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Subject: Caylus with newbies (or how I got my butt kicked) rss

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April Bolin Stoner
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Wednesday, February 8, 2006:

During our regular Wednesday night gaming session, we had six people and three games that played five players. We split into two groups, with one group playing Hacienda (another great story, if someone who played it posts a session report – it ended with the hostess threatening never to invite the guy teaching back to her house!). My group played Caylus.

Including this playing, I have now played Caylus four or five times, and with the exception of when I was teaching four new people how to play at Brogfest, I haven’t even come close to winning. My fellow players this time out were Skip, the host, and Will. Neither had played before, but both are experienced gamers and pick up things very quickly. Will had also been around twice when the game was played previously.

We knew it was going to be a long evening when we were still wandering through rules while the other group was almost halfway finished (and already threatening violence). I started out with some optimism that I might be able to win this one. Even with Skip and Will both being new, I knew it would be tough to win. Both of them work well together and have teamed up to screw me over in previous games (most memorably Sucking Vacuum).

The game started slowly, not surprising for Caylus with new players. There wasn’t a whole lot of blatant backstabbing, but we were all vying for the same things (money, building the castle, resources) and frequently one or the other of us was placing a worker somewhere just in time to spoil good plans. I came out strong, building two wooden buildings before Skip or Will built anything, but they figured that out quickly enough. I didn’t get another building on the road until after the gold mine! Will managed to get two of the three stone resource producing buildings very early and that got him positioned well for end game. Skip seemed to be struggling to keep up with us, but he was following my lead in the favor tracks, moving up both the building and point tracks and even picking up a little money. Everyone succeeded in building in the castle for the first two scoring rounds and we were all neck and neck as we moved into the third phase.

By this point, we’d been at it for over two hours and the brain had disengaged. I pretty much blew my chance to win when I apparently spent a stone instead of a cloth to pick up 6 Dinar. I had been carefully planning each move, and that stone was one of the five I needed to build the 25 pointer. I had my worker on the favor building, planning to cut Will off at the pass and use the building track to get ahead of him after he placed his worker on the first architect. Much to my dismay, when I prepared to build, one of my five stones was missing. I accused the dog of eating it, made Ivy (the hostess) pull out the flashlight and look under her couch (which was clean – no dust, no hair, no nothing, right, Ivy?), tried to blame everyone but me for that missing stone. Sigh. No one bought it, and I didn’t get to buy my 25 pointer. Instead I took the 14 pointer with two favors, but it still hurt. Will had two workers on the architect and built the 25 pointer and the 12 pointer. At this point, he had a commanding lead, and on the next round, desperate to cut me off, he moved the provost up two to end the game. Sadly for both of us, we’d been so busy fighting each other, we hadn’t notice the nice pile o’ gold and resources Skip had built up. He placed one guy on the architect (sadly this was at my suggestion), and used the favor track to get another one. His two blue buildings and the final game scoring, coupled with the fact that Will and I had both ignored the castle building while Skip had built four towers, gave Skip a very commanding victory. Will and I were simply left wondering what happened. Perhaps next time, we’ll pay more attention to the other guy!
 
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Frank Teplin
United States
La Mesa
California
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mb
Hi. Great session report! I'm eagerly awaiting my copy in the mail. A quick question:

aprilbolin wrote:
Will had two workers on the architect and built the 25 pointer and the 12 pointer.


What happened here? I thought you could only have one worker on a building? Do you mean he had one worker on each architect? Then how did you build your blue building that turn - with a favor?

Thanks!
 
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April Bolin Stoner
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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That is correct. He zapped up both architects and I used a favor.

April
 
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Frank Teplin
United States
La Mesa
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Gotcha! Thanks for clearing that up.
 
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Gary Bradley
United Kingdom
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Scotland
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I was wondering that too, especially since in all my games of Caylus, I have never once seen the 2 Architects built.
 
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