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Subject: two games on Friday rss

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Alan Kwan
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
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In the afternoon, Louis came to the shop, and we played Vegas Showdown.

Game 1
Players: Alan (me), Kaoru (my wife), Louis

I am in the process of writing my strategy article, and it was a good chance to test out my theories. I started the game with a Slots, and got a Fancy Slots for $12 the next turn. Then I got a Restaurant, in preperation for a Fancy Restaurant. I proceeded to get more Fancy Restaurants (for their great printed values) and other things.

I was so busy getting "good" stuff, that I didn't get a Lounge until very late in the game. I kept growing my high income all the time, with balanced Revenue vs. Population. Contrary to (or rather, being an exception to) what I wrote in my strategy article, I did get a second Restaurant that game. It was one of those unusual circumstances when I had more Revenue than Population: the large tiles were coming out slowly in that game, and the other players got the Buffets, so I didn't get any. And because I started my Hotel with a Restaurant, I've got a long wall in the center and needed the second Restaurant to help my layout.

In the end, I ended the game by filling my board. I had both the Dragon Room and the Five-Star Restuarant, plus a bunch of Fancy tiles, and scored 10 points for highest Revenue and Population, and 10 more points for red corners, and walked away with a large margin.

In the evening, we played again with some other players.

Game 2
Players: Alan, Kaoru, Alex, William

Alex taught William the rules, while I was setting up and Kaoru was feeling the vitality of our yet-to-be-born son.

Kaoru naively opened with $5 on Slots, and I promptly outbid her for $9, which held. I later got a Lounge in preperation for some Fancy Lounges on the radar. I grew to 9 income, but William, trying to apply the Petersburg philosophy, bought a whole bunch of cheap, no Fame tiles to boost his income to an alarming level. He got to around 20 income when everyone else was at about 12.

In an early turn, the Ad Campaign event came up, and I was the only one who had both the cash and the ambition to buy a big campaign for 5 Fame. Soon, I also got a Night Club for cheap, when the other players could not resist buying some tiles on the turn before.

I won the Dragon Room, but my Population was still at 9. Naturally I was aiming to get a Restaurant, but Builder Strikes, Taxes, the competition, and distractions kept me from one until much later. So I had low income the whole game, after a big initial lead in Fame (with the Ad Campaign and Night Club).

Perhaps everyone was too aware of the power of the red corners; in this game everyone was bidding high on the red-cornered tiles, and I (with my low income soblue ) could not get as many as I wanted. The red-cornered tiles were spread thin, and in the end, no one could get more than 4 Fame from red corners.

With my low income, I was taking Publicity a lot (often because I was outbid), and being careful to save my money for getting only what was really useful. While William, with his mega earnings, was trying to buy Fame. I made the mistake of buying a Slots which never increased my income. (I hoped that it could help fill my Casino, but I never completed it either.)

William ended the game by filling his board, while mine was still about one-third empty. He won both top rankings for 10 Fame, while I was bottem at both for 0. But my Fame lead was big enough to allow me to win by a margin of 6 or 8 Fame. Alex was playing a sound game, and he tied in Fame with William, and their final cash differed by $1.

This was a really interesting game, with two very different strategies at odds with each other: William's all-out for income, and my grabbing early opportunities for Fame (and low income because I couldn't get a Restaurant); meanwhile, Alex was playing a balanced strategy.

These two games were interesting because I won with contrasting, unbalanced strategies. In the first game, I won with high income and a filled board, a late Lounge and without a Night Club or Theater. In the second game, I won with low income and lots of Publicity, a late Restaurant, and a Night Club. I am reaffirmed that Vegas Showdown is a well-balanced game which plays differently each time. The winner needs to be flexible in his strategy, and keenly assess the available tiles for the best bargains.

Many thanks to Kaoru for playing with us.
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