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Subject: Guild Analysis - Warning Spoilers rss

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Doug Bass
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Guilds allow players to take actions more efficiently than any other way, at the cost of a gold. They are very cheap to build and are typically built very early in the game, on the first two turns, so they can be used by the owning player for free throughout the game or to earn income every turn in a game where money is usually tight. Some guilds are used every turn starting with the first, while others are not used until later in the game so the income benefit is not as great. An important benefit is that guilds can bring income during the placement phase that is crucial for the owning player to be able to either use another guild or to use a card that he has played. Guilds also give the player a house marker in the district where they are built, adding to their power. A master elf or dwarf should never be used to visit a guild.

The Basic Guilds
These guilds allow a variety of actions.

Merchants’ Guild
Useful not just for the metal upgrade, but also because it allows +3 trading post actions, which is strong. Effective against the Bandits’ Guild (see below) for this reason, allowing player to collect gold on the collection board and then convert it into resources at the trading post at an equivalent exchange rate. Not quite as strong when the Bandits’ Guild is not in play or when the Thieves’ Guild is in play. Better than a single Market.

Rating:

Architect’s Guild
Makes building costs cheaper. Flexible because either a dwarf or an elf can be used to collect the resources, and a single worker of either type can collect a metal. Another one that is helpful to shield the player from the Bandits’ Guild. Not as good as a Blacksmith.

Rating:

Librarians’ Guild
More useful later in the game for a player whose hand is depleted. Allows the player using it to draw three property cards and then immediately build one or more them, which is not normally possible since property cards must be bought at the end of a turn, after all other actions are completed. Can be better than buying a property card, depending on what is on display and what is drawn. Players who like risk taking will like this guild.

Rating:

Recruiters’ Guild
Arguably the best guild in the game, particularly when owned. Lots of competition for its use. Best way to recruit elves or dwarves (ordinarily cost two gold), or gnomes (ordinarily cost three gold). Flexible because an elf can recruit a dwarf and vice versa. When owned, better than a single Inn or Tower, but only if you are lucky enough to be able to grab it before someone else does. Even effective late in the game, since points are awarded for worker and gnome majority and because gnomes are almost always needed. Really good way to get a gnome.

Rating:

The Resource Guilds
All of these guilds allow a player to collect more resources than he could ordinarily, and with more flexibility: elves can collect stone and dwarves can collect wood; either can collect metal on its own.

Masons’ Guild
Allows a player to collect four times the amount of stone an apprentice dwarf could collect. Flexible, as either a dwarf or elf can be used. Allows a player to collect resources that are safe from the Bandits’ Guild, assuming they are used before bandit player’s turn.

Rating:

Bankers’ Guild
Not as strong as the other resource guilds and usually chosen after those. When owned, allows the player to collect three times the normal gold with a single worker. When not owned, only allows the player to collect double, while giving the owner a gold. Would have been more balanced if it had awarded four gold, in my opinion. Somewhat helpful against the Thieves’ Guild.

Rating:

Sawyers’ Guild
Allows a player to collect four times what an apprentice elf could collect. More flexible, insofar as either a dwarf or elf can be used. Allows a player to collect resources that are safe from the Bandits’ Guild, assuming they are used before the bandit player’s turn.

Rating:

Miners’ Guild
Allows a player to collect twice what a dwarf/elf duo could collect together, which is equivalent to four times a normal resource. More flexible, insofar as either a dwarf or elf can be used. Better than the other resource guilds because only one worker is required. Allows a player to collect resources that are safe from the Bandits’ Guild, assuming they are used before the bandit player’s turn.

Rating:

Interactive Guilds
Not for the faint of heart. All of these guilds allow player screwage in one form or another, and some players will not like this. Others will really like the tension it adds to the game. Swapping turn order offers some protection for the players against whom these guilds might be targeted. I have not played a game with more than two interactive guilds in play at once, and never with both the Bandits’ and Thieves’ guilds in play at the same time.

Bandits’ Guild
One other players dread and will take measures to prevent being victimized by. Allows a significant amount of screwage, and usually better when player using it is earlier in turn order. Allows player to collect up to three times the normal resources while hurting other players simultaneously. Flexible because a single worker of either type can be used and allows a choice of resources; basic resources can be mixed and matched. Arguably more flexible and powerful than the resource guilds, for these reasons. Perhaps the nastiest interactive guild; some players will prefer to play without this.

Rating:

Thieves’ Guild
Another guild players dread and may take measures to prevent its use against them, either by taking an earlier turn order and spending their gold or by using the Bankers’ Guild later in turn order. Great screwage potential as money can be very tight in this game and because everyone usually wants to save a gold or two for the next turn. Losing three two gold is brutal. worse than losing two resources. Everyone wants to be earlier in turn order when this is in play, both the player using this guild as well as everyone else. Much better than the Bankers’ Guild for these reasons.

Rating:

Wizards’ Guild
Most effectively used in scoring rounds to change player majority in districts, where most of the players’ points will typically come from. When used against other guilds, can be interesting. Very effective when used to switch two Keep or Gatehouse locations. Allows property markers to be simply moved if one of the two locations being swapped does not have a property marker(s). More potential for king-making than the other interactive guilds.

Rating:

Spies’ Guild
Arguably the weakest guild in the game, in my opinion, since it only awards one card for the same cost, and other players may chose which card is on offer to be taken. However, can be nasty when used against a player who has few property cards in his hand, especially when the Librarians' Guild is not in play. Better when used by player owning it and property cards on display are not desirable. Not nearly as good as the Librarians’ Guild. Would have perhaps liked to have seen player allowed to choose random card from another player.

Rating:
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doug woolley

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Ooh, fantastic writeup, thank you! I still haven't got my copy to the table but it's still very new. Now I can't wait to play my first full game even more.
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Seth Jaffee
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Very nice examination of the Belfort Guilds!
dougbass68 wrote:
Architect’s Guild
Makes building costs cheaper. Flexible because either a dwarf or an elf can be used to collect the resources, and a single worker of either type can collect a metal. Another one that is helpful to shield the player from the Bandits’ Guild. Not as good as a Blacksmith.

Rating:

One thing you may have noticed but did not mention is that the using the Architect's Guild is INSTEAD OF using a property card. So on the down side, you do not get the card in play, and therefore get no income from it, no ability, and no Gnome spaces... however, that also means you don't NEED the card to build with the Architect's Guild - you can build anything on the board! Maybe the best use of this guild is to throw down 2 influence in any unoccupied Keep!

Quote:
Bankers’ Guild
Not as strong as the other resource guilds and usually chosen after those. When owned, allows the player to collect three times the normal gold with a single worker. When not owned, only allows the player to collect double, while giving the owner a gold. Would have been more balanced if it had awarded four gold, in my opinion. Somewhat helpful against the Thieves’ Guild.

Rating:

Insider info: when I received the game, the Wood and Stone guilds provided 4 resources, and the Metal guild provided 2 Metal (4 resource value)... but the bank only provided 3 Gold. I thought the same thing you did - why doesn't the bank provide 4 Gold? The designers' answer was that Gold had proven to be too flexible, and they liked the game better with gold being more tight, so they reduced it to 3 gold (still better than the collection board).

I suggested that we try only 3 Wood and 3 Stone for those respective guilds as well... but after trying it they didn't seem as good or as fun. The guilds are supposed to be good, so in the end we left the resource guilds as they were - providing 4 resource value. However, the Banker's guild did seem fun and interesting even at only 3 Gold, so we left that one as well!

Quote:
Sawyers’ Guild
Allows a player to collect four times what an apprentice elf could collect. More flexible, insofar as either a dwarf or elf can be used. Allows a player to collect resources that are safe from the Bandits’ Guild, assuming they are used before the bandit player’s turn.

Rating:

... ANY resource is safe from the Bandit's Guild, assuming they are used before the bandit player's turn

I think maybe you meant "assuming the bandit player's turn comes before the sawyer player's" ???

Quote:
Interactive Guilds
Not for the faint of heart. All of these guilds allow player screwage in one form or another, and some players will not like this. Others will really like the tension it adds to the game. Swapping turn order offers some protection for the players against whom these guilds might be targeted. I have not played a game with more than two interactive guilds in play at once, and never with both the Bandits’ and Thieves’ guilds in play at the same time.

I fully expect some players to simply not use the Theives' and Bandit's Guilds. I think they're not as bad as some players will make them out to be, but I understand that there are people who would prefer to not play with that type of interaction rather than try to figure out how to play around it. Fortunately, there are plenty of other guilds to choose from, so even if you never use ANY of the interactive guilds you can still get a lot of replayability out of the game

I'm glad you're enjoying the game! Keep up the great posts
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Doug Bass
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sedjtroll wrote:
One thing you may have noticed but did not mention is that the using the Architect's Guild is INSTEAD OF using a property card. So on the down side, you do not get the card in play, and therefore get no income from it, no ability, and no Gnome spaces... however, that also means you don't NEED the card to build with the Architect's Guild - you can build anything on the board! Maybe the best use of this guild is to throw down 2 influence in any unoccupied Keep!

I actually did not notice that, even though it's in the rules plain as day, so thanks very much for pointing it out! Very interesting!

sedjtroll wrote:
Quote:
Bankers’ Guild
Not as strong as the other resource guilds and usually chosen after those. When owned, allows the player to collect three times the normal gold with a single worker. When not owned, only allows the player to collect double, while giving the owner a gold. Would have been more balanced if it had awarded four gold, in my opinion. Somewhat helpful against the Thieves’ Guild.

Rating:

Insider info: when I received the game, the Wood and Stone guilds provided 4 resources, and the Metal guild provided 2 Metal (4 resource value)... but the bank only provided 3 Gold. I thought the same thing you did - why doesn't the bank provide 4 Gold? The designers' answer was that Gold had proven to be too flexible, and they liked the game better with gold being more tight, so they reduced it to 3 gold (still better than the collection board).

I suggested that we try only 3 Wood and 3 Stone for those respective guilds as well... but after trying it they didn't seem as good or as fun. The guilds are supposed to be good, so in the end we left the resource guilds as they were - providing 4 resource value. However, the Banker's guild did seem fun and interesting even at only 3 Gold, so we left that one as well!

Excellent point about the gold being more flexible than the resources - very true! Thanks for the insider info, now I can see why it is limited to three and it makes complete sense.

sedjtroll wrote:
Quote:
Sawyers’ Guild
Allows a player to collect four times what an apprentice elf could collect. More flexible, insofar as either a dwarf or elf can be used. Allows a player to collect resources that are safe from the Bandits’ Guild, assuming they are used before the bandit player’s turn.

Rating:

... ANY resource is safe from the Bandit's Guild, assuming they are used before the bandit player's turn

I think maybe you meant "assuming the bandit player's turn comes before the sawyer player's" ???

Right. Your resources are safe if your turn is after the bandit's, or if your turn is before but you've spent them. Though I guess they're not technically "safe" if you've spent them - they're gone

sedjtroll wrote:
I fully expect some players to simply not use the Theives' and Bandit's Guilds. I think they're not as bad as some players will make them out to be, but I understand that there are people who would prefer to not play with that type of interaction rather than try to figure out how to play around it.

I like playing with them too, but one experienced gamer at our table mentioned a few times that he'd prefer to play without them. I think he said this because he really likes the challenge the game already presents without them - and he didn't like having to always take into consideration whether his plans were potentially going to be wrecked.

sedjtroll wrote:
Fortunately, there are plenty of other guilds to choose from, so even if you never use ANY of the interactive guilds you can still get a lot of replayability out of the game

100% agreed! The replayability is definitely there. And it's not just the guilds; there are so many different strategies to try.

sedjtroll wrote:
I'm glad you're enjoying the game! Keep up the great posts

Will try to!

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Seth Jaffee
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dougbass68 wrote:
Thieves’ Guild
Losing three gold is brutal, worse than losing two resources.

I meant to reply specifically to this last time, but forgot. I believe there is a misprint in the rulebook () - the Theives' Guild tile is correct. you steal 2 gold from any 1 player, or 1 gold each from up to 3 different players.

- Seth
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Sen-Foong Lim
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Great write up - thanks for playing!
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Jesse Dean
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Thanks for the right up! Though, I admit I would have found it more useful if the star ratings had a range beyond 3 to 5 stars.
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Chris Linneman
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doubtofbuddha wrote:
Though, I admit I would have found it more useful if the star ratings had a range beyond 3 to 5 stars.


Think of it as 1 to 3 stars.

I played my first game last night and we had the Merchants' Guild in play. It didn't see much use (contrary to its 4-star rating), possibly because the Miners' Guild was also in play. Being very strapped for cash (the Bankers' Guild was not in play), I needed most of my gold to pay taxes/place workers and it seemed steep to pay 1 gold and 2 resources just for 2 metal, when I could pay 1 gold to get 4 resources or 2 metal somewhere else. The extra trading post actions weren't great because selling is inefficient and buying can be avoided by placing your resource-gathering workers properly.

I did use the Guild maybe twice (no one else used it) but it seemed bottom-tier to me, far worse than the Resource Guilds and the Recruiters' Guild.

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Seth Jaffee
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QBert80 wrote:
doubtofbuddha wrote:
Though, I admit I would have found it more useful if the star ratings had a range beyond 3 to 5 stars.


Think of it as 1 to 3 stars.

I played my first game last night and we had the Merchants' Guild in play. It didn't see much use (contrary to its 4-star rating), possibly because the Miners' Guild was also in play. Being very strapped for cash (the Bankers' Guild was not in play), I needed most of my gold to pay taxes/place workers and it seemed steep to pay 1 gold and 2 resources just for 2 metal, when I could pay 1 gold to get 4 resources or 2 metal somewhere else. The extra trading post actions weren't great because selling is inefficient and buying can be avoided by placing your resource-gathering workers properly.

I did use the Guild maybe twice (no one else used it) but it seemed bottom-tier to me, far worse than the Resource Guilds and the Recruiters' Guild.

You can build a "big money" strategy around it, making you very flexible - kinda depends what buildings you put up.
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Daryl Andrews
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One thing I would point out about the Spies guild is the ability to waste a person's turn by stealing the only card they have (especially if you are before them in turn order).
Also, it can be really strategic in the scoring rounds if you steal a card and then build it in the area your opponent was planning to go.
You are not only gaining a card but you are gathering intel about what cards your opponents have, and you are taking a card away from one of your opponents too.
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Doug Bass
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QBert80 wrote:
doubtofbuddha wrote:
Though, I admit I would have found it more useful if the star ratings had a range beyond 3 to 5 stars.


Think of it as 1 to 3 stars.

I played my first game last night and we had the Merchants' Guild in play. It didn't see much use (contrary to its 4-star rating), possibly because the Miners' Guild was also in play. Being very strapped for cash (the Bankers' Guild was not in play), I needed most of my gold to pay taxes/place workers and it seemed steep to pay 1 gold and 2 resources just for 2 metal, when I could pay 1 gold to get 4 resources or 2 metal somewhere else. The extra trading post actions weren't great because selling is inefficient and buying can be avoided by placing your resource-gathering workers properly.

I did use the Guild maybe twice (no one else used it) but it seemed bottom-tier to me, far worse than the Resource Guilds and the Recruiters' Guild.


Hi Chris-

As you have logged more plays, has your opinion of the Merchants' Guild changed any? One of the players in our group built it last night early on and then totally abused it for the rest of the game. It was very effective for him, and he won with it, but not in an unbalanced sort of way.

-Doug
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Chris Linneman
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I don't think I have played again with the Merchants' Guild since my previous post. How did the Guild contribute to the aforementioned player's win?
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Doug Bass
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QBert80 wrote:
I don't think I have played again with the Merchants' Guild since my previous post. How did the Guild contribute to the aforementioned player's win?

First of all, he owned the guild so he wasn't paying to use it. What he was then doing was dumping most of his guys in the gold collection area over and over again, getting the extra gold bonus. He then used the money to get two metal for one worker each:

First metal for one worker:
* One worker on guild
* Most workers in gold collection area gives one free gold (no add'l worker req'd)
* Use free gold to buy one basic resource from trading post (no add'l worker req'd)
* Use guild action to trade in resource for metal

Second metal for one worker:
* Already used worker on guild
* Use one gold from gold collection area (one worker)
* Use gold to buy basic resource from trading post (no add'l worker required)
* Use guild action to trade in resource for metal

He then got up to two more metal each using his 3rd and 4th trading post actions at normal cost (two workers each). That's four metal for 6 workers instead of 8. He used it to build two keeps on the last turn.

I've seen other players do it in the past. Not a guaranteed win, but it's pretty powerful.

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Chris Linneman
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Depending on the guilds in play, one metal for one worker is a pretty good deal. But if you own the Miners' Guild (the one that gives two metal) you could get 2 metal for one action much more easily. Of course, all this depends on other players not using your spot. Just because he owned the Guild doesn't mean he was the only one who could do that. He could just do it more cheaply than others.
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Seth Jaffee
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QBert80 wrote:
Depending on the guilds in play, one metal for one worker is a pretty good deal. But if you own the Miners' Guild (the one that gives two metal) you could get 2 metal for one action much more easily. Of course, all this depends on other players not using your spot. Just because he owned the Guild doesn't mean he was the only one who could do that. He could just do it more cheaply than others.

As you imply, the existence of another placement that does a similar thing does not negate the usefulness of the thing in question...

If the Miners' guild is in play, only 1 person per rounds can take it, so the Merchants' guild is not obsolete.

Furthermore, only 1 player can OWN the Miners' guild... would you prefer to pay someone else to use their Miners' guild, or visit the Merchants' guild that you yourself own?

Sure, the more cheap metal is available, the less important or awesome each of those individual choices are, but they're not nothing. If you build a Blacksmith, then even the Miners' guild becomes less good for you.
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Doug Bass
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QBert80 wrote:
Depending on the guilds in play, one metal for one worker is a pretty good deal. But if you own the Miners' Guild (the one that gives two metal) you could get 2 metal for one action much more easily. Of course, all this depends on other players not using your spot. Just because he owned the Guild doesn't mean he was the only one who could do that. He could just do it more cheaply than others.

That's true, all the resource guilds are awesome. But I don't think the Miners' was in play and the other players weren't taking Merchants'. The extra trading post actions can make you very flexible, particularly if the Bandits' or Librarians' guilds are in play or if you have a manned Library. I suggest trying it and see what you think.
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Jason Cawley
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This is a fine guide to the *use* of the guilds.

But players sometimes overvalue owning = building the guilds.

Consider, to build a guild you pay 2 of each (non money) resource, which is in "labor value" 8 ordinary income in total - 2 for each metal is 4, and 2 more for wood and stone. You can then expect to receive 1 gold in "return" on this investment every turn the guild is used, by you or anyone else.

Some guilds won't be used every turn, but the best resource guilds generally will be. But there are only 7 turns in the game.

Of course it is useful to build a building early that nearly pays for itself over the game as a whole, and gives you an influence marker. But the "return on investment" is only 1 gold = 1 labor value for 8 labor value invested.

Now compare some of the other early buildings. A garden costs 5 labor value and returns 1 per turn - already a higher purely economic return. And if you add a gnome at the full price of 3, you spend 8 total, the same cost as a guild - and get 1 gold a turn from the garden - as much as a guild can hope to pay you - plus 1 extra resource a turn from the master elf you thereby train. Twice the economic return.

Recruiting workers on the resource board costs one labor power for the placed recruiter plus 2 gold, and gives 1 per turn in response. This is an economic return of 1 on 3 invested, higher still - but without an influence on the board. It does however build "influence" in the competition for the most workers of a given type, another way to score VPs - and increases your chances of getting the extra resource for having a majority on the resource board. Early in the game, this is generally the highest return available and will tend to go fast. Notice also the the income benefit increases in importance compared to the "one off" profits from e.g. using a resource guild, the more time is left in the game.

*Using* the best resource guilds gives a profit of 2 per occasion - because you have to spend 1 gold and 1 worker action, and get in return 4 value from the guild - all compared to just gathering resources. But this isn't a permanent increment to your income, it is a one time gain when you have the chance to use the resource guild. It is still so large for so small an effort invested that you should jump on them.

*Building* rather than using guilds doesn't require a card, unlike the gardens and pubs (arguably just an increase of 1 in their cost, since you can buy a card a turn for 1 gold), but don't be fooled by the large size of the benefits of *placing* a worker on them. That return is available whether you build and own the guild or not. Owning the guild just gives you 1 gold every turn it is used. There is some benefit from having this gold come from another player rather than the supply, but it is marginal. And early on, your investment options probably include considerably more attractive choices...
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Matthew Klure
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Jason - I agree with you on the Guild Buying thing.

I have yet to purchase a guild in the few times I have played, and I have either won the game or come in second place.

I don't think the investment is worth the reward at all.
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Chris Linneman
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I don't think building guilds is great, but it is worth mentioning that you get the one gold in the placement phase, when you most need it. There is some time value of money to consider here. I can see owning the guilds to be more useful at higher player counts, when they are both more likely to be used each round and when competition for house spots in the districts will be tighter.
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Matthew Klure
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QBert80 wrote:
I don't think building guilds is great, but it is worth mentioning that you get the one gold in the placement phase, when you most need it. There is some time value of money to consider here. I can see owning the guilds to be more useful at higher player counts, when they are both more likely to be used each round and when competition for house spots in the districts will be tighter.


That is true, I have also seen it benefit players who had no Gold to be able to use a guild they own for free.
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Jason Cawley
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Income is better than not having income of course, but the guild build is not free. Almost anything else you spend 8 labor value on is going to get you income, usually higher and less conditional income at that. There may occasionally be tactical timing issues or thief dodging at the margins, but normally you are just throwing away a gold a turn compared to upgrading a worker.

Some return (purely economic) comparisons to illustrate this -

build total cost marginal benefit rate

recruit guild 2 1 per turn 50%
recruit 3 1 per turn 33%

garden+gnome 9 2 per turn 22%
pub+gnome 9 2 per turn 22%
market 9 2 per turn 22%
tower+gnome 10 2 per turn 20%

blacksmith+gnome 11 2 per turn 18%
bank+gnome 11 2 per turn 18%

garden 6 1 per turn 17%
pub 6 1 per turn 17%

blacksmith 8 1 per turn 13%
bank 8 1 per turn 13%
buy guild 8 1 per turn 13%

library 9 1 per turn 11%
inn+gnome 10 1 per turn 10%
keep 11 1 per turn 9%

sawyer guild 2 4 one time
mason guild 2 4 one time
miner guild 2 4 one time
banker guild 2 3 one time
architect guild 2 3 one time
thieves guild 2 2/3 one time
bandit guild 2 2/3 one time
merchant guild 2 2 one time
spies guild 2 1 one time

metal majority 2 4 one time
other majority 1 2 one time

Notice that the recruit actions have the highest return of any of the income producing investments. They do not directly affect control on the board, but they do help build worker majorities.

The market and worker upgrade buildings are the most efficient returns among buildings, for the amounts invested. The market does require a worker assigned to it each turn to bring in 3 income, but that is a profit of 2 over leaving him out working the resource board. The worker upgrade buildings give quite competitive returns. It is also worth noticing that they are the main means open to a player frozen out of the lucrative recruiting planks by turn order, to increase their working capacity.

The next highest building return comes from a fully manned tower, but assumes you need a gnome every turn. If you don't have a use for one or the gnome supply runs out, the return from a tower will fall to 10%.
As long as you use it more than half the time you have it, though, it is still a decent return.

And they are more efficient in that regard as a manned inn. Still a manned inn may be more valuable than the table suggests, because the profit shown in the table is measured against recruiting on the resource board, and those slots will often be filled up quickly. (Although I have seen some new players run so "tight" on gold through lack of foresight, that they didn't have enough to fill the recruiting planks. Which just means those 33% returns are available to the cash rich who planned ahead by skipping that expensive gnome for a turn, or similar).

Blacksmiths and banks fully manned give a solid income, but it is notable that the plain gardens and pubs give about the same return before they have even been "gnomed up", and place nearly twice as many control markers on the board for the same investment. Otherwise put, a player with a garden and a pub rather than a gnome-manned bank has the same income for about the same investment, but an extra control marker on the board, and access to 33% returns for his next 2 gnomes in the form of worker upgrades.

Compared to all of the above, guilds are down with unfinished (unmanned by a gnome) banks and blacksmiths in their economic return, and more conditional even than those are. Those other buildings have the opportunity to get a 33% return from the next gnome in addition, but the guild does not.

The only buildings with lower returns are those more focused on victory points - the keep, gatehouse, walls, and card-drawing library. The Inn as mentioned comes out lower when you count the ability to recruit workers only at the resource board's hiring slot cost, but if those are filled up all the time, is clearly more valuable than that.

Another point to notice is how lots of one off actions can promise a bigger gain than you can expect to reap economically from some of the building investments, if those are only completed late in the game. A building that brings a net profit of 1 per turn built on turn 5 or 6 isn't raising your total available resources by much by the end, an extra worker giving you a majority in one of the resource areas might be just as valuable as one put on the plank of your new market. While forgoing the market at that point might let you focus on a gatehouse or keep that brings more board influence.

In other words, early on it makes sense to ramp your income, but late in the game it is the total assets you will have at a very near definite time window that matters more - and board position perhaps more still.

In the early stages, though, I think new player greatly overvalue the guilds as *builds*, and greatly undervalue the worker enhancement buildings, garden and pub. Yes the guild *actions* at the resource guilds in particular, are some of the best available actions in the game (only recruiting can edge them out and that only well before game end). But this doesn't mean *owning* that guild is any great bargain, even if it is used every turn by someone or other.
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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I haven't tried building a guild yet, however, after thinking about it, I'm wondering if maybe people are undervaluing being able to use the guild for free. It is NOT the equivalent of gaining a gold on that turn, as you could have used that gold on the PREVIOUS turn, since you don't need any gold to use it during the placement phase.
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Matthew Klure
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Vanish wrote:
I haven't tried building a guild yet, however, after thinking about it, I'm wondering if maybe people are undervaluing being able to use the guild for free. It is NOT the equivalent of gaining a gold on that turn, as you could have used that gold on the PREVIOUS turn, since you don't need any gold to use it during the placement phase.


IMO that is the biggest value to owning one since I have seen many games where people have no gold at all going into the start of a placement turn.
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Jason Cawley
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Yes that helps, but it is just poor planning.

If you had the choice of 1 extra gold per turn or being able to run your gold "stock" tighter by 1, which would you choose?
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Ian Kelly
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dougbass68 wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:
One thing you may have noticed but did not mention is that the using the Architect's Guild is INSTEAD OF using a property card. So on the down side, you do not get the card in play, and therefore get no income from it, no ability, and no Gnome spaces... however, that also means you don't NEED the card to build with the Architect's Guild - you can build anything on the board! Maybe the best use of this guild is to throw down 2 influence in any unoccupied Keep!

I actually did not notice that, even though it's in the rules plain as day, so thanks very much for pointing it out! Very interesting!


In my relatively inexperienced opinion this feature is what makes the guild. Our group pulled the game out last night, and after looking at the guild (and thinking that it was purely a two-resource discount), we decided that it was uselessly mediocre and swapped it out for another basic guild. The thinking was that if you simply used the worker on the guild and the worker that you needed to get the gold cost to collect the two resources or one metal in the first place, then you would be at the same place resource-wise and would be better in competition for plurality on the collection board.

I can see the Bandits' Guild interaction, but that seems relatively minor. Sure, the 2 resources from the Architects' Guild are effectively shielded, but to actually build something you're going to need at least 3 more resources, and those will be vulnerable -- unless you plan to get all your resources from planks and the market, which doesn't seem very feasible.

Anyway, now that I've found this thread I'll be sure to leave it in next time it comes up. The ability to build properties without having cards for them should open up a whole new field of strategy in the late game.
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