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Subject: Session Report rss

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This game was a one board game with 4 players. We started with merchant #14. I will say that I enjoy the game in both the multi-board format as well as the single board format. In fact, I may like it a little better in the single board format because the game doesn't have to swing on the speed of a certain player nor the luck of the draw as far as which merchants come up.

When we first learned the rules, we missed the rule (At the bottom of page 4) that makes you drop the price in commodities each time that you trade in stuff for a fetish -- and this seems to have changed the game drastically. (As a note, we missed one other important rule - that if you have the buy a good from an opponent improvement token - You MUST be in the same space on the board as an opponent to use it!) In our first four games, before we realized our mistake, the stock market prices were a little high, but this was usually fixed by some adventurous soul who would try to get one of the high priced goods to sell for a huge profit. High prices never seemed to bog us down too much.

But, in this game, we didn’t have merchant #13, whose special ability is to raise the prices of all commodities. The odds of having #14 as the fetish dealer (who wants distinct goods traded in for fetishes) without having #13 are only one in twelve, but this proved to be a killer combination to the game since each time someone got a fetish, there was no quick way to push the prices back up before someone else would trade in more commodities. In this game the stock market became nearly fully depressed as a result of fetish trading (using different types for each fetish). Once we had a market where all commodities were at the lowest level except for hamburgers which were at the 2nd lowest level! Further, each time, once the market was so low, the prices of any commodities almost never surged about 60 for the rest of the game (in both cases)! This seemed to take away some of the importance and fun of trying to make enough money to get what you needed for a fetish.

As it turns out, Matt H made lots of money early on and was able to glide in to victory as money proved not to be an issue given the low prices in the 2nd half of the game. I may have been able to sneak away with the victory, but I chose to keep the wrong improvement token after my 2nd fetish – I chose to keep the buy one commodity from an opponent instead of the hotfoot. As it turns out, as Matt won the game, I was one step away from entering the fetish dealer’s store with all 5 goods. Oh well. Still, this is my favorite game of the new Essen releases.
 
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