The first game of WoP (4 players) was with a group of people I'd never met before, and who had never played it before. They were pretty cool (although one woman had a horrible braying laugh). I didn't win, but I didn't place last either, and everybody enjoyed the game. Then we played Settlers (5 players, with the expansion). I did lousy, due to lamebrained initial placement on my part and the fact that my numbers just weren't coming up. My placement strategy was a bit of a gamble, sitting on a 3-for-1 port and a space with diverse resources, and hoping that I could use the port to convert what I got into what I needed, but I wasn't on a space with forests (whoops) and the rolls were against me (so I didn't have much to trade), so my building was pretty constrained. However, the other guy who hadn't been doing well in the game made it a contest by maxing out his road building (he was sitting on very good forest and clay spaces), taking Longest Road away from the point leader at the time (the third guy), making it impossible for the other two strong players to get it either, and making the game much closer. The woman with the awful laugh ended up winning, but the other strong players both had 9 points at the end. Very close game, and a lot of fun.
Hey, aurora and sartan0, do you guys have the 5-6 player expansion for Settlers? I'd be good to have at the next BoardieCon.
After that, they left, and there weren't enough people hovering to get another game going at the time so I hung out at a table where some guys (a couple of whom I knew) were playing Princes of Florence. I chatted with them as they played and read the final issue of Runaways. Eventually some people had been freed up from other games, so I got another game of WoP (3 player) started, this time with one new player and one guy who had played before. It went well until it turned out that the one who had played before had misunderstood the rule about playing a pair of cards as a wild card: he didn't realize that the cards had to be the same color:
<him> Why didn't you play an advisor too? <me> I didn't have the cards for it. <him> But you can play a pair as a wild card. <me> Yeah, but I don't have a pair. <him> Sure you do. You only played one. <me> Yeah, but they're not the same color. <him> That doesn't matter. <me> Uhh...yeah it does.We checked the rules, and I was right (we even checked the rules that came with his copy, as I lost the sheet and printed out rules from BoardGameGeek. As we were just about to reach the midpoint scoring round, we decided to scrap the game and start over (the game is so short that stopping in the middle isn't much of a loss). The new game was good, and I won...just barely. The new guy was pretty far ahead on cloisters and a good cloister chain, but my placement was good, I had a cloister chain (not as long), and I managed to pull ahead on some really nice advisor alliances. My strategy of pursuing a cloister chain from Frankenreich into Italien early on, plus hopping into countries to snag lucrative second-place spots and finally building up advisor majorities around the eastern side of the board, really paid off.
All in all, a good time out.
Oh, and here's a really disturbing video clip.