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Subject: Welcome to San Juan... we will visit often. rss

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Philip Pack
Canada
Nanaimo
British Columbia
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We had played this once before a few days ago with my Mom and Dad... but I (Phil) was the only one with experience (played the java and BSW versions prior). Yesterday on the last day of my Mom (Maureen) and her Friend's (Gwen) visit to my home we decided to play another few rounds of San Juan. This was Gwen's first time... also my StepBrother (Duncan) had come to visit too. So this was our first time with 4 players. First round was a learning experience for Duncan (who is a fast learner and shares my love of games) and Gwen (not such an avid gamer, but a very willing participant). First game ended with Phil (34), Duncan (25), Mom (20), and Gwen (12). Gwen didn't understand to keep pace with building buildings (only had 5 in the end), but was hiding items under her chapel.

Second game everyone now understood the nuances of San Juan and was ready for a more serious game. We had an extremely close game this time. Everyone kept pace with buildings, Mom and Duncan had finished with 12 and me and Gwen finished with 11 built. Early in the game Duncan had a trifecta of cards (Prefecture, Archive & Library) that worked when he was choosing councilor where he'd get to draw 8 (3 extra due to library) then discard any 6 of the cards in his hand (keep 2 due to prefecture and any of his cards in hand due to archive), essentially rebuilding his hand every time. No one had a chapel this time, but everyone had a "6" building... but my only "6" building was a Palace, and I was the only to one to own one. The final score card:

(bldgs + chapel + "6" bldgs = subtotal + palace == Total Score)
Gwen (19 + 0 + 9 = 28 + 0 = 28)
Mom (18 + 0 + 10 = 28 + 0 = 28)
Duncan (21 + 0 + 8 = 29 + 0 = 29)
Phil (24 + 0 + 0 = 24 + 6 = 30)

Gwen still didn't feel very confident in understanding the strategy of the game by the end, but was satisfied with having a close result. Duncan was starting to really love this game, and now plans to pick up his own copy in the coming days. And I just squeaked by for the win thanks to my palace, which was my 10th of 11 building built.

San Juan is quickly growing as the favorite game in my collection. It's quick to teach new players. It's pretty fast to play, when you need a quick fix. And the strategy and outcomes possible seam nearly endless.
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Brian Foster
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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Thanks a lot, Phil. An interesting and well written article!
 
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    Conserve energy:     Play Board Games!
United States
California
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Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
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Nicely written session report, Phil. I hope your family and friends continue to enjoy exploring this wonderful game.
 
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