Friday night, Gina and I played a game of Caylus. I had decided that my strategy was going to be to use the top row of favors to get extra points when contributing to the castle. I was able to max out that row and the money row below it, plus I had a worker sitting in the Inn all game, so I was able to maximize my actions each turn. I had build the Church building fairly early, so whenever I had extra money, I was converting that to points. Gina was able to catch up pretty quickly, though, when she built the Cathedral for 25 points. I finished the game with 18 points from six contributions on the last turn, so I ended up pulling off the win.
On Saturday, a few of our friends were out of town or participating in the local St. Patty’s Day festivities, so it was just Joe, Ryan, Gina and I for games. We started things off with a game of Tigris and Euphrates, which I hadn’t played in ages. I was able to get a red/black monument built in the lower right of the board early with Joe’s help, and that fed me black cubes all game. I was also able to get red cubes through plenty of internal conflicts. Blue and Green cubes were causing me trouble, though. There were a bunch of monuments in the middle of the board that Joe and Ryan were mostly fighting over, but I was able to fight my way in on the last turn to pick up a few more blue cubes. This ended up almost being enough, as I had 8 blue, 9 green, 11 red and 16 black at the end. Joe had 8 green, 9 blue, 16 red and 20-some black. So between Joe and I, it went to our 3rd worst color on ties before Joe managed to edge me out.
Joe had also brought over Blue Moon City (another Reiner Knizia game), so we learned that next. It was a fairly simple game, using a hand of cards to take control of various city sections. Control of the sections gives crystals for completing sections and those crystals are used to build a monument. The game is over once someone build 4 parts of the monument. There are also dragons that give dragon scales if they are present in a section when a player contributes to that section. The scales provide more crystals.
On my first turn, I was able to get all three dragons in my section and made two contributions. This set me up pretty well for crystals early on. I made two contributions to the monument, and then wander the board a bit more before completing another section that provided a bunch of cards and crystals. The others were closing the gap at this point, with Joe only needing one more contribution to win, but I was able to get back to the monument and make two contributions on the same turn to get the four and pull out the win. It’s a pretty simple game, but there’s enough there and it’s short enough for a nice filler.
For the last game, I suggested playing Through the Desert to keep with the Reiner Knizia theme, but Caylus was requested and I couldn’t pass that up. I started the game with a plan to contribute a bunch to the castle, but resources were getting pretty scarce because no one was building stone buildings. I was the only one who could build stone buildings for a while, since I had used the bottom favor track. I was using that to get some civilian buildings out, and I eventually was able to get the Statue and the Inn build for points, but it was too little. Ryan had been able to make contributions pretty regularly and was maxing out the top favor track. He had also built some of the better buildings, so everyone was giving him points. I came close to catching him on the last turn, but he contributed enough to the castle to hold the lead.
One of the more interesting things in this game (besides the lack of buildings) was that on the last turn, Ryan and Gina tried to push the Provost out enough to force the game to end. Well I had forgotten to contribute to the castle on the previous turn, so I needed another turn if I wanted any chance, so I paid to bring him back, and with Joe’s help we were able to extend the game another turn. It was the most action the Provost had seen all game.
Until next time, happy gaming!