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Subject: first game 4 players rss

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Evertjan van de Kaa
Netherlands
den haag
zuid holland
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Manifest destiny

This game i played recently at the end of the year gaming day of spelgroep phoenix in the Netherlands. We started at about 12:30 on the wensday. There were four people playing Johannes, Bram, Mike and Evertjan. It was the first time for all of us. I (evertjan) had prepared the game by studying the rules. I explaned them and then we started. As i had not yet put the stickers on the blocks it was a bit dificult to tell what was what, especialy when near the end of the game the tourists and the technology appeared. Another problem was that areas were not color coded to indicate the goods they produce (as is in age of rennaissance) in AoR this color coding (and the pictures on the cards) made the goods track almost completely useless. In Manifest destiny (MD) It would be a usefull addition.

At the start of the game the order of play was: evertjan (0), Bram(0), Mike(10) and johannes (5). Mike thus went first and having the card that pays out tobaco chose virginnia. Johannes next chose texas. As i had louisiana purchause (actualy manifest destiny as my game had two LP cards and no MD card) I was not sure what to chose but knowing that gold should be payed out i mistakenly chose mexico. Bram thus chose pensilvania?. I cannot make a precice account of the game as i dont remember everything that happened but wil give an approximation.

at the start of the game we expanded according to what i assume are the logical lines. some people went for westward ho. I personaly went for a lot of tokens in order to expand a lot. This did however mean that westward ho was beyond my reach as i wanted to make sure that i had telegraph. This did cause some problems for me later in the game. one of the problems i had during the game was the loss of profit due to the not having of certain progressions. This is something to check out as it is very frustrating to see other players pass the 100 profit and having 15-20 tokens left while youself only have 4 left and are at 50 profit. Interestingly it did not give that player (bram) an unsurmountable advantage.
Some cards where also interesting to see them being played. Especialy blockbusters and war were interesting to see. Also the one about the North vs South war. During the game, progressions in the transporation part where bought till steamengines. I was the only one to get steam engines. As i also played mexica (and had a city on both coasts) it gave me quite some expansion room.

Near the end of the game i was holding two cards that payed out technology. As i was the only one with airplanes i had the foreign markets with a city. I decided to let one of them pay out in the hopes of playing the other card the next round. However there were only three cards left. I could buy some progressions but ended last on that turn (with bram taking the lead and mike being a good second. It became very exciting that round as mike had to make the decicion to continue or not. as he had a destiny card for oil and a good chance at a breakthrough he decided to continue. This proved a not so wise desision (though he could not have known that) that profitted evertjan the most.
The last round evertjan conquered two teritory's cornering the tobako market and gaining a technology. Bram went for the cloth and got one or two. Mike (who by this time had left) had said that his moves were logical so we assumed that (having an oil payout) he would try to conquering those areas. As there were three areas available two with city's and one without we decided that he would go for a city area. mine was the best but i did not think it succeded. he did gain one oil area though. Then on to the last card play fase. Bram went first and played some nasty cards, one making all goods in surpluss and the other cards (mccartism? removing three foreign markets. As i was the only one with foreign markets (namely two (tech) markets) he chose those. this cost me about 100 coin and as later appeared the last progression. As bram also played a destiny card mike could not play his. textiles was also played. Finaly i could play my tobako and technology. as i could also let other people lose money i chose to do that instead. at the end however because the other players did hot have much money i managed to get one point more than bram by buying three progressions (only missing computers).

Observations:
It is not nessesairely to go for technology. I only had two pioneers, takling a level one breakthrough (second destiny card) and the level two breakthrough that a leader gave two counters for. It was interesting to see the other players building them and even have 4 of them.
I also noticed that as the game progresses and especially near the end the amount of tokens are a real loss. I mean that at a certain moment i only had about 4 controll tokens left. This is a big problem. Another thing to remember are those cards There are some real nice and nasty cards in the deck. finaly make sure that you don't lose to much profit as this can be a real problem. if this does appear to hapen try to lose that many that you go far below 20 and then build up or get safety net.

Evertjan van de Kaa
 
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