I felt good about tonight's game despite accumulating up to 8 loans. I acquired a load of goods which enabled me to ship a total of 3 times for about 30 francs each. Acquired a couple of frequented buildings such as the Wharf, Shipping line, Colliery and Abattoir which allowed me to minimize my visits to my opponents' buildings. Purchased a 36 VP luxury liner in the final round. Scored 216 which my best effort to date though still falling short of Marcus's 227. Reflecting on my play, there were 3 areas which I possibly could do better in:
1. Used francs to pay off indivisible food requirements in the last few rounds of the game. While that seemed a good move at that time, the surplus of a few meats at the end suggested I could have saved a few francs.
2. One of the wharves came out prematurely and after building a wooden ship, I continued to leave it blocked to prevent Van and Marcus from acquiring a source of early food production. This seemed like a good move at that point but it did mean I relinquish the opportunity to use buildings for quite a few turns, opting for sub-optimal plays till the next wharf was built.
3. Had to sell a few building in the game. Some were intentional to garner cash mid-way in the game, but one or two were forced due to having to evacuate opponents in my buildings. Selling the Shipping Line in the last round cost me 5 francs but my hand was forced in order to make my 3rd shipment.
The game ended in 2 hours which was a huge improvement over our last two games which took over 3 hours. I was really surprised at how quickly we played but I concurred with Marcus that it helped that we had an idea what we wanted to do and thus suffered from less AP (analysis paralysis). If all games were this short, just a tad longer than Agricola for a 3-player game, it is truly a contender for one of my preferred games. My only concern going forward is whether the greater usage of certain buildings as compared to others game after game will reduce replayability after some time.
We still had some time for another game and Van opted for Galaxy Trucker which was supposed less of a brain-burner. Marcus played the game once last year but still needed a refresher. He did admirably in his 2nd try though making a few connection errors. I struggled too after a long hiatus and found myself exceedingly rusty. Van built 3 excellent ships and took the win deservedly with 100+ points. Marcus and I scored 70 and 75 respectively.