We started out the night with five players. Not many games immediately come to mind with that number. Fortunately, we picked a new game to play. And after reading all of the rules and waiting for everyone to shut up and stop interrupting during the rules explination, we started playing. Manila is a game that uses dice to move three ships into harbor. There are three dice roles, during which each player can place one piece to bet on what the final outcome will be. You can bet that a certain number of ships will arrive safely or that a certain number will fail to arrive. You can bet that a cargo will arrive. And there are a couple of different power spots to place your token at. The first is a pilot that can either help or hinder a ship. Another is a pirate that can board a ship or get its bounty. The last is the insurance agent who pays for ships that fail to make it into port.
The other aspect to this game has a Modern Art feel to it. You start the game with two wares. If you win the action to become harbor master, you may buy another ware. And when ships make it into port, their wares increase in price. So you are trying to increase the value of cards that you hold and hurt the other cards.
In this game, I was never harbor master. You save money by not paying for it. But you are at the mercy of who wins and therefore which order you go in. You want to go sooner rather than later. Doug was to my left and he won a number of times. This meant that I went last a number of times. But it was good in that Doug was helping the cargoes that I held. Late in the game, I decided to bet on some extreme long shots. I paid 2 dollars for a 15 dollar reward if none of the boats made it. And luckily they all failed to make it! This happened twice, which I think is the reason why I won the game. Everyone in this game was trying to get two ships into port. Another possible strategy is to place all three as far away as possible and hope that none of them make it in. But noone tried that approach.
Two people left for the night. Which left us with three. Jon suggested this trick taking game. I was a little rusty in the strategy but fortunately, everyone was as well. Doug was giving me too many tricks with the junk that I was collecting and not trying to hurt me. So I think that that helped me win the game.