After I finished up the Regional, I did swing by monday night gaming for a bit. I got in a 2nd game of London. It’s been months since my first game, and I’d totally forgotten about the possibility of first turn land. So I went for a reasonable middle of the road strategy … I dropped three stacks on my first turn (all three money generators), then ran on my second turn (+5 Poverty for around 10£) and then built up the City, buying land twice (for no loans). This (coupled with the mandatory draw) got me a new hand, which I dropped, ran again focusing on money, bought up two more land, focusing on cards. This put me over the hand max, so I got to ditch paupers and tune my hand. My next run let me get … Brixtol(?) (the debtor’s prison, I believe), which lets you chuck cards for VP and poverty reduction, which also reduces the poverty you get since your hand is diminished. I combined that with a Hospital (so I could use Brixtol twice). Ran, bought some land, dropped cards, ran again, game over.
I ended with no loans and tied for minimum poverty (via Brixtol I got rid of 6 poverty, and my 3rd run and beyond generated almost none), and with a nice VP payout for rebuilding the city I won by ~5 points.
Could I have been beaten by a “Loan and purchase” strategy? I suppose, although this seemed to work out fairly well. (Having a starting hand that I could play for all money helped). The nice point was that the game felt much faster, although the endgame was helped when one player just took cards to end it, knowing he wasn’t winning. Not a good sign.
Anyway, I still have mixed feelings on this one.
In other news, The SABG voted on their Top 50 again this year, and we now had 20 voters! Check it out.