Dave Wilson
United States
Pleasanton
California
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OK, there were four of us left, now, and we looked for something that wasn't too long. Bohnanza came up as a possibility, but Jim really wanted to play Carcassonne, so we did.

The game started pretty tamely, as most everyone started their own cities. Jim was the first to try to take over a city, using his big meeple to work his way into Carrie's construction. She tried to defend by getting a second meeple in as well, but before that became necessary she found the tile to stop the connection, and kept Jim out. Meanwhile, Dave was trying to be more helpful, using a Cathedral tile to join his city with Jon's, so that their equal number of meeples would have them share. They closed the modest, 5-tile city and earned 15 points.

Dave pretty quickly found himself in a meeple-flow problem. He placed two or three farmers early on, which game him a pretty good position in the fields, but caused a shortage of meeples. Tile placement by the other players made a couple of Dave's structures (a cloister and two cities) difficult to close, which only pinned more of Dave's meeples. As a result, he focused on building lots of small-sized cities, in the hopes of taking advantage of his field presence and scoring bunches in the end game with his farmers.

Jim was out of Carrie's city, but it still hadn't closed, and Jon found his way into it. They tried to work together to close it, but it wasn't to be, as one end became really constrained by surrounding tiles, and the right tile to close it was never drawn. Jon, meanwhile, found a quiet end of the landscape where he happily built out cities all by himself, slowly building up a lead.

When the last tile was placed, Jon had a pretty good sized lead, with 75 points, compared to Jim's 67, Dave's 58, and Carrie's 38. But then we did the final scoring. Jim scored 25 points, as one of his cities had the second cathedral tile and never closed. Jon scored 33, mostly from that big incomplete city he shared with Carrie. Carrie also had a couple farmers which earned her some points, and she earned 47 points at the end. But Dave's plans (hopes?) fell into place. His farmers proved to be most numerous in the two primary fields, and with all the smaller cities (plus some incomplete cities and cloister) he picked up 66 points in the end game. That was enouth to vault him from 58 to 124 points, and from third place to the win!
 
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Tom Duensing
United States
Bartlett
Illinois
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As a family game, that's another thing great about this game--the come from behind win. More often than once, I've seen people way behind (myself included) come out and win at the end for the final scoring. I don't bother to estimate final point for the end game, so often you'll feel like your losing but end up doing okay.

This really is a great, fun game and deserves the acclaim it has been given.
 
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Michael Hammond
United States
Aurora
Illinois
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I love the way meeple-flow (great term) does a nicely elegant job of abstracting the idea of resource management. Instead of cities generating money of some sort, you just gamble your meeples on them, hoping they complete soon enough for you to reuse that investment.
 
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