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Subject: A first four-player session rss

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Eric Flood
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Yesterday, Louis, Anna, Joe, and I all gathered 'round for a game of Indonesia. Anna and I had played 3/4 of a game previously with 3 players, and wanted to give it another go. Louis and Joe were interested, being Splotter fans.

Anna quickly became shipping Queen, taking all of our monies for only mild profits, having two two-merged shipping companies (with 2 overlapping spaces, one shipping the central-eastern provinces, the other central-west). Joe took first turn order on a key turn when Louis wanted to merge Anna's central-west company with his small far-southwest shipping company. He instead forced a merging of Louis' company with my small northwest company. I bought the merged company, having more production companies serviceable by this company. Louis (upset about his plans being devastated) then joined my large rice company with his medium rice company (the two to the south of the board), I upbid him with no desire for the company, thinking he desired it, but he let me have it for that low price (which worked well in the end for me).

Joe took all the spice companies, and proceeded to merge two of them together (with no real competition), and then acquiring a rice company and merging that one (again with no real competition) for a siap faji factory. Louis merged 3 rubber companies for one very large company, which became the backbone of his economy. Anna was still staying strong as the Queen of shipping, but also had a small-ish siap faji company. I had the other set of 2 merged shipping companies, and the insane rice plantation. I had had a moderate rubber until I let Louis take the merger, but it was gone.

We quickly entered the C Era (probably after only 5-6 turns into the game). Some mergers occurred, and we determined the game could end that turn. I looked at the scores, and was worried about Louis' profits off the rubber companies, and not believing in my ability to make more profits than him this turn, I declined to acquire the game-ending company, thus extending the game for one more turn (instead of ending on the first turn of Era C). I did get an oil company, as did Joe and Louis, however. It would have been very close between us on that turn is we had actually finished, I believe.

The last turn, Joe merged our oil companies (each with 3). We figured out that the companies had a base value of 480 that turn, while Joe would have to pay 50 shipping, whereas I would only pay 20 (due to my own shipping company). He bid more than his 50% profit margin, arguing that I would make more by outbidding him, but I let him eat the cost, taking something like $5 less than my max profits. This also let me acquire the last two companies on the board. But Joe was pissed, and shipped across Anna.

As did everyone else on the final turn. She racked up more than $600 (mostly shipping) on the last turn - doubling for > $1200 on the turn. She came out of nowhere to destroy us. Louis lost a lot of his profits shipping across Anna's line in the last turn in particular.

Final (approx):

Anna: 1850
me: 1550
Joe: 1350
Louis: 1300

I think we all enjoyed the game a lot, but the last turn or two bogs down uncomfortably. This would likely be ameliorated by further play and experience (unfortunately, Louis and Joe are both moving out of town within the next two weeks - to opposite ends of the country!).

The game also worked much better than my recollection of the 3-player game a few months back, where this problem of moving 12 goods across the board was no longer restrained to the final turn or two, but for 3 turns before we called it quits. I'm not sure whether this effect is indicative of a 3-player experience or a lack of experience, but I will avoid a 3-player game in the future.

We had one rules question that we never could really figure out. The rules say that you MUST expand your production companies "1 or more, depending on your Expansion R+D." It then says "you can expand twice" later in the rules.

So, if you have an Expansion of 2, can you only expand 1, or must you expand twice?
 
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Daniel Corban
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You must expand as much as possible.
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Eric Flood
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Thanks; that was how we played it yesterday.
 
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Darrell Hanning
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"The last turn, Joe merged our oil companies (each with 3)."

So, Joe had a merger rating of at least 6, at the time?

Also, it is always dangerous to let one person control all of the shipping.
 
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Eric Flood
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DarrellKH wrote:
"The last turn, Joe merged our oil companies (each with 3)."

So, Joe had a merger rating of at least 6, at the time?

Also, it is always dangerous to let one person control all of the shipping.


No, obviously, there aren't even 6 oil companies, nor could you merge to 3 within one turn before an acquisition has even been made.

They each had three production spots on the board.
 
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