After the majority of Christmas festivities had died down, I set up a game of San Juan for my girlfriend and I. It started off with me building a tobacco production facility and her building indigo. The next phases were basically builder, production, trader, prospector, at least until around the 3rd round.
My girlfriend is a buildaholic. She will build something every single turn if given the option. Myself, I prefer to make careful selection of my buildings, and only produce enough to continue building with the highest vp/cost reward I can. However, by another couple rounds, it became clear that I was being outbuilt and the game would be over if something didn't happen. Luckily, I had my ace in the hole: The Chapel.
With my chapel built, I began dutifully filling the ranks of its congregation, making use of both the Poor House and being able to draw a card when I produce two allowed me to keep filing away new members of the flock. After a few more rounds, it became clear that I was in contention, but needed something more to push me to the top. I began a rapid turnover in cards to aquire a high value monument two rounds before the game would seemingly be over. Phew!
So last round, I choose trader to clear out old stock and gain the last few cards needed, knowing that she would pick builder the next turn and end the game. And sure enough, next turn, builder pops up, she builds a 2 VP building, and I throw down the 5VP monument.
Tallying the scores, it was close. She had 28 well earned points, all in buildings and a big boost from her City Hall. Tallying my VP's....it came up close. 19 VP total from violets and production buildings. I then summoned the flock, and they had apparently been multiplying like rabbits !! When the tithing and testifying was all said and done, my flock of 10 managed to push my VP total to 29, just enough to eke out a victory.
A close win, but a win none the less. And considering she had pretty much destroyed me the other couple of times we have played, it was a sweet victory indeed!