A fan of new Knizia games
The Was Sticht match was still going strong so we went for a quick 30 minute game to try and finish up at the same time to allow some mixing and matching of players. Donna requested "Camels" - I nearly bought Targui down but I suspected she meant "Sausage"!
Julian was declaring Janet the winner before we even began! Granted, Janet does enjoy this game, but I'm not sure where this aura of invincibility started. I decided to watch her like a hawk!
I followed my usual strategy - deploy four camels equidistant between two oases, and the fifth off in some secluded corner of the board for some area points should the opportunity arise. After grabbing early oasis points I'll look for which camel trains I want to try for longest with.
It all went beautifully to plan - there's a first! - Janet and I were claming five point oasis tiles by the handful while Donna was walling off a huge area with her green caravan. Julian was claiming waterhole points in the center of the board and appeared to be in a fight for longest yellow (lemon sherbert to purists) with Janet. I had longest pink with five camels, so I decided to watch and protect that caravan while using my lone purple to wall off an area and perhaps threaten Julian's longest purple.
I still don't believe it, but it worked. I secured a 9 point area with that purple caravan, took the longest purple off Julian and nobody noticed my longest pink (all of five camels) until Janet decided to end the game. It was definitely the correct move as she was in a strong position herself and it was a toss-up as to who was going to win out of the two of us.
Donna had made an error, in walling off an enormous area with her green caravan she thought she was earning area points. However, her pink camel was inside this area, therefore she wasn't going to earn these points. Had she earned these points, she may well have won as there were around 30 hexes at stake here.
Julian remarked half way through the game that he thought this was the best of the 'trilogy'. I'm inclined to agree - no hidden holdings, random draw problems, etc - just a simple, elegant and marvellous game.
Doug's rating: 9, pushing 10