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Subject: Puzzle: shortest victories? rss

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Doug Orleans
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What is the shortest theoretical game for each of the victory condition cards (and the point-value variant) for each number of players? I believe I can construct first-turn wins for Alea Iacta Est (green hourglass) and both Carpe Diem and Quo Vadis for 4 players, but I'll leave those as an exercise for the reader. Also, what's the highest possible victory score after the first turn for each number of players?
 
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Doug Orleans
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Here are my first-turn victories:

With four players, you have five followers. In your starting hand are Varus, the Legates leader; Aquilia Severa, the Vestal Virgins leader; Cato, the Senators leader; and one other card. One of your followers goes to the Curia to discard the non-leader card to pick up a 1 Legates card, a 2 Vestal Virgins card, and a Senators card. Another follower goes to the Atrium Auctionorum, where an opponent (who has gone to the coin bowl at least once) wins the auction by spending all his money, which gives you at least 30 denarii. Your other three followers take over Legates, Vestal Virgins, and Senators, which gives you seven laurel wreaths, the eternal favor of the gods, and a fourth faction marker. Finally, the Legates faction benefit gives you a scroll, and the Vestal Virgins faction benefit gives you either a tribune or your eighth laurel wreath; either way, you have four victory conditions for Carpe Diem.

With five players, you only have four followers, so you skip the Atrium Auctionorum, but you still have three victory conditions, which wins the green-hourglass Alea Iacta Est, and, if you got the tribune, Quod Erat Demonstrandum.
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