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Subject: 4 Player rss

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J Castellucci
United States
San Rafael
California
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Our group is recovering CCGers, and has sort of drifted apart some. Tim introduced us to a few "eurogames" and that sparked our interest. I made a huge online order and had 20lbs of games arrive via FedEx Saturday afternoon (based on reviews and ratings here on BGG), just in time to read the rules and familiarize myself with the games in time for the four of us -- Tim, Quyen, Denise and John (me) -- to have a huge slug out on Superbowl Sunday. We wound up playing Alhambra, Ra, Ticket to Ride: Europe, Tigris & Euphrates, Elasund, Runebound and Titan: The Arena (individual reports submitted for each game).

7. Titan: The Arena (the Avalon Hill version)

To end the night, we dusted off the Titan: The Arena for a final 15 min creature death match. We hadn't played in a few years, but this isn't the type of game you get rusty at.

We all started off placing 4 bets to control a Monster, quickly followed up by secret bets. I made a power play with the Hydra and The Warlock was the first eliminated, quickly followed by the Troll in the 2nd round -- I don't know about you're experiences, but for whatever reason the Troll is always ganged up on early in the game. Tim made a feignt at the Troll by backing it in the second round, but got no love from the other players.

By the third round, I had stolen enough cards with the Titan (I had also placed a round 1 bet on it as well as the Hydra) to aggravate everyone, and with a group effort, the Titan was taken down. All 4 of us had made secret bets, and I revealed mine on the Ranger to draw a few extra cards, as this was the 4th round and I wanted to set my hand up for the final round (when the deck usually runs out).

Tim made a play to take out the Hydra by playing a low card on it to which I quickly responded with a high card, but as Quyen had wrestled control away from me earlier, I couldn't make a second play. Tim returned fire by playing on his Dragon, removing the card I had played on the Hydra, once again putting it in jeopardy. Quyen sweet talks Denise into saving the Hydra, then does a quick double cross by taking out the Ranger to end the round, leaving every one of us steamed at him (everyone but Quyen had bet on the Ranger).

The final round went 1-2-3-4 with the Dragon barely putting up a fight before being put down. Looking at the board, Tim and I had been pretty much taken out of the contention, with Quyen in first, and Denise in second place counting the visible bets.

But there were still the secret bets! Tim and Quyen had gone for the creature gambit -- being both the secret bettor and the first round backer of the Dragon and Warlock respectively, who had both been eliminated. I had backed the Ranger who had also fallen, but Denise had wisely bet on the Unicorn, giving her 5 more points, and victory.

 
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Denise Castellucci
United States
San Rafael
California
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This is a silly, but fun game. I tried to spread out my visible bets as much as possible and detract attention away from my secret bet, since I only had low unicorn cards. Sure, I lost the ranger, but I still had some bets on the board and my unicorn was still safe. Getting people all worked up over monsters other than your secret bet, helps your secret monster live for another round.

This is a great end of the night game, because it is fast and doesn't require too much thought.

I have noticed something about my own gameplay across games. I tend to come up with a personal objective at the beginning of each game and stick with it to the end making only slight adjustments if any.

I have to say that I am having a lot of fun with these games.
 
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