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Subject: Nathan Hill's Report rss

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Kevin McPartland
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Jessup
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Nathan Hill gave me permission to post this after-action report here:

Almost Too Close to Call

 - a report of a game of Conquest of Paradise by Nathan Hill

The game started with four of us: two veterans of the game, myself and Kari, and two eager-to-learn gamers, Carrick and Allen.   Kevin himself went over the current rules with us (a few mechanics had been stream-lined since I last played it at WBC 2005.)

The game started normally, Carrick being Tonga, I being Raiatea, Allen being Hiva, and Kari being Samoa. Exploration was as is usual: fast, furious, and jammed full of ocean. Then, as a few islands were discovered, tension rose, particularly between Raiatea (me) and Hiva (Allen) not only because of the obvious, but also because our two islands had a wealth of land between and south us and (surprise) we both wanted it. Samoa was keeping low to the ground in an effort to colonize the islands in her area of the Pacific, and to see if the two battling nations of Raiatea and Hiva declared primitive thermonuclear war and annihilated each other.  Tonga was continuously dissapointed by discovering a plethora of useless islands, and cast its eyes hungrily toward the archipelago around and between Raiatea and Hiva, particularly the big finds of Hawaii, Aotearoa, and Rapa Nui. Samoa dropped out of the game on account of being needed elsewhere in the real world. Then came my highlight: my empire had comsumed seven islands, including Aotearoa and Rapa Nui. Tonga leaped out, grabbed some islands in the archipelago, and stretched its arm far to clasp it around Hawaiki, about 2,000 miles beyond Samoa. So, with Tonga grabbing valuable islands, Hiva jostling Raiatea, and Raiatea colonizing a plethora of valuable, rich islands, international tension was (get ready for a bulletin here) mounting. The balloon of built-up pressure was punctured by the needle of war canoes in

The Invasion of Rapa Nui

- the only conflict Polynesia ever saw

Hiva came with his War Canoes and his Warrior Bands, preparing to crush the inhabitants of Rapa Nui, who were not going to take this sitting down! The Raiateans, who occupied Rapa Nui, painted on their tattoos (a very useful battle card) and sent their one Local Warrior (for two villages) and Warrior Band off to battle. Immediately, one attacking war canoe panicked and the tattoos panicked the other one as well. Losing their boats seemed to stiffen the spines of the warriors who chased the defenders right off the island.

Then, in a stroke of luck that had to come from the Gamers Gods themselves, on the last turn (the 9th) Hiva drew a card and it was: RongoRongo, earn two victory points if you happen to control Rapa Nui. Well, the victory points were tallied, victory point cards were flipped over, and then Hiva came out at 24, the exact number of VPs needed to win in a three-player game. Tonga came out second with ....almost too close to call here....

23 and a half points! The groans of defeat echoed across the room, just as the victory whoops bounded off the walls. Raiatea stared at the victory track, and silently plotted revenge in the next game of Conquest of Paradise.
 
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