Wednesday, February 04, 2009

More Glory to Rome

In response to Todd D.'s question above, we're using version IV of Glory to Rome. Which we did again tonight. This time we used the building powers, and although the game took longer this time we played with the full deck, so we got the proper experience. We were also a whole lot more savvy - we were wary of putting valuable stuff into the pool, and played more jokers and so on.

In our first game, I won because I had a lot of builders. I think I might have even had a builder client. I had some good stuff in my stockpile and squirreled it away and got good points that way. In the second game that was never going to work.

I started rather poorly I thought - building a purple building and a blue building. With so much work to do, I invested in Architect and Craftsman clients. When I finally finished one of those buildings it gave me the special power that any leader or follower cards I played went into my stockpile... which was pretty sweet. I also made a building that allowed me to play a card from my hand into my stockpile when I was Labourer. So I had a steady stream of cards going into my stockpile, and the clients to build with, so I just needed to crank that machine to get some good building done. One of the things I built was a Statue (+3 VP), so I ended the game on 17VP.

The Evil Count had a good machine going, with Architects and Craftsmen as well, whom he could also press-gang into Labour. As he was sitting to my right I had no hope of working a Labourer strategy, so the direct stockpile feeding worked nicely. CyberKev had a sweet building which gave him the benefit of marble buildings before he completed building them, so he started a lot of those. I couldn't see what Ozvortex was doing so well, as he was down the other end of the table... I think he had a Labourer client as well, which took away some of the Evil Count's advantage.

Anyway, I had no great strategy other than described above, but I realised that I was ahead on points and should try to end the game, so I did. I'd considered leading Merchant, but the Evil Count had a wicked combo which would have gamed him at least 6 points, and I think CyberKev and Ozvortex would have benefitted a lot as well, so it's lucky I didn't.

I do like Glory to Rome, but the building powers change the game quite dramatically. The Evil Count's building which gave him effectively 2 or 3 free Labourer clients meant we just couldn't put anything into the pool. CyberKev had special powers for all of his marble buildings and so had a hand size of 11. I felt completely underpowered - all I could do was build buildings. I like the effect of buildings in Puerto Rico, where they have a power but it's not so blatantly strong. Sure the hacienda gives you more guys, but its other subtle effect is to make the game end faster. The small market is not so great, but the few times you use it it's sweet. Glory to Rome's buildings tend to hit the game with a hammer.

In the end though, we liked it and will play it again.


gregor said...

I'm not entirely surprised at your reaction to the building powers. I think they're akin to those in Cosmic Encounter-- each is a game changer, and in combination the game does change dramatically, and somewhat randomly. I know CE isn't a favourite of yours.

Fraser said...

What Gregor said :-)

I was surprised to see you say you like Glory to Rome since when I played it my immediate thought was that it had a lot of feel of Cosmic Encounter to it.

A very "dynamic" game. Well OK, let's be honest - chaotic!