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Subject: Venturing out on Halloween rss

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Brad N
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Well, we didn't actually go anywhere. But, after handing out candy and going trick-or-treating with the kids and getting them in bed and turning out the front porch light (and cleaning the house), we sat down for our first game of Venture.

I picked this up from e-bay about a month ago after seeing a BGGer say nice things about it here and then reading some info about it. I had just recently researched, bought and played Palazzo. When Venture arrived, I read the rules and was amazed at the similarities between the 1970 Sid Sackson game and the 2005 Reiner Knizia game. As has been said many times on this site, Sackson was well ahead of his time in game design.

I'd say the two big differences between the two games is the ability in Venture to steal corporations (cards) from other players and the fact that scoring occurs multiple times throughout the game. This adds quite a bit to the strategy though my wife was not excited to see this "take that" feature in the game.

In the first Profit (scoring) round, my wife was ahead $6M to $1M. She already had a 4 corporation conglomerate with 2 common letters. I just had a 3 corporation conglomerate with 1 common letter and some miscellaneous corporations.

...as we continued, I was generally just buying as many corporations as possible and she was buying just the corporations that she wanted or needed to fit in with existing conglomerates.

...I was able to reorganize my conglomerates a few times to help me, but the biggest problem hit when a profit card turned up and my wife's 6 corp conglomerate (the max) scored with 3 common letters. That was worth $60M for her which seems like a TON in this game.

...I did a bit of catching up after that by breaking up her big conglomerate with a proxy fight, but it just was not enough.

...I ended up losing $164M to $122M.

We like this game. I can see that the potential for analysis paralysis is there, especially when reorganizing. During your turn, you can reorganize your corporations however you want by paying $1M for every corporation you own. This can be a powerful move to make better conglomerates and hide valuable corporations so they can't be stolen by proxy. But, if you think through all of the possibilities to find the best solution, it could take forever.

I think we'll stick to this as a two player... it's good!
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