Friday, September 22, 2006

The art of the deal (Traders of Genoa, Ra)

A few returning favorites, this week.

Traders of Genoa saw it's first tabletime in quite a while. We were only four (Shemp, Kozure, Luch and myself). We all knew what we were doing, and it was pretty clear from the get-go that no one was going to be a pushover this time around. If you wanted something, you needed to make it worthwhile... or the acting player would end the turn. This is not new, of course, but it seemed like it was hapening a whole lot more often than it had in the past (and it started in the first round!). The game went long, but I found it to be extremely interesting. I wanted to try again the strategy I attempted unsuccessfully last time: collect 1:1 actions and convert them to privileges before that pile ran out. I spent the first few rounds collecting whatever goods came my way for cheap so I could trade them later on (1:1 trade markers aren't typically hot items in our group, either). I then traded 3 or 4 of them for privileges, bringing my total to 8. Obviously, with that number in hand, it was very hard to convince anyone to sell me theirs at any price, but unfortunately I did not have any big runs. I did eventually get 2 additional ones from Shemp, which fit in quite nicely and helped me out quite a bit in the end (side note: I almost didn't take one of them, because I mistakenly thought it didn't work very well with my cards!).

I had resisted playing the ownership marker game until the last few rounds (for whatever reason, I seem to gravitate to privileges and ownership markers every game!) By then I had concluded that Shemp was likely winning, so I picked up a number of them and started displacing his off the board (he had quite a few). Shemp immediately mentioned I might have handed Luch the victory by doing so, and I suddenly felt he might have been right. Then again, Kozure WAS fulfilling quite a number of large orders... maybe HE was winning. All I knew was that I mustered only a single large order and a single small order, so my privileges would have to carry me. I didn't think it was likely, though.

I did win. By 30 ducats. The ownership markers were the difference!

Next up was RA. We played two rounds, and both wound up being rather odd in their own way:

1) The first game, I went short. I always find that the more players there are, the more important it is to snag whatever you can and get out fast. With 4, the strategy is borderline, but I went with it anyway. I was often out before some players had played a single bid! The odd thing was that in the first round, the era lasted a LOOOONG time after I was done. The way things played out, the 2nd and 3rd era looked to be choked with RAs, so even though it burned me in the first round I stuck with my strategy. It worked for me, too... The horde of RAs which came out afterwards left Shemp, Luch and Kozure unable to aquire the temples or floods they were trying to collect and I reached the end in first place on the strength of my pharoahs and the gold+civ points I grabbed when I could.

2) The second game, I lost the pharoah struggle early. the other three seemed to be making a point of gathering them, so I decided to leave that alone and concentrate on rivers, civs or monuments. However, right up to the end of the game, virtually no monuments were drawn! It almost seems mathematically impossible that 3 eras could go by with so few monuments pulled, but there it was. I managed to get 7 different ones, and a mid sized river going, but it wasn't enough to stop Shemp, who won by 3 points.

... good times.

1 comment:

  1. I suXX0r3d hard that night.

    It's strange - I was convinced I was doing very well at Traders, enough to be first or second. Then it turned out I was last, by a margin of over 80 ducats. I guess I overpaid for things, or something. I was really quite surprised by my last place finish.

    Played similarly poorly at Ra in the second game of Ra. Not too bad in the first - pulled second by a margin of 5 points (I think).

    I'm just bad at auction games, it seems.