Josh 5/5/7/7, Nadine 4/4/5/5, Batya 2/3/3/6, Jon 1/2/3/3
I was given leeway to pick a four player game that was strategic and fairly abstract. We don't get to play this much, so I hoped it would go over well with Batya, who had never played before.
This time I found myself on the losing end of a game that I had selected. And when I say losing, I mean losing. I had a grand total of two red cubes and one blue cube for a good portion of the game, and the blue cube was only gained when another player placed a tile in a kingdom that held my blue leader. My single point at the end was gained in the last round.
Everyone else started with a King/red tile except for me. I started by placing my red and green leaders into two kingdoms that already had two available double red spaces. I was feeling pretty clever about myself, but it turned out that I placed the wrong leaders in the wrong kingdoms. Josh had occupied the central space, while Nadine had started with the upper right and Batya on the upper left. My green went into Nadine's starting position and my red into Josh's.
Another problem was that I didn't have the right tiles to make any other color points, so I needed to start some internal conflicts to place my leaders into useful positions. I should never do that with only a three tile advantage; I always lose. The two times that I didn't lose - once by succeeding in the conflict, and once by dropping a disaster tile - I lost what I gained the very next turn through return conflicts.
Most of this nonsense was happening between Josh and myself, with Josh ending up the victor and raking in points as a result. In the meantime, Batya and Nadine were happily raking in their own points and spreading towards the center. Eventually the major conflict happened, which knocked my remaining leaders off the board and in which Josh ultimately triumphed.
The game ended with the last treasure being taken relatively quickly by Nadine.