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Session Report for April 3, 2000 (by Dave Bernazzani)
Roll Call: Eddie, Carol, Jenn, Dave, Pete, Mark
Session Length: 3+ hours
Session Details: Another Monday night session saw a full complement of players once again. The bookstore we play at has a game night on Mondays and so they don't seem to mind us invading for a few hours ;) At least we tend to buy a soft drink and/or deserts which probably makes them happy! Pete showed up a bit late, but Jenn had to leave after the first game so we actually had 5 players for each of the games - with Jenn and Pete swapping after Medici was finished. We were also happy to have Mark down for his second SSG session - I guess we didn't treat him too badly on our first get together!
Medici Session Details: I've been hunting down a copy of Medici for several months now. I have been trying to get a hold of the original Amigo (German) version as I've been told that it has better artwork and color scheme than the Rio Grande version (a real shame as I really love all the other Rio Grande titles which usually match the German editions exactly and are had at such reasonable prices). I finally snagged a used copy for $18 which seemed to be a good deal! It's a bidding/auction game which I have really enjoyed recently. Modern Art and Ra (both by the same author - Reiner Knizia) have been favorites of mine in past game sessions so I figured this would go over well also. And it somewhat did - although I feel that it is not as clever or as fun as the other two games mentioned.
The game is about bidding for and collecting sets of warehouse goods. Each person's warehouse can only hold 5 goods so you must pick and choose - try to buy good value products at low prices. Each of the goods is represented by a card which is valued from 0 to 5 and is one of five different colors (representing different warehouse good types such as Metal, Porcelain, Spices, Dyes). You gain points by capturing the highest value goods (with less points given to 2nd place, 3rd place, etc). And you also gain bonuses by capturing the majority of the different types of goods. Easy enough - but there is lots of competition for the high value cards - and some players will try to out bid one another while others sit back and wait for a better opportunity. Mark and Jenn seemed to bid the lowest - often passing and waiting until there were just the two of them left and they could bid against eachother. Carol, Eddie and and I bid high and often and would typically fill our warehouses quickly. It was difficult to see what strategy was best on a single playing - Carol bought lots of goods and ended up the winner while Mark hardly paid anything for his goods (when you are the last to fill your warehouse - you get the remaining goods free and he often took these freebies) and he managed a respectable 2nd place. I liked the game and I am not disappointed, but it lacked the heavy interaction of Modern Art or the maddening but fun auction scheme used in Ra. I'd like to try it again soon to get another attempt to see the strategies at work.
Final Scores: Carol=117, Mark=92, Ed=73, Jenn=68, Dave=62
Ratings(1-10): Carol=8, Mark=8, Ed=8, Jenn=7, Dave=6
Comments: I did enjoy it - only I did not like the part where one or more players can be sitting idle if they bid and fill their warehouses too early - sometimes I felt like I was watching for 10 minutes at a time. Then again, I lost so perhaps this was not the best strategy to begin with!?!