Dist of Columbia
Elizabeth, Jenn, Archie, Brian
Two weeks after the Desert Princess Jenn took her Arabian forces and shoved them down the collective throats of West Asia she pulled a repeat... again with Arabia. This time she seemed to rely on quietly amassing stockpiles of resources for sudden strikes. We also allowed her to gather unstoppable end-game strength by getting nine templates going late in the game; typically buying three at a time!
I realized, too late, that you can't be ignorant of the resources others are hoarding. You must watch for more than just soldiers on your borders for potential threats. I thought that I had an easy cruise to two vp cards (temple and navigation), but due to the threat of Arabia I never had time to build my third temple and Archie's Phoenicians took out two of my galleys denying me the chance to build a seventh for the Navigation card. I thought I would hold off on building up defenses as long as possible, but given my lack of templates and time (that most precious of resources), I was never able to build up defenses strong enough to withstand two onslaughts of Arabian warriors. I also, foolishly left my temples too close to the frontlines. This frustrated my later attempts at retaliation on Arabia when I couldn't build and place enough front line soldiers fast enough to take her temples which were knock knock knockin' on Persia door.
Unfortunately, Queen Elizabeth (of Greece!) fared as poorly as me, mostly because she was the newbie and we had all played just two weeks prior. The downside to my attempts to get games repeated several times in a row. Archie's Phoenicians played spoiler, but was in a tight contest with Jenn for the win. However, he was unable to get a second Navigation card, shy by just one ship.
This game was interesting because it's easy to see that if you don't keep pace with the other players (especially in defense) you can end up, as I did, just holding off an inevitable win between two other players. This put me in a bit of a kingmaker position and left me wondering if I shouldn't just give up holding off one players victory (via the sacking of my temple) to just try and grab whatever vp cards I could for myself to save some dignity in the end-game.
Jenn (Arabia) - 3 Citizens, 2 Kings, 2 Scholars, 1 General, 1 Navigation
Archie (Phoenicia) - 1 Citizen, 2 Kings, 2 Scholars, 1 General, 1 Navigation
Elizabeth (Greece) - 3 Kings, 1 Scholar
Brian (Persia) - 2 Kings, 1 Scholar, 1 Navigation