Sunday, November 12, 2006

Drain You (Traders of Genoa, Formula: Motor Racing)

Two games this week.

Traders of Genoa

A five player game of Traders of Genoa tends to be a fairly draining affair. As this was Bharmer's first game, we explained the rules and got underway. After our last game, I had read a strategy article on BGG positing that a player who gets the most actions, even though he might be overbidding much of the time, is likely to win. I didn't quite beleive it, but I figured I'd give it a try...

Clearly this guy hadn't played with our group.

WAGS members are a skeptical bunch. You bid high, and everyone figures you want it because you're going to score big, so you get nothing.

At the beginning, with no particulr goal in mind other than bidding high on the actions which became available in the hopes of securing an action every turn, things were looking grim. "I'll bid 20 on the post office" was met with "Easy is going for a messages strategy, don't let him". On the next player's turn, "I'll bid 20 on the cathedral". Predictably, "Easy is going for an ownership marker strategy, don't let him". (that last example isn't entirely fair... I almost always go for an ownership marker strategy, even when I don't start off that way. They were right to be suspicious). Either way, in the first go around the table, I only got one action.

I kept trying, though. As the game wore on, I stayed agressive and went out of my way to outbid other players in order to secure turns for myself. I think they eventually decided I was digging my own grave, because they did eventually start accepting my offers. If I hadn't actually BEEN digging my own grave, things would have been looking up. I spent too much of my earnings, and only managed a third place finish. I think that in the end Shemp managed the strategy I was trying more effectively. He bid high when it mattered, but not every time. He also had a very interesting stretch where he collected the goods we didn't want in high numbers. At the time, it seemed he was standing still, but in the end he was able to accomplish more in his final turns than we did. Bharmer showed a knack for this game... in his first outing he managed a close second place through a solid and straightforward small/ large order + messages strategy.

Someone noted that ToG has a tendency to "peter out" near the end. Not sure what it is, but we all have a tendency to "peak" a little early... fulfilling all our orders, etc, a little too early and not having enough time to start the process again. I"m sure there's some ineffiviency on our parts here. Better planning would probably solve this, but why does it seem to happen everytime?

We capped things off with a game of Formula: Motor Racing. Not a whole lot to say about this, except that it continues to be very enjoyable, fluffy entertainment. I tend to laugh more playing this than many of the supposed "humourous" games, so that's good. Luch wiped the floor with us, which is actually a nice change from consistently loosing to the non-player cars.

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