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I taught my wife how to play this one today, and we've played 5 games just today. I won 4, but here's one of the more interesting ones.
We both started headed towards respective cities for our first church builds. I had a quick build in Gaza with the City Card (giving me 3 extra Cell Groups) and had a Deacon there soon afterwards. My wife and I both got Churches built within a few more turns. Her first Church was in Trapezus (she had a Deacon there as well), and mine was in Alexandria. Both of us used City Cards to get these Churches. The score was 2-1, me, in a race to 5 Churches before winning by arriving at Rome.
Next, I built a Church without a City Card in Cyrene, having drawn a Ship Available Card so that I could use the waterways to get to my next destination. She then got a Church built in Ancyra without that extra 3 Cell Groups from a City Card and put another Deacon down with that church. Soon afterwards, I hit Patara with a City Card for my 4th Church. It was now 4-2, me. I had a Ship Available, so I'm off to Bitia, and she heads for Tomis.
While I was at Bitia, my Deacon in Gaza was arrested, and I ended up losing a Cell Group, bringing my score back to 3. My wife, in the meantime got Tomis a Church and a Deacon. I got Bitia with the help of a City Card, but the score was now only 4-3, me. She heads to Apulum, and I knew trying to save Gaza was out of the question, so I headed by ship to Puteoli. She gets a Church built in Apulum and places another Deacon, so it's now 4-4, and she has Deacons in all 4 Churches, while I have no Deacons out.
While I'm building Puteoli, she's building Aquileia. We got both Churches finished about the same time, and it was just a race to Rome at that point. Since I was 3 spaces away, and she was 4 spaces away, I made it in one turn, and it took her 2 turns. She was one space away from Rome when I entered Rome to claim the win.
We've had lots of fun today as we've both had days off due to the July 4th Holiday. I think we'll be playing more in the coming years, and we both want to hit this game with more players.
Thanks for reading!