I have been aware of this game for some time and have been studying it for the last couple of months, reading the rules and the BGG fora for the game so I felt that I knew the rules pretty well, although it has to be said that I probably didn't do that great a job of teaching the game.
The theme of the game is that of moving goods on the Panama canal on ships and also on the adjacent rail line to make money. The general view of the game is that it is a heavy euro with some 18xx like elements in the holding of shares in companies which pay dividends and can vary in value.
Our game went, I thought, quite well for a first game, although its probably not Dave and Steve H's type of game. We got through it without anyone needing to take a bailout (which surprised me somewhat) and, until the last round, all dividends were paid. All this in 2 1/2 hours and no serious rules errors.
I thought that we were heading for a close game, I was able to move goods around in a way that I didn't incur high costs and I was able to push my companies share price up and pay dividends ending up with 4 out of 5 shares (Dave bought the other early in the game) and maximum share price, but I was conscious of the fact that the others each had 2 financial advisor cards to my one (having never got round to buying my 3 ship, let alone move it, I think I shipped alot on Steve H's ships).
As it turns out the scores look like I won easily, but it could have been much closer as I forgot I had a die sitting in the warehouse at the end of the game. When it came to paying cargo fees I thought I only had 2 crates, both sitting in the lakes, but that crate in the warehouse increased my costs to $7, which I fortunately able to reduce to $4 with a Stevedore card. If I had had to pay just $1 more, I would have failed to pay dividends, which would have cost me $40 from my score after taking into account the share price drop. I would still have won but it would have been very much closer. Fortunately everyone else failed to pay dividends at the end.
I look forward to playing this again, being aware that I have no real idea of the strategy and tactics, Steve Pe also enjoyed it although the other 2 not so much. As I said at the end of the session, it's a game that I think Mike would like, also possibly Jonathan.
Among the other games played, Murano was another new game to the group, I have no real knowledge of any of the other games with the exception of Carcassonne. Chris has posted about Murano and Among the Stars on his blog here.
All the results.
|Greed - 30 Mins.|
|Istanbul - 60 Mins.|
|Star Realms - 45 Mins.|
|Murano - 60 Mins.|
|Carcassonne - 30 Mins.|
|Greed - 30 Mins.|
|Istanbul - 70 Mins.|
|Panamax - 150 Mins.|
|Among the Stars - 60 Mins.|