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O Zoo le Mio» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A Nice Evening at the Zoo: All About the Benches, This Time rss

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Alex G

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Image courtesy of Erik Gibbons

I was Porky Park. She was the crocodiles. She did win reptiles.

Mrs. alexd and I sat down to play a quick game this evening. I suggested Through the Desert, and she countered with O Zoo le Mio, which I had been about to suggest myself. We only played a couple of times before. I liked it both times, but now it's really growing on me.

I started with majorities in bushes and more colors, taking a quick 8 to 6 lead. My first (that I recall) ever lead in the times we've played (my wife is a natural at a lot of games).

We tied at 20 the next round, with my wife starting to gather a few benches. I was still doing well on bushes -- perhaps had even sewn up the majority for the rest of the game. We both had five zoo tiles.

The third round she kept going for benches, and snapped up a couple of narrow victories on animal types. I was very sad when I spent all my money to ensure bush domination, but lost the giraffe in the last auction. Things worked out very well for Mrs. alexd, who took 39 points to my 30.

I took back some of the animal majorities the next round, but the benches continued to pile up. She scored 52 to my 48.

The last round I spent 6 to take the one really useful tile, and managed to win bushes and 3 of the 5 animal types, and add a bench. It was no use, however, as the bench juggernaut scored 75 to my 65 (meaning she managed to end the game with 13 benches). Our bids went like usual -- lots of 1s and 2s, the occasional 3 for a good tile, and an increasing number of 4s toward the endgame, as money accumulated.

This is the game in which I learned the value of the benches. I went for them in one of our earlier games, and ended up closing off my animal development and losing. The strategy may be risky, but 13 benches gives more points than majorities in all the animals, plus the bushes! My "wide open" zoo wasn't even perfect for capturing majorities, so it had little chance against the bench machine. I think there's even more strategical room to manuever than I thought in this charming, quick, very low-luck auction and tile game.

By the way -- in general, the different income never seems to matter much for us -- we're always at most one tile apart in zoo size.
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Jon Y.
United States
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So... 99 problems, but a bench ain't one?
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