Ramping up my reviewing.
Happily playing games for many, many years.
Our latest boardgameday at Randy's place started slowly: only he and me were there. Rich and Pat would arrive sometime later. We cast around for a game to play, and I reached behind me and pulled down Louis XIV, a game that I find extremely entertaining and one that Randy keeps forgetting about (or so he said).
The initial stage of the game saw Randy (yellow) do extremely well at gaining favour at court, whilst I (green) gained some gold and an intrigue card. The major problem for Randy was how many of his influence cubes wandered into the general supply and out of his personal supply: I was spending gold, but regaining my influence. Where I was worried was that Randy could play two mission cards to my one, with both of them supply cards, Randy might be able to gain a big advantage as the game continued.
Louis XIV isn't a long game, but it is intense as we competed for favour in the court. The "dummy" player was very good at frustrating our plans. The second turn saw Randy once again gain a lot of favours in the court and thus he could play two more mission cards... and I could only play one! Where things were looking up was that I had a lot of gold - and influence, and coat of arms pieces. Still, a 4-2 advantage in missions was a big advantage to give away.
So we continued, and Randy finally began to run into real supply problems: I had a lot more gold, so I could get the favours without spending influence, and I was also by now drawing an extra influence card by virtue of bribing Jules Mazarin each turn. My additional influence thus gained gave me a real advantage over Randy - especially in the last turn, when a mission card also gave me another influence card, so I could take the last three plays!
Randy also miscalculated and had to discard a favour as he couldn't complete a second mission in the third turn. He was able to us an intrigue card to frustrate my plans to get gold in the third turn, but the fourth turn was all mine, and I was (astonishingly) able to catch up to Randy in mission cards, whilst I had a handy lead in Coat of Arms pieces.
So came the final scoring, and I'd won the game handily: 56 to 47. I'm still not sure of the finer points of strategy of Louis XIV, as we certainly haven't played that many games of it, but it is a game that I greatly enjoy and one we need to play more games of - both 2 and 4 player!