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Subject: Holiday Weekend Vinci rss

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Since we were all off on Monday, some friends and I got together for pizza at Ken's house after church for some Vinci. Non-game highlight of the evening was Ken's pizza order going to MY house, because he forgot to change the address in his Papa John's iPhone app from the LAST time he ordered pizza (which went to my house as it was supposed to). My wife graciously drove the pizza over when the delivery guy refused to go to a new address.

We had 6 players: Caleb, Phil, Dan, Nadia, Kenny, Roger. I won with a score of 103. Roger & Kenny both had 101, Nadia was in the mid 90's, and Phil & Dan were in the mid to high 80's.

I didn't take notes or anything, so the highlights of the game are by memory, mostly from my perspective:

My first civ, a Revolutionary Barbarian one, came onto the board in the mountain region in central Europe. I paid two to take it, and it was totally worth it. I was able to conquer all the surrounding regions for 1 less token, plus the yellow Port on the Caspian Sea. This civ stayed on the board for several turns, scoring 8 points per turn even while in decline. The other players left this one alone for too long.

My next civ was a Rebirth/Agricultural one that I took in through Spain and up to the shores of the English Channel. It didn't score great points, but it allowed me to decline at the end of my turn and grab my best-scoring civ.

My huge winner was my second-to-last civ, a Mining Barbarian one, that came onto the board through Greece, then took the two Balkan mining spaces and the Baltic mining space all on the same turn. That civ scored 9 points by itself, which, along with my declined civ in Spain, gave me 13 or so points for 3 consecutive turns. Nadia's Espionage civ took the Baltic mining space from me, but I recaptured it on my next turn (if she hadn't, I think I would've made it over to the mining space on the East edge of the map for 12 points just in my active civ!). Another turn and Nadia's armies had pushed me out of the Balkan mines and I expanded eastward through an empty Turkey, aiming for the mining space in the Caucuses. But I decided against it and went into decline when my Spanish civ was knocked back to 1 space. It ended up being smart, because Phil came in with astronomy and ports and wiped my declined civ off the map completely. The Black Sea was his personal lake for a turn there.

I came back in with my last one, a ship-building agricultural civ, in the green Scandinavian space, conquering the adjacent two agricultural spaces and Denmark for 6 points. That brought me to 99 points. Everyone ganged up on me and wiped me off the board, but I retained 4 armies and came back in the same light green space and conquered Finland and its port for 4 more points and a final score of 103. Kenny and Roger made a valiant effort (especially Roger who was in a distant sixth the whole game but had two very strong civs at the end) but both fell short at 101. Roger's final civ was a Mountaineering/Agricultural one that predictably entered in the NE corner of the map and scored decent points and was unmolested, helped by a large declined civ in France & Italy - he scored 12 points per turn for the last 3 turns of the game. Kenny and I were the only two players to have our active civs wiped completely off the map.

One other highlight of the game was Roger's wandering nomad Agricultural Slavers, who never held more than 2 areas at once, but migrated across Europe taking hostages for 3 turns.

I've come to appreciate getting extra armies, especially in a 6-player game. I think the low-army, high-scoring civs are a bit of a trap with a crowded map. My best civs were those without significant bonus scoring (Mining as usual always excepted; it's easily the best attribute in the entire game) but that had lots of armies. Rebirth was something I never really considered very strong before, but I was able to snatch a great civ with it, and not lose a turn, which probably gained me 8 points. Not too bad, especially considering it is a 4 or 5 army attribute.

Three stone age peoples remained on the board the entire game, in forests as expected: Ireland, Germany (!), and on the Western shore of the Black Sea. Don't think I've ever seen 3 indigenous peoples survive to the end of the game in a 6-player game.
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