6th Sep - Taj Mahal

I wasn't around this week, Matt sent this report:

First up: Taj Mahal. A new one for Ben and the table's opinion was that he should certainly play it at least once because it is a fine game. Ben took it well initially playing like a veteran for the first few provinces. Steve' advice that "Elephant tiles were very powerful and definitely game winning as a strategy" may have coloured some of the decisions in the mid game as Steve ploughed the Elephant furrow whilst Richard and I more or less ignored them and made lots of connections without getting in each others way too much. Richard played particularly well in that he scooped up all the Grand Mogul symbols that showed themselves to ensure he had a large number of floating palaces. Ben lost a hand for no gain and found out how painful that is, Richard and I jockeyed for position whilst Steve lined himself up to streak to victory with the elephant tile from the twelfth province. I beat Steve to that last tile by spending deep in my longest suit meaning that he bowed out with nothing leaving it between myself and Ben, who decided to mount a last ditch comeback effort and leave me with a single palace and the elephant tile taking the other three palaces and the four bonus point tile.

When the dust settled Richard had two more cards in his longest suit than I did leaving it:

Richard 59, Matt 57, Steve 53, Ben 46

Steve had to be in Southampton early the following morning and the night was still a bit young so we decided to play Carcassonne with The River, Traders and Builders and Inns and Cathedrals. Ben, apparently stung by the last game, unleashed the raw gaming power of his newly minted fiancée. We were not adequately prepared:

Asia 171, Matt 121, Ben 118, Richard 111

Proving that 'statistics can be weird sometimes' the last four tiles were: Cathedral, road section, 4 sided city section, Cathedral. Asia and I had set up a city to give a monster score if we pulled a finishing cathedral that we knew they were still in there as the bag got lighter and lighter..and lighter- it was a real nail biter! Richard got the first one and put somewhere else, I got the road section then Asia drew the 4 sided city and had to play it into the city (as Ben wasn't likely to finish it for us) then drew a second tile with her builder- which we all knew was a cathedral- and had to place it somewhere else! A fabulously bizarre ending to a good game.


Ben said...

Yeah, that one single hand pretty much lost the whole game for me. Nice game though.

Ben said...

Yeah, losing that one hand pretty much lost me the whole game. I was doing ok up until then.
Taj Mahal is a nice game though. I was pleasantly surprised.