Ramping up my reviewing.
Happily playing games for many, many years.
I delight in Brass, and I'm astonished to see that I've played it so rarely; I suppose it's because I have tended not to take it to game days since I've acquired it... or because we've had the wrong number of people so often. That last is probably more correct.
Last weekend, I taught Brass to Jesse, Jackson and Harley. We had an entertaining game, but one quite different to my previous forays into the game. To begin with, everyone built coal mines in the early part of the game, and that coal saw no-one wanting it! The builder of iron mills could have made a fortune, but I just didn't have the right cards - in the end, Jackson was the only player to build an iron mill. Thinking back, I really should have discarded two cards to build the mill...
Early in the Canal age - Merric green, Jackson purple, Harley yellow, Jesse red
Jesse was quite tired, and so made a number of mistakes in the Canal age he resolved not to make in the Steam age. Harley was the lord of mills, managing to flip three (mainly through the Cotton Exchange). My major creation was a shipyard, but Jackson gained the most VPs through excellent canal building and a small selection of completed industries.
At the end of the Canal age, we looked like this:
Merric: 28 VPs, 22 on the income track (6).
Jackson: 30 VPs, 20 on the income track (5).
Harley: 18 VPs, 20 on the income track (5)
Jesse: 7 VPs, 9 on the income track (-1)
End of the Canal age - Merric green, Jackson purple, Harley yellow, Jesse red
Now we removed the level 1 industries, and only five industries remained on the board: two of Jesse's (including a coal mine), two of Harley's and one of Jackson's. Nothing of mine remained. (I went to the beach to look at the lone and level sands).
The rail age was dominated by coal: a lot of coal industries were built, and many rails were built as well. Indeed, by the end of the age, there wasn't anywhere on the board another railway could be placed - we'd taken them all! Strangely, cotton mills were very rare, hardly a new one got placed. I managed to build another Shipyard, and the VPs were very welcome.
I was able to build iron mills this age, and they flipped very easily. With the lack of cotton mills, ports were few and far between - and Liverpool ended as a ghost town with only my lone shipyard in it!
Jesse did play a much more effective game, and had not a terrible score when the game ended. He was still tired, though.
End of the game - Merric green, Jackson purple, Harley yellow, Jesse red
Final scores: Merric 97, Harley 85, Jesse & Jackson 61.
The net gain for the second age was Merric +69, Harley +67, Jesse +54, Jackson +31. Somehow, Jackson managed to fumble that round, badly.
Oh well - it was their first game, and with any luck it won't be that long before we play Brass again.
Einmal ist keinmal
You'll Never Walk Alone
Nice report! Sounds like a lot of missed opportunities, but probably because of the inexperience of the players. I wonder if it's the groupthink to sort of follow the lead of other players, rather than going a route that is unexploited (i.e. Cotton Mills and Ports in your game).
Glad you were able to get it to the table again!
It looks like if Harley had developed his cotton mills more aggressively he would have come out on top. Developing through the 2's instead of playing them on the board.
Snake? What happened? Snake! Snaaaaaake!
Your eyebrows won't save you now.
Nice write up. I agree with Desiderata completely. The board should be much more congested at the end of a 4 player game, I would guess from the photo that players weren't abusing the loans properly and thus couldn't finance enough industry tiles (this also drives down the rail points). I'm sure experience will lead to those scores rising (online I rarely see any player fail to break 100, I suspect your table wasn't developing enough during the canal period).
Always glad to hear about more new players enjoying the game!
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
That first screenshot with a full iron track and an iron still on the board with only one iron tile played looks like someone could have cleaned up by taking some cheap develops in the canal phase.
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Great report. Sad to hear a three hour game didn't wake your gaming partner up.
Bad for Jackson though: first to last in a spectacular manner. Wow/