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Subject: First Play impression rss

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Chad Martinell
United States
Seattle
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Opened up Utopia last night and played a 2-player game with my wife. It took a bit to get through the rules, but once we did it was a pretty fast game.

The only rule that was particularly out of place was the Special Guest rule. In a 2 player game it is pretty useless, especially if you use it late in the round, as it leaves your opponent with 1 more prince than you that round. The only time I used it I ended up getting something that I needed so it wasn't too bad that my wife got an extra prince.

The first half of the game we were pretty close score wise, and traded the lead a couple of times. I started with a Wonder, and Jan started with a monument... luckily for me it was the lowest on the prestige scale.

Once I started getting monuments out I started to get ahead in the score. Thankfully it wasn't until the final round that Jan remembered that we could change the prestige scale. She used that to boost her civs to the top and plummet mine to the bottom. Thankfully we had 1 shared civ that was in the top spot. If not then she would have won. The final round ended with her at 50 points exactly and the 5 points from that shared civ put me at around 54. Had she changed the prestige scale earlier I would have had a harder time of it.

Final Thoughts:

My first impression is that I like the game. I think it played well with 2, but will probably play better with 3 or 4. I didn't really see the benefit of the special guest in a 2-player game, but I suppose it could come in handy with more players. In fact, the one time I used it, I did so because there wasn't anything on the board that I liked, and I happened to pull one that I could use. It was worth it to give my wife the extra prince in that instance. Definately not something that will see a lot of use.

Component-wise, everything was of a decent quality and the artwork on the chits, cards, and board are very nicely done. I think the monuments and wonders are a bit large, crowding the board a bit, but that doesn't really detract from the game play in my opinion. It will be interesting to see what it looks like with more players, and the extra island open.
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