Just 3 this week, Mike, Steve & I. We played 2 games, the first being Pillars of the Earth, not being Mike's favourite game, but having 3 players he agreed to give it another go as we suggested that some of the randomness would be mitigated with 1 fewer player.
So off we went building yet another Cathedral. Considering the number that we and many other gamers must have built, surely there is a surplus by now. Maybe there is a gap in the market for a game based on demolishing them and the castles and towns etc., perhaps involving the bits from this and something representing a wrecking ball.
Anyway back on topic I moved into an early lead by taking the 2 points from the priory and 3 from the crying Madonna and held it until turn 5, unfortunately for some reason I did not build up my craftsmen in the middle game and whereas the other 2 were soon at their full complements, I was sitting on just 3 after the cathedral roof collapsed, having added just an early mason. I also felt I was short of cash throughout, my stonecutter having been killed by the roof, meaning I hadn't got the ability to sell stone.
Steve played a steady game and was able to keep a good flow of victory points and cash and gradually overhauled me, going ahead by a point on turn 5 with the help of the conflict between Prior Philip and Bishop Waleron (all lose 2 VP), which event he avoided by being at the Archbishop's office.
Mike grabbed the woodworker (4 gold for 1 wood twice) at the beginning, but I don't think he used it to its full effect, I think if you have this craftsman you really need to give him 2 wood every turn, although I think there was one turn when Mike was cut out of the wood completely.
On the final turn it was between me and Steve, he had the final round goldsmith, a couple of sculptors and a few others. I managed to get the Bellmaker and Organ Builder to add to my sculptor. This was the first time I reached my craftsman limit in the game. I would have matched Steve's score if it weren't for the -2VP event and being short on taxes on the last turn, but he would then have won the tiebreak.
As we were putting the game away we spent some time discussing the game and comparing it to Caylus. Mike, while agreeing that Pillars is better with three, doesn't like it, especially when compared with Caylus, in which he can imagine the building of the town and the castle. Steve sits on the fence somewhat, liking both, but when pushed prefers this. I regard Caylus as an exercise in tedium involving the placement of pieces of cardboard and wood, so my vote is definitely with Pillars of the Earth. Scores
Pillars of the Earth, The 110 mins
We finished off with a quick game of Taluva, this doesn't really lend itself to lot of description, but as Steve has said before it's not really his type of game, I think he said he just doesn't understand it and I think it probably is one that requires a certain mindset.
Taluva 30 mins