We played a 4-player game of Kingsburg with the governor cards:
Yellow chose Noble (6VP) because it was a nice, simple card. The 6-point advantage kept her in the lead all the way until spring of year 5. She played a balanced strategy and did quite well despite a string of very low rolls to start the game.
Green chose General (+1 in battle). Ironically, he didn’t pursue a biggest military strategy and instead went for the Embassy strategy. The General was helpful in that he could rush to the Embassy a little faster rather than build up some early military. Still, he never received the biggest victory bonus VP, even with the +1 military advantage.
Blue chose Carpenter (get 1 wood every year, wood can be used as gold) for its versatility. She played a balanced strategy and pushed for a big military both early and late in the game. She won the biggest victory VP once, in the year she built the Wizard’s Guild. The extra wood, coupled with its versatility as a gold substitute, allowed her to build every turn. This gave her the bonus VP for most buildings every year.
Red (me) chose Philosopher (re-roll if 10 or less, get a VP if the re-roll is lower). I had never used him before and it seemed interesting. In 4 and 5-player games, I typically go for the farm strategy for the ability to pick my spots on a very crowded board. That strategy pretty much killed the usefulness of the Philosopher, who wouldn’t be seeing too many re-rolls if I had the white die in play every season. Instead, I decided to go with the biggest military strategy. In hindsight, I don’t know why I chose this path. I was competing with 3 others for the biggest victory bonus VP, one of whom had the General. I should have gone for the Embassy. I still managed to get biggest victory in 4 out of 5 years, plus a few points off philosopher re-rolls.
My most crucial, and heart-breaking, turn was the autumn of year 5. I was 2 resources short of building the cathedral and grabbing a huge 9 points. Better yet, I rolled a 12. Yes! I could get any 2 resources I wanted from the Duchess! And then my heart broke as I looked at the other player’s rolls. Green and yellow also rolled 12’s, and they got to take their turns before me due to prior turn order. For a moment, I thought I was in the clear. Green opted not to place on the 12. And then my hopes were dashed a few seconds later as Yellow took the 12-spot. I looked at what my remaining options were and realized there was no way I could get both a gold and a stone this turn. The cathedral would not be built. To make matters worse, I also realized the combination of the resources I had, the available spots on the board, and what I could build did not match up at all. I had a pile of gold and stone, 2 dice in hand, and nothing I could possibly build other than the 0-point Inn. My best move was to just collect as many resources as possible, convert one of them to a VP with the Market, and spend a couple on mercenaries to get the biggest victory VP.
The other issue working against me was the ease of winning the winter battles. With my biggest military strategy, I wasn’t concerned with how I would fare. Instead, I was hoping for some high-level enemies coupled with some low rolls, so that the bad guys would really stick it to my opponents. Sadly, that never happened. Every winter produced either a low-level enemy or a tremendous amount of help from the king. The worst anyone fared was a tie. I needed some losses to stay competitive, and it didn’t break that way.
Blue - 57
Yellow - 53
Green - 47
Red - 43