18 Dec 2006

Session 7

(D. Ferreira, D. Nunes, F. Nunes)

Back to the Saturday regular session and some of our favorite games.

We kicked of the session with Bohnanza, which is a great session starter. It's friendly rule set and sociable game play allows the players to settle in their game mindset and prepare for more challenging games. We often take advantage of the game's simplicity to chat about other stuff, as was the case, only applying ourselves on the final stretch, which resulted in a low score tie.
This fun little game has a great entertainment value for it's price; we must do a review some time soon...

Bohnanza winners: D. Ferreira / D. Nunes

For the next game, after some dispute, The Princes of Florence was chosen. I must confess I was pushing for Puerto Rico of which I'm a huge fan.

We started the first game with D. Ferreira taking the first turn.
On previous session the first player always managed to win but this time was not to be. Being on the last spot I made sure my adversaries paid a good price for what they wanted on the auction phase, a strategy that already gave dividends on previous sessions. The last spot is also great to choose your construction timing.
Players will try to make big score works at least every two turns to rack up the bonus for the best work. Seeing what your opponents are doing allows you to strategically postpone your big work for the next turn or pickup a bonus card to give you the edge required to top your opponents.
Being on this privileged seat I managed to pickup most of the bonuses allowing for a large margin win. D. Ferreira had problems fitting all the buildings on the board and fought hard for his second builder which helped my strategy allot.

On the second game F. Nunes took the first turn and everyone rushed to get builders. This seems to be a recurring theme in our sessions since a building costs a whopping 700 without any builders (1 builder reduces the cost to 300).
While everyone focused on getting builders I chose to focus on delivering works as frequently as I could and postponing the acquisition of buildings until i got a builder, which interestingly never appended.
With the builders disappearing at the speed of light I knew my opponents wouldn't surrender one without a fight so I profited from this situation by engaging on several builder auctions but never making the final offer, which dried resources around me while I used jesters and bonus cards to increase my work's scores and avoided buying buildings.
On the last turn I bought my first building (700 florins ouch) to deliver the last work which allowed for a tight but flavorful win.

I must confess I'm impressed with the strategical depth this game allows as long as your prepared to think outside the box.
This session quelled my concerns regarding this game but I still think it as room for improvement. The addition of more players will certainly make this game more interesting.

Princes of Florence winners: D. Nunes
D. Nunes

To end the session we switched to Puerto Rico, a favorite among the knights.

I started on the first game and played conservatively as the stressful work week started to weigh on my shoulders. Investing heavily on the constructions axis I managed to maintain a narrow lead which clinched a very tight win.

The second game broke our first man wins rule, with some brilliant plays from F. Nunes, featuring a balanced investment in all axis and using the wharf to great effect. This allowed him great success in goods deliveries and a severely hindered our options, allowing for large margin win.

The third game ended up revealing one of the few downsides of this great game. By this point I was starting to get really tired and stumbled around in the first turns.
Having a very slim chance to recover the lost time I forced the game end by choosing the mayor action as often as possible. On these unusual condition D. Ferreira adapted he's strategy well, profiting from highly successful trade sessions and took a well deserved win in what must have been the fasted Puerto Rico game we played.

Since the previous game was so fast we decided to play one more.
Once again being the starting player I tried to lead a balanced game, as did my opponents and despite some early mistakes ended up snatching a narrow win.

I must confess this game never ceases to amaze me. The available depth of play is seemingly endless and although the first turn actions are starting to solidify game always flows in unexpected directions leading to very enjoyable games, not unlike chess as D. Ferreira suggested.
On a personal note I must try to include the wharf (featuring heavily on F. Nunes recent strategies with great success) on my strategy portfolio.

Puerto Rico winners: D. Nunes
F. Nunes
D. Ferreira
D. Nunes


Blogger FNunes said...

I would like to add small detail to the bohnanza report. It was our highest scoring game so far.

As for my strategy on Puerto Rico, to be honest, I'm still experimenting the game, and the warf was my main target. From what I've seen during this session and the previous one that we didn't finished, I belive that building may work better with 5 players.

10:54 pm  

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