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Subject: Caylus after a half dozen plays rss

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Phyll
Australia
Sydney
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It was a beautiful summer evening as Dan and I gathered at Rog and Li’s place in one of Sydney’s leafy suburbs. A perfect night for palace construction under the reign of King Philip the Fair. What a guy.

Jeff couldn’t make it as he’s still stuck in the dank and dark in some kind of quagmire near Reading (UK). He’s very jealous. He gets an honourable mention as it was he who picked up Caylus for me at Essen. But I’m sure if I let him know how much fun we’re having it’ll make him feel better . Pete pulled out at the last minute. Chicken.

Rog arrived late half tanked after a work cocktail party (which featured Australian icons Kath and Kim!kiss ) so his wife Li kept us busy with some tasty tasty tasty pizzas. By the time Rog turned up we were piqued for play and the smell of the 4th Margarita on Rog’s breath told us he was well primed. Knowing glances, winks and nudges. We knew he would be easy pickings. All Dan and I would have to do is cause a little inter-marital disharmony and Rog and Li would turn on each other like feral cats (pull Li aside “Gee Li, Roger really must not respect you to turn up so late when you’ve got guests arriving and leaving you to do all the work”, meanwhile Dan’s working the Rog angle “Man, Li was complaining about how you’re always late and always drinking and never do anything”. Hehehe.) devil

Out flops the board. Little shivers of pleasure which I do well to hide. I’ve already admitted that I don’t actually mind watching the figure skating and I think the manly ruggedness which I've been trying so hard to foster has been knocked down a couple of rungs. All those lovely little wooden pieces. Cylindrical bits. Trapezoidal bits. Squat bits. Nice. The chunky-yet-tasteful-and-so-aesthetically-pleasing-even -though-I-can-never-find-the-English-name-on-them classy cardboard tiles. And those tiddlywinks.

Only about a half dozen plays or so now up our sleeves so we’re still new but starting to get an appreciation of the different tactics, the endless ways of scoring and options available for different strategies mid-game as your best laid plans come tumbling down. It looks like we’re in that stage now that as we’re moving away from oh-just-make-a-move-any-move-cause-we-haven’t -quite-sussed-it-out-yet mentality as we’re starting to grasp the different possibilities, analysis paralysis is starting to become a bit of an issue and there was more tapping of the wooden pieces, wandering off to the watch the Winter Olympics (but they can be so elegant!), sighs and snoring than on prior occasions. The game took a touch under 3 hrs, which is longer than previous times we’ve played (as we are all becoming more cunning) and I reckon once we’ve played a few more times we should start getting the time down again. I think we should be able to balance it out to around 2.25 – 2.5hrs.

I’d never intended to write a session report of the night’s events so do forgive me as scoring details may be a bit dodgy and there may not be too much focus on what the others were up to. It’s all about me, me, me. (Note to self: must actually watch what other players are up to. Might help.)

I’d had previous success in Caylus with working the PP track and just trying to get as many favours as possible either through Castle sections or the Jousting Field and not worrying too much about building.

But this time, for me it was time for a change of tack and I was determined to get me a nice big phat prestige building no matter what cost so the whole time I was focused on this end game ‘cause dagnabbit I’ve still never had one and they’re so so very pretty and King Phil the Vain loves it when his builders put up those buildings to reflect his glory.

A couple of mistakes with the rules detected thanks to a little BGG’ing. All ironed out now and this time no more errors (most notably the multiple favours per phase must go on different tracks rule).

Game starts. I’m first cab off the rank, pick up a stone and whip into the castle for a snappy 5PP and a favour on the building track. How can I possibly lose from here? (Note to self: don’t HAVE to race into the castle to make King Phil happy just ‘cause I can.)

Not too much happening in the Dungeon phase. Everyone’s taking it fairly slow trying play it a little safe as screwage was the flavour of the day with workers placed further up the path routinely getting shafted. Everyone ganging up on everyone else with the provost being sent all the way back to the bridge. Money is scarce.

Manage to get another batch in the castle and a second favour last turn before scoring and I advance up the 4th track and I’ve planned it right and hoarded it right and manage to build me a quarry. Things going to plan and how can I lose from here?

Come scoring and I can’t decide where to go apart from the Building track so give it a what-the-heck-let-come-what-may I’ll try and get some money and see if I can’t work that somehow. As is to be expected, things pretty close score-wise. Me just in front on about 12, Li sniffing just behind on around 10 and Rog and Dan a few behind that.

Wall section and we realise they don’t call him Dan Dan the Wall Man for nought! Everyone built a coupla things and of course the mass screwage continued. Kept on stuffing up (“Oh so I need a cloth in the Jousting Field and I need one for the lawyer too ‘cause I’ve still gotta pay the cloth just not the denir when I take my favour well no worries mate 'cause I’ve got 2 coming in but damn that means it’ll have to wait til next turn so this turn I’ll stockpile and maybe position myself for next turn…..” etc), as did everyone, but of course it’s always my mistakes are by far the worst and really, it is I who deserves to win and damnit I want to hang on to these resources and need to if I’m gonna activate Masterplan 1.01 but I really do have to get into the castle as the scoring of the wall is about to happen so no worries it’ll just send my plans back by one turn so this turn I’ll just do that and maybe position myself for next turn and damnit now I’ve gotta spend money just to get me back up the turn order so that I can go into pre-resolution phase of Masterplan 1.01! Aaaaargh! I’m still not even at pre-resolution phase! And I’m at the least two turns away from plan activation! Eeek!

Rog and I kept on using Dan’s Cloth production building (this building was the 2nd building built and I think it was used every turn throughout the rest of the game) much to Dan Dan the Wall Man’s delight and prestige. Dan kept working that PP track with a smattering of money.

The end of the Wall section and Dan was in the clear. I was left for dust and was stagnating around the high 20’s or so, Rog around high 30’s, Li around the low 40’s and Dan Dan the Wall Man somewhere around 50.

But I wasn’t concerned as I had a nice little stack of money and resources to be used at my leisure and I was quietly confident that Masterplan would have me shoot through to a tense and glorious victory at the very end. Towards the end of the Tower I’d managed to flop out the Church and with the 6G Marketplace, a few more favours on the Money Track and a residence the money was starting to come in and get converted to PP’s which was a secondary mission objective I sort of picked up along the way and thought I’d give a run as an aside. Things not going quite to plan, but plans evolve and how can I lose from here?

Final section and I get another residence – and I’m getting more money and I’m managing to change money for PP’s and I’m in hot pursuit of Dan at the top of the leader board and I’m also managing to keep bollocking up getting the right resources for my glorious Prestige building which will assure me the sweetest of sweet victories (not helped by continual shafting on my quest for Gold in the Mine, but when Dan Dan the Tower Man goes there does anyone try to gang up on him? No, of course they don’t it’s just not fair razzafrazzasnaz and it looks like the distraction techniques we tried to employ earlier were only partially successful as Li is not only doing a fine job of screwing her hubby over, but there’s plenty more shafting available for everyone else too and she just refuses to let me get that gold which I crave so so badly) and damn it annoys me how I keeping on giving Dan PP’s for his cloth which I need for the Jousting Field which I never quite seem to get into, or when I am ready to go there, Rog managed to jump in first but no matter, it only delays my plans for one turn and there’s still plenty of ……. Aaargh!...... game rapidly reaching conclusion ….. ok I can still do this…. I need two more turns. Sweet. All too easy.

Until of course Dan rockets the Provost forward which will bring the game to a most untimely end (for me and Masterplan that is) and so I’m gonna have one turn in which to somehow give effect to a 2 turn plan (which – by the way – THIS time was absolutely positively going to work and there was no way I could be foiled ….. except of course if I didn’t have two turns….. I think I may have detected a problem with Masterplan…..)

Last turn. Ah nuts. I’m going to have to jump into the Castle this turn and the Jousting field is gone so if I even want a favour I’m going to have to use lots of my preciously hoarded resources just so I can have 2 castle sections to get the favour come scoring time and Dan is in the castle first and I know he’s going to build 2 sections (and he thinks he won’t be getting the favour as he assumes I’ll be doing three sections – but I will only be doing two so I can still build something with my favour) but there’s gotta be SOME way I can do this…. Yes ….. no ….. hang about ….. yes …. I can change goods for Gold …. Yes …. That’ll work ….. Gold will get me my preciousssss …. and ….. yes …. Let me think ….. yes …. No ….. yes …. Ah bugger I won’t be able to build the 25 PP monster building …. Oh well, the 14 pointer will do just fine…… bugger not that one either …. hmmmm ….. a 10 pointer should still be enough to snatch victory from Dan Dan Leaderman ….. let’s see ….. yes ….. YES!

Ah crap. Never going to happen.

With all the burning up of resources into the castle and having to swap some etc I could only build a lousy 3 point Wood building (although if I’d done it a little different I probably could’ve managed the Statue or the Granary) leaving Dan Dan the Glory Seeking Man the victor revelling in the glory of the court of King Phil the Unjust on 81, me on 76 with the imploded couple somewhere around the 60’s which we won’t even bother to talk about

Some thoughts:

I found myself during this game on about 3 occasions using the Gate. Once was just silly – I just wanted to do it to give it a whirl – once while not perhaps working exactly as I’d hoped – it MIGHT have worked (and I don’t regret placing a worker there) and once it did work. That was in conjunction with having a worker on the provost and allowing me to pass later and use the provost and last turn on the passing bridge to put a worker high up the danger end of the track. So, while the Gate may not always be the most useful action in the game and will probably most times remain empty, I feel it definitely has specific application and is by no means broken.

The Church was working for me a treat and getting money and converting to PP’s was looking quite good. This was the majority of my PP’s. In hindsight as it turns out at game end perhaps the Bank would’ve done it for me but who knows?

And although I never did end up building my precious prestige building, I was still happy with the way the plan generally progressed and was surprised and pleased again with how differently the game plays on each occasion. And I know that one day I will have a prestige building with a cornerstone laid by me and with a big shiny bronze plaque with my name on it and it will be mine, oh yes it will.

A great game, imho superbly crafted, rich in depth, tactics and gameplay and one which I thoroughly enjoy, although if you don’t like a monster marathon game you’ll need to be mindful of the crowd you play with. I look forward to exploring the host of other point scoring mechanisms in many games to come.

Thanks heaps Li and Rog for hosting the night. And Dan for making us look ordinary. A night of big fun was had.

Postscript: Hehe. I make myself chuckle. I just realised (clever me). If I had've just used the resources I had in the last turn to build 3 Castle sections instead of for some reason being tunnel visioned on saving some to be able to build something with the favour come scoring time...... Dan would not have gotten the favour for most sections built in that round which went straight onto the PP track - 5PP which concidentally is the amount he won by. (Note to Self: must also look at what advantage I may be giving away by not doing something. Might help). I wouldn't have got the lousy 3 points for the wood building, but would've got 3 points for an extra section and another favour which would've been 1PP. Then I could have had that tense and glorious victory that I had so dreamed about and gone around strutting and saying "Nothing can beat the Masterplan". Oh well. Perhaps Masterplan 1.02 will fare better.

 
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J Boyes
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Quote:
I’d never intended to write a session report of the night’s events so do forgive me as scoring details may be a bit dodgy and there may not be too much focus on what the others were up to. It’s all about me, me, me. (Note to self: must actually watch what other players are up to. Might help.)


I like session reports from one persons perspective. Easier to keep track of your plans as the main plot thread.
 
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Phyll
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sedge wrote:


.... And I know that one day I will have a prestige building with a cornerstone laid by me and with a big shiny bronze plaque with my name on it and it will be mine, oh yes it will.




Well. As an aside, on my half-dozen-plus-one game I finally got my prestige building and it was glorious and worth the wait. A slight miscalculation and I couldn't get the 25 point behemouth, but managed the Monument (14VP + 2 favours which gave me 14VP + $7 + 4VP) anyway so I was still mightily pleased. Yaaay me!
 
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