|Caylus Magna Carta 135 mins|
This was the second time for this one, I think Matt and Steve had played twice before, myself once and this was Mike's first. The first game we played ran over 2 hours which I thought (and hoped) having read the views of many on the Geek was probably an aberration and, thinking about it afterwards I thought I saw the problem as being not enough castle building because people would not do so if they couldn't get the gold preferring to hold their resources in the hope of getting another try in a future turn when they would be first in the castle. I think we were influenced by Caylus in this, but on thinking about it I thought "Is the gain of gold worth as much as a favour in that game?" and came to the conclusion it was not. Having thought this I had it mind to try to play it differently next time. Unfortunately I forgot all that when it came to actually playing the game.
This was a 4 player game and the initial set up included the buildings giving 2 gold, 1 food and 1 stone so there was no initial source of wood. Early in the game both Mike & I built the small wood buildings providing supplies for all in the early going. Steve & I also built small stone buildings while he also built a lawyer, which was going to be very helpful as it was the only one built in the game. I don't recall Matt doing any early building, but taking a few of the 4 value castle tokens. Moving on there was a bit of a food shortage as only one large food building had been built in addition to the initial one, I think. There was no Stone problem as there was soon a large quarry built in addition to the small ones.
Matt then built a food building, but immediately converted it into a residence before it could be used, although the food shortage then became relatively less important as both the previously built wood buildings became residences, leaving no supply of this resource at all, the only choice was to buy it, which was possible using 2 buildings by this time.
It was also about this time that I built a gold mine, which for a long time was the only one in the game, this served me well as someone (nearly always Steve) would always use it allowing me to convert another resource into gold, meaning that Steve and I accumulated a lot of this. There was also a bank enabling the buying of gold so this was another option, but this of course cost money, which we did not (with the exception of Steve who got the income from his Lawyer) havemuch of. I think it was the gold mine that decided the game in Steve's favour and gave me second place as it allowed me to build the largest and one of the the 2 second largest prestige buildings, while he just accumulated gold, since he only managed to get to the Lawyer first once and so only got one residence and hence one prestige building.
The game concluded with all prestige buildings built and a run on the castle. We were all pretty close on castle points, while I came out on top in buildings, but Steve overtook with spare money and resources and a lot of surplus gold. The game had again run over 2 hours and I still think this was due to slow castle building with no hurry until the prestige buildings were all used. Another factor, which I have not considered before is that each player has a building where castle tokens can be bought, and I don't remember that any of these were built during either of my 2 games.
After the game 3 opinions were expressed, based on the length of the game as we play it:
Matt & Mike expressed disappointment. They are fans of Caylus and at this length are of the view that they'd rather play that.
I feel that given the choice between this and Caylus (of which I'm not a fan, finding it rather tedious), I'd rather play this, but if this length is going to be normal for our group then there are a lot of games I'd choose in preference. If we could play it a fair bit shorter (and I still think we should), I think I could play this fairly often.
Steve finds Caylus somewhat too much for it's length, though not as anti as I am, but is happy to play this even at this length.
Following this there was time for
|Guillotine 25 mins|
A close fought game, Mike was leader for much of the time and, therefore, the number one target. Matt had all sorts of support cards in front of him while I built up a huge hand of cards which usually weren't useful when it cam to my turn. Steve finished the game and was able to equalise the scores between him and Mike.