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Subject: The Hats Fit Fine! rss

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David G. Cox Esq.
Lighthouse Beach
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Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.

Played at Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia
Atop a hill, overlooking the ocean, and facing towards Easter Island

Da Pyrate (Red) , Rock (Gold) & Steve (Blue).

As it is school holiday time we have been busy reading rules and trying out a whole pile of new games.

Giant is the most recent game that we have played that is new to all of us. We had great concerns about the game – I had read lots of reports about how it was difficult to get the nifty red hats to stay on top of the moais (apparently a lot of people find that they keep falling off). We had no trouble in that department – clearly the dexterity skills of our group are higher than average. On the other hand, we did have controlling the incredibly small and cylindrical wooden logs (its not that we are clumsy – we just have thick fingers).

We did find that the rules make the game seem a tad more complicated than it really is.

The objective of the game is to erect statues and place hats on top of their heads. There are two quarries on the island – one for volcanic grey heads and the other for volcanic red hats – the further you carry your heads/hats to their final resting place the more points you score for them. The trouble is that we each have rather small sized tribes and the only way to move them a long distance is with the help of the other tribes and the use of limited natural resources called wooden logs (apparently on Easter Island these wooden logs are actually rather high-tech).

All players have very limited numbers of tribe members and tribe markers. Giants seems to be a game where you have to work at increasing your resources early in the game to make use of them later in the game. Personally I am going to start of just trying to increase the size of my tribe.

On the first turn we rolled-up two size 1 moais and a size 2 moai. Only blue took a moai (size 2). During the rest of the turn I increased my tribe size, Gold took a tribal marker and Blue gathered wood and used the wood to start to move the moai.

After 4 turns it was hard to see who was winning. Red, with several tribe members had the greatest capacity to build and move moais. Gold had picked up quite a few Rongo half-tablets (due to having a lot of tribal markers) and was using them to get the chief working as a sorcerer. Blue had build the most moais but was having trouble getting them to Ahuses.

After 7 turns we still didn’t know who was winning although Blue had picked up 39 points (his timber had made it possible for the other to use his tribe for transportation) while Gold had 23 to Red’s 19. Red and Blue had placed 5 moais each while Gold had only placed 3. Four moais were proudly wearing hats. The game was moving smoothly.

The game finished suddenly at the end of the 9th turn after Blue built their 7th moai.

Red won with five moais (all with hats) plus 24 for transport = 124 points
Blue came second seven moais (with no hats) plus 41 transport points = 118 points
Gold had five moais and one hat plus 27 transport points = 81 points

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