Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lambasted in Le Havre

I got home early enough from work that Kathy and I could play a substantial game today, and right away I suggested Le Havre (designer Uwe Rosenberg, artists Klemens Franz and Uwe Rosenberg, publisher Lookout Games [website in German]).  We'd played once before all the way through, and we were learning as we went along.  Kathy won last time by a rather convincing score, but this time I figured I had the major points of the game worked out and thought I'd do better.

Well, not so much, perhaps.  Today we played another shortened version of the two-player game.  (Shortened?  Really?  We still went a solid hour and a half, even though we understood the actions and got into the rhythm of the game.)  Several times I lost track of the number of turns I had left before the end of the round, or the amount of food I'd need, or the amount of energy I'd need to build a ship or take some other action crucial to my master plan.  So, much of the game for me was two steps forward, one step back.  

I jumped to a pretty substantial early lead by focusing on building the most valuable buildings I could as soon as possible, so I ended up with the Steel Mill very early in the game.  It's a great source of 22 points, but if you aren't prepared to make coke or charcoal, convert a bunch of iron, and build a steel ship or sell the steel, well, then, there's not much point to having a steel mill, now, is there?  Oh, yes, Kathy paid me to use it once ... and shipped the steel using her Shipping Line for a whopping 32 Francs in one turn.  Well, so much for my commanding lead from a 22-point building.  
Kathy's winning array of buildings.  Note her action token denying me access to the Shipping Line,
so that my hides would languish undelivered and useless on my docks.

So as you might have guessed, despite my large building construction, Kathy ended up with a huge pile of money at the end and won the game by the score of 115 to 99 - a closer margin than our first session, but still an object lesson in the fact that I still have quite a bit to learn about this wonderful game.


  1. It was a lot of fun, honey, lambasting or not! I'm sure you'll decimate me in whatever we play next. That's what keeps it interesting!

  2. I'm not so sure! And yes, that's what makes it fun.