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Subject: Teaching Pueblo to my local gaming group rss

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Sean Brown
United States
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Finally got a chance to break out Pueblo, after enjoying it so much at BGG con that I bought the only copy Twilight Games had at the con. I had played this and Rumis at the con, and found Pueblo much more to my liking than Rumis. Ironically we played Rumis twice last week, since I bought Joseph a copy for Christmas, but not Pueblo until tonight.

Marc had to leave before we broke out Pueblo, so it was just Tony, Matt, and I. Neither had played the game before, but Tony grasped the rules quickly, but in browsing through them, forgot to mention to everyone the 3 side touching rule (which I had forgotten). This influenced the final score, but ironically I think it led to a much tighter game than previous times I had played. Matt went first, since he was the youngest. He and I got some early shame from the Shaman, but nothing too embarassing, and soon he came around the other side of the Pueblo to see that Tony was indeed the worst of the bunch, and shamed him many times before he could cover up his mistake. Fortunately for him, he didn't get completed slammed, and was able to recover while the shaman came around to find Matt and I still too lazy to paint the Pueblo a pleasing neutral color, and we caught up and passed Tony. Around this time, both Matt and Tony were considering going higher on the pueblo, instead of staying low and taking a few browbeats from the shaman. Since I wanted them to play again, I politely suggested that would be a poor strategy, and convinced them to stay low where possible. I should have kept my mouth shut, since that meant they took the places I wanted to build in . I took my chances with being low, but on the edge of the pueblo, instead of going high as they were starting to do, hoping that I would sneak out the win on the final inspection. As mentioned earlier, we failed to ensure that all pieces touched on 3 sides (we DID make sure there were no holes or overhanging pieces though), so Matt played a couple of pieces that only touched on 2 sides, and accelerated Tony and I's susceptibility to the harsh gaze of that most stern of taskmasters, the shaman. Upon his final inspection, he found my performance the most shameful, if only because I had left one more square green than Tony had left blue. Matt was deemed the chosen one, as he managed to keep his demerits down to 40, beating us by 5-6 each.

I enjoyed this game again, despite our minor misplay, and was very pleased that Tony and Matt were immediately interested in playing the pro variant that I am itching to try. Hopefully we can do so in one of the next few sessions. Everyone had a good time, even Tony, who has a hard time thinking in 3D. I still think you are wisest to get rid of your colored blocks as early as possible, even if you have to take a corner position to stay low. Tony felt going last left him at a slight disadvantage, which would be true if everyone had followed my strategy in eliminating colored pieces first in each cube. But they didn't follow that strategy, so he fared well despite going last, and I think if he had gone with a different placement strategy, could have won easily. I don't think I've seen anyone try (successfully, at least) to play where your opponent has no choice but to block your shame to get their own pieces in better position. I'll try to do so aggressively next time I'm last to act, and see if it has a positive effect on my final standing. Sadly, I had to leave for the night, or we could have played again I'm sure.
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