Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thousands of free tacos (Maharaja, Puerto Rico, Formula:Motor Racing)

So Taco Bell has offered to give a lifetime of tacos to anyone who is willing to give the company their Playstation 3 (so they can give it to charity). It's an odd story, and not one that affects us (since we don't have one). Still, it inspired Luch, our dictator for the week, to sugeest tacos for the evening. Mmmmm. Tacos.

First game was Maharaja. From the get-go things were going poorly for me... I just couldn't manage to place higher than 4th or 5th, and therefore couldn't really build any palaces. Bharmer, on the other hand, is extremely good at it. Each game, he seems untouchable, but what is interesting is that he uses a different strategy each game. In the first, he was swapping characters all the time. In this one, he manipulated the nobles (?) track endlessly, and continuously built palaces one turn ahead of time (getting the central position with little competition). It's a little weird, but it seems that despite the fact that there is little variety in what actually happens on the board, the way to get there appears to have many options. I don't remember how Tili managed in her first game, but she was very good in her second game, narrowly losing the game to Brian by a single palace (and providing him with the only real competition that game).

My opinion on the game is wavering. There are good things going on, but it moves slowly and the ending can almost be predicted halfway throught he game. That may be because we are not good enough competition for bharmer! It does bother me that he manages first or second in almost every city, even in a 5 player game. Shouldn't that be difficult to do? What are we missing?

Anyway, congrats to Bharmer (and Tili). You are clearly very good at this game.

Next was Puerto Rico. Wow, it had been a long time since we've played. None of us have ever really played this extensively, so it remains a largely "off the cuff" experience (no rote strategies, here). Anyway, I started with an indigo and went straight into tobacco. I was hoping to focus on making money, so I bought the two markets and then added an office. I never did get to use the office (and didn't get much use out of the factory, either). Still, things were going okay. I was hoping to pick up 3 large buildings but bharmer bought one much earlier than I expected anyone to... sparking a rush to buy them. I managed 2.

When the scores were tallied, kozure and I finished quite close: his 52 to my 54.

It was fun to get that out again!

We finished up with Formula: Motor Racing. I'm really enjoying this game right now. Not much to say, except that we managed to beat the bots, and that's an achievement for us.

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