Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lessons Learned in Le Havre

For today's cocktail hour game, Kathy and I selected one that we both like but are still getting the hang of, the worker-placement masterpiece Le Havre (designer Uwe Rosenberg, artists Klemens Franz and Uwe Rosenberg, publisher Lookout Games [website in German]).  We've played three times before; Kathy won the first two, and I managed to win the last one.  This time we fell into a familiar pattern - Kathy kept beating me to the punch, with the knockout blow being a big shipment of leather and bread for 26 Francs.  I had some high-point buildings, plus both an iron ship and a steel ship, but it wasn't enough to overcome Kathy's strong position (including the 22-point steel mill), so she won 117 to 96.

Kathy's winning array, including the 22-point Steel Mill, four ships, and a ton of cash from the Shipping Line

One rule that we just realized we had not been using was the Final Main Action.  According to the rules, after the last round card is resolved, each player gets one more main action and is allowed to choose a building that is already occupied by another player (but not the building that they themselves already occupy).    Had we read that rule and used it properly, I would have had an opportunity to use Shipping Line to ship my coke and some other materials for a pretty big point move.  But Kathy pointed out that had she known about the Final Main Action rule, instead of sitting on the Shipping Line for her last two or three turns, she would have moved off it and then moved back on it again for another shipment and more points.  So we think the outcome of the game would have been the same, although we would have played our last several actions differently.

We're really fond of this game, and we definitely want to continue playing it to get familiar with how the various point-generating engines work.

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