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Glory to Rome» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Teaching four new players... and losing to them. rss

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Simon
Australia
Hornsby
NSW
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The following session report is from a longer roundup of a meeting of my local game group, but I thought it might also interest readers of the Glory to Rome board. To set the scene: I'd played the game 9 times and it had quickly become my second-favourite game, so I brought it along to my local game group's weekly meeting. None of the other players had played it before so I started with a rule explanation and the suggested training game.

earlyworm wrote:
The rule explanation took a while but as suggested in the rule book, we kicked off with a practice half-game where the building effects were ignored. Everyone seemed to catch on to the flow of cards fairly quickly and seemed eager to start a proper game, so when the practice game ended (ending 'immediately' and ruining Matt's merchant plans - nice of me to let you know about that rule in advance, wasn't it?), we didn't even bother to count up points and instead quickly redealt cards and started the real thing.

Jen quickly seemed to pull ahead, using her Gate ('Incomplete marble structures provide function') to great effect and building a huge tableau that included an Insula, Bar, Archway, Circus Maximus, Fountain and Forum ('One client of each role wins game'). Once she put the Forum into play - taking effect immediately due to her Gate - it was a race to see who could end the game before she managed to get those last couple of clients she needed for the win. Matt's Storeroom ('All clients count as Laborers') helped to empty the pool, leaving no potential clients for Jen, but her Bar ('In Addition: When performing Patron action may take client from deck') overcame that obstacle.

Meanwhile, Rob was using his Road ('When adding to stone structure may use any material') very nicely to construct some stone buildings. He also got a huge hand after completing his School ('Upon Completion: May perform one Thinker action for each Influence'), and then came the master stroke: completing a Garden ('Upon Completion: May perform one Patron action for each Influence') and gaining a huge workforce of Architects and Laborers in his clientele.

With murmurs of complaint about 'randomness' from Matt, the game drew to a close with 10 minutes to spare before kick-out time. In the final round, it seemed that several end conditions could be met, but it ended up being Rob's many Architects - each with access to his Road - that ended it by completing a Catacomb ('Upon Completion: Game ends immediately. Score as usual').

We opened our vaults, handed out chips and added up scores, and the results were quite surprising. Rob won the day (not entirely surprising) with 22*, Matt and I tied on 19*, Junior got slightly less than this I think, and Jen ended up with only 15*. The two big surprises were Matt's very respectable score (surprising after his grumblings most turns about not having anything good to do), due mostly to his large vault, and Jen's comparatively low score, having started lots of buildings (using their functions due to her Gate) but not converted them into points by completing them, and having ignored her vault.

* Scores are from memory... correct me if I'm wrong. And Junior, what did you end up with?

All in all, I enjoyed this game as usual (it's my second highest ranked game at the moment), and it was reasonably well-received. Jen and Rob in particular seemed to quite like it, whereas I think Junior was a little overwhelmed so decided to ignore everyone else and play his own game, and Matt pointed out that he prefers games with less randomness and more structure to them.
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Robert Schwieger
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Eugene
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I love this game too, but I think it's pretty fair to suggest randomness in a five-player game. There's just too much that goes on before it gets back to you as leader to feel like you're really in control. Two-player, on the other hand, is a wonderful back and forth duel where the more experienced player usually wins. Thanks for the report!
 
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