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Subject: Four Player at Coolstuff Games (6/24/2009) rss

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Jesse Dean
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The second game of the night was Le Havre. Jens (who had not played the game in probably 5 months), Andrew, Will and I played.

Andrew opened with the Marketplace and a few other low-end buildings, but after that it went a bit downhill for him. He kept taking marginal actions that just barely kept his head above water, that didn’t advance his position in the game. He even took a couple of loans, but never had more than two. He eventually got a ship, but was never able to put himself into a good position to get more, always being overwhelmed by food costs, and missing one keep requirement to get a ship built.

Will got a lot more loans, but was able to more effectively use his position to gain large quantities of food from his vast herds of cow and fields of grain. He built some buildings, but was unable to get some of the later ones, and spent a lot of actions trying to get rid of the loans he acquired early in the game, using the Local Court to kill two of them at a time. This destroyed his ability to gain big points in the late game, and this ultimately was reflected in his score.

Jens played a more careful game than Will or Andrew, and while he was behind me in getting his first few ships, he quickly plowed ahead and eventually exceeded me with five ships. He never shipped anything, however. He was also able to consistently build buildings throughout the game, and avoided taking any loans. He was the only person besides me to get any of the late game buildings, and the two of us were trading them for a while. He even built the Town Hall and got a reasonable amount of points for it due to building synergy.

In the opening rounds, I bought some expensive buildings (the Fishery and the Sawmill) and sold them to buy an early ship. I also got the second ship (and bought the Construction Firm) once the wharf was built, but I stalled out a bit in the middle as I tried to get the resources together to build an Iron Ship. For a long time the only building I had in front of me was the Construction firm as the others slowly and surely added buildings in front of them. One of the biggest problems I had was getting the resources needed to actually get into the wharf. It did not seem worth it to take an action to get two fish or francs, yet I still needed something like that in order to get into the building. Still, during this period I was able to gather some resources, and prepare for the later stages of the game. I shipped three times, once with a herd of cattle, once with a combination of cattle and coal, and finally with all the random junk that I had still sitting in front of me. I was also able to build some of the better late-game buildings, though Jens got to the Town Hall before I could.

In the end I won with a score of 189. Jens was second with a score of 126. Will was third with a score of 93. Andrew was last with a score of 32.

I know that loan strategies are theoretically more powerful than non-loan strategies, but I have yet to get them to work so I have reverted back towards my more traditional play. Granted, I did not waste many actions on getting food this game, but that was because I focused more on getting ships, using the bonus food income to keep myself afloat and setting myself up for some late-game shipments just the same. I think it worked reasonably well, though I am not sure how well I would have done if the others were more on top of the game. The lull in the middle could have proven fatal in that situation, so the particular strategy I took may be fragile in that respect.
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Steve Duff
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doubtofbuddha wrote:
Andrew was last with a score of 32.


Holy crap.
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Jesse Dean
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Yes. It was the lowest score I had ever seen.
 
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Gary Bacchus
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doubtofbuddha wrote:
The second game of the night was Le Havre. Jens (who had not played the game in probably 5 months), Andrew, Will and I played.


You guys ever run a full boat of 5 with that? Does it make the game as tight as the rules claim?
 
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Jesse Dean
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No. Considering that my favored player count is 3, and I only like 4 every so often, I have to say that 5 does not interest me at all.
 
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