8 Azul x2
This used to play so quickly when playing incorrectly. Now it is much more "thinky" and takes longer.
I thought I had retired my third character this last week until I kept reading and found out there's still yet another scenario. And then it looks like I don't even get to unlock a new character. I'll have to choose one of the two starting characters we haven't used much or at all.
8 Heaven & Ale
Went over very well. Most people I've played this one with have enjoyed the game. Feels clever with different paths seemingly present.
8 Here I Stand
Seems fitting to headline this one due to the GCL title. It had been a few years, but it was good to get back to this one even if the dang French had everything go their way. This game always tells such an interesting narrative! I'll just post my game summary below although it doesn't do the game justice. I was the English and was getting slightly frustrated with those dang Scottish rebels who couldn't see reality as quickly as they should have... We did play the 500th anniversary game which has some modifications including the French home card which really helped France.
The French could do no wrong in this game expanding into Milan and grabbing two allies with some great card draws. England struggled against the Scots and didn't take over the key until the third era giving France a lot of cards and France also rolled well on his enhanced home card (we used the 500th anniversary edition). If we could have made it to the fifth round, we likely would have beat him back, but he saw the probable future and went for it in the fourth round and won the game with 25 points. The Protestants zoomed up the track in the fourth round but then was also beat back badly as the Papists and Hapsburgs beat him back (unfortunately, this divided interest by the Hapsburgs also allowed France to take Meinz and Antwerp in the fourth round on an end around). A last ditch attempt by the Hapsburgs to throw the French out of Genoa failed by one casualty. In a meaningless point grab except to allow the English to jump into second place, the 0 captain of the English rolled 10+ on consecutive rolls to become famous for circumnavigating the globe 8 Mini Rails
I rarely do well in this game and this one was no different.
7 El Grande
Much time has passed since I last played the base game and I didn't remember fully how everything worked (I prefer to play the K&I expansion). Twas all good but the person responsible for keeping blue in check failed letting blue score both of the "Score all Regions of value 4" where had had majority in a couple and runner up in a third. Game over after the second time. I do enjoy this one but it plays best when people know the game and know that keeping opponents in check may be a better play than going after personal glory (I know, this is hard to do!).
7 Iberian Rails
Third play of this one and still the game is fairly obtuse. Shares are good - that's clear (some better than others depending on company treasury and expansion capabilities). I don't think we've figured out timing on blind bid auctions (while great for personal gain, those are very bad for the company and it is hard to destroy a company of which you are CEO. I can see this working to some degree in combination with the mafia where you can pay money to take the CEO role as long as you have one share to try and wreck potential if someone has the advantage.