Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shabbat Gaming

Nadine, Abraham, and Sara joined me for lunch. Nadine came early, and we played two-player Puerto Rico with my usual changed buildings (I changed Discretionary Hold to save one barrel, instead of three, but neither of us bought it).

Nadine had early corn and an early victory point lead. But my building was far overtaking hers, even though I let her take Factory and instead took Large Business (provides both Builder and Captain privileges). LB is underrated. It can't undo the victory point lead the way that Harbor can, but it can stop the erosion and still provide a building boost.

We didn't finish, but we were pretty sure that I was going to win.

After lunch, Sara, Abraham, and I requested Antike, which we played over Nadine's mild objections (she would have preferred Power Grid). Turned out to be a great game experience, even for Nadine.

I won the game 8 to 7 to 7 to 7 (we play to one point less than the suggested value); as you can see, very close. We played on the Arabian board. I started in Palestine, smack in between the other players. I kept tight control of my little area, using my first-player advantage (which offset my pathetic position) to nab Market for the first victory point. But I had competition for Know-hows, and Nadine ended up getting four of the VPs there. I build some temples, but Abraham destroyed one when he took Wheels. Luckily only one, as he was one unit away from sacking both.

The next round I placed dozens of units to protect the rest of my holdings and, together with Democracy, I was undisturbed for the rest of the game. Nadine floated around Greece, pulling ahead to 6 points over my 5, because no one was disturbing her. Abraham tried his opening triple temple strategy again. Sara built up a huge pile of resources and exploded suddenly from 3 to 10 areas in one turn. Then she sacked one of Abraham's temples, since he had left them open after he had sacked mine.

Then Abraham sacked one of Sara's temples, since she had left hers open to sack his. This left one of Abraham's temples open for me to sack, which gave me the one extra point necessary (together with 7 seas) to pull ahead of Nadine to 7 points. I was easily able to take my last point in the Know-hows (all 8) regardless of what the other players did, though all of them got one more point in the final round.

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