Ramping up my reviewing.
Happily playing games for many, many years.
Ora et Labora was the motto of one of the schools I went to in my childhood, so the title of this game actually gave me no trouble at all, as opposed to about everyone else I've introduced it to. Continuing on with a series of introducing games to Ian before the Wednesday night Magic tournament, O&L was the lucky contender for this week's game.
O&L has a certain rhythm to it, and despite Ian being new to the form (he's played Agricola but not Le Havre or Farmers of the Moor), he soon worked out the basics of the game: take the resources your opponent wants the turn before he does. Ian used this very successfully to deny me money and wood.
In fact, money was an ongoing problem for me this game. I was doing better than Ian for food (and often energy), but actually acquiring and keeping money were proving to be difficult for me. I did have some nice settlements being build, however.
As the game moved towards its conclusion, Ian having built a palace with his good funds, he abandoned the buildings to the construction of valuable relics. At this point, I knew I was in a lot of trouble: my strategy had been very unfocused and there were a good number of remaining buildings - none worth all that much. I rushed to complete as many as I could, but Ian easily had my advantage on almost every aspect of the game.
Ian: top; Merric: bottom
I thought I'd done a lot better for settlements than I had, so the final result was testament for how good Ian is at these games.
Ian: 250 (65 settlements, 118 buildings, 77 goods)
Merric: 219 (75 settlements, 92 buildings, 52 goods)
And then we played each other in the first round of the Magic tournament, and Ian beat me. Sigh. (Final result of the tournament: 14 players, Ian 1st, me 3rd).
And also you built the building in the top row, second from the left, wrong. It is not connected to the monastary...
So even with cheating you lost!
And if you take a look at Ians board: He has many spaces adjacent to settlements empty! If he had filled those, too (or arranged in another way from the beginning), he would have even more points!!
The board has 10 coins on it!