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El Grande» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Everybody ganged up on Ivan, but still we couldn't stop him rss

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Valdir Jorge
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Date: March 24th, 2005

Game: El Grande

Players: Ivan (my son), Jason, Maxime, Stephane and Valdir (myself)

Some games ended almost at the same time, so we shuffled players a bit, some went out to play T & E and we decided to close the night with a good game of El Grande. I had already played this game once before, quite some time ago. Ivan, Maxime and Stephane didn’t know the game, so Jason explained the rules. It was a bit convoluted because people went out to get food, Jason had to fill up the parking meter, some players were undecided if they would play this or that...

Anyway, after some confusion we were all sitting down, Jason went over the rules and off we went on a journey to conquer old Spain. In this game you have to balance your desire to get men from the provinces to your court (which requires bidding low) with the necessity of getting men from your court onto the board (which usually requires bidding high). But that’s just the beginning because you also have to know where on the board to deploy your men.

In the first few rounds we were checking the terrain to see how everybody else would play, a few points were earned here and there and we were slowly moving on the score track. By mid-game Ivan was in the lead and everybody else was trying to stop him from getting more points, but no matter what we did, he always had his men very well placed, earning him good points almost every round.

In the end Ivan won the game with a little over 100 points, Stephane was close with high 90’s I was also nearby with low 90’s and Jason was in fourth place a bit further behind. Maxime, who started the game in last place never really had a chance to recover and ended up far, far behind even though he had a strong showing in the last round.

For me El Grande was the best game of the night, it’s the type of game that I would always want to play again. Lots of agonizing decisions, the balance of the game sometimes hanging on the placement of one lowly caballero.
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