Les and Trevor came over last Thursday evening for a game session. A few weeks before I had suggested that we choose a "Game of the Quarter" - in other words a game that we would play every time we meet for a few months. The idea is to get away from the syndrome of playing new games every session, with the result that you never get the "meat" out of a game before you skip off to the next one. So after a bit of email to-ing and fro-ing we settled on Taj Mahal.
I missed the first play of our Game of the Quarter a couple of weeks ago, so I read through the rules beforehand, and Les and Trevor turned up confident that they knew how to play. It soon became apparent that they had missed a couple of quite important rules on their first run-through. For example, they seemed quite surprised when I told them that they were entitled to place a palace whenever they won a vizier, princess etc. They had been playing that only the king places a palace!
Once we had got the rules straight the game whizzed through. Trevor was the elephant man, Les was for networks of palaces, and I'm not sure what my strategy was, other than hanging on to the +2 special card at all costs. In the event I just snatched a draw with Trevor, with Les in a respectable 3rd place.
We still had time for a fun game of Ra - another Knizia bidding game, so not much of a contrast there. But two superb games.
I'm glad we picked Taj Mahal as our first "Game of the Quarter". It's important to choose a game with enough depth to reward repeated plays, and I'm sure that Taj Mahal will deliver this.