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Subject: 3 Players - 2 First-Timers - Runaway Ice Cap! rss

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Jonathan Takagi
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Keith taught Tim and I Lost Valley, an exploration game set during the gold rush era. Lost Valley has a modular board which can be a little confusing, consisting of diamonds and triangles. The diamonds can provide you with opportunities to cut down timber, to hunt, to fish or to mine. There are also special events that are mainly contained on the triangular cards that will provide the discoverers with extra assistance.

Lost Valley is a great example of a game that provides so many options that it’s almost overwhelming at first. There are so many actions you can take every turn that there would never be the time to do everything you want to do. This is complicated by the fact that you must continually move around the board to get food or other raw materials or to buy items at the trading post.

Tim made great use of a canoe, enabling him to cruise down the river at great speed. Tim was also the only one to build canals, as he mainly concentrating on mining river gold, which is easier to mine, but not as valuable. Keith bought a cart, allowing him to transport more materials, giving him the flexibility to move less and still accomplish a lot. I bought a horse, giving me more movement, which I mainly used to explore the region.

This exploration greatly influenced the game, as we prematurely ran out of land tiles, bringing on the ice cap which floated down the river and ended the game much more quickly than I expected, due to a lot of high rolls. I don't even think we had used half of the river cards, which I'm assuming is unusual.

Keith did a great job poaching my first mine, and successfully budgeted his money to bring him to victory. He had mined less than Tim, but the increased value of his mined gold over Tim’s river gold handed Keith the victory, only one gold nugget ahead of Tim. I trailed significantly.

I would definitely like to try this game again. It’s hard to formulate any kind of strategy at first, but by the end it is evident that it is absolutely necessary to have long range plans in order to budget your movement and actions most efficiently.
 
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