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This was a while back; not every detail is remembered perfectly, so please forgive me.
I was in a four-player game with two new players and one very experienced player. We used the Republica version. One of the new players really struggled with how the game worked and was never really a factor. The other got the hang of it pretty quickly and was doing well. The experienced player, of course, knew exactly what he was doing.
About halfway through the game, I drew the Forum Romanum. I'd yet to actually try that path to victory, and I already had 5 of the 6 clients, so why not? I build it and basically announce a clock on the game. As a result, the other three players endeavor to keep the pool empty to prevent me from completing the stockpile (I was able to get the last patron without much problem).
The good new player didn't change his strategy much; he was building a lot and putting materials in his stockpile often. I figured if I wasn't going to finish the Forum, he would win. The experienced player was a little sneakier- he was increasing his hand refill size and built the structure that allowed him to discard his hand when Thinking. I was a little more concerned with the new player than I was him.
Eventually, I was able to build the Sewer. I could see the finish line, as nobody could stop me from adding to my stockpile. I just needed to draw the order cards I'd need to turn them into materials.
Finally, I Think on my last turn and draw two of the last material I need to win. The next player goes and I put them both down, glowing in my victory. But no! The experienced player Thinks and drains the deck, ending the game immediately. I don't get to add to my stockpile. I don't win via the Forum. I had not nearly enough points, either.
Final score: New player 25, Experienced Player 26. The new player had a three-point structure he was going to complete on that final turn. If he had been able to complete it before the Experienced Player went, he would have won. He was just sitting in the wrong seat. And if there were two more cards in the deck, I would have added the needed material in my stockpile and I would have won.
Three players who could not have had a closer finish with each other. I didn't even mind losing that time.