After Gen Con, Ignacy personally thanked each volunteer that helped us run demos in the event hall. Jessica was one of those volunteers and responded with this awesome story (shared with her permission.)
Thanks for offering the opportunity for volunteers to lead a demo. I had the best time watching some new players try out Imperial Settlers.
My group was three friends who no longer live near each other and came to Gen Con for a little reunion. None had played the game before. They chose the Egyptians, Romans, and Barbarians.
As the game went on, they became more understanding of how to maximize their civilizations for earning potential. It was very interesting to watch. The Egyptians slowly and steadily began adding victory points from early in the game. The other 2 focused on building out production buildings and the “more premium” faction cards.
Time ran out on our demo, as the three guys played in a similar fashion to the way my husband and I play — a lot of deliberation to figure out which card to play on our turn. We all wanted to see how the game ended, so we stayed late to conclude the final round and a half.
My Roman guy had to leave, as it was his last day at the convention and he wanted to see the Expo Hall. So it was a race to the finish for the Egyptians and the Barbarians.
It was worth it.
The Barbarian player had gotten lucky with his card draw and was able to amass a fairly impressive army of workers in the last 2 rounds. However, the Egyptian had built the building (sorry don’t remember the name) that gives him one worker when other players trade in 2 workers for a resource. So he was able to extend his turn by having additional workers. He also had the Temple of Ra and was able to claim one of the Barbarians cards that let him exchange workers for victory points.
In the end, the both players plodded through all their resources and utilized nearly every single card in their tableaus. The victory points kept adding up as their score markers crept down the scoreboard.
In the end the Barbarian came from behind a huge score gap to win the game by 2 points. (He had also built many more faction cards than his Egyptian friend).
It was a great game. But the most important part is that there are now 3 new fans of Imperial Settlers. All three, including the one who left early, proclaimed how much they liked the game. They mentioned some comparisons to other games, as well as stated what mechanics they liked better in Imperial Settlers than those other games.
The only disappointment in the whole experience was that they were unable to buy the game at Gen Con to take home with them. (I told them to check out the Portal website for when it is next available.)
Thanks again for your call for volunteers. Teaching Imperial Settlers to new players was one of the highlights of my convention.