Sunday, January 18, 2009

Off to India (Maharaja, Taj Mahal)

Just as fast as Bharmer returns... he is gone.

But before he left, he dictated we play two games he felt hadn't been on the table recently enough: Maharaja and Taj Mahal.


We played another session of "the game Bharmer always wins" and, well, he won. We did our best to stop him, though... in fact I'd say we did a much better job of spreading out and working the whole board than we usually do (as opposed to collectively going from one scoring city to another). There were lots of people who struck out on their own to claim the central palaces in non-scoring cities while manipulating the maharaja track to maximize the scoring opportunities. Still, Bharmer managed to always be in the right place at the right time: Always grabbing the cheap third place scoring when it was available, always sneaking in to get first or second when it really mattered, always somehow ahead of the pack in palace construction. Luch did manage to give him some competition by keeping up with the palaces, but when Bharmer finished the game by building his last two Luch was nowhere near ready to do the same.

This type of game is normally right up my alley, but I simply can't wrap my head around it to find a winning strategy. I certainly see the possibilities, but not fast enough. I'm starting to feel like there would be a way to succeed at Maharajah that would be primarily based on denying other players their actions, but I'm just guessing.

Taj Mahal

This is a game that I often win at, but it seems that tonight was not going to be my night. I started out decently enough, but seriously floundered in the end. If memory serves, I didn't do anything at all in the last 2-3 palaces!

I prefer Taj with 4 players, and this week's game cemented that for me. One less player makes the game shorter, and players are much less likely to get completely shafted in the auctions.

I think Shemp won the game, with Kozure just a few points behind (but it's pretty fuzzy in my head, so I could be wildly off on that)


  1. lol. I thought you were talking about the monument itself

  2. Actually, Easy, Taj Mahal was a tie between Kozure and myself, as it appears that Taj Mahal has no tiebreaker. Kozure and I are philosophically OK w/ ties, and Ouch + Bharmer feel like ties are a bit of a rip-off, and not having a tiebreaker is inexcusable. I think there's room for an interesting debate there.