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Subject: First Solo Experience with Notre Dame Expansion Cards rss

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Nathan Rhodes
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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When I stumbled across the expansion for Notre Dame and saw the picture of the new person cards, I was excited to give them a try. I referenced Maaike's helpful thread to figure out exactly what all of them meant. Upon reading Maaike's tranlation of the rules, I was intrigued. After all, the effects these new person cards allow are mostly very different from the base set.

As this expansion is included in the Treasure Chest box of expansions and I didn't own any of the other games within, I didn't want to order it, especially with rules not in English. Hopefully I can acquire the real cards sometime in the future, but I was too eager to wait and made some proxies for the meantime.



I asked my brother if he wanted to try out the new cards, but apparently he then decided that he doesn't like Notre Dame very much.

Alas.

As he was the only other person around at the time with which I could play, I set up a solo game. It wasn't the most realistic setup, as I had my two dummy opponents randomly passing me cards and I included each new person card instead of picking three at random. However, I just wanted to get a feel for them. I don't remember all the details from my experience, but I'll share what events I do recall.

Phase A

The Nurse appeared the first round. Her four rats made for a total of seven; I wasn't used to almost having to worry about rats from the very start! When playing my cards, I replaced a cube by playing the cloister and then carriaged for a 4 point message, keeping in mind the Steward, who doubles your points and the Coachman, who lets you take all rewards from one type of messages once more. When the round ended, I used the Nurse to get a cube from the general supply with which to active the hospital. Unfortunately, I had no rats to begin, but really I just wanted to get a cube onto the board without playing a card.

Then started the second round.
Alas, the Steward appeared! I was hoping for more time to get the other two 4 point messages. Yet, when I picked up my cards, I found my Trusted Friend. That was one Carriage down. Then I was passed a Carriage. Brilliant! So then I was able to just maneuver enough to collect both 4 point messages and double my points, leaving me with a score of 24. It was lucky, but altogether possible.
Excellent.

Oh, and then I got hit by the plague. As I would find out, this would become a common theme at the end of rounds. The other options became so much more appealing than saving my fellow Parisians...

The Scholar, who lets you play your third card, showed his face on the third round. This didn't pique my interest as much as I found myself with the Guest House as my third card. Even though the Host now gives two points for every cube in the Guest House in Phase C, I chose some other person instead. Again, I believe the plague spread throughout Paris.

Phase B

Phase B didn't offer a lot of new excitement until Round 3. In Rounds 1 and 2 the Spy, who enables one look through the person stack and gain two points, and the Sailor, who lets you gain 2 points for each cube you remove from your borough and place in the general supply. I passed on the Spy and wished I didn't feel like I had to pass on the Sailor. I could see some fun times happening with a Sailor and Gatekeeper, who gives 3 points for each pair of cubes in your general supply. Alas, however, I had too few cubes, as I believe I had used the Trusted Friend multiple times and had been plagued often.

However, in Round 3, as I had been eagerly expecting, the Coachman arrived! I eagerly paid my coin to activate my three 4 point messages again for 12 more points.
Excellent.

Phase C

Then up popped the Host in Round 1. Even though he gives 2 points per cube on the Guest House and thus possibly making that sector viable, I still don't like it. I can't see the buildup for this card giving enough benefit along the way. So since I had none on the Guest House, I natuarally passed on the Host.

Round 2 brought the Gatekeeper. Even though he goes against the way I liked to play before the expansion, I like this guy. I, like many others, I'm sure, liked to get as many cubes on the board as possible. This time, however, I didn't have a great number. At the time of the Gatekeeper's bribing, I had 7 cubes in the general supply and about 2 cubes in my personal supply. Wow, that's only 5 cubes on the board. That's worse than I thought.
But it's okay, for he gave me 9 points for my 3 pairs of cubes.

And the last round brought the Councilman to the game. He lets one bribe two more times. Thus, one would need three coins to make use of him. The setup for the last round was the Councilman, the Fool, and the Minstrel. This could be useful for using the Fool twice to active the Residence twice and getting many points if I had invested there earlier. However, I hadn't, and my carriage was stranded and drained of cubes do to numerous plagues. However, I didn't waste my money; I donated three coins to Notre Dame.

Conclusion

I like these new cards. Maybe it's just because they're new, but I think they add much to the game, and likely more than I've been able to reason in the sort time that I've been aware of them. I wish my brother would play more with me...
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