M & I played our first game of Monkeys on the Moon yesterday, using the two-player rule (points for first place, but not 2nd place, in each tribe). M pointed out that hiding the owned Favor coins was of limited use in 2-player, as one may learn how many coins of a given color one's opponent has by subtraction ( your blue coins = 5 - (mine + those on the blue tribe )).
It was pretty rough at first -- I incorrectly explained the points for the Ships (thinking they counted in the tribe scoring), then missed enemies boarding the same ship, as well as the freedom to introduce a Monkey for bidding without making a bid -- but we got the hang of things eventually.
Early in the game, we both advanced the brown tribe. I decided to grab as many brown Monkeys as I could and won some early auctions for them. Soon after, I advanced the green tribe and began trying to collect green Monkeys. About this time, M noticed that I was playing Civ cards for allied tribes (not just the tribe on the card) and realized that she could do the same.
Through the middle game, it seemed like she was picking up a lot more monkeys than I was. We ended up retro-ing the enemies-on-the-same-Ship Monkeys back to where the problem started, meaning she had a few one-Monkey payloads without scored ships, which hurt her. During the middle of the game, I managed to get two Scorn cards at once, and then get rid of them.
By the end, we were both passing on Monkeys to avoid getting Scorn we thought we'd be stuck with. A few particularly choice Monkeys went for bids of 9 or 10 Favor points.
Pete: 21 = 15 for tribes ( brown(7), green(6) and tied for red(2) ) + 6 for Ships
M: 18 = 11 for tribes ( tied for red(2) and best in the other three colors (4+3+2) ) + 7 for Ships
We both finished without Scorn.
M said she was surprised by how complex a game this is, considering the silly theme. I agree: there's a lot going on -- lots of things to consider during each turn. I can't decide at this point whether, as M said, there's too much randomness based on the cards that come up, or whether the tactical choices will become easier as I get used to the game more. We may have to try this again with larger Monkey pools to cut down on the chaos a bit.
M declined to give the game a rating; I rate this game a 7.8 based on this one playing. Hope to play this one again soon, with 3 or 4 players next time.