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Subject: 2 Player Learning Game rss

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Caleb Bunch
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Massapequa
New York
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Lisboa is by far the heaviest game that my wife and I have ever attempted to play. This is a short session report about our initial experience with Vital Lacerda's masterpiece.

Pregame Preparation:
Before reading the rulebook, I watched the Heavy Cardboard teaching video to get a sense of the rules. Then, I spent over an hour studying the rulebook. And finally, I spent almost half an hour attempting to teach the game to my wife.

Game Start:
We determined that for our learning game we would play with open hands until we completed the first period. This allowed us to speak openly about our strategies. (As a learning game, we did not care who won.)

Early Game:
In a two player game, there is only one ship of each type available. I spent my first turn gaining the blue ship. Since resources are very tight in the early game and are hard to produce until more buildings are on the board. My wife did not want to spend two resources to pick up the next level of ship, so she simply shipped goods on mine. (I was happy to get the extra wigs.)

I think we underestimated the value of the decree cards. The Marquise requires one to spend more influence on the initial turn due to game setup. After that, I think we simply failed to understand how many points could be provided by the end game multipliers.

Mid Game:
Once we were able to get several buildings out on the board and the 'produce' action became worthwhile, we both started loading up on goods. Unfortunately, we had forgotten a critical rule which says you can only keep 2 goods of each type - plus an additional for each column of rubble (one of each type) that you have filled in on your personal player boards. By the time I remembered the mistake, we had already played incorrectly long enough that it had significantly altered (in a negative way) the gameplay by opening things up too much. From my very limited perspective, Lisboa shines as a tight, restrictive, and confining game rather. Our mistake took away some of the tightness.

End Game:
Soon after we discovered our mistake, our youngest son woke up with nightmares and we realized that it was already after 1:00 in the morning. Knowing that we had learned the game and discovered what NOT to do, we decided to call it a night and start over another day.

All in all, it was a fruitful learning game. We ended our time understanding the mechanisms and having a good sense of how to play competitively.

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Nathan Bishop
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My wife and I just had a similar learning game this week. Your approach regarding watching videos, reading rules, open handed discussion is our go to approach not only for Lisboa (a beautiful but legitimately complex game) but almost every game we try.

Thanks for sharing your experience. As almost exclusively solo/couple gamers it’s great to know others are out there enjoying and experiencing similar things in similar ways to us. Good luck on the next, first, “real” game of Lisboa.
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Dick Hunt
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Orlando
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lasttruegypsy wrote:
Unfortunately, we had forgotten a critical rule which says you can only keep 2 goods of each type - plus an additional for each column of rubble (one of each type) that you have filled in on your personal player boards. By the time I remembered the mistake, we had already played incorrectly long enough that it had significantly altered (in a negative way) the gameplay by opening things up too much. From my very limited perspective, Lisboa shines as a tight, restrictive, and confining game rather. Our mistake took away some of the tightness.


I love this game, but it is fairly delicate; if you get a rule wrong, it can easily screw up the whole game. And there are a lot of inter-connected rules and procedures to keep straight. I probably played the game (solitaire, running from 2-4 "opponents" against each other) half a dozen times before I got through it without screwing up any of the rules.

It's worth the effort, though. The game is a blast to play once you get the rules down.
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