We used the Left Coast Gamers method of choosing our next game: Every player selected one game and placed it on the table. Each person was given cards numbered 1 - 5. Everyone then placed a card face-down on each game according to their preference, with the '5' being the game they most wanted to play and the '1' being the game they least wished to play. Numbers were tallied to determine the game which received the most votes and that was the game to be played.
In our first balloting, El Grande scored the most votes. This was no problem for me as it is, after all, my favorite game. But, believe it or not, I didn't place my top vote for this one. I voted for Der Weisse Lotus, as I really want to give that game another try, especially with designer Martin Wallace's original rules.
Other than poor Lenny Leo, the rest of us were neck-and-neck throughout most of the game. The leader was a different player after each scoring round. In the end, it was Jerry, who surged into the game from 10 points back following round one to capture a narrow victory over Eric Alleman and I. Elizabeth was a bit further back, with Lenny not even in sight.
Round 1: Greg, Eric -1, Elizabeth -2, Jerry -10, Lenny -10
Round 2: Eric, Greg -4, Jerry -8, Elizabeth -14, Lenny -23
Round 3: Jerry, Greg -2, Eric -4, Elizabeth -14, Lenny -24
Ratings: Greg 10, Lenny 8, Elizabeth 8, Eric 8, Jerry 6
Jerry followed an interesting strategy, concentrating on maintaining his majority in his 'home' province and dumping nearly all of his remaining caballeros into the castle. He did place a few others on the board, but the vast majority of them went into the castle. The strategy obviously worked as he came from far behind to capture the win.