Simon Lundström
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Now who are these five?
Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
I had a 2-player game with Expansion and Vacation and a with an initial 2–5 draw I thought I had the game – but I guess I toyed a bit too much.

Reason was, "Laura" from Vacation was in the game. She allows you to chambermaid any number of chambermaidable maids from your hand, at no cost. She does cost 6 though, so it takes some time to get her. However, as usual, with 2 players, the reminiscence Canoeing was out (3VP, discard 5 heart cards, gain any maid card from the pool). We had the maid chiefs from Expansion, not Vacation, and that was the sole reason I eventually lost… I got Aline (1VP, cost 2) and then Canoeing, choosing – of course, Laura.

After my first shuffle, I pulled heart, Laura and THREE Aline. Played Laura, drew the fourth Aline and chambermaided them all. At this point I had an 8 card deck – 7 heart-1 and one Laura (which meant 5 or 6 hearts each turn, guaranteed). Next, I got private maid Eve Valentine, giving me an extra Employ each turn. I guess I should have stopped there, but I couldn't help myself and bought a Carillon (draw 3). That might have been a miss; none of them had an extra Serving so I couldn't play both. At any rate, I was guaranteed at least 5 hearts every turn, at a possible 7 max, and with the buildings out, I figured I could go garden, garden, garden, garden, until we ran out of them, and then lily garden, lily garden, lily garden until we ran out of those, and then just Aline the hell out of everything. Which was basically what I did… but once when I got 7 hearts, I fell for temptation and got Frida (+2 cards, +2 hearts, +2 employ); I figured I could buy Aline faster that way.

I guess I should have aimed to end the game earlier than I did. My opponent tried a little to the left and right, bought some heart-2, getting 4 Felicity (chambermaid 4 of her and that's 12VP) before I managed (we had only 7 of her), and he also got lucky buying both private maids Courtney and Aurelie, and he got 2 gardens out of 8. My problem was that I didn't end the game before he got his engine going, he managed to get ahold of 3 Claudine (5VP) before he ended the game, afraid that I was winning on my Lily Gardens.

I don't have exact count, but I think I ended up on 56, and he on 58. I had twelve Aline. Had that been Beatrice from Vacation (0VP, but 2VP chambeermaided), that would have been totally mad. He had five Aline, three Claudine (20VP), two Gardens+Lily Gardens (10VP), 4 Felicity (12VP), Aurelie+Courtney (10VP) and then some spare points from some other private maids and the occasional Estate. I had six Gardens+Lily Gardens (30VP), twelve Aline (12VP), 3 Felicity (8VP), Canoeing (3VP) one Estate (2VP) and Eve (1VP)

I guess I lost some momentum buying Carillon and then Frida. Perhaps I should have just sat there with 7 Heart-1 and a Laura, getting all Gardens and then Lily gardens, and then ending the game before he got his engine running. That might have changed things.

At any rate, I really realized that with Canoeing, Laura, Beatrice and an initial 5-2 draw… that's just too much. I wouldn't advice players to be able to choose the initial draw there. Too much would be determined just by who starts.

(Edit: Of course, having the Buildings there helped me. Sitting with 7 heart-1 and one Laura wouldn't helped much for VP in a pure Vacation set. And buying Beatrice all the time wouldn't have been very effective without the +1 buy Eve fom Expansion… it was the combination of Expansion and Vacation that did it.)
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