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Subject: Did we play correctly? rss

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Sean Ahern
United States
Spokane
Washington
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All right, I bought and played Reef Encounter today. I enjoyed it and so did my wife and brother so all is good. However, whenever I play a game on the heavier side I wonder if I missed anything. So, when I saw that many people get scores in the 30s while we scored 16-16-18, I figured I'd share how we played and you can point out any mistakes we made.

First of all, the game ended pretty quickly when my wife's fish ate her fourth shrimp. Her strategy was to get the minimum five polyps, protect them in a cross with the shrimp in the middle, then eat them. She put a few alga down to secure some points, but the game ended with only five alga set. So, when my brother and I took our final turns, we messed with the coral tiles quite a bit and she lost a lot of points that way. My wife had a good number of tiles, but a lot of them were worth one point. My brother ended up with 18 points and the win.

Obviously, my wife made a strategic mistake by ending the game without locking down at least a few coral tiles with her high volume polyp tiles. But does our result seem reasonable? I think I'm going to set up a Spielbyweb game to see if we played anything wrong. In the meantime, let me know if anything stands out in my slightly lacking in detail session report.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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Oh yes, you played correctly. Your wife used the blitz strategy: grow the corals as fast as you can before anyone else manages to grow and eat something worthwhile. You also countered it in the right way by locking down coral strength tiles.

There's one 'but', though: you were not allowed to change the strengths after your wife's parrotfish devoured her last coral. You can only consume one coral yourselves, and that's it.

You will soon discover that growing near the edge of the boards is far more likely to produce big corals than in the middle near the starfish; you will also discover that growing such a large coral brings in far more points than someone using the blitz strategy can manage---they have just a single polyp tile in various colours.
 
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Sean Ahern
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cymric wrote:

There's one 'but', though: you were not allowed to change the strengths after your wife's parrotfish devoured her last coral. You can only consume one coral yourselves, and that's it.


Thanks, Maarten, that's a pretty big 'but'. I'm pretty sure my wife would have won if we hadn't messed with the coral tiles on our last turn.
 
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