa has been on our minds for the past several weeks since I introduced the game to the group, and we've been itching to get it back to the table.
Jay had resolved that he would attempt to give the game a go without the expedition track. Fred, G and I had already accepted that since all four players would eventually complete the game with ALL tracks at the 6VP level, there was no point in doing the expedition track last.
I was going for a no-tax game, leaving the taxation track for last and completing the expedition, harvest and ship contract tracks in that order of priority. I won the flag three of the four turns of the first half, plus a double nutmeg plantation. I didn't win much else of note in the first half auctions, as G snarfed up two of the four red tiles, Fred several plantations, and Jay several bunches of resources.
When the dust had cleared after the first half, I had my expedition track at 10, the ship track at 3, the harvest and colony tracks at 1 and my tax track hadn't moved. With Fred having been shut out of the auctions, and G pursuing a taxation strategy, Jay and G had most of the cash in the system.
In the second half, we all began abusing our maxed tracks. I'd draw 3 expedition cards every turn or so, Fred would deplete his spices via development or sale, G would tax for 10 gold a lot, and Jay would do a little of everything.
One particularly sweet sequence was pivotal. I had won the espionage tile, which the other didn't really feel was extremely powerful. I was also sitting on the Duty tile, which I had paid a pretty penny for in the first half. Finally I had just acquired a 3-cinnamon plantation really cheap since no one wanted it. I asked the Spice Trader ("Sell spices for 3 gold each" expediton card) to unload all six spice bags I had for 18 ducats. I then got my spies to steal Harvesting Tech from Fred, and Harvested eight spices (using the espionage tile). I donated six of the freshly-harvested spices to the Crown as was my Duty (gaining 4VP), and finally used the last two spices with two ships to upgrade my Taxation track. Whee, that was FUN!
In the final auction I bid all my cash (17 ducats) to win the Swap tile, which I cashed in for two Extra Actions. I used both of those to draw six Expedition Cards, to see if I could have some esoteric goods for the endgame.
Jay : 45
Fred : 42
G : 39