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Subject: First Experience Online rss

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Joshua Gottesman
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Okay, because the 10 hours I spend gaming on Saturdays with friends isn't enough, I've taken to online gaming (mabiweb, spielbyweb, pr-game) to fill in even more time. One game that caught my attention was Ur, on MabiWeb. The rules were short, the method of play seemed simple yet challenging, so I decided to give it a shot. Here was the first game of it I played.

Because the board changes constantly in Ur, I don't have a turn by turn map (I'll remember that for my next game). However, here is the ending, so you can at least see what things looked like.

Its hard to get images from mabiweb for this game, and the map changes throughout, so here's a link to the game log. I was green in this game (J6A).

The rulebook suggests that agriculture and commerce are important in the beginning of the game, so I grabbed 2 agriculture and 1 commerce. I had an agriculture/politics in my hand, and decided to hold onto it.

On the first turn, I added 4 tokens with the agriculture tiles and shifted 1 token to the commerce tile which was my only one with 1 on it. I exchanged my tile for a war/politics. My 7 tokens were highest on the board, and 2 players went for a 4th tile rather than add to what they already had.

In round 2 I claimed a politics tile, and exchanged for a war/culture tile. The white player picked up 8 tokens from his actions and a culture action by black. Thankfully white didn't take a war tile, I think he could have made some serious headway.

Round 3 saw me claim a war tile, giving me a complete set of 5, or 15 VP if you counted the tile in my hand. I was now low man on the totem pole in terms of tokens, though, so I took an agriculture/commerce tile to boost up in the next turn.

Round 4 saw the start of war, as white and blue both launched attacks. White took three new tiles, including one tile from black, and lost 6 units during the war. However his commerce action brought back 5 of those units. Then blue added 3 with commerce before attacking, losing 5 tokens but conquering 5 new tiles, including 1 from white. My actions got me 5 new tokens, which was nice because all three other players were weaker now, and I went back to a war/politics tile. Black did a culture action which actually helped white more than it helped him.

Round 5 saw me really start to expand. White added two tokens, blue 9(!) tokens via culture and commerce, and the commerce action gave me one tile. I used my politics action to put my units in attack position, and then took 3 new tiles, losing only 2 tokens in the process, and adding an agriculture, a commerce and a culture. I exchanged my tile for agriculture/politics. Black wrapped things up by claiming a new tile.

Round 6 saw white and blue go on the warpath again. White took 4 new tiles, including one from blue, then blue took 3 tiles including one from me. I bulked up my forces with an agriculture action that netted me 6 new tokens and then placed a free token, and went back to my old favorite, politics/war. Black continued his slow growth with an agriculture action.

Round 7 saw white build up his defenses, and saw blue get all his tokens on the board and instead of passing his second action did a culture action that gave me 1 token. Using politics, I rearranged my troops for the attack, then took 3 new tiles at the cost of only 1 token. The board was getting crowded now, so I started thinking ziggarut, and I took a politics/agriculture so I could get my units into position. On his move, black took one of the tiles I had just conquered away from me, which kind of sucked.

Round 8 saw white build 2 ziggaruts, while blue arranged his units for building, and I took 1 ziggarut, as did black. My new tile was war/agriculture.

Round 9 saw white build up through commerce, and blue took the last ziggarut. I added 3 tokens through agriculture, and lost one tile, however with the war action, I quickly reconquered that tile and 2 more, trading an agriculture for a politics for points purposes. I grabbed a culture/agriculture for my new tile. Black merely gave white 2 more tokens with an agriculture action.

That was it...with all 5 ziggaruts on the board, the game ended. I eked out a 34-32-32-16 victory basically by virtue of having 1 more tile owned than the 2nd and 3rd place players. We each had 1 6 tile set (21 points), a 4 tile set (10 points) and while they had a 1 tile set (1 point), I had a 2 tile set (3 points). The 4th place player was never really in it.

The game-log/map shows my ending situation. I had just enough forces to make attacking me not look attractive, and won the race for most tiles at the end. A very exciting game!
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